Author: Sorting Last Post on Top ↓ Message:
NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,458
3/1/11 9:14 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
This challenge helped me stay on track with eating at home/cooking at home for most of the week. I also used up some close to code/recently expired items that would have been tossed if I hadn't of done a review of the pantry for this challenge. It also kept me on track with trying new recipes each week. The only week I didn't try a new recipe was this last one and since I have tried more than one recipe for most of this challenge I am okay with that. The last week of the challenge was an odd one for me because my DH was sick and we were gifted with several days worth of leftovers at the beginning of last week so we ate leftovers most of the nights and I finally re-purposed them for the last night emoticon

I didn't make much progress on filling up the freezer with easy to grab items but we did clean out quite a few items that were languishing in there for awhile. I did take care of the majority of the Market Day items but we still have a few cinnamon rolls and several breakfast cookies. I did drink tea more often than I had been but didn't stick to 2 cups a day as I am still working on my open boxes but haven't touched the extra boxes in the cabinet/garage. One thing I did discover was how I like the Peach Iced Tea kcups I received as a gift. I was worried I wouldn't be able to enjoy any of them. Not sure I am going to open the second box. I think I might exchange for another flavor. I cleaned out some old spice mixes and discovered that I had more hiding than I thought. I need to redo my spreadsheet soon.

I didn't use the crockpot as much as I wanted to during this challenge but I did find some new recipes to add to our rotation and figured out that I can cook things that taste different in there. emoticon

Thanks for the challenge!

~Deb


 current weight: 262.0 
 
281
258.25
235.5
212.75
190
NADJAZZ's Photo NADJAZZ Posts: 1,840
3/1/11 8:36 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I came late to the February challenge, but I still reaped so many benefits:
1. Organized a kitchen cabinet whose contents have been slowing creeping out into the kitchen and even the living room area, since Thanksgiving. Threw away about 6 lbs of powdered sugar, and still have several lbs left!
2. Used up all the canned beans in the pantry; switched over to using up the dried beans (which I've been trying to ignore, and would have eventually tossed). I now have the equivalent of five cans of small red beans in my freezer.
3. Used up almost all the meat in the freezer. I"m down to frozen turkey burgers and turkey meatballs.
4. I've been baking a loaf of bread each week. I bought the frozen dough for the holidays, and just bought too much. This is such a treat for my mom with some butter and marmalade.
5. Fresh veggies are washed, cut up, and ready to grab! And now that the fridge is not stuffed to overflowing, I can SEE everything easily. It certainly encourages healthy eating.
6. In the last two weeks, we've only purchased perishables such as milk, eggs, and fresh veggies/fruits. We have not purchased any meats, and that's saying alot for this carnivore! Also, by keeping the fridge clean and veggies prepped, we're more aware of what we already have, and are no longer "overbuying" and then tossing. Approx savings: $150 in a 2-week period.

I posted pics here:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
ur
nal_individual.asp?blog_id=4051869


This has been such a motivating experience for me! I'm looking forward to getting even BETTER at this in March!

Nadine
abcnews.go.com/Health/mess-ernestine
-shepherd-body-building-grandma-benche
s-150/story?id=10480184


BLC 19 - Azure Destinations Co-Capt
BLC 18 - Azure Destinations


 current weight: 148.4 
 
157
152.75
148.5
144.25
140
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
3/1/11 6:40 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Glenna thanks for telling about the stuffed peppers - I thought maybe this was some exotic recipe or something, didn't imagine you could can traditional stuffed peppers! That is amazing, never even heard of such. Never heard of re-canning the contents of big canned stuffed, either. Wow wish we lived close because I could learn a bundle from you!


What I accomplished in the February Pantry Challenge:

1. Dated and reorganized 6 built-in shelves in the kitchen of pasta, beans, and rice & grains.

2. As part of those shelves, started on organization of recipes (to be completed).

3. Reorganized baking shelf that had flours and sugars, consolidated into clean Tupperwares and washed the old containers (huge stacks).

4. Reorganized root vegetables and containers; used up all the old potatoes.

5. Menu planned for a month, celebrated Chinese New Year in the menu.

6. I saved sooooooo much money!! Not counting new staples/stockpile items that were too good of a sale to pass up, I spent an unbelievable $18.68 on fresh fruit & veggies this month. NO ONE could have convinced me it was possible to spend so little on groceries.

7. Batchcooked beans:
a. split pea & ham soup,
b. small red - frozen & used in 3 Bean Salad
c. pinto batchcooked and frozen,
d. Great Northern white batchcooked in ham & beans,
e. batchcooked & froze garbanzo beans
f. batchcooked & froze black turtle beans

8. A few things used up are:
Chicken, beef, turkey, ground beef, ham
Veggies and BBQ beef from the freezer
old potatoes
spices
spice pkg mixes (won't replace)
Frank's Red Hot bottle
2 cans wax beans
big can of pineapple juice
several cans of cream soup
opened sauces, dressings, and condiments already opened in the fridge
oatmeal, made crockpot oatmeal for 1st time

9. Fed the freezer:
White rice
Beans
Bean soups
Bread
Beef broth
Diced baked ham
Shredded beef burritos (leftovers from pot roast)

10. Searched for and saved alot of pantry recipes. Between the recipes and reorg and menu planning, I'm so much farther ahead for March!!!

I know there is much more I did this month, but I didn't write it down as I went. I'd say my four biggest accomplishments are:

1. Reorg, label, and date all dry goods, boxes, pasta, beans, and rice & grains, including picking over all the beans so they're ready to use, yay! Moving the stuffing and cornbread boxes to the section with the other grains so I will use them up (won't replace). This section of kitchen is definitely Spring Cleaned!

2. I don't have a freezer or to clean out, but I cleaned out the fridge and have kept up the new habit of wiping one fridge shelf, drawer, or section a day, so I never have to clean out the fridge again.

3. All the money I saved, which is A-mazing to me.

4. Menu planned for a month, targeting more pantry items, which is also A-mazing to me.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/27/11 1:22 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I did experiment some with the mashed potatoes. I found some interesting ideas that I liked---dh didn't. Like simply making the potatoes as directed and stirring in some regular salad dressing and/or horseradish. I loved these. DH didn't !! but at least I found a new idea for me. Since they are instant, I can make as little as I need. I made an all-out effort to make bread almost all of the time. I made homemade bread, hot rolls, biscuits, and cornbread. I have an abundant supply of flour and yeast (keep in freezer). I also delved into my freezer for veggies. Carol, you asked about the canned stuffed peppers. I simply stuffed regular green bell peppers with my usual mix of hamburger, rice, onion, salt, and pepper. Then carefully put them into wide mouth quart jars and filled with hot tomato sauce. Then processed as for meat. They don't taste exactly like fresh made. But they are sooo handy!! Also the homemade chili. I just make up a favorite recipe and put into quart jars and process the same time as for meat. I have also done beef stew, venison stew, and a chicken soup. Anyway, back to the challenge. I haven't cleaned out the cabnets or freezer yet. Hopefully next month----depends on work!! But anyway I am seriously looking at my cellar and freezer now and shopping there first. We bought fresh things and some specials on meat. Anytime I can find a good buy on pork or beef, I usually get extra and can it up. That is another meal that I made. I took my canned pork slices and heat with a can of mushroom soup and some water. makes a tasty, quick meal. I can beef cubes, also. We like these with potaotes boiled in them. Also when I make veggie soup, I put a pint of the beef and broth in it. The pudding mixes I had bought to use in some recipe. ????? Who knows now??? Usually if we are just eating pudding, I make my own. I did get some instant pumpkin spice pudding during the holidays. That is yummy and handy. But for choc or vanilla, I make my own. I also buy dented #10 cans for $2.50 each at a local store. You can recan these items. Whether it be fruit or veggies. Just follow the recommended time for the food item. Fruits are usually water bathed 10 to 25 minutes. I usually get about 6 pints per can. Depends on the pack and how much juice. This is an ongoing thing with me. And I never know what they will have to sell. DH came home with a gallon jar of pepperoncini peppers ($2.) yesterday. We get to try new things, too.

I have enjoyed this months challenge. It has opened my eyes to what an abundance I have and that I need to use it up and enjoy it. hopefully next month I can gain more ground. I hope we keep this challenge going for awhile. If nothing else, perhaps when we happen onto a large amount of something at a bargain, we can tell what we did with it.

Thank you all for your ideas and info!!!!
Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/27/11 10:27 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
*~*Day 27 Daily Task:

List benefits and accomplishments of the February Pantry Challenge. Here are some starter thoughts to get you going, don't answer these specifically (unless you want to), these are meant to give you ideas:

— Did you clean out or organize or date & label anything? If so tell what & how.
— Did you meet or make progress on any of your original goals? If so share which ones. I saved a ton of money, etc.
— Did you clean out and/or feed the freezer? If so tell what & how.
— Did you use up (or partially use) up foodstuffs you had targeted, like for me this would be pasta and canned goods and potatoes? LABEILLE's tea? Glenna's instant potato flakes?
— Is there any area of your kitchen that is now completely Spring Cleaned (like shelves, pantry, cellar, freezer, cabinets, etc.)?

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/27/11 10:09 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Ooooohhhh . . . pudding mix . . . .
emoticon

Yep I have that; yum!! I never make that! The last I made was homemade, and that was so long ago I don't even remember how long it's been. Wow I'm sure it's out of date. Because I NEVER buy that anymore. Those little square boxes last forever, right (hee hee hee). See, that's why we all need this challenge! For all the stuff lurking that never gets used . . .

Today I am making ham & beans, with white (Great Northern) beans, will post the recipe (my own) when it's done. This is one of those things I cook-as-I-go and will have to measure and write things down in order to come up with a recipe, measure at the end to know how much it makes, etc. I am batchcooking, with 4 cups dried beans, and decided to make ALL the beans into white beans & ham. Beans and soup freeze well, and I really don't use Great Northern for anything else, and I have the ham to use up from leftover baked ham, so decided to go for it.

I have black beans soaking to make this recipe:

Black Bean and Sausage Soup
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=58638

With this recipe I can use up the kielbasa I never buy anymore (except I got for almost free at the store due to sale + doubled coupon). I'm really not a sausage/processed meat person, not healthy!!!!, so after I bought it I never used it, (so how dumb was that to buy it? even if almost free, even if it's the healthy lite version like mine in the fridge are, I learned my lesson = never again). This is a great pantry recipe to use up both, the black beans and the sausage. Of course I'll make mine in the crockpot instead of stove top.

I am batchcooking black beans but unlike the white Great Northerns I will freeze some of these black beans, actually will freeze alot of them, because there are a ton of recipes you can use black beans in. I like them spicy Lebanese, spicy TexMex, black bean & corn salad, etc.

So far in beans, I've done this month:
1. split pea & ham soup,
2. small red - frozen & used in 3 Bean Salad, to use up canned wax beans
3. pinto batchcooked and frozen,
4. Great Northern white batchcooked in ham & beans,
5. and black batchcooked are soaking.

6. I have decided to go ahead and batchcook and freeze more split pea & ham, because it's one of my favorites, and I have more ham & lite kielbasa to use up.

And the last thing I want to make this month but don't know if I'll have time by Monday midnight (probably not!), are batchcooked blackeyed peas & ham or sausage. I think I'll concentrate on canned goods these last two days, and put the blackeyed peas into next month.

Glenna you tie fishing flies just like FlyLady! That's how she got her moniker, when she was posting on Pam & Peggy's boards (Sidetracked Home Executives). Do you sell them on the net or just word of mouth? That is something detailed and also crafty I might like to do. They wouldn't weigh much to ship them.

How in the world do you make canned stuffed peppers???! Never heard of that. What is the recipe like? You are the canning bomb, I can tell.

A hot plate is a GREAT idea!! Thank you so much! I have an electric one, it looks like a free-standing stove burner with coils. Could set it in the middle of the table so nothing would get ruined or scorched; I can protect the table but not the stove top. I can't build a fire outside or grill outside but those are good ideas that might work for other readers. I would probably do the canning on an electric hot plate on the patio at night when my landlord couldn't see and complain; the cord could go out the door, and it wouldn't heat up the house that way. And by using an electric burner then I can buy the regular sized canner instead of the small one!

I'm glad you're participating next month; thanks for the compliment! Most of the ideas came from all of you; you all have terrific ideas. I have learned so much!

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/28/2011 (22:53)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/26/11 9:30 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Carol, This sounds yummy! Like you said if dh doesn' t like it, it would certainly be good for my lunch. That's on the plan for this week. I haven' t been planning or posting much. But I have been using up "stuff". I tie fishing flies and sell them and it has been a very busy month!! Anyway, I have used my canned chili and canned stuffed peppers from the cellar. I have in mind to sort and soak beans as soon as I am finished here. I have been making biscuits and bread from my stocked up flour and yeast. I used up a package of frozen pork and canned sauerkraut. Also opened up and used a can of chick peas. Also some pudding mixes. It has been so helpful in making me think, "now what do I have on hand that I need to use up". So I definitely would like to participate again next month.

You were talking about canning and getting a canner. Have you considered a hot plate to can on? You can get an electric one. You can also buy gas burner units. I think lots of people get them for their camps. I believe they have some in The Sportsman's Guide and like catalogs. You might google something and find it. Just an idea. I tell you what I have done when I had jars and jars of stuff. Built a fire outside in the yard and filled the wash tub full!! It works!! Been several years since I did that. You may not want to build a fire to can!! lol Perhaps you can find an alternative!!

Thanks for all the info, recipes and ideas. You have done an awsome job!!

Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/25/11 3:29 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Glenna I found a very interesting potato recipe in a SparkEmail and when I saw it I thought of you. I bet you could make it with mashed; I'm going to try it, adding an egg like the potato patties my mom made, and add some onion & garlic. If your DH doesn't like them, I bet they would be good in your lunches. I wonder if would freeze well; I'm going to find out, if so they'd be great for batchcooking.
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=18300


Potato and Broccoli Pancakes
Ingredients:
1/2 lb potatoes
10 oz frozen broccoli
1 large egg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp canola oil

Directions
Cook broccoli in the microwave until tender and process in the food processor.
Peel and shred the potatoes.
Mix all the ingredients minus the oil in a bowl.
In a pan heat the oil.
Form small pancakes out of the batter and fry on both sides until golden brown.
Repeat until all batter is used.
You can use cooking spray instead of oil.

6 servings, recipe submitted by SparkPeople user ZUZKA1.
Fat: 5.8g, Carbohydrates: 20.1g, Calories: 147.2, Protein: 4.7g

Also when making potato soup I thought of you - add some flakes as thickener, which others do in beef stew etc anyway - perfect way to hide them would be in potato soup, mixed with fresh diced potatoes.

Also the name I was trying to think of before - ethnic potato patties - was pierogies. Potato pies / tarlet looking things you stuff with seasoned ground beef, vegetarian filling, whatever you like. I haven't looked at these 23 recipes but I wonder if some of them call for leftover mashed potatoes (which you could make with instant):
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipes.asp?
fo
od=pierogies&a=


 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/23/11 9:55 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Yippee I used up 2 cans of wax beans!!


CLEAN OUT THE PANTRY 3-BEAN SALAD
(Why do they call it 3-Bean Salad, when garbanzos make it 4?)

This is not the traditional recipe; this is use-up-stuff-in-pantry recipe.

2 14.5 oz cans wax beans (or 28oz can), drained & rinsed
4 Cups frozen green beans (or 28 oz can drained & rinsed)
2 Cups frozen chick peas, previously cooked in crockpot (or a 14.5 oz can, drained & rinsed)
~1 Cup small red beans, previously cooked in crockpot (you can put more, or use canned, or use kidney, in it if you want - I don't care for kidney)
1 large onion sliced into rings
1 green bell pepper sliced into rings
2 Cups salad dressing of your choice, I like Italian; use up opened salad dressing bottles in fridge, or using up Good Seasons packette, etc.
1 Cup apple cider vinegar, or any other kind you want

Mix all together and refrigerate 2 - 24 hours, the longer the better, overnight if possible. Stir and taste after marinating. Is it too tangy from too much vinegar?, add water. Is it too bland?, add seasonings. Is it still too tart?, add sugar or stevia. Adjust seasonings to taste depending on your preferences and the type of dressing(s) and vinegar(s) used.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/23/11 7:59 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Yay, 1 beaner besides myself!

Today: Small red are in my freezer, BIG batch pintos are done and are next to go in the freezer. Since I have so much ham, I'm going ahead and put Great Northern to soak today for cooking tomorrow.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
NADJAZZ's Photo NADJAZZ Posts: 1,840
2/22/11 8:58 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Carol, I found some red beans in my pantry, so I"m going to try your batchcooking method, and freeze them when I'm done. I'm going to pick over them tonight, while I'm watching Glee.

Nadine
abcnews.go.com/Health/mess-ernestine
-shepherd-body-building-grandma-benche
s-150/story?id=10480184


BLC 19 - Azure Destinations Co-Capt
BLC 18 - Azure Destinations


 current weight: 148.4 
 
157
152.75
148.5
144.25
140
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/22/11 12:55 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Chime in if you're cooking beans.

I have small red cooling off, will make 3 bean salad with some of them and freeze the rest.

I have pintos cooking in the crockpot.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
NADJAZZ's Photo NADJAZZ Posts: 1,840
2/21/11 10:40 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
MON - Chicken tortilla soup (crockpot leftovers)
TUE - Green chili pork over rice (previously frozen crockpot meal); roasted veggies
WED - Turkey chili
THU - fend for yourself night (I'm going out with coworkers)
FRI - shrimp stir-fry
SAT - try a new crockpot recipe
SUN - salmon, wild rice, and fresh veggies

Nadine
abcnews.go.com/Health/mess-ernestine
-shepherd-body-building-grandma-benche
s-150/story?id=10480184


BLC 19 - Azure Destinations Co-Capt
BLC 18 - Azure Destinations


 current weight: 148.4 
 
157
152.75
148.5
144.25
140
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/21/11 4:34 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
SAT
Ground lamb & pea curry, brown rice

SUN
Roast chicken, mashed potatoes & steamed root veggies
Apple crisp

MON
Chicken tetrazinni, salad

TUES dinner meeting

WED
squash soup after work (it was so good, I made another batch)
lamb chops, yellow rice, green beans after choir

THURS potluck: bring chili (repurpose the bolognese sauce I froze last week by adding beans & spices)

FRI PM CALL leftovers


NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,458
2/21/11 12:40 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Menu

02/20===Family Dinner

02/21===Leftovers from Family Dinner

02/22===Pork/Ramen stirfry with any left over pork

02/23===Sweet potato/refried bean burritos, Turkey burgers for DH or at least cook for his lunch

02/24===Chili in the crockpot

02/25===Out or Rotisserie Chicken and Cracked wheat/lentil/Edamame salad

02/26===Rotisserie Chicken and Cracked wheat/lentil/Edamame salad or Italian Pizza Bake if had Chicken on 02/25

I can't go further than that right now emoticon Only using the crockpot once this week and I am okay with that. Not doing that great with using up the tea stash. I would be interested in continuing the challenge in March as I have sauces/spices, canned goods, some frozen meat surplus,baking items, and my tea stash to work down.

Has anyone ever tried cooking with tea? Ive heard of some recipes that are tea infusions or that use the tea leaves as seasonings.

Edited by: NEELIXNKES at: 2/21/2011 (12:43)
~Deb


 current weight: 262.0 
 
281
258.25
235.5
212.75
190
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/21/11 9:39 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
*~*Day 21 Daily Task:
It's Menu Planning Monday; and it's Bean Day!

I do my menus on Sun (usually) and will be posting mine sometime today. If you do yours on a day other than Mon, that's fine, just post it how you do it.

If you've never done a weekly menu planning yet, just take 10 mins and jot down 7 dinner ideas for the main entree from your pantry, and post them. You can get fancy and add other meals and recipe links later if you so desire.

IT'S BEAN DAY!!!

