Summer 2013 Pantry Challenge: Day Ten

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I’m taking the Pantry Challenge, eating what’s in the fridge, freezer, and pantry, and trying to save some cash.

salad with leftovers

Twice I heard the siren song of In-N-Out burger today. Twice I resisted. I would call that a victory.

Even if I’m sick of my own food, am running out of easy proteins, and would rather make a run for the border.

And I don’t even like Taco Bell!

Today breakfast was a fend for yourself affair made of toast, yogurt, and bananas. I had my sunbutter rice cake snack before heading to the gym and then had plain yogurt with maple syrup when I came home.

For lunch the kids had reheated chili from yesterday and French fries from the freezer. I made a quick salad with leftover veggies, corn, and chicken as well as tomato, avocado, and bleu cheese. It was a Go To Salad Plus.

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

At dinner, I cooked up grilled cheese for everyone and made another salad for myself, minus the leftovers.

Breakfast: Yogurt, Toast, Bananas

Lunch: Chili, French Fries, the Go To Salad plus leftovers

Dinner: Go to Salad, Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

How did YOUR day go?

pantry challenge sum 13This post is a part of the Summertime Pantry Challenge where we’re trying to save money on food by using up what we have. You can read more about it here.

I’ll be posting daily updates on how the challenge is going. You can read through the PC archives here.

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  1. Heather M says:

    Scrounge day here. Sent Hubby on the road with a minibagel and an apple. The daughter and I scrounged, completely.
    Breakfast: I had a minibagel and a few pieces of bacon. Daughter slept until almost noon. Have to get her off this crazy schedule.
    Lunch: I had cheese and crackers, and some berries. Daughter ate an entire avocado straight w/a bit of salt, and a few rice krispie treats from the leftover lunchbox stock of the past school year. Odd combo, but whatever.
    Dinner: I had a perfect meal of leftovers, all of it only one serving’s worth left of mixed steamed veggies, garlic roasted potatoes, and mahi mahi. Oh, and some garlic bread. Daughter only ate garlic bread. She’s really messed up with the sleep and staring at a computer screen most of the day working on an online summer class.

    We went out later for a little treat of frozen yogurt. Daughter is so good. Always chooses the plain tart and piles on fresh berries and fruit. I went for a smaller serving of a nonfat chocolate with a little pb cup on top. While the boys are away and all… 🙂

  2. Today in the middle of the pantry challenge we had a very pleasant surprise. My husband received a belated birthday present of boxed beef and poultry. It included four 4 oz boneless chicken breasts, four 8 oz filet mignons, 1 lb of sirloin tips and four 8 oz cubed steaks. Our protein selections were getting quite low. This is a week worth of meat for us. For dinner my husband grilled the chicken breasts and we served them with mashed potatoes and assorted fruit for dinner. My husband asked for grilled filets tomorrow which I plan to serve with Au Gratin potatoes and green beans. I will use the sirloin tips to make a double batch of stroganoff. I will make chicke fried steaks with the cube steaks and of course my kids will insist we have mashed potatoes and gravy to go with it. Luckily we have plenty of potatoes on hand.

    Breakfast: banana bread, pineapple spears, skim milk
    Lunch: pulled pork sandwiches
    Dinner: chicken breast on the grill, mashed potatoes and assorted fresh fruit

  3. breakfast – oatmeal with apples and craisins
    lunch – peanuts, some other little snacky thing I’ve forgotten
    dinner – was working out of town again, so tried Wendy’s new pretzel burger thing. Interesting, glad I tried it, doubt I’ll order it again. My co-worker really enjoyed it, particularly the cheese sauce stuff. To each their own. 🙂

  4. Weird day because I worked a double behind the bar and the hubby had to work a 15hr day due to a heavy equipment delivery. He is a safety guy and he wanted to make sure everything came in safely 🙂

    Breakfast (Brian/ CeCee) muffins we aren’t tired of them yet
    Lunch- (B/C)leftover fajitas and a chocolate chip cookie 🙂
    Dinner – (B) came home from work to pick up dinner then drove straight back (7 min away) (C) tuna at work and yogurt from home.

