Pantry Challenge Day 15

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This month we are eating down the pantry to save money and reduce food waste. Join me every day for the Pantry Challenge!

samosa cups

Whew! We are chugging along! It was a little hard since we did a major day of school (despite the holiday) so that left little time for meal prep. But, we ate really well, nonetheless. It was just all really simple food.

Simple, good food!

I bought a bag of power greens last week that I’m having a hard time using up. I can’t figure out why, but I don’t have much longer. I made some greens and scrambled eggs for those of us who like it. The others kinda fended for themselves.

kale eggs

Lunch was not what I had planned, but it was easy: grilled cheese sandwiches and apples. I was thrilled to find 3 pound bags of organic pinata apples for $3.48 yesterday. That means only $1.15 a pound for organic! And they were really good!

For dinner, I made this thing that I’ve been imaging for a month now. My neighbor and friend, Alice, is from Tanzania. She brought us some samosas awhile back, and I was immediately smitten. Hers are AMAZINGLY GOOD. But, she makes the dough by hand and then fries them. I knew I didn’t have the energy for that. So I converted this taco cup idea from Amanda into Samosa Cups. SOOOOO good. The 2-dozen I made disappeared lickety split. I also made a cucumber salad and served leftover couscous, so it all jived really well.

Breakfast: leftover baguette, eggs

Lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches and apples

Dinner: Samosa cups (recipe coming soon!), cucumber salad, couscous

How is the Pantry Challenge going for YOU?

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  1. The samosa cups sound good! Today was no school here. Pancakes for breakfast, fend for yourself for lunch. And for dinner I roasted cauliflower and broccoli and had that with hotdogs. I ate the last sausage instead, hotdogs don’t agree with me sometimes. Hubby and I will be finishing up the potato soup tonight.

  2. Tastycook says:

    Another successful day here.

    Breakfast: hubby finished the pizza he brought home the other night and I finished the bag of raspberries from the freezer, and the jar of home canned rhubarb with some yogurt.

    Lunch:cheese sandwiches for both of us.

    Supoer:beef veg soup from the freezer and rice pudding using leftover rice from the freezer too.

    That I count as a win/win day.

  3. Heather M says:

    Samosa cups sound delicious!! We had a not-so-good Challenge day. Holiday messed with us.

    Breakfast: I was the only one who had breakfast, while the guys slept in. I had cheese and crackers.

    Lunch: took son for a haircut at his new favorite barbershop 20 minutes away at lunchtime. Augh! He was starved afterward and hubby coincidentally called, craving chinese food. Had him order what he wanted, and picked up Wendy’s for son, hot & sour soup and pork fried rice for hubs. Finally home and made myself a tuna sandwich and had that delicious pineapple berry salad from Day 14 on the side. And we ate late. Good thing, too.

    DInner: we were at the movies at dinnertime. Had a giftcard, so bought popcorn and drinks with it (had already gotten tickets earlier online). Got home to evening visitors. We’re all scrounging for a snack now. But it’s late (10pm). So kind of a bust of a Challenge day, but a good day otherwise. Win? because we’re all happy? Onward to a new Challenge week!

    • Stephanie M. says:

      Holidays and any day when the family is home usually throws a monkey wrench into my plans too. But you had a fun day and that’s what counts. This weekend could be something like that for us and maybe you too with the good possibility of some significant snow. But snowed in weekends can be fun watching movies, eating junk food, and maybe putting on a nice big pot of some kind of soup. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Heather M says:

        We are supposed to get some serious snow! We’ll see if it happens. Good thing about that is it will keep us eating at home on a weekend. Weekends are a weakness as people in my house want to eat out or do takeout, while I try to keep it to a minimum. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Pretty good day….had soaked a bag of pinto beans overnight. I made a pinto bean side dish for dinner and tons of refried beans for bean/cheese burritos which I’ll assemble tomorrow and refried beans side dish.

    B – carrot waffle and tea

    L – sweet potato and tea

    S – banana with peanut butter

    D – breaded pork loin chops, pinto beans and twice baked potatoes

    Hubby and I went to Kroger to retreive our free digital coupon groceries. Since we each have our own Kroger loyalty cards, we received $22.92 worth of free groceries. It included: 2 Yoplait Greek Vanilla yogurts, 2 Nestle 6-pack Splash bottled water, 2 Stouffers Fit dinner entrees and 2 Simple Truth Organic Popcorn 7 oz size bags.