Funny story I will tell on myself: I have 4 cups of pintos soaking. I have never cooked 4 cups at once; I have only soaked one or two cups before, so I used a deeper pot however the pot I used was still too small and lifted the lid off the pan as they swelled up with water, LOL. I transferred them to a stock pot and added more water, they were all out. I'm putting them in the crockpot when I go back in the kitchen at lunch time today.

~~~~~~~~

Let's batchcook some dried beans, then either use them for a recipe or freeze them. Get out a bag of any dried legume except split peas and lentils (because they do not need to be soaked before cooking), and open up the bag. Pick out small stones, debris, and any misshapen or odd-colored beans; this is known as "picking over the beans", or, "pick-over"; or "pick" for short.

While you are picking over the beans, think about a TV program you watch. You can pick over the beans (including the lentils & split peas), or, peel a bag of carrots, the next time you watch TV or hulu. Over time you can make your entire stockpile of dried beans picked-over and ready to be processed. I put mine in Tupperware, with a note inside or on the label that says they are already picked over, and what the expiry date from the bag was.

Soak the picked-over beans overnight today on Mon. Tues morning drain, rinse, throw them in the crockpot, and cook them in fresh plain water 8 hours on low. Check. If they are not done, cook longer (they might be too old to get soft if you're using up really old pantry stock). After 8-10 hours they should be soft and ready to be bagged for the freezer, or used in a recipe. If you are freezing them for future use, bag them in their juice because things frozen in solid blocks of liquid last longer in the freezer. Go to the Bean Thread
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sa
geboard_thread.asp?board=0x5523x3905R>6342

to learn more about preparing and cooking dried beans. If you need a recipe, get one from the Bean Thread or from the Soup Thread or SparkRecipes, A Year of Slow Cooking, AllRecipes, etc.

The bean thread could use some more recipe contributions I see, if you'd like to post yours.

Idea: soak garbanzo beans aka chickpeas, and make homemade hummus with them.

If you get really industrious this week, pick beans every night during TV, and soak and cook a different kind of bean from your pantry every day or every other day, etc. Freeze in 2-cup portions, in their own liquid to make them last longer in the freezer, and you have all the work done for tasty recipes throughout the rest of Winter, Spring, Summer salads and BBQs, and Fall soups and stews. So much better than canned!!!

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/21/11 9:11 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Can you believe we're at Week 4 of the Pantry Challenge already???!!!

Weekly Overview
for Week 4, Feb 21-28:
CONTINUE TO POST A WEEKLY MENU;
CONTINUE ORGANIZING AN AREA OF YOUR FOOD STOCKPILE/KITCHEN;
PICK ONE THING TO BATCHCOOK THIS WEEK AND POST IT.

We're adding on an extra day this week, Mon Feb 28th makes it the eighth day for those who will be stopping this challenge at the end of Feb. Alot of us have chose to continue on. Daily tasks etc don't seem to be too popular, so I'll discontinue those after this week.

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/21/2011 (09:14)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/20/11 6:58 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Homemade Chocolate Syrup

I am out of syrup and it's not on the "healthy list to buy again", so I've put off buying any for a very long time. But I have plenty of unsweetened cocoa to use up in my pantry; so this caught my eye.

www.hillbillyhousewife.com/chocolate
sy
rup.htm


She says it's remarkably similar to Hershey's syrup in the can.

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/20/2011 (06:59)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/19/11 7:26 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
55 Clean-Out-The-Pantry SparkRecipes. Who knew???
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipes.asp?
fo
od=pantry&a=


 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/19/11 7:24 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Clean the Fridge Orzo Salad
Submitted by: TAREBEAR119
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=667167

This basic room-temp salad can be adapted to whatever vegetables, herbs and pantry items you want to clear out. Example: kidney beans, cannellini beans, mint, basil, parsley, sundried tomatoes, olives, peppers all work nicely. Get creative! This is also really easily converted to a main dish with some added protein mixed in.

Ingredients
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
10-12 oz orzo
1 cucumber, chopped
1 cup crumbled feta
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 red onion, diced
1 bag arugula, rinsed & dried
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Makes 10 1/2 cup servings. 20 Minutes to Prepare and Cook

Prepare the orzo to package instructions using stock instead of water. Drain.

In serving bowl, place arugula. Pour orzo over arugula and stir until wilted. Mix in cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas & onion. Shake oil & vinegar together, pour over salad and mix in feta. Serve immediately.

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 3/1/2011 (09:55)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/19/11 7:14 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I love cumin too, add double what recipes call for generally speaking.

I consolidated a bunch of spices into a Tupperware tall skinny modular mate; they were several bottles of different flavors of Mrs. Dash and several more containers of different kinds of garlic herb spices. I don't buy any of that stuff anymore; I make my own from the real thing. However I emptied them all into a big bowl, stirred, and filled up the container. It really straightened up my spice shelf in a hurry to help get rid of all the clutter, and, I actually like it more and use it more since doing that. Simple is better. The container, which is huge for a spice container, is steadily going down during the past year. The Mrs. Dash lessened the salt content per serving, overall, of the garlic herb spices. When I am making soup, roasted potatoes, etc I just take the lid off and add a pinch or two, depending on the size of the crock pot or soup pot. I put 3 pinches in the big batchcooked crockpotroast I made the other day.

I also do this when I used to have duplicates - I've been decluttering with FlyLady several years now, and don't have many duplicates left.

Once I put 3 containers of lemon pepper seasoning together into a larger empty spice container I had saved, something that wouldn't affect the flavor of the lemon pepper.

In the past I used to buy garlic pepper herb (mostly salt), Rotisserie Chicken Seasoning (mostly salt), Chili Seasoning Mix (mostly salt). I make my own seasoning now, for example I filled up one of those empty containers with homemade Taco Seasoning Mix, bulk size. Also if you look at the ingredients lists on mixed herbs you will find things you don't want to be consuming, like hydrogenated oils in steak seasoning, MSG, and other MSG-like compounds (there are 13+ names for MSG). Much healthier to make your own convenience mixes of spices if you must, or, buy only when the spice label contains three ingredients or less.

Has anyone seen the organic bulk spice choices Costco is stocking? The one near me in Maryland has tons of choices, but I went with my brother to a Denver Costco last fall (he has a card, I don't; I always go with someone else and reimburse them cash, because I'm too frugal and buy too little for it to be worth it to join). And at his Costco, they only had Kirkland Organic No-Salt Seasoning 14.5 oz, a blend of 21 organic spices and seasonings (similar to organic Mrs. Dash for alot less money than conventional Mrs. Dash) and they had McCormick Organic Oregano Leaves 2.5oz. They had other conventional spices. In Maryland's Costco there were ~7 to 10 different kinds, guesstimating, of organic bulk spices.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/18/11 11:41 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Re: using up the cumin (and other spices):

1. Cumin adds flavour to so many dishes. What I like to do, when I have any extra, is to "top up" those BBQ-spice mixes my husband is so fond of buying, with cumin, even as much as 50:50. It is always an improvement on the original.

2. I often buy spices in bulk, and invariably that teeny tiny handful in the bag ends up being more than fits in the jar I intended to fill. I took a large empty spice bottle and dumped in it all the "leftover" green herbs I had: oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme. Then I labelled it "Mediterranean seasoning" and suggested to my daughters that they could just dip into that if they wanted quick seasoning for nearly any meat, veggie dish, salad, or stew. I emded up using it as a default too since so many dishes call for that combo anyway. (I wouldn't use dill, tarragon, or summer savoury in the mix though, too distinctive.)

Looks like I will be eating down my pantry well into March, too. But I've now run out of some things like mayo and crackers so I may cave and do a more general shop, but I'm REALLY trying to plan for just what I have. (I so miss having couscous though--I dislike "fusion" cooking so I can't picture serving Moroccan food with rice or pasta)

CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/18/11 4:56 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Tuna casserole is a great clean-out-the-pantry recipe! I looked at the coconut beef recipe.

Menu Planning

I finally finished cleaning out the fridge Wed monrning. I'm adding wiping a shelf per day to my Morning Routine so I never have to do that again. I skipped the condiment shelves, so I'll start there.

Cleaning out the fridge revealed I'm eating leftovers until I make a new menu this Sunday for next week. I'm looking forward to more potroast shredded beef & gravy, with mashed potatoes, and green salad, as one leftover meal; that was sooo good, haven't had it in years.

I jotted down some ideas off the top of my head for next week's menu, focusing on canned goods, this time I did it category-based, such as the potatoes and bread I need to use up, and the protein I already have batchcooked or will batchcook. Much to my amazement, I came up with 35 - COUNT THEM - 35 main dishes, plus sides and breakfast ideas, etc. Enough to last from Feb 20 to Mar 26, with plenty of leftovers to make lunches with, and to fill up the freezer with batchcooked items for April. I am truly, truly amazed.

I printed out and highlighted the "use up perishable first" items, followed by canned good items, then hung up the prioritized version in my kitchen. WOW my menu planning is DONE except for locating recipes. Can't believe it. Sounds like so far, 3 or 4 of us plan on continuing this in Mar.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/18/2011 (04:57)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
RUBYTWOSDAY's Photo RUBYTWOSDAY Posts: 197
2/17/11 11:40 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Hello All,
I haven't been on SparkPeople as much as I should be lately, but I've kept our February challenge in mind through most of the month.
We've been using items in the pantry quite a bit, but I still can't see an end of the stockpile in there. I may have to extend this challenge personally into March!
Tonight most everything is coming out of the pantry - tuna noodle casserole. Ingredients below:
1 can of white solid tuna
1 can cream of chicken soup, low-fat
macaroni
frozen peas
chopped onion
1 can skim milk (made from skim milk powder and water)
4 saltine crackers, crushed
salt/pepper

Cook your macaroni. While this is cooking, Chop tuna into bite-size pieces and place in casserole dish. Add some frozen peas and chopped onion. When macaroni is done, drain and mix in with tuna mixture. Mix the cream soup with skim milk and pour over all. Add some salt and pepper to taste and then the crushed soup crackers. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or til bubbling. Serve with a salad or cooked brocolli.


NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,458
2/17/11 9:29 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I've used foodily.com before and it is interesting. I think I am going to check it out with some of the ingredients I need to use up.

Now I only have 2 bottles of Cumin emoticon However, yesterday when I was pulling something out of the freezer, I took the turkey carcass out and well, left it on the floor next to the freezer. Whoops! Dang it, no turkey stock for us since it has warmed up now and the carcass thawed out and is smelly already. Yuck. Guess I will have to find some chicken parts or whole fryers on sale to make some stock soon.

I won't be making the lentil soup today as my DH has to go out of town unexpectedly and I am having dental work done so I don't want to make a mess in the kitchen that I might not feel like cleaning up emoticon I still do need to use up the chicken stock in the freezer so that will be on the agenda for next week.

I have been doing pretty well on groceries during this challenge. We looked last night and we have only spent just over 1 week's worth of the budget and we are going into week 3 so that is good. Plus most of what I spent was on things that I can't really make myself without buying more equipment such as a juicer.

I started looking for some recipes for next week and already have a few ideas to use up some refried beans and sweetpotatoes that have been hanging around awhile. I'm trying to find a recipe to use up some cracked wheat that I had bought to make tabbouleh but then couldn't find any good tomatoes and I would like to use it up before the tomatoes are back in season again
emoticon I found one that will also help me use up some edamame as well so unless I find something else I will go with that one.

Today I am dropping off the french toast sticks for my nephew to try but we haven't been finishing up the breakfast cookies or cinnamon rolls lately. On that note I will go grab a breakfast cookie and some fruit for breakfast! Have a healthy day!


Edited by: NEELIXNKES at: 2/17/2011 (09:30)
~Deb


 current weight: 262.0 
 
281
258.25
235.5
212.75
190
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/17/11 3:59 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Did anyone look at LABEILLE's websites? If so what did you think of them? Here they are with clickable links:
www.mealfire.com

www.foodily.com


TODAY: I was in a town doing an errand where the Safeway is cheaper than my local one, so I stopped in for an ad because they all changed today and I haven't looked online yet. Safeway had in-ad coups, so, you need the actual paper flyer even tho I still look at the online one first to save time and gas money. But I was there so I went in and grabbed a flyer and looked around, this is what I found:

- red grapes, overstock clearance this store only, $ .99 lb
- unadvertised special, whole Safeway chickens, $ .59 lb, bought two
- overstock clearance special, hardwood smoked shank hams, $ .69 lb

Batchcooking, here I come! I have some bread to use up from a sale, so I see some chicken-grape-mushroom salad in my future lunches.
emoticon

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/17/2011 (04:04)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/17/11 3:52 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Deb - your 3 bottles of cumin made me feel better about myself being awash in potatoes, LOL. Although spice bottles are much smaller than potato bins . . .
emoticon

Glenna - I'm so jealous of your canning skills! I was going to can last summer something easy for the first time like tomatoes, but had a quandary with the size of the canner, i.e. hanging over the electric burner and making darkened marks on my landlord's stovetop. I don't have a grill outside or any other way of doing it. But I bought the supplies and have a Ball Blue Book; just need the canner. I think I'll buy the small canner than everyone says don't buy because they are too small and a pain, so that I can at least do some farmer's market produce this summer; without the fear of damaging my landlord's stove top. Also I do menu planning similar to you - I pick a protein then add 3 veggies. Lunch is leftovers, and breakfast takes care of itself. Wow where are you getting all those 10lb cans from??! I don't think I've ever even seen a 10lb can of mushrooms. And speaking of 3 bean salad, I'm going to make some, thanks for the suggestion!

LABEILLE - frozen MOOSE!!!! I've never eaten moose. Wow! I love reading your posts. Just curious,what is a "plastic coffin of yellow-brown"? I need to make fruit salad, thanks for the idea. I need to bake my acorns, thanks for the idea via butternut. Thanks also for the reminder of differences between crockpots; now that you mention it, that's exactly what the problem was, and the reason I know is because the center never got done even though I overcooked it 3 hours (got home later than expected that day).

KAZINMICH - What an inspiring post! Thanks so much for posting that. I think purchasing contacts and workout DVDs and healthy stockpile sundries, is excellent use of your Pantry Challenge savings!

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
KAZINMICH's Photo KAZINMICH Posts: 519
2/15/11 10:27 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I just want to say this challenge is awesome. I am saving $10 a day, five days a week for my hubby and my lunches. Then I'm saving another $80 a week in eating out (minimum) some weeks we ate out 4 times!!! That's $160!!!! I'm spending a lot more in groceries - fresh fruits & veggies, but learned of a bulk food store for my couscous, beans, etc! I'm in HEAVEN! I also stocked up on diced tomatoes, no salt added (very low sodium) when they were on sale. Of course, I haven't actually put up the money I saved. I purchased contacts for my daughter and myself, hosted a bake sale for a non-profit org (had to buy all the stuff to make the goodies), and bought some workout DVDs. We are limiting ourselves to eating out only once per week - that includes every meal too, so we are being very picky. I also found a coney island who will prepare my chicken shish-ka-bobs with no salt and non-marinated meat, my steamed veggies with no salt & no butter, and let me bring my salad dressing in! So when we do need to eat out I can get a healthy meal for $7. Yeah, all that for only $7 too!!!

 Pounds lost: 33.4 
 
0
25.75
51.5
77.25
103
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/15/11 7:12 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
It's not you Carol! It's your crockpot (+/- the recipe).

The older crockpots cook at a lower heat, and potatoes will only cook soft if they are cut in very small pieces, placed at the very bottom next to the heat source, and given plenty of cooking time. Many newer recipes are based on the newer, hotter-cooking crockpots, so they don't take this into account. (likewise for how long till a dish is cooked enough vs. overcooked.)

I have a 15 yr old crockpot, and a smaller even older one that I got second-hand. I will use 1 or 2 potatoes, diced small, in a curry for example, at the very bottom. But a lot of stew-type recipes just don't turn out for me, so I use other veggies and serve it with rice. On the other hand you can do whole potatoes still in their skins and cook all day and they cook up just fine (although they taste more stemaed than baked, and are better raised up above the water that will condense in the bottom.)

