Wednesday, March 07, 2012

My Panera souffle substitute.... pantry challenge

 My Panera souffle substitute aka what I eat when I am really craving Panera's baked souffles.  Recently I have been hankering ANYTHING and EVERYTHING from Panera but we all know I am working hard to use what is in our "pantry" and freezer.  If I were completely honest I would have to admit that in a moment of weakness over the weekend we ordered Papa John's pizza.  Could I have made it better?  The pepperoni?  Yes!  The bbq chicken?  NOT on your life!  OH my it is like crack pizza!  That is definitely going to have to be one of those on special occasions type deals!!  Did the whole family like it?  NO but then very rarely does my whole family like the same pizza.  Okay to be fair they ALL like pepperoni but it is something I only tolerate.  I used to ADORE pepperoni pizza but that was back when I made it myself from pepperoni that was made by a local farmer.  That was the BEST pepperoni EVER!!  But we moved....

Sorry I digressed.  Yes it has been one of those days.  Or maybe I should say one of those weeks/months.  March is being kinda wonky, not just the weather but everything that is going on as well.  But that is another post for another day... or maybe for not at all.  Nothing serious, just busyness that is starting to wear but will soon be over! Thank you Lord for the strength to go on from day to day!! (and for carrying me along when I don't have the strength!)

Now back to my Panera substitute.  You all know I've been working on using what we have as well as adding more whole foods too.  So earlier this week I had the opportunity to pick up some organic kale for a really good price.  Rather than head out to Panera (even though it is a gorgeous day out and a drive would be nice) for one of their lovely souffles I decided to whip up this little beauty.

This little dream is chock full of lightly sauteed, finely chopped kale, crumbled bacon (freezer), a stale croissant broken into bits (freezer) (whole grain bread works nicely as well), salt & pepper to taste, crumbled cheese (freezer)(I used some Gouda we had on hand) and one egg lightly beaten with a 1 tbsp of heavy cream (it was leftover from another recipe/freezer.)  Then I popped this treat into the microwave for 1 & a half minutes at 30 second intervals.  (It may take you less time but ours is a small, low wattage microwave.)

And this is what I was greeted with moments later!  It's great with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice!
Next time I will add a bit of sauteed onion and maybe a touch of garlic.  Or maybe substitute the kale for some roasted asparagus which I make up in batches to keep on hand in the spring.... I am the only one who likes asparagus so I enjoy it when it comes into season each spring. 

This week so far:
1 whole chicken cooked... fauxtisserie style, 1 whole chicken... cut apart, and bones from both as well as bones in freezer= 3 quarts homemade chicken stock, dinner, sandwiches, and shredded chicken for enchiladas

1 family pack pork chops (freezer), bacon (freezer), dried cranberries (pantry), dried mushrooms (pantry), rice (pantry... last of 50 lb bag)= pork chops, rice, and salad with warm vinaigrette for dinner plus enough for a batch of New Mexico green chile.

peaches, mixed fruit, old jam (freezer, old but good)= individual peach crisps and more fruit roll-ups

stale bread/croissants (freezer)= breakfast "souffle" and individual peach crisps (crumbled with butter/cinnamon/sugar for topping)

Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather!!  Thank you for following along and I hope you enjoy all the different ideas for using up what is in the pantry and making the most of what might be on hand. :)