    We both have crazy days tomorrow too so I don’t know if I will even have time to cook!!! Hoping to do porkchops and veggies! If not more leftovers for us!

  5. I know what you mean. We’re all like, eh homemade bread again? 🙂

    We had mostly leftover stuff today, and then I heated up some red sauce I had made a few weeks ago and froze for dinner. It wasn’t a bad day, but I have to work on not using so many tomato products in my freezer cooking. My victory from the weekend was finally using up the bag of quick cook faro (sp?) I bought 6 months ago at Trader Joe’s.

  6. Great now it is 7 am and I am craving grilled cheese! LOL . Yummy pictures.

  7. Breakfast: oatmeal with raisins
    Lunch: Cottage cheese and plums
    Dinner: Day three of the big batch of enchiladas I made with leftover rice and beans plus steamed green beans.
    Thank goodness our CSA box came last night so we’ll have fresh fruit and vegetables today. I was down to a handful of lettuce, four stalks of celery, and the two mangos that are earmarked for salsa tomorrow to go with a pork tenderloin from the freezer.

  8. Breakfast – Omelets, using up bits of ham and cheese
    Lunch – PB &J sandwiches, fruit
    Dinner – Rainbow chili

  9. Patricia says:

    Well it was a bit difficult yesterday – I went to the Senior Center for “penny poker” with friends and then a lunch, THEN shopping at a large supermarket in a neighboring town. I spent about $25 on fresh veggies, fruit and cottage cheese (for which I seem to be having a craving lately). I actually by-passed most of my “temptations” and couldn’t find one item I really wanted, whole wheat hot dog rolls – well I found it but only in the name brand high cost, it was twice what a store brand would have cost – so I walked the entire bakery aisle and then gave up – hot dogs without the buns in my granddaughter’s lunch. I got watermelon, cherries, grapes, tomato from vine, eggplant, cottage cheese, qt milk, 3 corn on cob, bananas, bacon (low sodium on sale), and I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter (on sale). For dinner, pita with “found munester cheese from the frig cheese drawer, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, cucumber slices w/ big bottle of icey cold water with last 4 oz of orange/pineapple juice mixed in.
    Have lots more to dig out in the refrig – but still loving this challenge. With my 4-yr old granddaughter visiting Mon & Thurs lunch to 5 pm, and her Gramma Sleepover this Saturday night, I needed lots of fruit. On to Saturday and my busy-crockpot day!

  10. Hubs came home a day early from Scout camp and was less than thrilled that we are doing a pantry challenge. Oh well. I told him to leave it to me and he would not go hungry. Today we will have…

    Breakfast: homemade pancakes (plain, blueberry and peach), last of the turkey bacon, last of the sausage, scrambled eggs
    Lunch: Leftover homemade pizza, leftover potatoes and grilled cheese
    Dinner: Chicken and Dressing casserole from the freezer, fresh green beans from the garden
    Dessert: Homemade Choc Chip cookies or I might use up the last of the peaches to make a pie

    • Heather M says:

      Sounds like the hubs might never have known you were doing a pantry challenge, based on the meals you have listed. I don’t tell mine. I just provide food. He doesn’t know the difference. I guess if he cooked he might, but nope. The kitchen is my domain, much to his joy. Good luck the rest of the week!

    • Jessica says:

      Mine doesn’t know based on meals, but it’s when he wants to go shopping that I pipe up. 🙂

      • That was more the problem. He came home and didn’t find any snacks he liked since I had not been to the grocery store. He wasn’t mad, just hungry. He found a box of Ritz and made do with that but it wasn’t what he wanted.

