Author Topic: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge  (Read 7151 times)

Serendip

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February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« on: January 27, 2024, 05:10:49 PM »
Would anyone like to join in on a Pantry/Freezer challenge for a month or so?

I tend to do these once or twice a year as a way to work through lingering ingredients and make sure food isn't getting overlooked in the freezer and pantry. It helps me make the effort to use up weird ingredients (pomegranate molasses I'm looking at you!)

Will try to lower my grocery costs (still be buying veggies, eggs..) but also go through everything to make sure that nothing goes to waste by getting freezer burnt, etc.

tygertygertyger

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2024, 06:13:49 PM »
Yes I am in. I will try not to talk too much about squash.

oneday

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2024, 06:16:16 PM »
In like Flynn! Will focus on the freezer, as there has been good progress on the pantry items recently.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2024, 06:35:23 PM »
Love a good pantry challenge! I try to set some actual targets (specific items I want to use up), which I find really helpful vs a general "use things up" approach.

Freezer:
-2 very old cheeseburgers. May need to be tossed.
-Fish sticks
-Corn dogs
-Cranberries
-Pesto pasta

Pantry:
-Potatoes
-2 cans of coconut milk
-2 cans of green beans

FrugalShrew

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2024, 06:52:20 PM »
I'm in! :)

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2024, 07:05:03 PM »
Love a good pantry challenge! I try to set some actual targets (specific items I want to use up), which I find really helpful vs a general "use things up" approach.

Yes--agree!  I'm going to do a full reckoning and make a list as well.

Fabulous to have a crew joining in :)

Josiecat22222

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2024, 04:48:15 AM »
YES!! I actually came to the forum to see if anyone had started this thread yet!!  I am calling it "figure it out February" in my house.  That meaning I need to substitute ingredients, work through some "undesirables" etc.  Top priority is to using up any languishing freezer ingredients/leftovers (looking at you French toast, leftover pizza, mushroom/wild rice soup and chili!!), next priority is older pantry items that just need to be consumed and not repurchased.

Good luck, team!!

Avolonte

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2024, 09:08:47 AM »
I'm in! This is a perpetual problem for me, as I go through cycles of wanting and not wanting to cook. I have a turkey breast in the freezer from November which I'd like to make this month, and SO many dried beans :( from being in the Rancho Gordo bean club for a while (no longer).

Will try to post weekly progress.

NotJen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2024, 10:46:35 AM »
and SO many dried beans :( from being in the Rancho Gordo bean club for a while (no longer).

The struggle is real!  I don't remember how long I was a member before I had to bow out.  My mom recently quit, and I scored 2lbs of beans from her gigantic stash at Christmas (I was worried about my luggage weight, but I could have taken more.  Regrets!).

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2024, 01:10:22 PM »
Iím in!  I was already planning to do this in February, and itís so much more fun with a group!

I have a tendency to buy ďemergencyĒ meal type foods like pasta, sauce, etc. and then not use them for meals, or to buy everything for a special recipe and then have leftover ingredients that donít get used.  We also just did a full return to whole food plant based eating after 7 years of going back and forth between omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan eating, and Iím sure I overbought some things that Iíll need to figure out.  My meat eating young adult kid can work through the meat and fish in the freezer.

Iím kind of jealous of the folks with Rancho Gordo bean stashes!  I just found out my local health food store doesnít carry them anymore.  I cook about 6 pounds of beans/legumes weekly and also use some canned.  I was thinking how nice it would be to cook Rancho Gordo beans for DH and I as a special meal.

NotJen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2024, 04:33:11 PM »
Iím kind of jealous of the folks with Rancho Gordo bean stashes!  I just found out my local health food store doesnít carry them anymore.  I cook about 6 pounds of beans/legumes weekly and also use some canned.  I was thinking how nice it would be to cook Rancho Gordo beans for DH and I as a special meal.

Well, I'm jealous you used to be able to buy them locally!  I either have to do a giant stock up, or pay $11 for shipping.


