Pantry Inventory

It’s the end of the year and inventories are happening everywhere, so why not in the pantry?  Here’s my next step for the three month pantry challenge.

Step Three – I go through my list of ingredients, check off what I already have in the pantry and make a list for the grocery store.

The first time I challenged myself to living out of the pantry for three months it took many months to accumulate the items on the grocery store list.  This time, because I’ve been trying to rotate items in and out of the pantry, it will not be as costly.

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Times By Three

Step Two – I Write down each ingredient from the 30 recipes I’ve chosen and times it by three.  I don’t sweat the small stuff.  Spices, baking powder, vanilla, etc., I just make sure to have a can or bottle of these.


Collecting Recipes

The first time I attempted a three month pantry challenge it took me six months to get ready.  Fortunately this time is much easier and over the next few days I’ll be posting the steps that I take.

Step One – I collect all the recipes in my cookbook that include legumes, grains, and rice, then choose 30 and put them on a chart (Click here to see the chart from a previous post.)  I only plan dinners.  I’m sure there are people who cook more than one meal a day, not me.  Breakfast and lunches consist of toast and fruit, cereal, peanut butter, canned soup/chilli, or leftovers.  I just make sure to have some quick meals in the food storage.

I’m listing my recipe choices here and I’ll try to add links to the recipes over the next three months:

1. Barbeque Bean and Rice Sloppy Joes

2. Pinto Bean and Rice Burritos

3. Cajun Red Beans w/Rice

4. Coconut Curry w/Rice

5. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

6. Spicy Black Beans w/Rice

7. Mulligatawny Soup

8. Chicken Tortilla Soup

9. Beezie’s Black Bean Soup

10. Chipolte Bean Burritos

11. Chicken Pot Pie

12. Chicken Ramen Soup

13. Pasta w/Roasted Red Peppers

14. Pasta w/Green Beans and Tuna

15. Pizza

16. Roasted Chicken w/Rice

17. Spicy Southwestern Rice Salad

18. Pineapple Fried Rice

19. Hawaiian Chicken w/Rice

20.  Coconut Chicken w/Lemon Rice

21. French White Bean and Cabbage Soup

22. Spicy Pumpkin Soup

23. Hidden Veggie Tacos

24. Jamaican Red Bean Stew

25. Italian Pasta Soup

26. Cheesy Black Bean Enchiladas

27. Winter Squash Pasta

28. Spaghetti and Meatballs

29. Mediterranean Pasta w/Spinach

30. Tomato Florentine Soup


A Tisket A Tasket A Bountiful Basket

I finished my food storage challenge the end of September with mixed success and for the past couple of months have reverted back to some old habits, too much dining out and too few veggies in the diet.  So last week I decided it was time for bountiful baskets again and another three month challenge to myself.

My favorite tools are, I Dare You Too Eat It and Bountiful Baskets.  Once again I’ll be stocking my pantry for three months, which will be much easier this time around.  And beginning January 10th and ending March 10th, there will be no trips to the grocery store and one trip to the bountiful basket drop off every week.

This week I spent $25.00 for a bountiful basket, $15.00 for regular and $8.50 for a Mexican pack of extra veggies. This is what was in it; 1 pineapple, 2 butternut squashes, 1 romaine lettuce, 1 bunch asparagus, 2 cucumbers (gave them to my mother-in-law), 5 pears, 5 apples, 1 bunch bananas, 1 bunch grapes, 6 limes, 3 onions, 1 head garlic, 1 bunch green onions, 7 tomatillos, 6 tomatoes, 7 anaheim chillies, a bunch of jalapenos, and a bunch of cilantro.  As always you never know what you’ll get, but I’m very pleased with this weeks offering and I think I got a pretty good deal!

P.S.  Anyone who would like to join me in my food storage adventure is quite welcome.  It’s really kind of fun and saves lots of money!  Even if you only do it for three days, it can be a good learning experience.


Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Winter is here and time for soup!  Yesterday I roasted a couple of the sugar pumpkins that I had purchased at the farmer’s market in October and made this yummy soup.  Most of the ingredients can be squirreled away in your storage.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1-4 oz can mild chopped green chillies or 1 minced jalapeno

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

4 cloves garlic

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups pumpkin (mashed or pureed or from a can)

1-15 oz can black beans

5-medium red potatoes, diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1-drizzle of honey or agave

Juice of one fresh lime

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup coconut milk

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the chillies, spices, and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add the broth, pumpkin, black beans, and potatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat and mash the soup lightly with a potato masher.  Add the cilantro, honey, lime and coconut milk.  Garnish with scallions and additional cilantro.


Cantaloupe Candy!

Get ready, get set, start your dehydrators . . .  this is the most amazing treat ever!  Friday I visited the Green River Melon stand on the North end of Springville and purchased a couple of cantaloupes.  These cantaloupes are not anything like the melons from the supermarket.  They are picked ripe from the vine and are absolutely splendiferous!

Here’s  a recipe that will rival even the best candy!  I’m really looking forward to opening a jar in the middle of winter and letting out all that summer.

Cantaloupe Candy

1 large cantaloupe, cut into 3″ x 1/2″ pieces

2 large limes

1 or 2 cups of powdered sugar depending on your tastebuds

Juice the limes into a bowl and mix in the powdered sugar.  Dip each section of cantaloupe into the sugar mixture and place side by side in a food dehydrator.  Dry for about 24 hours at 115 degrees.  If you have any left over after tasting them, store in an air tight jar.


Kitchen Choked With Zucchini?

Little Red Riding Hood,  John Everett Millias (1829-1896)

Ever wonder what little red riding hood has in her basket this time of year?  This post is for all my friends (especially Lora) who are sneaking through their neighborhoods distributing zucchini.  I’m always looking for new ways to cook up this wonderful summer squash, so I did a little blog hopping today.  Perry’s Plate has 16 ideas and mine own personal favorite would be Hidden Veggie Chipotle Taco Meat.  This recipe can be served several different ways and you can also modify it to fit your family’s taste buds.