I’m in the process of compiling a “Top Ten” post for you, but it’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would, so I’ll post that later today after it’s finished.
In the meantime, I just realized I should tell you about my plan to “eat down the pantry” during the month of January, in an effort to get organized, save money, and create some new meals. That way, you’ll have a couple of days to decide if you want to join in.
A lot of bloggers have done something similar over the past year, and it’s a good time for us to do it because of the season. In the winter, I’m much more inclined to eat soups and chilis and stews, and having the stove or oven on helps heat up the house. I also don’t mind eating less fresh fruits and vegetables, since there aren’t as many of my favorites in season.
So here’s the plan:
1. Shop only for fresh produce, dairy, and bread and tortillas.
2. Use up pasta, rice, and other staples in the pantry and refrigerator.
3. Cook beans, starting with black-eyed peas for New Year’s. Make black beans in the crockpot, and Katy’s black bean burgers with half the batch.
4. Waste no food. My husband is much better at this than I am. While I know in an abstract way that wasted food equals wasted money, it’s hard for me to choose something I’m not in the mood to eat. He, on the other hand, will eat whatever needs to be used up. For example, a couple of weeks ago I made homemade egg nog, which calls for 12 egg yolks, and I put the egg whites in a bowl in the refrigerator. He made us a delicious pasta dinner with those egg whites on two different occasions.
5. The 3 C’s: chili, casseroles, and curry. I’ll be cooking a lot of things that will make more than one meal. Luckily we both love leftovers.
6. Get creative. I’ll be investigating items in the pantry that never seem to get incorporated into meals. I’ll also be challenging my husband to create some meals from what’s in there.
7. Soups. Making soup with fresh, seasonal vegetables is one of the ways I’ll keep our diet healthy. Fresh fruit for snacks and greens for salads will round out the plan.
8. Bake bread. I’m going to make another attempt at this, especially since freshly baked bread is so delicious with homemade soup.
My biggest challenge will be to keep the menu delicious and healthy. At least once a week during January, I’ll fill you in on what we’ve been eating. If you want to join in the challenge, let us know in the Comments section. And if you’ve done something similar, please share your tips and advice as well. I’ll be consulting Alea at Premeditated Leftovers, who did this with her family last year.
I’m kind of excited about this. Does that make me a geek?