I wasn't going to join, because I'm pretty good at using what's in my freezer, but I just realized I do have a lot of meat right now that I need to turn into meals.  Posting here will help me plan it out better.

- Thanksgiving turkey - turkey pot pie
- Ground turkey and pinto beans - chili for the Super Bowl!
- Ground chicken - I can't remember any go-to recipes for ground chicken, so I'll have to peruse my stash
- Ground beef - meatloaf
- Make vegetable stock from saved veggie scraps
- Pulled pork - find a recipe that uses pulled pork, or divide it up for salads
- Find a non-chili dish for rest of pinto beans

Dicey

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2024, 05:33:19 PM »
I'm in. My walk-in pantry is full, as are the two(!) in the garage. This needs to happen.

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2024, 10:11:49 PM »
Joining! I already participate in the Eat All The Food challenge, so this particular challenge for me is going to be more about not shopping as a means to force empty the pantry and fridge.

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2024, 10:43:57 AM »
I think the avalanche that occurred when I opened the freezer last night was a sign that I need to join this challenge, lol.

I'll have to do a full inventory, but here's what I can remember that needs to get used up:
- Lots of frozen tomatoes from my garden last year
- Frozen shredded zucchini, also from the garden
- Zucchini bread
- Some turkey and dressing from Thanksgiving
- Posole frozen in individual servings from the huge batch I made over the holidays
- 2 packs of ground venison from SO's hunting
- Ground beef that I pick up when it's on sale
- Chicken breasts and thighs, bought these yesterday on sale and putting them in the freezer triggered the avalanche

I have a few ideas for recipes, but if anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears!

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2024, 12:55:26 PM »
Fabulous to have so many join in.

I'll be solo for the first and last weeks since my partner is travelling for work (which is helpful since he is pickier about eating while I enjoy an experimental approach every now and then).

Things to consume

-corn *frozen
-one or two tubs of applesauce *frozen (make applesauce cake?)
-pomegranate molasses
-popcorn
-buckwheat groats
-veggie burgers (*frozen)
-dried beans
-funny extras like pink peppercorns, moringa powder, mirin, etc
-coconut *dried in various forms
-seaweed (sushi sheets & dulse flakes)
-greens, apples, zucchini (*frozen)



aloevera1

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2024, 12:58:26 PM »
I think the avalanche that occurred when I opened the freezer last night was a sign that I need to join this challenge, lol.

I'll have to do a full inventory, but here's what I can remember that needs to get used up:
- Lots of frozen tomatoes from my garden last year
- Frozen shredded zucchini, also from the garden
- Zucchini bread
- Some turkey and dressing from Thanksgiving
- Posole frozen in individual servings from the huge batch I made over the holidays
- 2 packs of ground venison from SO's hunting
- Ground beef that I pick up when it's on sale
- Chicken breasts and thighs, bought these yesterday on sale and putting them in the freezer triggered the avalanche

I have a few ideas for recipes, but if anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears!

Hi! Do you actually freeze tomatoes?? How do you use them afterwards? Is it just for cooking or you can also eat them raw after thawing? Never heard about freezing tomatoes and am super curious.

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2024, 01:04:01 PM »
Even though it's not February yet, getting a jump start on my freezer/pantry clean out.

Freezer:
-2 very old cheeseburgers. May need to be tossed.
-Fish sticks
-Corn dogs - 2 used up
-Cranberries
-Pesto pasta

Pantry:
-Potatoes Used in a delicious Greek vegetable bake
-2 cans of coconut milk
-2 cans of green beans

NotJen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2024, 01:39:13 PM »
Hi! Do you actually freeze tomatoes?? How do you use them afterwards? Is it just for cooking or you can also eat them raw after thawing? Never heard about freezing tomatoes and am super curious.

Tomatoes freeze great!  I use mine for cooking in place of canned tomatoes.  I freeze them whole (well, cut in half 'cause they stack better that way), then cut up as needed.  I haven't tried eating them raw after thawing - but it's worth a try.