  5. While it was technically a holiday for all of us, poor son had a major school project to work on that took all day. (Seriously, the kid must have worked on it for five hours. Sheesh!)

    Did well on the food front, though.

    B-Oatmeal w/ maple syrup, whipped cream, and homemade granola; toast w/ homemade blackberry jam.

    L-Egg salad sandwiches, yogurt, and clementines.

    D-Butternut Squash, Kale, and Quinoa Stew w/ toast. (Used squash and kale from the garden.)

    May have some banana bread later for dessert, but the guys get home late from Scouts so may not have anything.

    • That stew sounds good. and I have tons of both squash and kale from the garden. Would you share the recipe?

      • It is good, but I can’t take credit for it. I found the recipe on the web–

        Just search their site by the title or key ingredients, and you should be able to find it.

        I do tweak the recipe just a bit, as it was a bit too spicy for my son as written. (I use 1/8 tsp.–or less–of the red chile flakes, and since we usually don’t have vegetable broth I just use chicken broth. It’s not vegan the way I make it, but it’s still yummy.)

        • I’m guessing you mean this one ( It does sound very yummy and would be a great way to use up some greens that have been in the freezer for too long. I’m not sure the kid will be happy about eating it, though. I’m thinking about throwing in some sliced kielbasa or some ground sausage to make it more palatable for him. Since you’ve made it… would either of those blend in with the other flavors?

          • Yes, that’s the recipe. Our 11-year-old likes it (now that I cut down the chile flakes).

            We don’t eat much sausage/kielbasa, so I don’t know how the flavors would blend. Sausage often uses cumin, doesn’t it? Since this recipe uses cumin and coriander (along with garlic and onion) as the main flavorings, it might work.

            Does anyone else out there have any ideas?

  6. I had a student that used to make Samosa’s for me. Yum! I’m looking forward to your recipe.

    We had a total kick back day (I don’t babysit on school holidays)

    B – Bacon, eggs and toast (later than normal since we didn’t get up until 7:30)
    L – we didn’t eat any as we planned an early dinner
    D – leftover stew with crackers
    Snack – apple and almonds for me mid afternoon

  7. B: Oatmeal muffins, skim milk, grapefruit halves. My kids told me this morning they were tired of this for breakfast after having it nearly every day this week. I think I can now go back and try to get them to finish the last of the open boxes of cereal.
    L: I had LO ham and beans while my husband and youngest daughter had brats, tossed salad and carrot sticks
    D: Family dinner at Texas Road House
    S: While it was a school holiday, my oldest daughter spent most of the day at school working on the prop crew for the upcoming school play. She came home โ€œstarvingโ€ having missed lunch so I made her peanut butter toast to tide her over until dinner.

    PC is going well so far, but we are starting to get down to the odd items and trying to figure out how to use them up without buying much at the store. We have tried to stick to necessary meat, dairy and produce purchases only at the store this month.

  8. Today we had a 5K run with family, so it was smoothies I made and froze in mason jars the night before for breakfast. We had shredded (costco) chicken sandwiches, fruit and chips at the local park after the race. Everyone was tired, so was I . We ate leftovers for dinner and watched the original star wars. I finished up the meals for the week. We are using up our “freezer meals” this week, as I have a busy schedule at work so willl be home late a few evenings. Hubby will be able to grab and heat dinner for kids, I’ll fend for myself when I get home.

    Will check in next weekend. Have a great week-

  9. Tonight was my weekly meal prep evening at church, so a friend and I led five women through making 55 freezer dinners (each for a family of four). Most of them went home with them and a few stayed behind in the church freezer for anyone who needs one. I took it easy making dinner beforehand and just made BBQ chicken wraps – nobody complained (well, the kids did about the spinach I included, but not too much ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Hello everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

    Monday was a good day, PC wise. Our oldest daughter had an appointment at the dentist in the morning and DH came along. He then worked from home, so we were alle home the rest of the day.

    Breakfast: Oatmeal for the girls. Last of the yoghurt and ganola for DH. Toast and coffee for me.

    Lunch: Rye bread with fried eggs and fries fish fillets. Vegetables on the side.

    Dinner: Crรชpes with jam.

    Snacks: Apples and rolls

    We weren’t very hungry at dinnertime because of the large lunch we had. Therefore I made crรชpes for dinner and they hit the spot ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love to see how everyone else is doing with the challenge! Lot’s of inspiration.

