I now know that we'll be moving out of our rental and into our new house (!) at the end of November, so I've been trying to use up some of the random bits and bobs in the pantry and fridge. I don't want to move all of it, though Brown Bear is less concerned and continues to stock up on dry goods. I figure we can at least get through the small volumes of things we've got lying around and not replace them.
Last week I made a few rounds of chia seed breakfast "pudding" with almond milk, peanut butter, and Brown Bear's homemade strawberry jam. He'd cooked it too long so it had set into gummy candy, and I found the only way for me to eat it was to blend it into my breakfasts :) I used a random packet of date paste similarly - food processed it with nuts and coconut and cocoa powder and peanut butter, rolled it into balls, dipped them in chocolate, and ate them for dessert over the past two weeks. I've also been getting through our considerable stash of herbal tea by brewing a pot of iced tea every few days, sticking it in the fridge, and offering it to any comers and any time of day or night. It's making a difference! We've had some of it for years and we're obviously never gonna drink it unless it appears (like magic!) in the fridge.
This morning I made some amazing scones - blueberry coconut walnut. I used up the walnuts from the freezer, and put a dent in my considerable dessicated coconut stash (love coconut!). I'm also trying to get through some wheat germ and a small bag of semolina flour that we've had forever, so I chucked some of those in there as well in place of some of the AP flour. Blueberries came from the 6.5 lbs that I picked when we were out near Lake Michigan about a month ago and then froze. We still have a lot of frozen blueberries left to eat but they're *so good* that I find myself rationing them out in small volumes to make them last...This may be stupid.
I also made a big Asian-syle quinoa salad this morning to use up piles of fresh produce from our CSA share, local farmers market, and my dad's garden. Dad's been so generous with just giving us his surplus that we're drowning in veggies! I'd cooked quinoa late last night when i had the munchies - in hopes of eating that instead of an entire lb bag of pretzels - so I stirred the cooled leftover quinoa together with the remainder of our frozen peas, fresh tomatoes, green onions, shallots, a big yellow pepper, some beautiful purple carrots, peanuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, fresh mint, and a soy sauce/ginger/lime/rice vinegar dressing. And a jalapeno from my dad's garden, just to make sure my hands were good and spicy before breakfast :)
We've also already got piles of onions, garlic, and winter squash, so I'm planning to make a green lentil & heirloom bean soup tomorrow night with squash and onion, kale, fresh thyme, and rosemary from our pot out on the porch. And then we'll have dinner guests to help us eat it. Somehow we've been managing to get through all of the produce without throwing any of it away, and I guess it's a good thing that we like veggies because they're in every meal we eat these days. It's amazing to have such wonderful cheap/free produce at our fingertips.
I guess my ongoing "use it up" goals are as follows:
- First and foremost, don't throw out any food. We had one failure on this front earlier this week - my almond milk had gone off so I had to pour it out.
- Use up small bits of baking stuff, e.g. wheat germ, semolina, coconut, coconut flour, nuts, etc.
- Empty out the freezer, which is mostly just nuts, blueberries, bread, and coffee right now
- Use up the herbal tea before moving to the new house in November
- Use up random jars and packets of stuff that live in the door of the fridge. God only knows what shape those are in!