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2024, 01:51:51 PM »
Even though it's not February yet, getting a jump start on my freezer/pantry clean out.

Seems appropriate--Monday is for keeners!

I might do a freezer scrounge as well and start the process early.

tygertygertyger

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2024, 03:09:23 PM »
Hi! Do you actually freeze tomatoes?? How do you use them afterwards? Is it just for cooking or you can also eat them raw after thawing? Never heard about freezing tomatoes and am super curious.

Tomatoes freeze great!  I use mine for cooking in place of canned tomatoes.  I freeze them whole (well, cut in half 'cause they stack better that way), then cut up as needed.  I haven't tried eating them raw after thawing - but it's worth a try.

I've also frozen tomatoes. I typically put them in soup, chili, or some other dish. They kind of fall apart on thawing, so I don't image eating them raw would be easy.

Thrallama

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2024, 04:54:31 PM »
Hi! Do you actually freeze tomatoes?? How do you use them afterwards? Is it just for cooking or you can also eat them raw after thawing? Never heard about freezing tomatoes and am super curious.

Yes! I resorted to freezing when I added a second community garden plot and started producing more tomatoes than I could eat by myself.

Cherry tomatoes: I cut them in half, roast them, and freeze them in 1-2cup portions. They break down to a sauce consistency, and are very good on pizza or pasta.
Big tomatoes: I blanch them, peel them, cut into halves/quarters, and freeze in quart size bags. Mostly I've used them in soups/stews/curries, although you can also cook them into a sauce as well. Pretty much any recipe that uses canned whole or diced tomatoes can use my style of frozen tomatoes.

I haven't tried eating the blanched/frozen tomatoes directly after thawing, but I suspect the texture would suffer - and without the peels, they are quite messy to handle once thawed.

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2024, 04:58:54 PM »
I havenít done a full inventory yet, but I do have some items that Iím thinking we need to start moving through:

3 bags of frozen shelled edamame
4 bags of frozen colorful carrot coins
1/2 bulk bag of frozen Normandy vegetables
4 packages of long pasta (doesnít work as well in the Instant Pot so my kid doesnít go to it)
Several ďbricksĒ of organic ramen noodles, sans seasonings
1/2 package of wild rice
Lots of popping corn
A tub of vegan cream cheese frosting (has to be doctored up ó I bought this and the chocolate flavor and there were gobs of unmixed coconut oil in the chocolate one)
Can of artichoke hearts in water (bought when we were out of the artichoke hearts in oil we usually eat)
« Last Edit: January 30, 2024, 12:13:55 PM by K_in_the_kitchen »

oneday

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2024, 08:13:52 PM »
Oops, meant to quote myself, not modify the old post. [sigh]

Freezer:
Sausage
ground Impossible meat 1 pkg gone
opened bag of broccoli
opened bag of bell peppers
opened bag of roasted corn some gone
opened bag of peas

Fridge:
salad dressing
bbq sauce

Pantry:
canned chili
tikka masala sauce
clam chowder
pasta
1 of 2 bags of dried beans
2 of 4 cans of tomatoes 1 gone
« Last Edit: February 08, 2024, 10:47:30 PM by oneday »

aloevera1

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2024, 08:47:53 PM »
wow you really blew my mind with freezing tomatoes. Thanks for sharing ideas! I have to try it now. :)

Josiecat22222

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2024, 06:02:14 AM »
I have a list of meals to eat in the next 2 weeks including (servings in parentheses):

Freezer/fridge:
mushroom and wild rice soup (2)
chili (2)
lentil bolognese (3)
lentils cooked (1)
naan (4)
bagels (6)
egg bites (3)
dolmas (1)
roast veg (1-2)
salad (3)
greek yogurt (4)
cottage cheese (4)

Pantry:
baked potatoes (10)
red lentil quinoa pasta (6)
granola (6)

That stuff is all on the first tier; once completed, will move into next stage (other pantry and freezer items)


Metalcat

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2024, 06:48:32 AM »
I'm in. I normally have nothing in my freezer except ice, chopped spinach, edamame, pesto, and bricks of butter I bought on sale.