    Kathy in Denmark

  11. I love reading what everyone is eating.

    That dinner pic looks amazing. Today was eggs and toast for breakfast. Various sandwiches for lunch. I made chicken sausage cacciatore for dinner. I found the recipe online and it was excellent. We had that over linguini with caesar salad. I made blonde brownies with my daughter to help finish up baking supplies and have lunch snacks. With the holiday weekend we already out of eggs and bread. Yikes!

  12. Stephanie M. says:

    That freezer is emptying out quickly now. I have more white space than food in there.

    B – Hubby had cereal. I skipped breakfast.

    L – Hubby had a grilled cheese sandwich. I had a banana.

    D – My mother came over and we had leftover ravioli, meatballs, and garlic bread using up the rest of the bag of ravioli.

    Dessert was a plate of Christmas cookies which I am happy to say will be gone by the end of this week!! Good Riddens!

  13. I live alone on a fixed income, so I basically shop once for the whole month. I managed to wait until last night to go to the store. Food-wise, I only bought 1 dozen eggs, a bag of baby carrots, celery, garlic, tortillas (all of which was on my list), and two rotisserie chickens (on sale for $2.49 and not on my list, but I pick those up when I see them at half price). Everything else I bought was either cleaning supplies or pet food, but those items all come out of my food/grocery store budget. Even though I bought store brand item, they were expensive. I’ll going to check out some homemade cleaning recipes to see if that will work, although the de-iced recipe I tried last night (3 parts vinegar and 1 part water) didn’t work this morning (and I bought a huge jug of distilled vinegar – oh well, I have other uses for it).
    B – oatmeal with dried apples
    L – Chik-fil-A with friend (used the restaurant’s “calendar card” to get free 8-count grilled nuggets and used gift card to buy tea and side salad – cut up nuggets and put on my salad – yum!)
    D – leftover homemade pizza

  14. Breakfast was quick, there was no school so we drove to see my parents. Kids had a blast!
    Breakfast was toast and jam with fruit. Mango smoothie for me.
    Lunch was at my parents
    Dinner was super quick- creamy pesto pasta with leftover grilled chicken. Used one of 39 pints of pesto from the freezer along with the leftover grilled chicken from Saturday. Today I need to bake something for dessert as my husband is asking for cookies- I’m either doing lemon ricotta or ranger cookies.

  15. I am back on track after a weekend out of the kitchen!

    Breakfast: Leftover egg bake, toast, fruit
    Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, fruit
    Dinner: Sweet and sour chicken over rice and egg rolls

    DD2 made strawberry cream cheese pie with a graham cracker crust for dessert using leftover berries from Sunday’s brunch and pantry items (why do I have 3 partial boxes of graham crackers?) It was delicious and she was pretty proud of herself!

  16. Danielle L Zecher says:

    Yesterday went well. Breakfast was oatmeal at work for hubby, leftover waffle and bacon at home for me. Lunch was leftover chili from the freezer for hubby and leftover potato soup for me.

    I was very proud of dinner. It was creamy turkey and wild rice soup. The turkey and stock were from the freezer, leftover from the Thanksgiving turkey. The stock came out much better than it usually does. The soup was incredible. Hubby is always less than excited about Thanksgiving leftovers, but he loved the soup. I wish I had a picture of his face when tried it. I also made sweet potato bread using mashed sweet potato from the freezer.

    I also took advantage of having a day off of work to go ahead and chop everything for the crock pot for tonight’s dinner. Not a huge thing, but it made this morning a little easier.

    This week’s plan is pretty soup heavy since we have crazy cold weather all week.

  17. Jessica S says:

    I love reading everyones creative menus and recipe ideas! I love the ideas!
    Husband had to work( from home ) yesterday but kids and I were off. Picked up 13y from church overnighter at 6am(UGH) and managed ot get a little more sleep after that.

    B- the brave child who risked the below 0 temps for chicken duty came back in to a hot bowl of oatmeal and a huge mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. Brother and sister were given hot tea with honey ( sinusy sore throats) and reheated homemade waffles and pancakes. I had 1/2 a canary melon, a yogurt and most of a bag of dried coconut from Trader Joes( saw best by date was long passed!)

    3 to the dentist mid morning and then they helped me gather necessities at Aldi…

    L- I tossed a box of cheese sticks (bribe purchase!) into the oven while we put away groceries, added a package of pepperoni rolls (mother in law left here the night before) at the end to warm and served with a pan of warned pizza sauce.

