Well, ya’ll, it’s only been one day since I started the “Spring Clean Your Fridge” Challenge, where I’m challenging myself (and Ben, by default :P) to only cook with the things we already have in our house, in an attempt to clean out our refrigerator, learn a bit more moderation with grocery shopping, and save a little moo-lah. If you missed my original post, you can catch up here!
So far, I’ve had the following thoughts/observations:
1) I’ve noticed that I’ve become more moderate in how I use my ingredients. When normally I would dump half the package of grape tomatoes into the basket to steam for my salad, this time I careful counted out five tomatoes before adding them. Poor Ben got the stink eye when he reached out to snag one before dinner, and I almost jumped out of my skin trying to shield them like a mother hen protecting her nest. “I have to make these last for the whole week!” I exclaimed forcefully. Hey- grape tomatoes are prime real estate in this house!
2) Because I’ve been assigning more value to those precious ingredients (like the tomatoes) that have to last for the next five days, I’ve noticed that I’ve become a bit more attentive to the prices of regular items that I’m not necessarily vowing not to buy. For example, seltzer water. I purchased a bottle of seltzer this morning at Whole Foods, and while I really wanted the raspberry-lime flavor, it only came in the Poland Spring brand. And the generic mandarin orange flavor was a whole $0.29 cheaper! Well, of course I had to go with the generic.
3) I’ve actually felt a sense of relief when thinking about cooking. Whereas last week I would have said “hmmm, what new dish can I conjure up tonight? And what groceries will I need for it?,” this week I am forced to deal with the things we already have on hand. I guess by having more limited options I’ve relieved a bit of the pressure on myself to come up with something spectacular. Instead, I get to just use up what we have in a new way- like you’ll read in the post below!
4) The thought has actually gone through my mind more than once: “Yes! I don’t need to stop at the store on the way home and lug a half dozen heavy plastic bags full of groceries into the house and then unload them!” For some reason it always stresses me out to come home after a long day of school and have to put away about a gazillion bags of food. This week, I’m not allowed. 🙂
So what’s on the menu tonight? I decided to use up the pie crust, what was left of the smashed potatoes, some frozen peas, eggs, and the rest of the pork to make little mini shepherd pies! Delicioso! Better yet… more leftovers! Who knows what leftovers I will make tomorrow out of THESE leftovers! heh heh. My poor husband.
Started with these things, plus some eggs and milk.
Filled up muffin tins with pie crust, some potatoes, peas, and pork. Added a bit of whisked egg/milk and some cheese on top!
Into the preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 min or until egg is set, and cool.
Yay for MORE leftovers!
Some pasta salad leftover from our trip to Asheville, mixed with spinach and steamed veggies. Topped with some balsamic dressing and parmesan. This was my dinner cause I don’t particularly prefer pork. And we had a lot of pasta. On a more negative note, that was it for the spinach. Good thing I’m allowing it as one of my exceptions! 🙂
“Spring Clean Your Fridge” Day #2, in the books FTW!