My advice is to experiment with your own crockpot to see what size and cooking time works for you. And any time it doesn't turn out, it is NEVER you, it is the recipe!

Edited by: LABEILLE at: 2/15/2011 (19:13)
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/15/11 11:02 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I love reading everyone's posts!

I am a little behind and off track at the moment.

Had planned to celebrate Valentines Day today with purely fun, childish things like valentine cookie cutters and heart-shaped mini-cakes. Might have to wait til tomorrow.

Today I have crockpot roast to reheat, going to make gravy out of the juice, and make mashed potatoes.

The potato & ham au gratin I made in the other crockpot turned out edible, but, I won't make it again. It might have been partly my fault because I didn't realize til it was filled and turned on, that I was supposed to dice the potatoes. (I sliced them instead.) In this particular case, that might have made a difference, with raw potatoes, in a crockpot, and very little liquid. I might make it some future time as a test to see if it was me or the recipe. But at this point I think it was the recipe. Though everyone else gave it good reviews, so it's making me wonder about myself. I'm not a naturally good cook, learned to cook (sort of) as an adult; so when I depart from recipes things generally don't go well for me.

I guess I have plenty of potatoes to practice with this winter, and learn the ins and outs of raw potatoes in crockpots. And I have plenty of potatoes for St Patty's Day.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/13/11 9:07 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Managed to keep the shopping for next week to a minimum but I had nearly run out of onions and carrots! Also the frozen moose I planned for today's dinner looked too tough to serve as steak so I bought prime rib on sale. And I put back the potatoes on sale till I use up the few we have left.

This week's menu:

Sunday
lunch--we had the cheese fondue I didn't do last week beccause of my cold. Unfortunately the finish-baking-at-home batard (bread) I had bought got totally mouldy, I should have known better!
dinner--steak, mushrooms, asparagus (bought that) and baked potatoes;
strawberries (bought them on sale) and whipped cream (best before date November and it was still good!)

Monday
peanut chicken, probably African style (to use up some salsa) rather than Thai style; rice

Tuesday
moose stroganoff (with the rest of the mushrooms) and pasta; serve with beets (we had 2 opened jars!) and lettuce salad.

Wed: meetings after work.
I will take butternut soup (last week didn't make it, bought the Campbell's Gardennay and it was a big disappointment!)
and after I get home I'll make something quick; maybe I'll leave a bolognese sauce in the crockpot (open tomato sauce needs using up anyway, I have a small amt of ground beef or maybe I should add that TVP in the pantry? Hmm I should cook extra pasta Tuesday!

Thursday:
chicken fajitas, or maybe a crockpot curry if I haven't used up the butternut

Friday: I work late, will need to arrange for some leftovers!

Batcch cooking: I don't ever use those plastic coffins of yellow-brown stuff if I put them in my freezer, so my batch work is pre-preparation of fresh ingredients. I made veggie stock out of the carrot trimmings etc I'd been saving: I made enough fruit salad to last for days of breakfast and snacks; I diced the butternut squash and have just made soup from some of it.

Also I 've discovered 2 fantastic websites.
1 is Mealfire.com; it allows you to import or create any recipes and input them to your calendar.
The other is called Foodily.com and it searches for recipes online using whatever words/ingredients you choose, but also allows you to esclude ingredients to refine your search further. I was able to find 2 bran muffin recipes like the "perfect" one I had lost: uses wheat bran, not bran cereal, and uses cooking oil, not butter or shortening. So now I can finally use up the dates and the molasses and the bran...


KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/13/11 8:13 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Hi Carol. Thanks for the tips for the ins. potatoes. I haven't made gnocchi yet. I tried to doctor up mashed potatoes, but dh caught onto that one!! I don't know if I'm keeping with the schedule or not (probably not), but anyway here is what I have been up to. I never seem to get menu plans made!!

I have basically been buying just fresh fruits. I got 10# of chicken legs for 59cents a #. That was too good to pass up. Cooked up the whole batch. Have some nice cooked chicken and broth!
So Saturday we used on the chicken, canned tomatoes, and pepper relish that I had canned last summer. And Mom gave me a casserole that she had made. It was made up from dried mixed veggies and a jar of canned trout fish (that I had given to her). So that fit right in with the plan!

Today I cooked dried baby limas (from storage), stir fry (from freezer), canned tomatoes, and mac & cheese. The cheese was a cheddar sauce that I had actually canned up. We get those #10 cans of dented foods for $2.50 each. And I had canned this last summer. Also bought the mac from there. (damaged bag). So I used my storage for that. And made raisin pie. DH came home with a dented can of raisin pie filling yesterday. So I think I am doing well in using up my stash of foods.

It seems like if I make a menu plan it never works out. I think ahead on the things like cooking beans. I usually just try to get a protein figured out (it usually takes the longest to cook). Then fill in with a starch and some veggies. I have a variety of frozen and canned veggies so it is no big deal to pick a couple. Also have canned fruits, but still enjoy those grapefruit!! I also buy pork and beef and can it up. So I can open a jar of that and just heat it up. One of our favs is a jar of pork pieces simmer with mushroom soup. I was reading about the cream soups. So I know what I need to do now. That #10 can of mushrooms can be used in part to make my own soup!!

This challenge has been an eye opener. I am thinking more about what I am doing now. I found some canned garbonzo beans in the kitchen cab. Those were for 3-bean salad. So I think I had best get to moving on that one, too!!

Thank you all for putting up with my helter-skelter system of doing things. At least it is working for me.

Carol, I did an ingredient search on All recipes for the ins. mashed potatoes. It is a very useful sight.

Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,458
2/13/11 2:23 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Daily Task: I am going to bake coffee bars for DH. This is a recipe that his Godmother sent us awhile back and he keeps asking me to make them.

Meal Plan this week:

Sunday: Out for my birthday dinner
Monday: Roasted Red Pepper and Potato soup recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=225875
Using up a close to expiration date jar of red peppers, Shrimp Cocktail, and Spinach/Artichoke dip
Tuesday: Crockpot Coconut Beef Curry crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/08/coc
ou
nt-beef-crockpot-recipe.html

Wednesday: Cheeseburger Macaroni and broccoli
Thursday: Lentil Sausage Soup
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=1462839

Friday: Spinach Linguine Algio Olio with veggies
Saturday: At my MIL's

This week I will get the turkey stock made as I will be using up the last of my chicken broth from the freezer. Both the roasted red pepper soup and the crockpot beef curry are new recipes to try this week. I did go through my spices while I was making breakfast yesterday and got rid of some long ago expired mixes. I found that I now have 3 bottles of cumin since I saw the one that I was going to use up this week and bought a new one at the store without noticing that I had already bought a new one previously. I really need to take some time and update my spreadsheet of what I have on hand. That was so helpful when I did it before.

Using from the pantry this week:
Jar of red peppers close to expiry
Shrimp
Sausage that has been in the freezer for too long
Last bit of a pack of lentils
A box mix for the cheeseburger macaroni







Edited by: NEELIXNKES at: 2/13/2011 (14:23)
~Deb


 current weight: 262.0 
 
281
258.25
235.5
212.75
190
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/13/11 2:16 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Batchcooking: I just packaged and froze leftover white rice I batchcooked last week. I put 3/4 C in each of 7 snack bags, and put them inside a labeled, large freezer bag.

Next project: I went through SparkRecipes today, looking for several different things I need at once, and found one I'm going to change up for my scalloped potato and ham. I like this one because it doesn't call for canned soup though I will change it, clean it up and repost it after I make my version and it turns out ok. Here it is:
Ham/Potato Gratin--crockpot/slowcooker
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=546711


Also found this Sauerkraut & Kielbasa one I'm going to make to use up pantry items, I already bought the sauerkraut about a month ago with the idea in mind of using up my low fat turkey sausage which was given to me, I will never buy it. Raggedy Ann I'm using your recipe instead of the canned soup in this one:
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa with mushrooms and potatoes (slowcooker)
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=959320


Tonight when I cleaned up the kitchen I opened some mesh bags of onions and put them away, and the same with a new bag of potatoes. Felt good to get stuff organized and put away.

Was so proud of myself for having plans with the recipes above to use up the old potatoes I'd already peeled . . . until when I was putting up the new potatoes, I found I have ANOTHER container of old potatoes to use up.

Definitely not buying ANY potatoes for the rest of the winter, and probably not for the rest of the year. I thought I'd need to be using up my white rice, and pasta; now on top of that I'll be using up white potatoes. Ai yi yi am going to have walk ALOT more, and watch my pH levels closely.

So I feel awash in potatoes, akin to Glenna's instant except mine are fresh. Will definitely be making lots of potato chicken soup and potato veggie soup and potato chowder for the rest of this winter. Here are some recipes I found today:

Potato and Ham Crock Pot Soup
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=463246


Slow Cooker Zesty Mexican Potato Soup
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=20303


Crock Pot Potato and Canadian Bacon Chowder
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=240716


Low-Fat Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=439125


Ham, Green Bean, Potato Soup in crockpot
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=122854


Ham & Potato Au Gratin Crock Pot Style
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=1023353


Crock Pot Potato Chowder
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=195973


Crock Pot Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=75132


I'm heading over to the Soup Thread, Pork Thread, and Other Thread to post these recipes there.
emoticon

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/12/11 11:58 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
*~*Day 13 Daily Task:

List what you'll bake or make out of your pantry, for Valentine's Day. I want to use those special cookie cutters . . . and heart pans . . .


 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLINAGIRL45's Photo CAROLINAGIRL45 Posts: 368
2/12/11 4:34 P

Send Private Message
Reply
Dontcha love those mystery containers? lol I try to remember to write it as I put it in the freezer, but sometimes don't. A fun guessing game in months to come. ;-)

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-three today and we don't know where the hell she is. ~Ellen DeGeneres


 current weight: 220.0 
 
230
222.25
214.5
206.75
199
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/12/11 9:57 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Evaluation from Recap Post List of Items:

1. Took a fresh look at my personal goals at this "half time" benchmark in the month.

2. Menu planned!, first two weeks stuck to plan about half the time; I'm happy with this, this is "success" to me. Used up chicken drumsticks with Frank's Chile n Lime expired hot sauce (delish!) in crockpot, over plain white pantry rice cooked on stove top, but didn't re-do my menu planning, and didn't make quite a few items like the orange chicken, etc. Still eating leftovers, too.

3. Daily Task 1C - so far I have batchcooked chicken drumsticks, ham, pot roast, and white rice. Plus used up many other pantry items. For example in the pot roast I used up many pantry items: Lipton Onion Soup pkg I no longer buy because of MSG, and a McCormick Bag-n-Season Pot Roast pkg I no longer buy for the same reason (I used to love those Bag-n-Seasons, and Crockpot Seasoning pkgs!), a can of cream soup, and a can of rotel tomatoes. It was sooooooo good. Next up: I peeled some white potatoes that were sprouting and am going to make 3 dishes out of those; potato leek chicken crockpot soup, crockpot scalloped potatoes with ham, and crockpot mashed potatoes as they keep up to a week and freeze well.

4. I skipped Ground Hog (ground beef) Day but may have fun with that next year; makes me smile. Too bad I don't have young kids to serve "ground hog" to, I would have had even more fun with that. Stephanie O'Dea's Loose Meat Sandwiches recipe (or something like it; or meatloaf) would be great to have next year. I enjoyed Chinese New Year in the menu, enjoyed celebrating that even if nothing I made was authentic! Still tasted good.

5. Daily Task 5 - I had several containers of batchcooked crockpot UFOs that somehow made it into Tupperware and into the freezer, unlabeled. Something brown/orange was all I could tell. Spaghetti sauce? Taco meat? I defrosted one of them and it was beef veggie soup, and when I heated it up it tasted good!, so I labeled the other two identical ones. (Note: it is soooooo much easier to label BEFORE you freeze them! - ask me how I know.) Other than that I was good on my (tiny) freezer on top of the fridge. I don't keep black bananas because I never have room, so I make banana walnut oatmeal with them instead if I'm not making banana bread, and I use them up immediately as I go. Had saliva on the keyboard, though, reading about LABEILLE's banana muffins.

6. For parts I have done and not posted about yet, that would be 3 areas: pasta rice & bean, free standing pantry, and baking center.

7. Baking center: I reorganized all my Tupperware containers of flour, sugar, etc., and all the things left sitting out in that area. I was left with a neater, consolidated area and huge tower of Tupperware to wash.

8. Free-standing pantry: I organized store-bought pkgs most of which I don't buy anymore: tea (still buy that), cake mix, cornbread mix, baking supplies like baking powder, etc. This is my spice cabinet too, but the spices were already organized. I moved the corn bread boxes near the pasta since it's a grain, and needs to be kept in sight and in mind for menu planning purposes.

9. For Recap Week 2, I did post a menu, and I did choose to organize one area or "food zone" of the stockpile. For me this is the open shelving in the kitchen which is where I keep pasta, beans, and grains like oatmeal, barley, rice, popcorn, couscous, bulgur, cornbread mix I no longer buy, stuffing mix I no longer buy, etc. This was a huge job. I've been working on this area since the beginning of the month. It makes me wonder if I'm OCD. LOL. I did label the boxes of excess pasta, rice a roni, couscous, etc with a sharpie so expiry dates are easy to find and the pantry goods can be put in order of expiration with oldest first. I have Tupperware with opened pasta rice & beans in it, plus unopened pasta rice and beans, and sometimes I had saved and put the expiry dates inside the Tupperware during the last year or so. I picked over the opened and unopened beans while watching TV at night, put them all in Tupperware, and created labels for the expiry dates on the outside of each container when known. When not known I considered those the oldest & to be used first. After all boxes and modular mates were clearly dated on the outside I emptied the shelves and reordered everything by date. All the while chanting the silent mantra: I will NEVER let this happen again. The upper shelf contained loose leaf recipes in piles and bags, which I'm spending 15 mins every night on; the recipes are the last component of this Food Zone or Stockpile Area; then I can move on.

10. Day 7 daily task, clean out fridge, is not done but I'm working on it and making progress. Maybe I should consider it a Food Zone. LOL.

I am struck, over and over and over again, how much I have changed since coming to SP. How many things I no longer buy or use, and were never really necessary to begin with (but you couldn't have told me that then); a waste of my money AND my health. Same with recipes: I'm throwing many away because they call for bogus stuff, and now I cook from scratch and/or make it in the crockpot instead.

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/12/2011 (10:20)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/12/11 8:45 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Carol's Goals Reposted:

(kept same) - emoticon
$ spent on groceries limited to $40 total during the month of February ($10 a week is doable due to my stock pile & being single).

(kept same) - emoticon
not included in $10 a week are ridiculously great sales too good to pass up for fresh stockpile items

(kept same) - emoticon
focus on fresh produce

(updated) - Satisfactory Progress
use what’s in the freezer, pantry (pasta, rice & beans), fridge, etc, YES, and anything else; but menu plan around old canned goods to make sure they get used up as first priority. I no longer buy most canned goods for health reasons. They are too old to donate but still good. I really want as many gone out of the house by Feb 28 as possible. They bother me now, since starting this challenge. LOL. They're on my radar.

(kept same) - emoticon
eat 25 or more of the 28 days at home, and also 90% or more from the pantry

(kept same) - Whoaaaa. Zero Progress to Date, Address in Next Menu Plan emoticon
start baking from scratch; I have the flour and yeast stockpiled and NO it doesn't last forever so I really need to bake my own bread, it's sooooo much healthier and frugal to do so.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/11/11 10:32 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
*~*Day 11 Daily Task:
Look back to the beginning of the challenge and your personal goals for this challenge, polish, clarify, or narrow or expand the focus of them and change them up if needed, and repost. Then this weekend and for the new week coming up, we can work on what we're doing with a better, adjusted aim.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/11/11 10:29 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Today is our second Friday in February, and our second Friday of The Pantry Challenge. Next Tuesday we'll be halfway through the month. So let's take a moment, take a deep breath, have a recap, and regroup a little.

Take a breath before we ready, aim, fire at the rest of this month's Pantry Challenge.

Analyze: What parts did you want to do of the things below, but haven't yet done? What parts have you done but not posted about yet?

RECAP WEEK1

Weekly Overview for Week 1, Jan 31- Feb 6 was:
ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS, GOALS, AND A MENU