However, we've been getting our groceries from a service that collects food from stores that would be thrown out, so now we have a bunch of stuff in our freezer that needs to be eaten as soon as it's thawed.

I'm normally a batch cooler, but I can't batch cook things that need to be used right away, so that leaves me with an increasing pile of stuff I need to figure out how to consume efficiently.

I'm fine with any given thing being wasted, I've had to learn that part of using this service is that it's okay for some soldiers to die in fighting the war on food waste, lol.

But I have a pretty substantial collection of lovely Quebec cheeses, pates, prosciutto, etc. I don't even know, really, what I have in there, and we always get so much food that I generally produce too much for the week with my bulk cooking as it is. So I need to skip a week and start making a dent in this bizarre stockpile of best before/not bad after premium items.

It's such a strange challenge for me...

I've bulk cooked vegetarian food for nearly a decade and I don't snack, ever. I'm not even how to tackle this...

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2024, 01:17:36 PM »
I'm in. I'm moving in April, and I have so many staples.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2024, 06:18:35 PM »
@Metalcat - depending on what you eat, what about a nice risotto that uses up fancy cheese & prosciutto? That's one of our go to meals after having charcuterie leftovers. We do a lazy baked risotto, but a proper one would also be delicious.

PMG

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2024, 07:11:18 PM »
Iíll join! Weíre moving sometime in March. Life is extremely hectic right now so weíll have to balance need for ease with using things up, but weíre going to do our best to empty the larder without refilling it.

We came home to a thawed freezer a few weeks ago and had to toss a lot. We are not restocking, just trying to buy for a week at a time.

Odd items to use up:
A curry mix packet
2 cups coconut flakes -I have a recipe chosen, just have to get time.
Plant based whipping cream
Vegan dip (weird flavor and texture.)
Herbs in the hydro garden. Savory.  Donít know how to use savory.
Instant rice - 2cups?
Instant mashed potatoes - 2-3 servings

JLee

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2024, 07:26:52 PM »
We started this late December!

Other than a birthday dinner and dairy/baking ingredients (we've agreed flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and milk are excepted) we haven't bought any groceries.  We still have several days worth of meals planned, but will relax once we hit February and allow buying fresh vegetables for the sake of our collective health. Otherwise though we intend to continue and see how long we can go.

Josiecat22222

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2024, 10:39:42 AM »
one day early, but made a (small) dent. 
ate 1 serving of dolmas and salad for lunch and had a serving of lentil bolo and a baked potato last night.  That counts, right??

Freezer/fridge:
mushroom and wild rice soup (2)
chili (2)
lentil bolognese (3) (2)
lentils cooked (1)
naan (4)
bagels (6)
egg bites (3)
dolmas (1)
roast veg (1-2)
salad (3)(2)
greek yogurt (4)
cottage cheese (4)

Pantry:
baked potatoes (10) (9)
red lentil quinoa pasta (6)
granola (6)

That stuff is all on the first tier; once completed, will move into next stage (other pantry and freezer items)


[/quote
*will be turning red as I finish things*

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2024, 01:41:26 PM »
Here we go!

I'm also off to an early start--last night we had guests for dinner so served crackers w/ soft cheese (and a side of pink peppercorns) and made a salad dressing using some pomegranate molasses..

Today for lunch I made a buckwheat groat bowl (w/ boiled eggs, sprouts and carrot dressing).


Metalcat

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2024, 01:50:32 PM »
@Metalcat - depending on what you eat, what about a nice risotto that uses up fancy cheese & prosciutto? That's one of our go to meals after having charcuterie leftovers. We do a lazy baked risotto, but a proper one would also be delicious.