  11. I braved Creamed Beef again even though the thought of it made me a little sick to my stomach. Turned out lots better than I was fearing and I used up that pesky jar of beef broth 🙂 Also convinced hubby to eat potstickers for the second time in a week, managed to make bean burrito tostadas semi-appetizing (guacamole is the trick!) and am hoping for an decent ham and cheddar pasta dish tonight. Still need to find a recipe for that one… 🙂

    • Heather M says:

      You could make homemade mac n cheese (make a roux, add some milk, thicken, then add cheese to melt), then cube the ham and put it in the dish. You can use any short pasta, not just macaroni. Good luck!

      • That’s what I was thinking of… 🙂 I was leaning toward this recipe: because it doesn’t use a roux. I haven’t always been pleased with how my cheese sauce from a roux turns out. Thanks for confirming that my plan is workable! 🙂

        • Heather M says:

          That looks good to me! I don’t do a traditional roux really, just a scant tablespoon of butter, as much flour as I think I’ll need(4 TBSP for 3 cups of liquid, typically), and once it’s whisked together, I add the milk. I don’t cooke the roux to brown it, only to melt the butter and incorporate the flour. Then I start right in on the liquid. You could also lighten it up and use half chicken broth/half milk. But either way, that recipe looks great! Hope it’s tasty!

          • It turned out great! I used one of those food chopper things to mince up the ham and onions really finely (I don’t like big pieces of ham, usually) and it gave it really great flavor. I baked it in the oven for 30 minutes or so and added parmesan cheese to the top as well. It wasn’t as cheesy as typical mac and cheese (because I ended up having not enough cheese) but the ham and onions made up for the lack of cheese flavor. Hubby said I should add it to the “make again” side of the list 🙂

            And Jessica, that sounds really good. Might be great for company because there’d be little prep work right before they came and you could get most of the dishes washed. Hmm…got family coming in a week or so…. 🙂

          • Jessica says:

            Yay! So glad to hear. I’m going to try the Overnight Casserole with some of that ham I’ve got in the freezer.

    • Jessica says:

      My gramma made one called Overnight Casserole. I loved it. I’d have to make homemade cream soup to make it work, but I remember it being really yummy. You assembled it all the night before, without cooking the noodles, and then baked it the next day.

  12. I am so impressed that you make it to the gym so often – well done you for making it a priority. I don’t have nearly as much going on and I will often opt out because i have ‘so much to get done’. Mostly now, with the garden produce rolling in, and the need to weed still ever present, plus getting seedlings ready for fall. I don’t can except for pickles – I have an incredible recipe that we love and i try for 120 quarts each year. I did 47 quarts yesterday evening. And I am also trying to get green beans picked and into the freezer. My meals lately consist of tomato sandwiches and green beans. pretty inexpensive for the most part!

  13. Harriet says:

    Dinner ended up being a fiasco: I left for work at 5:45AM. I set a frozen crockpot meal of chili out in the kitchen sink for someone to put in the crock pot at a more normal hour. When I got home from work at 4:00, the chili was thawed in the bag in the sink! So, we will eat it tomorrow night.

    Hubs had left over bbq chicken, rice and broccoli.
    Son had left over chicken pot pie and mac and cheese.
    I had cut up fresh broccoli with dressing and some mac and cheese.
    Luckily, the other children were not here for supper since we ate ALL the left overs.

    I suppose that since we all had stuff out of the fridge and we used up the left overs, it wasn’t a total flop. Hopefully, someone will remember to cook the chili tomorrow.

  14. Kathryn says:

    Tues Lunch – I had pork chops and brocoli left from the night before. DS had pizza rolls once again and a can of ravioli…..

    Tuesday dinner: thawed out some freezer chili and microwaved it for dinner. I had a bit of leftover tostada shells that were a bit broken which I tossed into mine (along with some shredded cheese.)

    Lunch Wed – reapeat of the chili with cheese.
    Dinner Wed – grilling hamburgers (frozen patties) and making some tator tots from a half package in the freezer. Will add some canned fruit, blackberries, and some raw veggies as sides.

    Thursday I will actually take the time to cook something ….

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