Pantry Challenge 2011: Day Eleven (& What’s On Your Plate?)

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Welcome to What’s On Your Plate?!

What’s on Your Plate? is designed to be a conversation amongst good eaters.

Tell us about a recent meal. Did it meet with rave reviews? Or did it bomb? What side dishes did you pair with the star of the show? Did you try a new ingredient? Find the groceries at great prices?

Share what’s on your plate! Each week a featured foodie* will share his or her plate and then the rest of us will get a chance to link up our own posts or share in the comments what good cheap eats we’ve been enjoying.

What’s on My Plate?

This is my second week into The Pantry Challenge, as I endeavor to make the most of what we have. I’ve been grocery shopping, but mostly to get good deals to stock up on certain sale items, like toilet paper and post-holiday markdowns.

While I’ve still been shopping, I’ve only spent about $130 so far out of my alloted $400 for the month. Normally I spend about $600. So this is definitely a budget cut.

My family doesn’t really know that we’re “eating from the pantry.” And so far, no one has complained.

Today this is what I served my family

Breakfast – Cranberry Chocolate Coffeecake, Apple Slices

I’ve been working on the same recipe for two months now, trying to get the right combination of fresh cranberries and dark chocolate that tops this streusel coffeecake. It’s really good. And I have plenty of taste testers. They may not want me to get it “just right” ’cause I’ll move on to something else.

Lunch – Chicken and Hominy Soup, Garlic Bread

We are all eight of us pretty sick with a nasty head cold. So, I got a chicken soup going on the stove pretty early this morning. I had shredded and seasoned chicken in the freezer already and added broth, hominy, rice, and leftover black beans and sauteed peppers from Sunday.

The garlic bread was actually leftover hot dog rolls from Sunday, doctored up with garlic butter.

Dinner – Pasta with Red Sauce, Romaine and Greens Salad, Cornbread

This is one my stand-by meals. With red sauce a freezer staple, it’s an easy meal to pull together. I also served a salad made of romaine, upland cress, and sunflower seeds. With parmesan cheese and a vinaigrette dressing, it was quite delish. An added bonus, the cress was only a quarter, marked down at the store. Cornbread made a yummy side dish.

What’s on YOUR Plate?

Share with us a recent meal you prepared. Either link it up below or tell us about it in the comments. Please make sure that you link to in your post so others know where the dinner party is.

And don’t forget to pop around and visit the other good eaters participating today. I’m sure you will be inspired to make all sorts of Good Cheap Eats at your house.

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  1. While I am not participating in the pantry challenge, I am enjoying seeing what you are eating every day. Thanks for sharing!

  2. actually, i made something for dinner tonight that was inspired by your recent dinner post about “beans and rice”. i had leftover beans from when i had made a big pot to go with cornbread last week….i made spanish rice and put lettuce and cheese on top and served with chips! yum! and easy peasy! how had i never thought of that!? 🙂
    thanks for the inspiration to “use what we have”!

  3. it has been fun to watch what you eat. i am on a pantry challenge too although no shopping included. we are broke and so far i have managed to go almost a month. i need to go a few more weeks so we shall is fun to be innovative! thanks for your post!

  4. Wow! You are doing great! My pantry isn’t really that full that we could have lots of dinners from it.
    Thanks for hosting Jessica!

  5. The cranberry chocolate coffeecake sounds wonderful. I hope you’ll share the recipe. We love coffeecakes around here! Thanks.

  6. I am doing the pantry challenge and so far have only spent $79.00 out of pocket for deals and fresh produce and fruit, milk, eggs, etc. We took a turkey out of the freezer this past weekend and turned it into turkey with brown rice, homemade turkey soup and then turkey sandwiches. As not to overdue the turkey I pulled out some left over roasted pork and made BBQ sandwiches one night and tonight is asian stir-fry with the rest of the pork. The pantry has lots o life in it as we are big canners….I’m hoping to only spend another $125 this month and our grocery bill would be about 1/2 of what it is normally. yeah – I love this challenge!

  7. AllieZirkle says:

    Yum! I want to try out the coffeecake recipe. Sounds tasty!

    Hot dog buns turned garlic bread sticks. Good thinking 😉

    We’re finally caught up with our finances & finally have a few bucks to use to stockpile. I’m looking forward to having some components to work with! It’s interesting what happens when you stop stockpiling, it’s hard to get back into it and stretch your grocery budget!

  8. I’ve been following your Pantry Challenge, but over the past few days, I’ve had no choice but to be a participant! We are “iced in” in the mid south for day 3. But the grocery store shelves have been pretty bare since the snow storm forecast went out 5 days ago. Our menu has been fine, since I stockpile and keep meals in the freezer as part of my regular routine. I’ve even been able to share with some of the neighbors! I stockpile and power cook to save time and money, but it really feels good to know that these habits make the unexpected so much easier to manage!

  9. I am doing a pantry challenge too, but starting this week as I feel like I have spent alot and have tons of food! Last night we had an African chicken dish that was really good!

  10. Oh, do we get the coffee cake recipe? I have cranberries in the freezer too!

  11. I’ve been enjoying following along with your pantry challenge and have been trying to use more of our pantry items too (although I don’t have much meat on hand so I’ve been to the store for meat and fresh items too).

    One meal I made recently was completely from pantry items and it has so much potential that we’ll definitely be having it again and again. I started with this recipe: then I added a can of Rotel tomatoes with chilies and a can of corn. I adjusted the spices to our liking and had a super fast and easy dinner. The first night we had it as burrito filling (with cheese). My husband also had some just straight in a bowl (with cheese) as a snack. Last night, I used it as a quesadilla filling (with cheese – see a theme? we love cheese!). I still have some left so I’m going to try to make soup with it (just add a can of broth and maybe some chicken – I think). Plus it would also be good as a nacho topping. I think it might also work to make it into a casserole with some shredded chicken and maybe corn chips crushed on top. Hearty and filling – regardless of the final dish!

    Now…what do I do with the 4 boxes of powdered milk in my pantry (aside from some hot cocoa mix)?

  12. Hi! I am new to What’s On Your Plate, and I linked up my spicy chicken cakes. Thanks for hosting 🙂

  13. We spent most of November and December “eating out of the pantry”. No one noticed, but we were able to have a little extra cash to spend on Christmas! Thanks for hosting!

  14. Thanks for the link up! This is a great challenge!

  15. Last night we had tilapia (from the freezer) and some yummy asparagus, seasoned brown rice, and a side salad. Healthy AND delicious! I linked up with my post on how to season your foods in a healthful way. Loveing the Pantry Challenge!

  16. Classic tuna pie for Tarty Tuesday, y’all!

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