*~*Day 1 Daily Task A: Give some thought about your personal goals for this Pantry Challenge, and post them (see list of starter ideas for goals in original posting). Make this challenge fit your life and your family! Don't worry, you can change them as you go along, as we all learn more.

*~*Day 1 Daily Task B: In 15 mins (no perfectionism allowed!), jot down a basic weekly dinner menu and post it. Include more (breakfast, lunch) if you want. Have fun with and include recipes for Ground Hog Day (Feb 2; ground beef), and Chinese New Year (Feb 3-5) if you want.

*~*Day 1 Daily Task C: Include one item in this week's menu that you can cook alot of at the beginning of the week at one time but it's easy, and then make planned-over meals out of it. This is an especially good way to use up extra pantry goods, i.e. making chicken broccoli and rice casserole with the leftover cooked chicken, or chicken noodle casserole, etc.

*~*Day 1 Daily Task D: Locate, post, and save or print recipes for each dinner menu item, if you're a person who needs a recipe (I definitely do!), for this week's menu.

*~*Day 2 Daily Task - Happy Ground Hog Day! There were initially alot Day 1 tasks in order to get started on this challenge, so nothing new today. Go back to Day 1's tasks and goals and menu planning and posting, and followup.

*~*Day 5 Daily Task: Do you have any "projects" in your freezer? Have you been saving leftover veggies in the freezer to make "someday" soup or broth with, or chicken bones for "someday" when you get around to taking the time to cook them in the crock pot to make soup or broth? What about that ham bone? What about those black bananas in your freezer? Or do you have any lurking UFOs (Unknown Frozen Objects)?

Or, how about looking for the hidden expiration dates and writing them with a sharpie so you can see just how old those cans of tuna, pkgs of pasta, or pkgs of rice mix or beans really are? Pick one of the above and do it, or, post what you did instead.

RECAP WEEK2 (so far)

Weekly Overview for Week 2, Feb 7 - 13 was (so far):
POST A WEEKLY MENU, AND ORGANIZE THE STOCKPILE IN ONE KITCHEN AREA

*~*Day 7 Daily Task:
It's Menu Planning Monday! Today's task is to clean out the fridge. Come up with menu ideas for what's still good, and adjust your menu plan accordingly. Crock pot soup, and stir fry, are great for using up wilted-but-still-good veggies. Poultry in the crock pot with Italian dressing is a good way to use up cream cheese. Post this week's Menu Planning, with recipe links if possible. Some people have set days of the week (i.e., other than Monday) for cleaning out the fridge or weekly menu planning; of course that's fine continue to do it the way that is a blessing to you, making this challenge work for you and YOUR life; and please share your system so we can all learn from it.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/11/11 10:06 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Happy Friday everyone! Fabulous Friday.

Love that info LABEILLE! I have heard of using cooked potato, and flakes; not the other. Looking forward to seeing your recipe.

I'm going to post a recap of the pantry challenge next; fair warning to everyone in case they want to skip it, LOL.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/11/11 9:24 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I learned to use the basic white sauce in place of canned soup way back when we were living overseas and feeding 4 little ones on a very limited budget. I do it in the microwave which is really fast and no sticking or standing around to stir (well once a minute and in 3 minutes it's done). I used to use veggie stock I made by simmering my carrot and onion peels and then use powdered milk. Was I chuffed years later to read Escoffier and to realize that for the classic Bechamel (white) sauce you are supposed to simmer carrot and onion in the milk to season it first!

However, for crockpot cooking and for lower fat cooking, you can get the same thickening power with potatoes. If you have potato flakes--there you go. But for a basic cream soup, I cook a potato or two with the veggies and then blend them all together, no need to thicken. Likewise for curries and Moroccan stews I use a finely-diced potato or a squash or pumpkin, and let them cook soft and mushy enough to act as the thickener.

I was glad to have made my plan for this week when I got sick with a cold. Was I glad to come home Monday night to that Chicken Fricot in the slowcooker! It really hit the spot and hubby (not usually lavish with the praise) told me twice how good it was. I am going to post it on the Chicken recipes thread.

He liked the Piccadillo too. I think I did--because the sweetness of the raisins, salt of the olives, tang of the capers, and heat of the spicy hummus (haha found a way to use it up) made up for my total lack of sense of smell. But I'll have to try it again with taste buds before I decide if it's worth posting.

The pork tenderloin with goat cheese was interesting but I wouldn't do it again. I am not that crazy for goat cheese, at least warm; if I want meat that tastes like goat I'll go out and buy goat (then again, maybe it would be too hard to find) Still...

I think it is too late for the Pad Thai; there was a lot of liquid on the bottom of the fridge drawer that the bean sprouts were in, but I haven't yet been brave enough to pick them up. But tonight's quick dinner was all pantry: fish fillets taking up too much freezer space, frozen veggies, and baked sweet potatoes that I think have been hiding since December.

I am toying with the idea of an all-African menu for next week, but it will mean a lot of rice if I stick to my resolve not to go shopping for couscous and cornmeal.

CAROLINAGIRL45's Photo CAROLINAGIRL45 Posts: 368
2/11/11 7:09 A

Send Private Message
Reply
Carol, you're very welcome. I love that recipe too and use it any time I need cream of whatever soups. I've used it in several different recipes and it works as well as any store bought stuff. It was meant to be that you'd find it without even having to ask. :D Also, this recipe is VERY easy to double if need be.

Edited: I've used this for my chicken chili and also for roasts in the crock pot, adding it in the beginning as always. No need to add last. It really works well.

Edited by: CAROLINAGIRL45 at: 2/11/2011 (07:11)
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-three today and we don't know where the hell she is. ~Ellen DeGeneres


 current weight: 220.0 
 
230
222.25
214.5
206.75
199
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/11/11 4:12 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Hi, Carol here, just letting everyone know I changed my SparkName from FearlessLife to Carols_Journey.

RaggedyAnn - I had just thought about posting and asking someone for that recipe!! Thank you sooooooo much!!! As I use up my last cans of cream of soup in the pantry challenge, I knew I wouldn't be buying anymore. I knew there WAS a recipe like that but didn't know what it was, and WAS JUST THINKING how I'd need that recipe soon, thank you thank you thank you! I don't know if it separates or not in the crock pot, but I can tell you this, it's 100X healthier than buying canned cream of soup. Probably should add it in during the last hour of cooking for the crock pot, if you don't want to gamble. Great as is for baked casseroles or stove top.

Amber - I'm so happy to see you on the team! Just jump right in, we are eating down the pantry. It's kind of like peeling an onion; first we thought about what our personal goals are that would make this challenge work in our own households and families (everyone's different); then we made specific goals. Lots of us were inspired by reading other's posts. I know I was (see posts on this thread). Then as we started in, many of us found unexpected, forgotten, and/or squirreled away food and projects. We kind of knew those were there, but, hadn't really wiped off the dust and examined dates too closely in the last year or two. Sometimes they were not exactly forgotten - just put off. So as we peel the onion, our goals and priorities have shifted, which was to be expected, as we discover what works, what doesn't, what is needed as a higher priority, and what our weak areas "things to work on" are. Earlier this week I'd decided to post a recap on Friday, as it's the second Friday of the challenge, and have us do a checkup on and repost our goals. So for anyone joining us, the recap of the 2 Weeks Overview and Daily Tasks will be helpful.

Deb, that's a common problem when you first start menu planning! We've all been there, done that. And while we're cleaning out our pantries we may have to get more creative than usual. Try for a different ethnicity each night, like American, Thai, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Southwestern, but only the ones you like, etc. Or try a different protein every night: meatless Mon, tuna Tue, beef Wed, turkey Thu, fish Fri, chicken Sat, leftover buffet Sun, etc.

Glenna - sounds soooooooo delicious. I'd be invitiing myself over if I lived close, LOL. It's where I hope to be when I'm cleaning out my pantry 2 years from now! With garden veggies and home canned! Have you tried instant potatoes as a thickener for soup & stew (instead of flour/cornstarch). I know you said the biscuits turned out well. I can't remember have you tried the gnocchi yet? When I was growing up, my mom made fried potato patties out of leftover mashed, I remember she put egg and I don't know what else, whatever you want I guess, and patted them and shaped them in her hands like you'd make a hamburger. I know you can buy frozen Polish potato pies in the store; can't remember what they're called, but several ethnicities have potato pies, tarts, and pancakes. Just a thought. You could start your own family tradition. There is a really good crockpot mashed potatoes, with sourcream and cream cheese in them (add whatever else you like - chives, parsley, garlic, cheese, etc). Have you thought of casseroles that use up leftover mashed, like Shepherd's Pie? On Recipe Links you can post an ISO, In Search Of thread, and ask for recipes. In SparkRecipes I got 200 recipes returned for "instant potatoes", and different 200 recipes for "instant potato". I put a checkmark in "Search all recipe text". You can also search by ingredient in AllRecipes. Many more of us will have to do this as we eat down our pantries.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/10/11 4:59 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I need to get caught up with what I've been doing this week. I was going to say it had been a crazy week, but I say that every week!! So maybe it's a normal week!! lol

Anyway on Monday I cooked some of my rice stash with raisins. Also used some canned kraut from the cellar. And tried doctoring up some of the ins. mash. potatoes. I liked, but dh didn't. Then Wednesday I made veggie soup with frozen veggies and canned beef cubes and home canned tomato sauce. I also made homemade bread and hot rolls. Today we are still eating on the soup and homemade bread. So all in all, I am satisfied with the week so far.

Also dh brought in some parsnips from the garden and I cooked those. So we have done well this week in using "pantry" items. Also we had #10 cans of roma tomatoes that dh dearly loves and we have been eating on those.

I haven't got to check out the kitchen cabnets yet, but hope to tomorrow. It does feel good to be using this stuff up.

Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,458
2/10/11 10:48 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Well we went off our plan a bit this week. The chicken helper I was supposed to make on Monday turned out to be expired over a year ago, which means that we bought it already expired by at least 6 months since it is not that old. I tried to use the rice but when I opened it, it just smelled funky and there was no seasoning in it so it shouldn't of had a smell at all. I ended up making salsa chicken in the oven and a package of yellow rice that we had in the cabinet. Yesterday I wasn't feeling so hot and just didn't want pork chops for dinner so it ended up being a fend for yourself night around here. Cereal for the most part emoticon I realized after cleaning the kitchen this morning that I just can't face another tomato based dish tonight so I am still going to make the pork chops that we were supposed to have last night instead of stealing from the freezer stash as planned but I went through the cabinet and found a marinade mix that needs to be used. Since I am going to be gone closer to dinner time I am going throw the pork chops in the crockpot with some onions, potatoes, carrots, and the marinade mix before I leave. It should be done in time for me to eat before my support group meeting.

I haven't dealt with the turkey carcass yet or cleaned out the fridge completely but I have been getting rid of a few things here and there. I also used up some close to code and some recently expired items during the beginning of the week.

One thing I need to focus on is catching the similar flavors in my meal plan and change it up instead of allowing that to happen. We had tomato flavors on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and then Wednesday for lunch so it was just an overload for some reason this week.

Have a healthy day!


~Deb


 current weight: 262.0 
 
281
258.25
235.5
212.75
190
A*L*P*'s Photo A*L*P* SparkPoints: (70,443)
Fitness Minutes: (88,237)
Posts: 15,044
2/10/11 8:48 A

Send Private Message
Reply
This is a great challenge, Carol. I would like to be in, where do I start from here?

*Amber*
~ALP for the BLC~


 current weight: 163.0 
 
165
161.75
158.5
155.25
152
CAROLINAGIRL45's Photo CAROLINAGIRL45 Posts: 368
2/10/11 3:58 A

Send Private Message
Reply
This is the greatest thread evah! I love pantry challenges. Unfortunately, I just spent $100.64 at Aldi yesterday but I probably won't need to buy groceries again for a while to come. I'm going to try to use up everything I can before our next grocery trip.

While this isn't the healthiest recipe, here is one that is a substitute for "cream of WHATEVER soup". You can add mushrooms, chicken, etc., but when you're using this in a larger recipe, it's not necessary. It's great when you're in a pinch and don't want to waste gas running to the store.

3 Tbsp. Margarine
3 Tbsp. Flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. milk (or chicken broth or combination)
* I use 2% milk

Melt butter over medium to medium high heat in a small saucepan. Add flour & salt, cooking and stirring with a wisk until bubbly.

Stir in the liquid and cook until thickened.

These ingredients will yield enough for one can.

This only takes 5 minutes or less to make. So easy and works like a charm.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-three today and we don't know where the hell she is. ~Ellen DeGeneres


 current weight: 220.0 
 
230
222.25
214.5
206.75
199
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/9/11 11:34 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Still working on kitchen, trash, fridge.

Here's a great article for us who are doing this Pantry Challenge, as we use up the old we can replace with healthier pantry items.

15 Superfoods For Under $20 (And How To Prepare Them): Stocking Your Pantry on the Cheap
planetgreen.discovery.com/food-healt
h/
15-superfoods-for-under-20-stocking-R>your-pantry-on-the-cheap.html


I'll also add a thread for those not doing the challenge who may not see it on this thread.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/9/11 7:00 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Well I keep putting off cleaning out the fridge, LOL.

HOWEVER; tomorrow morning is trash pick up day for me, which is only once a week. So I have to do trash tonight, and I'm going to finish cleaning out the fridge.

Here is my weekly menu for 2/6 - 2/I2 that I previously posted; if I make some changes after cleaning out the fridge, I'll post the changed menu:

2/6 SUN - After Church: Roasted turkey and baked ham (batchcooking)
Crockpot baked sweet potatoes with pineapple and pecans, similar to:
www.crock-pot.com/Recipe.aspx?rid=86
8

Cranberry orange sauce, I add fresh ginger:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=831717

Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and butter

Dinner: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad
Crockpot dump cake or baked apples



2/7 MON - Mexican Mon:
Lunch: Crockpot Tortilla Soup, will use cooked turkey & reduce to 4 hrs on low, or, add the turkey an hr before the end:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=867543


Dinner: Crockpot Lasagna made-over into Mexican Lasagna
crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/01/sup
er
-easy-crockpot-lasagna.html

Guacamole, Green salad



2/8 TUE - Tuna Tues:
Lunch: Albacore tuna salad stuffed in tomato on green salad
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=701851

Cup of leftover soup

Dinner: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad



2/9 WED - Wok Wed: Leftover Chinese all day (from Chinese New Year dishes cooked Feb 3-5)



2/10 THU - TexMex Thu:
Lunch: Leftover Mexican lasagna and tortilla soup

Dinner: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas (made w/turkey)
Guacamole, Green salad



2/11 FRI - Fish Fri:
Lunch: Canned Salmon Pasta Salad
www.food.com/recipe/low-fat-salmon-p
as
ta-salad-61597


Dinner: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad

Fri Batchcooking:
1. make and/or prep everything possible for 2/11 through 2/17
2. soak Thu and cook Fri one kind of beans: pintos
3. cook two crockpot soups or stews, one broth veggie based



2/12 SAT - Sicilian Saturday:
Lunch: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad

Dinner: Baked Chicken Rigatoni
Garlic bread, Green salad

Bake and decorate Valentine cookies & brownies for class Sun

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
GV0903's Photo GV0903 Posts: 814
2/9/11 11:45 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Using my crockpot Today!

My new mantra: A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

MINI GOALS

375 ( ) Zumba DVD
370 ( ) Pedi/Mani
365 ( ) Kettlebells
360 ( )
355 ( )
350 ( ) Massage


 current weight: 381.0 
 
384
356.75
329.5
302.25
275
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/7/11 5:33 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Weekly Overview
for Week 2, Feb 7 - 13
POST A WEEKLY MENU, AND ORGANIZE THE STOCKPILE IN ONE KITCHEN AREA
*~*Day 7 Daily Task:
It's Menu Planning Monday! Today's task is to clean out the fridge. Come up with menu ideas for what's still good, and adjust your menu plan accordingly. Crock pot soup, and stir fry, are great for using up wilted-but-still-good veggies. Poultry in the crock pot with Italian dressing is a good way to use up cream cheese. Post this week's Menu Planning, with recipe links if possible. Some people have set days of the week (i.e., other than Monday) for cleaning out the fridge or weekly menu planning; of course that's fine continue to do it the way that is a blessing to you, making this challenge work for you and YOUR life; and please share your system so we can all learn from it.

Menu planning and cleaning out the fridge will help before getting groceries, too; it will reduce your bill because you're using up what's on hand, you buy ONLY what you need, which in our case is not much! And you can make lunches, casseroles, and soups for the week out of the leftovers. Plus it will make room in the fridge for Grocery Day. No room for groceries when you're done? Well then skip groceries this week!

If your fridge is already cleaned out, and you've already posted your menu with recipe links, do and then post a Pantry Challenge task of what you did instead.