    Sent the 13y to nap and the others wanted to bake cookies.. so a package of *maple bacon cookies* and a roll of sugar coookie dough were mixed and cut out for treats.

    D- pulled the last container of homemade stock out and the last bag of chicken. Made a pot of chicken noodle soup with carrots and celery and extra garlic. Served with the last of a bag of oyster crackers and a batch of cheddar biscuits.

    it is FREEZING today.. 1 kid home sick, 1 sent to school with a major * i don’t feel good want to stay home* attitude… but no sickness.. need to figure out tonights dinner, possibly combine freezers to defrost deep freeze before I really shop again… OH.. and cleaning whiny childs room b/c she is a PIG! lol.. Warnings are gone.. no more.. after school will be a total reality shock!

    Stay warm and healthy friends!

    • Lol, my daughter’s room is a pig sty too! She gets one more warning and then I get rid of what I want gone! Last time that happened, she wasn’t too happy, lol.

      • Jessica S says:

        I am glad to know I am not alone in this! Sorry you also have to deal!
        3 garbage bags of trash, junk, broken stuff, worthless stuff and the dumping of the sweeper after I swept her entire room, closet, under bed etc.

        I accept that her storage space is limited and her needs are increasing so I ran to the local discount store and purchased a few cheap pieces of furniture.. a Lingerie dresserer ( narrow enough to go next to the bed) and a book case. Put those together and into her clean room.
        When she got home I confronted her with 2 laundry baskets of clothing and random stuff.. we went through those and her dresser and closet and I have 2 garbage bags to donate!!!
        A productive day! and a sore back!

    • Heather M says:

      Motherhood, oh the joys some days. My son is not going to like me much today when he gets home. He has some serious catching up to do on some reading for a midterm that is next week. He keeps blowing it off. Nice mom is over it. At least he got his room is so-so shape yesterday. But the bathroom needs his attention too. He’s gonna love me today.

  18. Taco Tuesday here – we’ll use one of the many cans of beans from the pantry and cheese we already have. Just need to get an avocado and tomato and we’ll be set.

  19. We are still eating “real” good and still have lots of good things in freezers and pantry. Thinking we will definitely be continuing our Challange into Atleast half of February depending on how much leftovers we have.

    Day 15
    Breakfast – Blueberry and/or chocolate chip muffins
    Lunch – Bacon, egg & cheese on English muffins
    Dinner – Cajun chicken over pasta, salad, garlic rolls
    Snacks – Finished off Christmas cookies

  20. There seems to be a lot going on this week. Some things were planned and others out of necessity. Breakfast was late today. My 89 year old father had a 7:30 a.m. Dr. apt. Only time we could get when I called yesterday with a semi emergency for him. Took it and trying to be thankful Dr. would come into office 30 min. before scheduled apts. Planning a big cooking day since one member of family has a birthday and we had already invited family for a big dinner tonight.
    B – oatmeal
    L – LO ham and scalloped potatoes from Sunday made into potato soup. One more time of yucky corn bread. Rest of it going to the dog. And we like the dog. Go figure. He will eat anything!
    D – Ate 1/2 price hamburgers with our gift card. They have them every Monday and they are our favorite burger but too pricey to eat regularly at full price.

  21. Breakfast I had granola and yoghurt and hubby had cereals and milk plus tea or coffee

    Lunch I had corned beef sandwich plus a roll with jam as I only had a small amount corned beef left. Hubby was out for lunch

    Dinner we are having chicken baked in tinned tomatoes with rice and peas and sweet corn

    Snack was half a Danish pastry each.

    Apart from the pastry everything was either from the freezer, fridge or pantry.

  22. Stuck to the challenge yesterday.

    Breakfast: Used up the rest of the leftover waffles from Saturday morning.
    Lunch: Fend for yourself. Between the 3 of us (hubs had a working lunch) we had peanut butter roll ups, mac and cheese leftover from dinner with the in-laws the night before, almond butter sandwiches, grapes, carrots, pasta salad.
    Dinner: Pulled out some leftover turkey and canned vegetables from the pantry and made my first turkey pot pie. It was delicious!!! I had my son help me prepare it – hoping that getting him in the kitchen more often will get him to try more new foods.

