Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cooking from the Pantry Challenge update...

A friend asked me yesterday how my cooking from the pantry challenge was coming along and I had to be honest with her. NOT SO GOOD! But then later in the day I went back and reviewed. You know it is wasn't as bad as I thought considering what we discovered when we did a thorough clean out of the cabinets, refrigerator, and freezers.... such as there were only 2 lbs of frozen vegetables left.  However there is definitely room for improvement. :)

What exactly have I accomplished?
-1 pork roast (from freezer)=2 meals of BBQ pork, 20 shredded pork taquitos (frozen)
-1 whole chicken=(from freezer) eaten with rice (pantry staple), as an after sports snack, and in sandwiches

-bags of tomatoes, spinach, and pesto + miscellaneous bits of fried hamburger & sausage=5 2c bags of enchilada sauce & pasta sauce (5 last minute meals!)

-leftover granola, miscellaneous instant oatmeal, plus bits of nuts/seeds,fruits=1 sheet pan full of chewy granola bars

-2 1 gallon zip lock bags whole peaches (frozen)=fruit roll-ups

"party mix" from left over cereals (plus what remains of the peach/strawberry fruit leather, and the granola bars.)
in the freezer: 5 containers of apple sauce
                      1 gallon bag of jalapenos
                      1/2 loaf of rye bread
in the cabinets: numerous bulk containers of assorted "jello"

2 days worth of jello for packed lunches and our streusel topping (made from cereal crumbs, butter & spices) (and yes one of the jobs for this weekend is emptying 'fridge in order to wash shelves!)

Did we buy groceries?  Yes because A.) there were exactly 2 lbs of frozen veggies left and 2.) there were days I did not plan ahead and discovered we were out of things like bread or fresh fruit.  I am not even counting the milk as it is a necessary staple in our household.  

Where could I have done better? What changes can I implement?
-planning ahead.  Since we have kids in sports and Chris teaches one night a week we do not always eat together but I can still plan for this by having things prepared and portioned out.
-have some make ahead meals in the freezer for nights I am plum tuckered out and don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.... i.e. the frozen sauces for pasta and taquitos.
-make a comprehensive list of what we have on hand (working on this one)
-take an hour one evening and plan meals for the week... plan those meals according to what we have  on hand!

Its a beginning.... :)