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/7/2011 (17:38)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/7/11 5:30 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I hope everyone's having a great Monday. I am enjoying all the posts. It's WEEK TWO ALREADY of the challenge; wow how time flies.

Week 1 Recap: Last week we took a stab at organizing our thoughts; organizing our individual goals for this challenge to make the challenge fit YOU & your family's life as everyone is different; and we talked about our initial attempt at organizing a menu and approached the subject of weekly menu planning.

So see, if you're just joining us we're just getting started; jump right in where you are, you're not behind!

Weekly Overview
for Week 2, Feb 7 - 13
POST A WEEKLY MENU, AND ORGANIZE THE STOCKPILE IN ONE KITCHEN AREA

This week we'll continue Weekly Menu Planning, really focus on it as it's essential to both goals: our healthy lifestyle changes SparkJourneys, and, using up what we have.

Everyone's home is different. Divide up your kitchen and food storage areas into organizationally different areas, sectors, staging centers, pantry centers. Kind of like FlyLady's Zones for housekeeping, except this is 'food zones'. Some of you have freezers and food in the garage; so your garage, basement, porch, side room, etc is like a private mini-Costco. Others have cellars, or have an older home with no kitchen storage so you keep food in a spare bedroom(s) or closet. Others have p-l-e-n-t-y of kitchen space, which is crammed full and needs attention, bad. Yep, we've all been there, done that. Time to dive in.

Stockpiling is great and can be economical, but only as long it's clean, organized, dated, rotated, and we use what we have; i.e. only as long as it's managed well. Otherwise it's just hoarding and waste. It's so easy to forget with our busy lives! We started thinking and talking outloud about this last week, and a few of us have started. We're all in different stages. This week we're going to dive in and do ONE area.

Post you progress so far; what area you plan to tackle; tips and questions.

Play the Professional Organizer Game: walk into your kitchen (and other food areas) with a clipboard, pretending you're a professional organizer who is paid by the hour. What would this person see if she looked inside your fridge, freezer(s), cabinets, shelves, pantry, cellar, and cabinets?

Think about ONE food storage area you want to completely organize this week (only if it needs it, of course :)

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
GV0903's Photo GV0903 Posts: 814
2/6/11 11:19 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Grrrr. Spent 92 at the Grocery Store, but Stater Bro was having a good sale. 75 cents for a lot of things I can stock up on.

My new mantra: A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

MINI GOALS

375 ( ) Zumba DVD
370 ( ) Pedi/Mani
365 ( ) Kettlebells
360 ( )
355 ( )
350 ( ) Massage


 current weight: 381.0 
 
384
356.75
329.5
302.25
275
KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/6/11 8:12 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I agree----three weeks is a help, but not nearly long enough!!

I was looking over my food log for the past week. I have done well in using up things. I used frozen stir fry. Several canned items. And used up some older bread for bread pudding. Also the macaroni, rice, and cornmeal. And beans. So that's a good start. I have a whole turkey in the freezer. I need to thaw it, cook it, cook the bones and make broth and can that. I can get a lot of mileage out of that bird!! I have carrots and celery in the crisper. So I can make a good soup.

For tomorrow, I have pork ribs awaiting me in the fridge. I will cook them up and use some kraut from my cellar with them. Also want to make the gnocchi tomorrow. I think it will be good with ribs/kraut. I need to bake bread also. I usually make the most of our bread. Whether it be yeast bread, biscuits or cornbread. I can get torn bags of flour really cheap, so this is very cost saving. Sometimes I have gotten 25# of King Arthur or Hudson Cream for $5. So needless to say, I do stockpile the flour!! I put it in buckets with the rubber seal or gallon glass jars. I want it to keep well.

Thanks everyone for your ideas and inspiration!!
Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/6/11 7:58 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Go me! Before I even read your new challenge, yesterday I defrosted all the black bananas and made muffins, and since there was too much batter for just one muffin tin, banana bread as well.

Batch cooking doesn't work that well for me, somehow my family never was impressed by my pulling chili or whatever out of the freezer. (I think if I were more diligent in labelling and in invested in good freezer containers, it might be a different story. Maybe when we move into our new place and get a bigger freezer again. Now it's more important to learn to buy and cook less, to avoid waste and overeating!)

But today I prepped the root veggies for today's roast vegetables and tomorrow's chicken fricot, and filled a tupperware with crudites to crunch on all week at work too.

Still haven't done the fondue meal, but having thought it out in advance as a meal means I can do it another time because I've figured out the sides.

CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/6/11 5:20 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Deb you're never too late, anyone can jump right in and join us any time.

I love everyone's goals, your's too Deb. Isn't this A GREAT TIME to focus on soups/stew/chilis, and drinking hot tea everyday?! I love crockpot soup/stew/chili, that's why there's a separate Soup Thread for recipes.

I'm still taking stock and see that for my own self, I'll have to extend this challenge a long, long time. 3 more weeks will help, certainly; but will in no way be enough.

On that note I'm going to make using up old canned goods, a priority, like the canned veggies I no longer buy because I have a healthier lifestyle now. Their dates are close to expiry. I want them gone in the next 3 weeks. If possible. I'll prioritize and menu plan the rest of the month, with those cans in mind.

I am filling up my tiny top-of-the-fridge-freezer, fast! And it was already full . . . I am rotating to make sure the new goes in back. I use Tupperware with freezer labels and dates, and ziploc bags with labels and dates written on in Sharpie before I fill the bag.

And if not for this challenge, I would have never thought of including Beef Broccoli Lo Mein for Chinese New Year; it was only because I was looking for a way to use up pasta, that that light bulb went on. And let me tell you, it was delicious too. I will make THAT, again and again.

I will put today's turkey carcass in the crockpot tonight and let it go 24 hours; adding a splash of vinegar helps leach the calcium out of the bones to make a calcium-rich broth. Also I break the carcass into pieces to make it fit. I do use a stockpot when I'm in a hurry, however. But with this challenge going on all month long, I'm getting so much done I doubt I'll have to rush anything for quite awhile.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
NEELIXNKES's Photo NEELIXNKES Posts: 6,458
2/6/11 1:25 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I am a little late to the party but I have a goal for 2011 to eat at home an average of 5 nights a week so this fits well with that.

My stockpiled items are tea, baking items, canned goods, and spices. Not sure how these will play out in the crockpot though but I did make Pantry Casserole 2011 Take 1 for dinner last night and used up a box of cornbread mix, a can of baked beans, a can of green beans, a can of green chilis, some left over pulled pork, and some poached chicken I forgot about so off to a good start I guess!

My goals:


emoticon Get back to drinking 2 cups of tea a day
emoticon Don't buy anymore snacking/dessert items for the rest of February, bake them instead
emoticon Use up/Pass along the Market Day items by the end of February (cinnamon rolls, breakfast cookies, soup cups, french toast sticks that need to go to my SIL for my nephew to try)
emoticon Build up the freezer stash of ready to heat foods again (soups, chili, stew)
emoticon Use the crockpot at least 2 days a week for the rest of the month

Last week's dinners were:
Sunday: Fend for yourself (breakfast for dinner or snacky items)
Monday: Apricot Pork chops from Spark Recipes and frozen broccoli with cheese sauce
Tuesday: Mushroom Linguine with Tomato/Mushroom sauce and homemade meatballs
Wednesday: Crockpot chili from the freezer stash over macaroni
Thursday: Subway
Friday: Atlanta Bread Company
Saturday: Pantry Casserole Take 1

This week's Dinner Plan:

Sunday: Crockpot Peppercorn Steak and salad (Except I don't have any mushrooms and just one huge steak so I will half the recipe, this has been on my to try list for awhile)
crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/07/cro
ck
pot-peppercorn-steak.html

Monday: Chicken Helper Enchilada Chicken and broccoli
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Taco Soup (again, sitting on my to try list for a while) allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Ta
co
-Soup/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=111840R>66&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2008-07-1
6&
prop28=DailyRecipe&prop29=FullRecipe&me=1

Wednesday: Pork chops with stewed tomatoes over rice/quinoa mixture and green beans
Thursday: Beef Stew from the freezer stash
Friday: Frozen pizza & salad or Out
Saturday: Out

For Task 5 I have a Turkey Carcass in the freezer to make into Stock but not sure it will fit in the crockpot so I better get started with it in the Stockpot

Have a healthy Sunday!






Edited by: NEELIXNKES at: 2/6/2011 (13:32)
~Deb


 current weight: 262.0 
 
281
258.25
235.5
212.75
190
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/5/11 7:37 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Wow these are some really great posts!!! Thank you everyone, I am learning so much!

LABEILLE glad you made it home safely.

I have been working on using up my tea stockpile over the last year, am making good progress. I'm on the last bit of the old, so I've started buying fresh only at deepest discount, to rebuild my stockpile. When Bloom grocery store had doubled coups up to $1.99 the other day, I had 3 coupons for dollar off one box of Celestial Seasonings. So I have 3 new boxes of Celestial Seasonings Green Tea that were almost free, as I got $2.00 off each box and they were also on sale.

I haven't posted a daily task lately, so it's time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Weekly Overview
for Week 1, Jan 31- Feb 6:
ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS, GOALS, AND A MENU

*~*Day 5 Daily Task: Do you have any "projects" in your freezer? Have you been saving leftover veggies in the freezer to make "someday" soup or broth with, or chicken bones for "someday" when you get around to taking the time to cook them in the crock pot to make soup or broth? What about that ham bone? What about those black bananas in your freezer? Or do you have any lurking UFOs (Unknown Frozen Objects)?

Or, how about looking for the hidden expiration dates and writing them with a sharpie so you can see just how old those cans of tuna, pkgs of pasta, or pkgs of rice mix or beans really are?

Pick one of the above and do it, or, post what you did instead.

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/5/2011 (19:41)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/5/11 4:26 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Labeille,

Thank you for the ideas. I found some recipes for gnocchi to try. Also found a couple of donut recipes calling for mashed potatoes. One of them Amish.

I had a #10 can of pork and beans. So it is now making into baked beans. I also have a dish of rice baking in the oven. And some macaroni cooking. This all came from my stock. So I will have a few things cooked ahead for this week. And I can do different things with them. This is a good challenge to get me to thinking. (And using up stuff!)

Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
GV0903's Photo GV0903 Posts: 814
2/5/11 2:59 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Labeille, GOOD IDEA. I also have a ton of tea.

My new mantra: A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

MINI GOALS

375 ( ) Zumba DVD
370 ( ) Pedi/Mani
365 ( ) Kettlebells
360 ( )
355 ( )
350 ( ) Massage


 current weight: 381.0 
 
384
356.75
329.5
302.25
275
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/5/11 12:20 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Glenna
If you do a lot of scratch baking, the BEST yeast doughnuts supposedly are made with mashed potato in the batter. The More-with-Less cookbook has a master recipe for donuts and yeast sweetbreads that the Mennonites (Amish etc) use at their bake sales. Unfortunately my cookbook is in storage or I'd post it.

The other thing you could try is gnocchi--they are like homemade pasta in the shape of small dumplings but use mashed potato. They are so good, that when my son's university cafeteria had a chef there making them, he lined up 7 times and then sent his friends back for more.

Edited by: LABEILLE at: 2/5/2011 (12:26)
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/5/11 12:17 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
OK I've been working on this some more.

For one thing, I came home last night (too tired Thurs. night after all the shovelling out) and looked at what was actually in the pantry, in addition to what I had remembered. I found:

1. a VERY large assortment of flavoured and herbal teas (gifts, inherited from daughters, etc,) So I have set myself a challenge that I will have a cup every evening to relax (used to do this, and it seems to help curb the munchies at night too, but it's so easy to default to my high-caffeine black tea--which calls for a cookie).
I think I will sweeten my herb teas with the local honey I located at the farmer's market, in a plan to prevent my usual spring pollen allergies from flaring up.

2. a box I had TOTALLY forgotten about, that I had stashed in an out-of-the-way place when we moved a few months ago. It holds the stuff I REALLY don't know what to do with. Goodies from the large Oriental grocery sent by a daughter in a big city. Stuff I don't know how to use, such as aloe vera juice and palm sugar and lychee-flavoured coconut fibre, and some stuff I can't even identify, as it's got only Chinese characters on the packet. Some interesting challenges!

Meanwhile I've sort of done up a menu for this week, plus here's what I used last week.

TUES. pasta primavera (or more like midwinter pasta, can I call it mezzahiberna?) with whole wheat bow ties, pesto, mushrooms and spinach (vegs had reached cook it or toss it stage) and pork chops on GF grill

THURS: I made sweet & sour pork, on the stovetop, same recipe I think I posted ages ago on the slowcooker chicken meals thread

FRI: I made the cassoulet in the crockpot, then ran into DH at his favourite Chinese resto and ate half his order (and came home and sampled the cassoulet anyway...)

SAT:
dinner at church (might be storm-cancelled) OR cassoulet (at least I won't have to cook)

SUN.
lunch:butternut squash soup?
pork tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese & cranberries & caramelized onions (found recipe to use up cheese log never touched at Christmas by kids who made me buy it; if it turns out well I'll post the link)
roasted root vegetables (parsnip carrot rutabaga potato)

supper: cheese fondue(bought for kids home over Christmas)with baguette & potato, gherkins, Black Forest ham

MON
chicken fricot in crockpot
dumplings

TUES
picadillo with potatoes (in crockpot) to use up green olives which I don't like! Probably rice on the side.

WED meetings after work;
leftover soup before, Pad Thai afterward?

THURS I work that night
leftovers

FRI
fajitas OR Tom Ka soup (from mix) & Pad Thai
(a quick-cook meal as I won't be home in am to start the crockpot)

I've also made fruit salad, and keep adding to it as it gets low, and I'm thawing bananas to make muffins today. I put some of the too-spicy hummus in the cassoulet!

backup plan meals:
chickpea curry in crockpot
breaded tilapia cutlets (bought lots as BOGO, can't afford the freezer space for long)--maybe as Baja fish tacos if I find decent avocados today?

KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/5/11 11:49 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I am pleased with the challenge so far. The only items I bought this week were bananas, celery, and lettuce. We have our own milk cows.

So, I used a quart of homemade canned chili. I tried the mashed potatoes in the biscuits. I really couldn' t tell much difference and dh didn't say anything. I also used frozen corn from our garden (in the freezer). And I made my own bread. So I am off to a good start!! I want to experiment more with the mashed potatoes. And I think I will cook up some rice and macaroni to have on hand. I can use it for different dishes that way. I have a good bit of rice stored in 1/2 gallon jars. I like this challenge. It is a good thing for my family.

On the biscuits, I basically just added about 1/2 c. dry potatoes to my flour mix and made as usual.

Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
HCARTZ1964's Photo HCARTZ1964 Posts: 812
2/5/11 8:27 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
love!!
I am just logging in at the end of the Week but yeah I am going to keep this challenge going for awhile in my home need to clean out freezer and pantry.

Set a menu biweekly with a little wiggle room (a kid in hockey so curves thrown at mom regularly)

Took a freezer inventory (son typed list no haging on the front, he informed dad that he did not cross off the roast when removing the item)

Took pantry inventory (son typed and posted) we have 15#s of various dried beans and peas I know that they won't go bad but excessive and a crazy amount of nuts so working them into menu rotation. Bagged some nuts in small to go containers.

Only spent $7 on milk this week (big deal to us we go through almost gallon a day)
After discussing with DH and DS we have set our weekly fresh grocery amount @ $14.00 for milk, bread, fruits and veggies. (we will eat up our frozen and canned from our garden to fill up menus.)

We utilize CP 6 days a week, so looking at all of your posts to find new and interesting foods to try with our stockpile.

Try to post a new recipe a week.

Great Challenge thanks Fearless!!

 current weight: 154.0 
 
175
168.75
162.5
156.25
150
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/4/11 1:14 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Did you see her Chinese Lemon Chicken?

That's how I found the Orange Chicken.

I didn't have any lemonade though.

Can't wait to try it.

Next time frozen lemonade cans are on sale, I'm buying one!


 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
GV0903's Photo GV0903 Posts: 814
2/4/11 1:02 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
THANK YOU for the Orange Chicken Recipe. I think my husband will LOVE it!

My new mantra: A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

MINI GOALS

375 ( ) Zumba DVD
370 ( ) Pedi/Mani
365 ( ) Kettlebells
360 ( )
355 ( )
350 ( ) Massage


 current weight: 381.0 
 
384
356.75
329.5
302.25
275
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/3/11 11:54 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
CAROL'S WEEKLY MENU

2/2 Wed - Wildcard Wednesday
Lunch: Albacore tuna salad on wheat, carrot sticks, pickled cucumbers.
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=701851


Dinner: Crockpot turkey breast, broccoli, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad.