    Did do a shopping trip. Stuck mostly to the list, threw in a few bonus goodies for my son’s birthday tomorrow. When I cleaned out the pantry a couple days ago I found 3 different boxes of cake mix, so I bought frosting so that my daughter and I can make him his favorite cupcakes (funfetti) while he’s at school tomorrow. I also caved and threw a box of cinnamon toast crunch in there. I’m trying to stray from cereal for breakfast now that we’ve eaten up our supply, but it’s his favorite and I will emphasize that it’s a special treat going forward. And I got one of those $1 cups of mini oreos. The school he goes to doesn’t allow cookies, cakes etc in their lunches except on their birthday, so I bought those to throw a couple in his lunch for him. Again I will be stressing that it’s a special occasion type of thing. Now that we are clearing out all the junk I’m hoping to get us on track to eating better for us foods. We are also in the midst of paying off debt, so we’ll see how well I can squeeze it into the budget each week…

  23. Sunday and Monday nights were both left over and/or soup nights. It is freezing here in SC. Tonight hubs wants pizza, and we just so happen to have a very large one from Aldi in the freezer. Will serve it with salads.

    I haven’t wanted to cook the last few nights, and we certainly don’t want to go out in the 20 degree weather. Thankful for our soup stash. They are predicting snow here tomorrow afternoon and again on Saturday. It’s the South! It snows about every 8th time they predict it, and is 65 the next day.

    I am actually hoping we get a bucket load of snow so that I can stay home from work and bake. I have so many things I want to make ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Well I’m not doing as good but right now I’m just trying to use one thing a day out of the freezer. It’s working good so far. We were on vacation so that messed things up ( I did pack our own snacks) and now we are sick with head colds. I am proud of myself for getting the breakfast items used up. First pop tarts, then oatmeal, and cereal. I’m going to keep on the challenge into February, I’ve already decided!

  25. Breakfast: coffee, toast
    Lunch: L/O sausage potato soup, deviled egg
    Dinner: L/O chicken wings from party, salad

  26. Tuesday:
    B: the usual oatmeal, fruit, toast
    L: husband had leftovers, the kiddo ate at the sitter’s house, and I had lunch out after work
    D: the plan was cranberry pork loin in the crockpot but didn’t get it started in time so it’s all ready to go for tomorrow instead. I ended up making homemade mac n cheese with sweet potato and we ate that with fruit. Quick and easy!

    I did get some other prep done today after work for future meals/snacks. I made hard boiled eggs for quick breakfasts and lunches and also made some homemade chocolate syrup to keep in the fridge for chocolate milk and hot chocolate.

  27. The timing of this challenge couldnt be better! I have always used my freezer to save time but I never adjusted my shopping so I never saw a savings at the cash register. Thank you for your encouragement! For the month I have only spent $144. Not sure how that compares to other folks but I am thrilled for our family of 5 that usually spends $500-$600/ month. I’ll need to go get some produce, milk and eggs at the end of the week but we are still going strong.

    Today we ate:
    Breakfast- english muffins with cream cheese that needed to be used. Sliced apples, blueberries and applesauce from apples that were loosing their oompf.
    Lunch- pb saltine crackers, more apples and sliced cheese. I made a rice bowl with leftover rice, a bit of frozen veggies and some shredded turkey I cooked last week.
    Dinner- turkey noodle soup from a turkey I cooked last week and made broth from. I tossed in odds and ends pasta and two rinds of pecorino cheese from the freezer. I baked 3 random yeast rolls from the freezer.

    I am getting rid of so many little bags of food in the freezer it’s fantastic!

  28. Hurray I have some space in my freezer. I took everything out and rearranged it and there is finally some space in there. Success!
    Everyone was home yesterday for the holiday so we did some eating.
    Breakfast was pancakes and sausage patties
    Lunch was ham or turkey sandwiches, chips and applesauce
    Dinner was your chili mac(it’s awesome thank you so much), lettuce salad and hot dog bun garlic bread
    Snacks were popcorn and carrot sticks with ranch dressing

  29. Greens never last long at my house! Green smoothies for breakfast everyday.
    -Frozen Fruit
    -Protien Powder
    -Liquid (i use rice milk, but could use anything)
    Blend it up!
    I promise, you can’t even taste the greens. And so healthy!

  30. Tuesday – still going strong! Haven’t shopped yet, but we are now out of all of what we consider essentials: break, eggs, milk, oatmeal, fresh veg, cheese, etc.

    Breakfast: Oatmeal, pbj, tea, juice
    Lunch: Mostly skipped it for both of us – made some popcorn for me, chips and salsa for the hubs
    Dinner: Pasta bake, garlic bread on pitas, salad

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