The problem is that I can't bulk cook with a lot of these items, they need to be eaten as soon as they're thawed. So to make a dish out of them means adding to my cooking burden, and I have minimal physical bandwidth for bulk cooking as it is.

If it's going to be a net addition to my weekly chore burden, I'm not very motivated to actually do it. Especially since all of this stuff in the freezer is basically bonus stuff.

We get our week's worth of meat, produce, and bread for $40 from this service, these weird extras, like charcuterie meats and pates and cheeses are all just extras that I might get to at some point, but it's not tragic if they're wasted because it's all essentially bougie dumpster diving, lol.

NotJen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2024, 06:22:06 PM »
- Thanksgiving turkey - turkey pot pie
- Ground turkey and pinto beans - chili for the Super Bowl!
- Ground chicken - I can't remember any go-to recipes for ground chicken, so I'll have to peruse my stash
- Ground beef - meatloaf
- Make vegetable stock from saved veggie scraps
- Pulled pork - find a recipe that uses pulled pork, or divide it up for salads
- Find a non-chili dish for rest of pinto beans

Converted bag of veggie scraps into jars of veggie stock that ... went in the freezer.  And started filling the bag again.  But, still, done.

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2024, 02:29:16 PM »

We get our week's worth of meat, produce, and bread for $40 from this service, these weird extras, like charcuterie meats and pates and cheeses are all just extras that I might get to at some point, but it's not tragic if they're wasted because it's all essentially bougie dumpster diving, lol.

Gosh--I would love to find this service. Bougie dumpster diving speaks to my soul! :)

Metalcat

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2024, 03:00:26 PM »

We get our week's worth of meat, produce, and bread for $40 from this service, these weird extras, like charcuterie meats and pates and cheeses are all just extras that I might get to at some point, but it's not tragic if they're wasted because it's all essentially bougie dumpster diving, lol.

Gosh--I would love to find this service. Bougie dumpster diving speaks to my soul! :)

Yeah, it's pretty amazing. Now that it's my main source of food, I'm aghast that it doesn't exist everywhere.

But it's an arm of a charity that has thrift stores, a restaurant, all sorts of services. A fellow forum member posted about it and we've been using it ever since.

It helps offset the batshit crazy grocery costs when we're in Newfoundland half the year.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2024, 03:01:58 PM by Metalcat »

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2024, 03:28:57 PM »
Iím in. The emptyish nest is full of odds and ends that need to make their way into some stomachs over the next month. Frugal February means eating what we have versus buying a bunch of extra things.

Metalcat

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2024, 05:58:04 PM »
I just plundered the freezer for some charcuterie cured meat and a personal size salmon pot pie.

NotJen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2024, 08:01:58 PM »
- Thanksgiving turkey - turkey pot pie
- Ground turkey and pinto beans - chili for the Super Bowl!
- Ground chicken - I can't remember any go-to recipes for ground chicken, so I'll have to peruse my stash
- Ground beef - meatloaf
- Make vegetable stock from saved veggie scraps
- Pulled pork - find a recipe that uses pulled pork, or divide it up for salads
- Find a non-chili dish for rest of pinto beans

The turkey pot pie is so good!  Topped with a freshly made buttermilk biscuit.  I was halving the recipe to make 6 biscuits, but dumped the full amount of salt in.  So, now there are 11 biscuits in the freezer.  And no more butter stash :(

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2024, 08:03:19 PM »
Successful prep evening. I went through cupboards.  As per other challenges, I have a strange assortment of *additions* to try to use frequently this month (flax, maca, etc).

I made a batch of dandelion root chai to drink over the next few days, and made powdered mixes of pink chai (beet root powder) and turmeric chai which used up a good assortment of spices like powdered ginger, anise, cloves, etc. My kitchen smells delicious and my dog kept coming over to sniff what was happening (grinding rosemary). (Using recipes from Amy Chaplin's cookbook)

I found a lb of dried dulse..oh my gosh. A lb! Snacked on a few bites.