~~~~~~~~

2/3 Thu - First Day of Chinese New Year
Cooking yesterday's turkey breast carcass in one crockpot; lunch & dinner in the other 2.

Crockpot Hot & Sour Soup, I LOVE THIS SOUP SO MUCH I love Stephanie O'Dea, THIS SOUP IS ALWAYS SO AWESOME! Bowl for lunch with carrots & hummus, and cucumber salad. Cup with dinner.
crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/01/cro
ck
pot-hot-and-sour-soup-recipe.html

(Omitted tofu. Added: cooked frozen chicken, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, cornstarch and cold water slurry, white pepper, and a thin stream of beaten egg while stirring clockwise at the end).

Crockpot Orange Chicken
crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/09/slo
w-
cooker-orange-chicken-recipe.html

Romaine garden salad

~~~~~~~~

2/4 Fri - Oriental Salmon Fried Rice - combo of 2 SparkRecipes w/o the tofu:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=222434

recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=172776

Organic Field Greens Salad

Batchcooking Fri:
1. make and/or prep everything for 2/5 through 2/13
2. soak Thu and cook Fri one kind of beans: Great Northern
3. cook two crockpot soups, turkey veggie and potato leek
Batchcooking Sun: turkey and a ham

~~~~~~~~~

2/5 Sat - Last Day of Chinese New Year
Clean-out-the-pantry Broccoli Beef Lo Mein

BROCCOLI BEEF LO MEIN MASTER RECIPE
Ingredients:
*1 lb dry box of linguine, spaghetti, or thin spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente (still a little firm). The noodles will continue cooking during the stir-frying, so don't overcook. Reserve a cup of the water the pasta was cooked in, and set aside. Drain noodles and set aside.
*1 lb beef, sliced into bite sized pieces

Sauce Ingredients, combine in small bowl then divide in half:
*3 Tbs. olive oil, sesame oil, or substitute bottled Asian salad dressing
*1/3 C soy sauce
*2 Tbsp Mirin, or Sherry, or beef broth, or reserved water from cooking pasta
*2 Tbsp brown sugar
*1 Tbsp chile paste, or, ketchup plus 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
*2 teaspoon cornstarch
*4 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice if you have it
*Two one-inch slices ginger root, minced or shredded (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
*4 cloves minced fresh garlic, or 4 tsp garlic powder
*1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Vegetable Suggestions:
*2-4 C broccoli florets, depending on how many other veggies used
Generally: 16 oz bag frozen stir-fry vegetables or 4 cups fresh chopped veggies; frozen are convenient when fresh broccoli is not reasonable, or, I don't have time to chop up all the fresh veggies.
*1/2 C sliced red bell pepper
*1/3 C thinly sliced onion
- or - half of a 16 oz bag frozen bell pepper and onion strips, Whole Foods carries an organic bag of these.
*2 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
* 1.5 C chopped or thinly sliced carrots
*1 C thinly sliced celery
*1/2 C sliced mushrooms
*1 C snow peas
*1/4 C bean sprouts
*1 small can sliced water chestnuts

Directions:
1. Combine the beef and half of the sauce, marinate in fridge. This can be prepared ahead of time on batchcooking day, to speed things up on cooking day.
2. In a separate container combine the cooked noodles and other half of sauce.
3. While beef and noodles marinate, prepare and chop veggies.
4. In large skillet, or wok if you have one, add ingredients in this order, stir fry each for 2-3 mins. Use some of the reserved pasta water during frying if needed.
- Raw onion with beef and sauce poured on top
- Keep stirring after each addition:
- Then raw veggies with the exception of broccoli; no broccoli
- Then canned drained veggies is using (water chestnuts, baby corn, etc)
- Then add the frozen veggies if using, together with the cooked noodles with sauce
- When hot and steaming, add raw broccoli last if using, cook just until crunchy-tender and serve while hot.

~~~~~~~~

2/6 Sun - After Church: Roasted turkey and baked ham
Crockpot baked sweet potatoes with pineapple and pecans, similar to:
www.crock-pot.com/Recipe.aspx?rid=86
8

Cranberry orange sauce, I add fresh ginger:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=831717

Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and butter
Romaine garden salad

Dinner: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad
Crockpot dump cake or baked apples

~~~~~~~~

2/7 Mon - Mexican Mon:
Lunch: Crockpot Tortilla Soup, will use cooked turkey & reduce to 4 hrs on low, or, add the turkey an hr before the end:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=867543


Dinner: Crockpot Lasagna made-over into Mexican Lasagna
crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/01/sup
er
-easy-crockpot-lasagna.html

Guacamole, Green salad

~~~~~~~~

2/8 Tues - Tuna Tues:
Lunch: Albacore tuna salad stuffed in tomato on green salad
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.
asp?recipe=701851

Cup of leftover soup

Dinner: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad

~~~~~~~~

2/9 Wed - Wok Wed: Leftover Chinese all day

~~~~~~~~

2/10 Thu - TexMex Thu:
Lunch: Leftover Mexican lasagna and tortilla soup

Dinner: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas (made w/turkey)
Guacamole, Green salad

~~~~~~~~

2/11 Fri - Fish Fri:
Lunch: Canned Salmon Pasta Salad
www.food.com/recipe/low-fat-salmon-p
as
ta-salad-61597


