Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fun With Food

A few weeks ago we decided we were tired of always having a full pantry and freezer, but NO FOOD! Why do we spend $100 a week on groceries but have all this stuff we never use? So, we went on a mission to eat what we have and not buy any groceries for one week. It made for some interesting meals, and I discovered a few good recipes/ideas too! A VERY helpful website was You plug in a few random ingredients you have laying around, and it suggests recipes based on what you have on hand. Supercool!

Here are a few yummy meals I made:

Sheppard’s Pie—browned ground beef (from 3 different baggies of frozen hamburger I found in there?!?) , beef gravy (made from the hamburgers drips, beef broth from boullion, and flour), and frozen corn, then it all gets topped with mashed potatoes (made from frozen hash browns, who woulda thought of that?! And a little butter/milk/salt/pepper)—bake the whole thing till bubbly and hot. This would make good hangover food, I think ;)

Spaghetti Casserole—spaghetti noodles, jar of tomato sauce, pepperoni (from freezer, sautéed first with non stick cooking spray to be a little crispy), chunks of mozzarella cheese (cut up string cheese), fresh basil from the garden, and topped with a little bit of mozzarella and parm cheese—bake till bubbly and hot.

Garlic Noodles and Sausage—sweet Italian sausage (from freezer, browned and crumbled), then sauteed with thawed out Garlic Noodles from PF Changs (those were leftover from dinner one night and I had thrown them in the freezer for a rainy day). This was the best, most simple dinner I made all week. The flavors were absolutely amazing. Seriously, I would go back to PF Changs, buy the noodle dish, and bring it home and eat it with this sausage; it was that good! Actually my goal is to find a good copycat recipe for the noodles online so I can make a big batch of my own. I already know they freeze well, so why not make a bunch, then freeze it in small portions and use it when you need it!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts—chicken breast (from freezer), dredged in flour and grilled on the George Foreman with salt, pepper, and olive oil spray, then stuffed with bacon (from freezer, cooked till extra crispy) and Jack cheese.

I still have bags and bags of broccoli in the freezer, so my next big meal is probably some broccoli cheese soup or broccoli rice casserole. But this was a really fun experiment! It forces you to be creative, and save a little on the grocery bill too.

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