I also am soaking dried coconut overnight to make coconut milk and black sesame & almond for another nut milk.
Dehydrated 1/2 loaf of sourdough and might make a bread pudding tomorrow.

Feeling satisfied! I am solo for the next 6 days so will be eating strange, vegan-ish recipes and rummaging through the pantry :)

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #40 on: February 01, 2024, 09:45:19 PM »
We're due for this for sure. We already got to some of the green beans we froze from last summer's garden.

We really need to figure out what to do with a too-large quantity of chana dal, or decide we won't be using it and post on Buy Nothing. (We were aiming for lentils, and got something a little different.) Recipe recommendations welcome.

There's at least one bag of flour of uncertain age. We've been using flour, just not that flour.

Maybe we'll do the archeological dig this weekend and see what else is forgotten behind and underneath.

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2024, 07:42:38 AM »
We really need to figure out what to do with a too-large quantity of chana dal, or decide we won't be using it and post on Buy Nothing. (We were aiming for lentils, and got something a little different.) Recipe recommendations welcome.

I havenít made this particular recipe but use her website a lot óthere may be other options on the site too if you search.
 http://veganricha.com/easy-chana-dal-recipe-split-chickpea-soup/

tygertygertyger

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2024, 09:39:49 AM »
I finally finished a bag of frozen mixed berries. My partner bought it for me a long while back thinking I might like to make jam. Turns out I didn't particularly, but I do like having berries with yogurt and granola.

Now to work through all the frozen dumplings I overbought for a party.... what a hardship! (Dumplings are my favorite!)

Dicey

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2024, 10:22:00 AM »
I scrounged through the freezer last night and came up with beef tamales for him and green beans with almonds and rice for both of us. I'm not sure how long  I can keep this up. I may need to stop at the cheapo produce mart at least once.

Tonight's menu: Lentil Stew and Cornbread. Double batches of both, so I can take dinner to a friend who just took a bad fall and is recovering from surgery. Plenty of pantry staples on hand. Hmmm, maybe I should make a triple batch...

Serendip

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2024, 10:41:49 AM »
I scrounged through the freezer last night and came up with beef tamales for him and green beans with almonds and rice for both of us. I'm not sure how long  I can keep this up. I may need to stop at the cheapo produce mart at least once.


@Dicey --no need to ONLY eat from the pantry/freezer :) I am emphasizing and focusing on it but will definitely be buying coffee cream, fruit, eggs over the month.

Just baked a bread pudding with dried sourdough & rye, added Inca berries & goji as well as the dried apricots which the recipe called for. And I made the required coconut milk out of dried coconut that I have heaps of.  Hopefully it's still tasty even with all my modifications.

Dicey

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2024, 10:59:02 AM »
I scrounged through the freezer last night and came up with beef tamales for him and green beans with almonds and rice for both of us. I'm not sure how long  I can keep this up. I may need to stop at the cheapo produce mart at least once.


@Dicey --no need to ONLY eat from the pantry/freezer :) I am emphasizing and focusing on it but will definitely be buying coffee cream, fruit, eggs over the month.

Just baked a bread pudding with dried sourdough & rye, added Inca berries & goji as well as the dried apricots which the recipe called for. And I made the required coconut milk out of dried coconut that I have heaps of.  Hopefully it's still tasty even with all my modifications.
I used to do a strict no-spend February, long, long before it became a Thing. I'm approaching this challenge the same way. I just perused the pantry yesterday. If I was willing to survive on pickles, homemade plum and apricot jam, vegetable broth, basmati rice, oatmeal, coconut milk, random canned beans, canned tomatoes, assorted condiments, particularly salsas, and cake, I could easily last a whole month. However, I like fresh food too much to give it up entirely for the sake of an obviously much needed challenge, lol.

K_in_the_kitchen

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2024, 01:00:29 PM »
My goals are to use some of the food that was purchased but has languished and to get a sense of what we eat on a regular basis now that weíve returned to plant based eating.

