Shopping in your freezer!
If you are like me you find great deals on items and put them in the freezer or cabinets and then forget about them. After a while I’m overflowing with items I just don’t use on a regular basis. When my kitchen gets too full I go shopping in my freezer and make my menus based on what I already have on hand. You will be surprised how much money this can save you over time. This week I was able to shop from home for everything but milk and fruit. Not bad!
I managed to come up with lunches and breakfast for the week and also four meals from my freezer and cabinets: Chicken & Leeks, Vegetarian Chili, Potato Soup with Thyme and Slow Cooked BBQ Beef Tacos! What can you make? Go to Reply at the end and tell us what you had in you freezer.
1. Sit down, relax and plan 4-5 meals (or pick some meals from here, that’s what this is here for. I’ll pick so you don’t have to)
2. Make a grocery list and stick to it!!!! This saves time and money
3. Do the shopping-aim for one trip (My British friends will need to make several trips)
4. Bring Back Dinner and enjoy. Remember that there is such an opportunity to build friendships and strengthen family relationships when gathered around a meal. Even if you mess it all up. So, just relax, experiment, and have fun. Don’t forget to set the table.
Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Chili
Learn more about how you can help your family go meatless on Mondays at www.meatlessmonday.com
Time: 45 Minutes
Recipe Card: Vegetarian Chili
Review: We love chili! In an effort to really embrace Meatless Mondays I try to find vegetarian dishes that are also hearty. I had trouble finding a chili that felt meaty and not soup like and decided to create my own. We were pleased with the end result. I used bulgar to help make it more filling and it adds a sort of meaty texture. It is a little mild, but can be served with hot sauce.
Time: 30 Minutes
Recipe Card:Potato Soup with Thyme
Review: Potato soup makes a regular appearance in our household, but it is almost never they same twice. I love treating it like an science experiment. There are just so many wonderful spices. This time I took the time to write it down after our guest commented that I should because it was good! So, maybe I can make it just like this again.
Time: 40 Minutes
Review: This is an easy recipe that is great just the way it is written. I found that I can buy frozen leeks at Trader Joe’s and keep them on hand for soups etc. without worrying about them going bad too quickly and most dishes I use them in cooked them down a little anyway. If you can find it in the freezer section I recommend it. The one difference is that it includes both greens and whites, but I find it still works well in most recipes.
Slow Cooked Chipotle BBQ Beef Tacos
Time: 8 Hours in slowcooker on low
Ease: unbelievably Simple
Recipe Card: Slow Cooked BBQ Beef tacos
Recipe Card: Chipotle BBQ Sauce
Review: The BBQ sauce from a few weeks ago is so easy to make and we like it for so many things that I often have it on hand. When I did my shopping in my freezer, fridge, and cabinets I discovered I had a nice sized batch and used it in my tacos. If you use a store bought BBQ sauce I recommend adding one pepper and a little sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. It adds heat and a nice smokey flavor. The only problem with this recipe was too many second and third helpings, so we ran out! Serve it with traditional taco toppings.
Cucumbers and Tomatoes
Time: 15 Minutes
Review: This was not a main meal, but a dish I’d like to share. It screams summertime, gardens and freshness. Chop one cucumber and a large tomato or a cup of cherry tomatoes and about 1/4 cup onion. Red onion is nice if you have it. Mix 1-2 Tablespoons mayonnaise into the cucumbers and tomatoes and season with salt and pepper and let sit about 10 minutes. That’s it! It sounds plain, but the juice from the tomatoes mixes in with the mayo and makes it very flavorful. You can also add things like dill, oregano, basil, mint etc. The proportions are really up to you if you you like more tomato add more etc.
What did you come up with from your freezer?
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Photos by lwburbach please feel free to contact me for permission to use photos.