Dinner: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad

Fri Batchcooking:
1. make and/or prep everything possible for 2/11 through 2/17
2. soak Thu and cook Fri one kind of beans: pintos
3. cook two crockpot soups or stews, one broth veggie based

~~~~~~~~

2/12 Sat - Sicilian Saturday:
Lunch: Leftover Buffet, soup, salad

Dinner: Baked Chicken Rigatoni
Garlic bread, Green salad
Bake and decorate Valentine cookies & brownies for class Sun
Peppermint cake for class Sun

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/3/11 8:08 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
LABEILLE I love your recipes they always have international flair. Hope you made it through the storm and home safely? I'm with you on your goal 1, stockpiling, and am adding your goal 6 to my own goals, I certainly need the space for bread. For the too-spicy hummus can you buy regular or make your own, and mix the two together? I cook garbanzos in the crockpot.

GV0903 I love your signature line.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
GV0903's Photo GV0903 Posts: 814
2/2/11 10:28 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Today I am using up some of my potatoes for mashed and some of those "odd spices" mixed together to rub on our pork.

My new mantra: A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

MINI GOALS

375 ( ) Zumba DVD
370 ( ) Pedi/Mani
365 ( ) Kettlebells
360 ( )
355 ( )
350 ( ) Massage


 current weight: 381.0 
 
384
356.75
329.5
302.25
275
LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/2/11 6:37 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Well after reviewing what I have on hand, I've come up with a few ideas. All but the Pad Thai can be done in the crockpot. The problem is when I would do these--I am storm-stayed so I'm not even home tonight.

Cassoulet: cannelini, sausage, leftover roast goose; root vegs

Fajitas: pork/other meat, pepper, onion, salsa, cheese, tortillas, sour cream

Sweet & Sour Pork or Chicken: carrots, celery, pepper?, pineapple, tomato soup; rice

Curry: chickpeas, green beans? butternut squash, diced tomatoes, onion, yogurt; rice

Pad Thai: Rice noodles, bean sprouts, carrots, celery, egg, chicken breast?, peanuts

Picadillo: Ground beef, green olives, raisins, cinnamon; rice?

Poulet Fricot: chicken thighs, carrot, potato, rutabaga, parsnip; dumplings

Pulled pork: pork tenderloin, cola, bbq sauce, ketchup

LABEILLE's Photo LABEILLE Posts: 1,035
2/2/11 5:56 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm a bit behind in doing this. But I can start with my goals (to be modified later as needed):

1. Use up the stuff in the cupboards and fridge and freezer. Use it before it's too old, use it before I buy more.

2. Limit shopping to fresh stuff that needs replacing. (Try to avoid more stockpiling, unless it is REALLY to good to pass up.) I currently have a fair amount of cash on hand, so I'll see how long I can make that last before I use my debit card.

3. Plan meals and if I don't have it in the crockpot, at least have the meat defrosting in the fridge. (If I'm late or away for dinner DH will usually pick up a burger or a rotisserie chicken, and while he's at it get more stuff we didn't really need.)

4. Plan and then prepare ahead the lunches and healthy snacks, too. I'm good at menu planning and making balanced meals for dinner, but if I don't have the good stuff all ready to go, I grab whatever at work and eat way too much and/or the wrong stuff.

5. Figure out creative ways to use up the bits that have collected from kids and from Christmas. EG the too-spicy hummus, the 2 jars of green olives, the channa flour, the lb of pecans that didn't make it into fruitcake this year...

6. End up with a neat freezer that has room to freeze a loaf of bread.

7. End up with a better sense of how to shop for 2 empty nesters, eat lots of fresh produce AND not waste it.

CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/2/11 3:29 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Chinese New Year is Feb 3-5!

Year of the emoticon

Who has a wok, or a wok skillet, or a bamboo steamer basket? Now's the time to get them out!

I have a Black & Decker rice cooker, and that's it LOL. No won ton wrappers or rice noodles in my kitchen, and I've never tried my hand at making egg rolls, spring rolls, or dumplings. But my pantry has plenty of spaghetti that needs to be used up that I can use for Lo Mein noodles; brown and white rice; peanut butter; sesame oil; Chinese 5 spice; I make stir-fry in a skillet without a wok; and I even have some Ramen noodle pkgs and Rice A Roni, LOL (but throw away the seasoning packettes in those due to MSG, and use your own seasoning instead).

Crock pot recipes from SparkRecipe's Asian category: (not all are Chinese, sorry!, but they are crock pot)
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipes.asp?
fo
od=slowcooker+crockpot+slow+crock&anR>yall=ANY&c1=0&c2=0&c3=1&c4=0&c5=0&ca
lo
ries=0&prep_time=0&total_time=0&
sort=n
umber_of_ratings


Stephanie O'Dea, the Crockpot Lady, A Year of Slow Cooking Blog:
Seems to be stuck, I'll come back to this later; I love her Hot & Sour Soup, for one.

Chinese SparkRecipes:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipes.asp?
fo
od=chinese&a=


Chinese Vegetarian - Ingredients and Recipes from About.com:
chinesefood.about.com/od/vegetarian/
p/
vegetarian.htm?nl=1


Top 12 Quick and Easy Recipes to Celebrate Chinese New Year from About.com:
chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesenewy
ea
r/tp/easy_recipes.htm?nl=1


How to Fill and Fold Wonton Wrappers from About.com:
chinesefood.about.com/od/dimsumandpa
rt
yrecipes/ss/foldwonton.htm?nl=1


Peanut Sauce - an Easy Dipping Sauce Recipe from About.com:
chinesefood.about.com/od/saucesdippi
ng
/r/peanut-sauce.htm?nl=1


Top 6 Easy Chinese Cookies from About.com:
chinesefood.about.com/od/westernhol/
tp
/chinesecookies.htm?nl=1


Link Library: Hundreds of Chinese Recipe and Meal Links at About.com:
chinesefood.about.com/od/recipesbyme
al
/u/easy_chinese_recipes.htm?nl=1


 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/2/11 2:38 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm starting my $10 a week today.

We didn't get an ice storm and it's in the 40's - I'm so thankful!!!

Today's Menu, All Homemade, All Pantry Items:

B: Grapefruit; Apple cinnamon raisin oatmeal
L: Albacore tuna salad on wheat, carrot sticks, pickled cucumbers.
D: I have a turkey breast in the crockpot that I bought on sale for $ .99 lb after Christmas, I added a cup of water which is NOT necessary to have extra for extra gravy; will serve with broccoli, mashed potatoes, gravy, salad.

Still not done with weekly menu, will post later.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/2/11 2:16 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Weekly Overview
for Week 1, Jan 31- Feb 6:
ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS, GOALS, AND A MENU

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

*~*Day 2 Daily Task - Happy Ground Hog Day! There were initially alot Day 1 tasks in order to get started on this challenge, so nothing new today. Go back to Day 1's tasks and goals and menu planning and posting, and followup.

I"ll post some things for Chinese New Year, which is Feb 3-5; please join me in posting yours as well!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/2/2011 (14:29)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
GV0903's Photo GV0903 Posts: 814
2/2/11 1:15 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
GOALS
I would like to use up my "baking supplies" but in a healthy way. I have lots of that stuff, as I planned on using it during the holidays, but we went out of town.

I also want more crockpot recipes, as my schedule has been getting me home later (which pushing eating later). However, if its ready....we can eat sooner (and my husband doesn't have to wait for me).

I don't have a money goal, as we aren't as stock piled as we used to be. When we moved in October, we used a lot up and threw a lot away as we knew our pantry was smaller.

Current excess I have is:
Potatoes
Flour
Baking chips (butterscotch)
Canned Pineapple
Rice Chex
Beef Broth (this I can use up easy for soup)
and more...I have to keep looking

My new mantra: A body in motion tends to stay in motion; A body at rest tends to stay at rest.

MINI GOALS

375 ( ) Zumba DVD
370 ( ) Pedi/Mani
365 ( ) Kettlebells
360 ( )
355 ( )
350 ( ) Massage


 current weight: 381.0 
 
384
356.75
329.5
302.25
275
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/2/11 12:41 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Those are great posts!, Haley and Glenna. We are off to a great start.

I got home shortly before midnight and unloaded the car, still have alot to put away. No time to get all my points before midnight so I changed my SparkAccountTime to an earlier time zone, heh heh heh (evil laugh).
emoticon

You know what, I wonder if I pressed "save". Will have to go back and look. I may be sorry out of luck; the joke may be on me . . .

I got a ton of really good bargains, it was my second-ever trip to Aldis and was much, MUCH better than I remember last Oct or Nov. Oranges $1.79 for a bag, bananas 39 cents a pound, a bag of lemons $2.49, blooming primroses 25 cents each; and dried beans in 2lb bags the best prices I've seen anywhere. I still only bought what I was out of, I did not look at the prices of bags of rice for example because no matter how good the price is I already have waaaaaaaay too much of that. Bloom had double coupons up to $1.99 for today only; I didn't have any $1.99 coupons but I did use some "$1.00 off 1" coupons there. Some of my really good deals were t. paper $2.00 off, milk 1/2 gallon organic after coupon only $1.29, cracker barrel cheese $1.00 after coupon, etc. I found my favorite produce store (privately owned, you've never heard of it) had cucumbers 3/$1.00, Weiss had bags of baby carrots and pummelos both for $1.00 ea, and my last stop was Safeway because I had rainchecks that expire tomorrow and we're under winter weather advisory for ice storm - definitely won't be going out tomorrow. Safeway had small red grapefruit 4/$1.00, 16oz tub organic salad $4.99, round tip roast $1.69lb raincheck, and brownie mix $ .88 raincheck.

I haven't looked at my pedometer yet but I'm sure I got alot of steps in, going to all those stores.

It is raining here but not freezing yet. We still have power.

I have alot of stuff to put up, will probably be up til 1 or 2, so I won't post menu etc. until tomorrow.

I love hearing what everyone's doing.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
KITTYLADY1259's Photo KITTYLADY1259 SparkPoints: (50,310)
Fitness Minutes: (18,924)
Posts: 2,925
2/1/11 9:26 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Hi All!!

I started on this challenge this morning, got interupted and am just now getting back to it.
My goals:
1. Work on my dent can, rice, flour, cornmeal and mashed potato flakes supply.
2. Buy only fresh fruits and salad fixings. Unless it's a great buy!!
3. Create and post menus and find and post recipes.
4. put crock pot recipes in the correct threads.
5. Aim for 28 out of 28 days of fixing something at home.
6. If I am mostly successful, I will treat myself to a new book.
7. starting weight Monday, 1/31/11 194.4#.
8. Track and share.

I went on allrecipes.com and did an ingredient search for mashed potatoes. I found several things to use them in plus several recipes to try. Even found one recipe called Hungarian Coconut balls that uses mashed potatoes.

This is as far as I got today. No meal plans as of yet. I did use some of my cornmeal stash for cooked and fried mush today. So I consider it a very successful day.

Good luck everyone!!
Glenna

Glenna
(Kittylady1259)




 current weight: 211.6 
 
214
198
182
166
150
HALOGRAN's Photo HALOGRAN SparkPoints: (6,613)
Fitness Minutes: (5,164)
Posts: 521
2/1/11 3:03 P

Send Private Message
Reply
I love this challenge & am excited to see what everyone is doing. I appreciate your hard work in reorganizing us as well!

My goals:
1. $30 per week on produce/meats and other parishable items (we love fresh fruits & veggies in our family of 4)
2. continue building my stockpile
3. eat in for dinner every night ("eating in" includes eating at my parents and in-laws since I'm not spending $$ there)
4. stick with the meal plan. I'll try to post that but I usually don't even do that until Wednesday's when the weekly ads come out. ; )
5. use the CP to help me learn what the heck can even BE batch cooked (I'm loving that idea)

Haley

-----------------------------------
Health is the thing that makes you feel that now is the best time of the year.

Franklin P. Adams

Co-Team Leader The Mediterranean Way
Co-Team Leader Spark Birmingham - The Official Team


 current weight: 157.6 
 
160
152.5
145
137.5
130
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/1/11 10:50 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
For me my goals are:
- $ spent on groceries limited to $40 total during the month of February ($10 a week is doable due to my stock pile & being single).
- not included in $10 a week are ridiculously great sales too good to pass up for stockpile items
- focus on fresh produce
- use what’s in the freezer, pantry (pasta, rice & beans), and especially old canned goods I no longer buy for health reasons. They are too old to donate but still good. Have to get creative.
- eat 25 or more of the 28 days at home and also 90% or more from the pantry
- start baking from scratch; I have the flour and yeast stockpiled and NO it doesn't last forever so I really need to bake my own bread, it's sooooo much healthier and frugal to do so.

I'll post my menu etc after I'm back from the store, there's a sleet storm coming. I hope we don't lose power tonight.

Edited by: CAROLFAITHWALKR at: 2/1/2011 (10:56)
 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
2/1/11 10:49 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Weekly Overview
for Week 1, Jan 31- Feb 6:
ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS, GOALS, AND A MENU

*~*Day 1 Daily Task A: Give some thought about your personal goals for this Pantry Challenge, and post them (see list of starter ideas for goals in original posting). Make this challenge fit your life and your family! Don't worry, you can change them as you go along, as we all learn more.

*~*Day 1 Daily Task B: In 15 mins (no perfectionism allowed!), jot down a basic weekly dinner menu and post it. Include more (breakfast, lunch) if you want. Have fun with and include recipes for Ground Hog Day (Feb 2; ground beef), and Chinese New Year (Feb 3-5) if you want.

*~*Day 1 Daily Task C: Include one item in this week's menu that you can cook alot of at the beginning of the week at one time but it's easy, and then make planned-over meals out of it. This is an especially good way to use up extra pantry goods, i.e. making chicken broccoli and rice casserole with the leftover cooked chicken, or chicken noodle casserole, etc.

Here's an example of Daily Task C, Whole Chicken Menu Plan:
Day 1: Roast chicken in crockpot w/veggies
Day 2: Serve "other things" while cooking the chicken carcass overnight so you can use it for soup tomorrow (reserving the picked-off meat).
Day 3: Make a big batch of chicken vegetable crockpot soup, using the strained broth from the carcass, and some of the reserved meat. Use a stockpot if it's larger than your crockpot, and you have freezer room for results. Intentionally don't add carbs to the soup. Change it up a little ea time you heat up a portion to serve it, and freezing the plain excess; like chicken noodle this time, chicken and rice soup next time, chicken potato corn chowder soup the following time, chicken tortilla soup, chicken alphabet soup, chicken and stars, etc.
Day 4: Serve "other things"
Day 5: Make chicken black bean burritos with some of the reserved meat.
Day 6: Serve "other things"
Day 7: Make curried chicken-grape-mushroom salad with some of the reserved meat.
Day 8: Serve "other things"
Day 9: Make baked chicken rigatoni with some of the reserved meat.

Here's an Example of a Roast Plan for Daily Task C:
Day 1: Crockpot roast w/veggies
Day 3: Crockpot BBQ beef
Day 5: French dip sandwiches
Day 7: Beef fajitas (or stir-fry, burritos, beef & broccoli, etc.)
Day 9: Use all remaining leftover beef, broth, roasted veggies & gravy in a beef veggie soup, or beef barley soup, etc.

*~*Day 1 Daily Task D: Locate, post, and save or print recipes for each dinner menu item, if you're a person who needs a recipe (I definitely do!), for this week's menu.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
1/31/11 9:52 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Well even tho it's not Feb yet, it IS Monday, so lets stick our toe in the water and make a start.

**************

Weekly Overview for Week 1, Jan 31- Feb 6: ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS, GOALS, AND A MENU

*************

Day 0 Jan 31:
Decide on personal goals, take a quick fly-by look at your stockpile to get some menu ideas, assess what you have and expiration dates, and assess what's missing.

If you don't have a stockpile, now's a great time to clean out everything: all shelves, freezers, and cupboards and get ready for new.

Maybe your goal is to build a healthier, frugal pantry by perusing online-ads every week during the month, and start to stockpile wholesome alternatives as opposed to unhealthy groceries.

**************

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
1/31/11 9:48 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
VALI you can still join us! We're going to be doing menu planning, batchcooking rice (on stove top), beans, soup, trying new recipes, and for someone in your position now's a great time to start a new stockpile of all-healthy foods.

emoticon

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
VALI_T's Photo VALI_T SparkPoints: (97,793)
Fitness Minutes: (110)
Posts: 12,625
1/31/11 8:51 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
What a great challenge! I wish I'd been able to bring all of my pantry items with me when we moved in November, and I wish that we had the room for a true pantry in this apartment, but I've certainly got an excess of a couple of things to work with.

There was much rejoicing!


 current weight: 216.0 
 
230
210
190
170
150
CAROLFAITHWALKR's Photo CAROLFAITHWALKR Posts: 15,655
1/31/11 5:18 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
THE CHALLENGE emoticon

Let's have fun with this. Let's find creative, nutritious, healthy ways to use up all the excess ______ you have on hand, like my over abundance of pasta, for example. We all have something; or many somethings. We can do one-ingredient searches in SparkRecipes, AllRecipes, and in the linked list of crockpot websites, when you can't think of what to make with that ingredient you pulled out of the freezer or have in the cabinet.

The goals are:

(1) Think about and decide on your personal goals for this Pantry Challenge. In general, we will eat down our pantries, cupboards, cellars, and freezers.

(2) Shop at home first; supplement with groceries from the store only if needed, only if you're stockpiling frugal or starting out building a healthy pantry, etc.

(3) Create and post a menu with pantry meals; find and post recipes to match what we're using up at home; not all will be crockpot and that's okay. Post daily if you want to, what meals you prepared that day that came from the pantry, or mostly from the pantry, or contained SOMETHING from the pantry.

(4) If they are crockpot recipes, copy and paste them into the corresponding recipe thread on this team (put the chicken recipe on the Team's chicken thread, etc).

(5) See how many days out of the 28 days in February you can eat at home and eat from the pantry first. Will you go for 14 out of 28 days? All 28? Yes we DO have special days like anniversaries, awards dinners, Valentine's Day, friend's dinner parties, etc and that's fine. Just make it a personal challenge to eat ALL THE REST OF THE DAYS this month, at home.

(6) Track how much you save, OR, put a limit on how much you'll spend at the store for the week or month. Post goals and rewards (or at least think about them): what you will do with the $ you saved in grocery buying this month, and eating out this month? Will you give yourself weekly pampering rewards, or donate all or part of your monthly savings to a community or church food bank? Pay down debt with the savings?

(7) Post Our Starting and Ending Weight for the Month (I bet you'll be surprised!)

(8) Keep track and share the new things we learn as we go through the month.

I'll be posting:
- weekly overview
- daily tasks
- Groundhog, Chinese New Year, and Valentine challenges and ideas;
- Crockpot Batchcooking Challenges such as beef broth, dried legumes (beans), homemade Italian sauce, vegetable broth, batchcooking ground beef in the crockpot, homemade chicken broth, yogurt, and veggie soup.
- I will occasionally throw in some batchcooking of other baked or stove top items we might have on hand like brown rice, etc. Or chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate covered nuts for Valentine's Day that are not crock pot related, etc.

 Pounds lost: 4.0 
 
0
42
84
126
168
Page: 1 of (1)   1

Report Innappropriate Post

Other Crock Pot Cooking & Recipes Inspiration, Challenges, Contests, & Games Posts

Topics: Last Post:
Nutmeg 1/24/2014 1:53:55 PM
Pantry Challenge 2011 4/6/2014 12:26:50 AM
Today I Will...And I Won't.... 7/26/2014 9:13:13 AM

Thread URL: http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=5025x5523x39585142

Review our Community Guidelines