Iíve done a full inventory of all the food, including individual herbs and spices. My plan is to sort them between things we use often enough to replenish, and things we donít use for whatever reason, or just donít use often enough to keep stocked.  There are also some things that would get used more often if people saw them, like gomasio and furikake, so Iím thinking of repurposing a lazy Susan to hold these things out of the dining room table, or at least making a note to remind me to get them out when I get out the soy sauce.

Leading into the challenge I have gone to pantry foods several days this week, but Iím only planning to track in February.  Yesterday I used canned beans, chiles, and tomatoes to make chili for my husband and son.  I also used cornmeal and gluten free flour from the pantry to make corn muffins.  At dinner I used a package of ďbaconĒ seitan from the refrigerator in a vegan colcannon I cooked for Imbolc / St. Brigid.  It turned out fantastic, but I think that particular ingredient will only be purchased when I have a plan for it.  The meal did use the last of the russet potatoes (from Costco, and quality was really poor), more of the cabbage mix I bought too much of, and several cloves of peeled garlic (I bought 3# at Costco because I didnít want garlic from China and I use so much now that I wanted to try buying it peeled).

I found two bags of Mexican Hot Chocolate mix from Costco, so today I made a big batch of vegan hot cocoa by blending some past date honey roasted macadamia nuts with water before adding in the mix.  Thereís enough of the hot chocolate mix to do this 7 more times, so at some point Iíll switch to homemade oat milk (not all in February ó thatís way too much hot chocolate!).  I bought the macadamia nuts in July when Costco was clearing them out, not thinking about the fact that freezing them would make them sticky upon defrosting, so Iím trying to get through them sooner rather than later.  DH does snack on them.  Overall though, Iím not going to keep macadamia nuts in the pantry, as I find cashews more versatile for plant based cooking and baking.

I will be buying perishables this month, but want to base our meals on what we already have.  So while everyone enjoyed Indian spiced potatoes on Tuesday, Iím not planning anymore meals that require fresh potatoes.  Wednesday I bought fresh salad makings and fresh fruit, plus zucchini, mushrooms, and onions.  It unrealistic to think weíll only eat frozen vegetables this month, and I donít have enough to do that anyway.  And while I happily use homemade plant-based milks, Iím still going to buy oat milk for my oldest.  Iíll buy frozen or canned foods that we run out of during the challenge but do use regularly, such as frozen fruit for smoothies, but I wonít replace canned beans since I have dry beans we can go to.

I havenít mentioned the challenge to the family ó itíll be interesting to see if they even notice.

Josiecat22222

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2024, 02:25:59 PM »
Slow progress continues... finished the salad mix, dolmas, and roasted vegetables as well as some faux "chicken" in the freezer.  Went to the grocery today and bought only broccoli, shallots, garlic and yogurt in support of this challenge!

Freezer/fridge:
mushroom and wild rice soup (2)
chili (2)
lentil bolognese (3) (2)
lentils cooked (1)
naan (4)
bagels (6)
egg bites (3)
dolmas
roast veg
salad
greek yogurt (4)(3)
cottage cheese (4)

Pantry:
baked potatoes (10) (9)
red lentil quinoa pasta (6)
granola (6)

That stuff is all on the first tier; once completed, will move into next stage (other pantry and freezer items)


[/quote
*will be turning red as I finish things*

Metalcat

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2024, 03:14:32 PM »
I just pulled more cured meat out of the freezer.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: February Pantry/Freezer Challenge
« Reply #49 on: February 03, 2024, 08:12:01 AM »
Even though it's not February yet, getting a jump start on my freezer/pantry clean out.

Freezer:
-2 very old cheeseburgers. May need to be tossed.
-Fish sticks
-Corn dogs - [i]4 used up[/i]
-Cranberries
-Pesto pasta - I believe there are two containers, so one of two is currently defrosted for dinner

Pantry:
-Potatoes Used in a delicious Greek vegetable bake
-2 cans of coconut milk
-2 cans of green beans - One can is set out for dinner tonight

 

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