For the next four weeks I’m going to be participating in Shannon’s Eating From the Pantry & Freezer Food Challenge. My goal is to save $150 from my regular monthly food budget to put toward purchasing summer produce and vegetables for freezing and canning.
After taking inventory of our pantry, cupboards, and freezers, I was dismayed to see how much food we actually have just sitting there waiting to be eaten—literally an embarrassment of riches.
Some of the overabundance from which I can plan our family’s meals include:
- Meat: Hamburger, venison roasts and steaks, one Costco bag of chicken tenders, canned tuna, and trout.
- Grains: Oats, brown rice, buckwheat flour
- Plenty of precooked, frozen beans: pintos, garbanzos, black beans, navy beans, and black-eyed peas
- Fruit: a wealth of berries from last year’s picking expeditions—particularly raspberries and marionberries. We also have many jars of applesauce left.
- Other foods of note: honey, maple syrup, corn and flour tortillas, and sprouting seeds.
- From the garden: During the second half of the challenge I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to use rhubarb, dill, cilantro, kale, Swiss chard, and perhaps even some lettuce.
The Plan ~ Week 1
After taking inventory I began sketching out a menu plan for the next four weeks with the help of some of my favorite cookbooks and my recipe binders. I found the inventory list helped me to focus on finding recipes that used one or more of the foods we have available to us.
During week 1 we will be aiming to eat the following meals:
Breakfasts: waffles (with berries of course), smoothies, granola, oatmeal, and hashbrowns
Lunches: chili, ramen, yogurt, fresh fruit, chips, granola bars, leftovers
Snacks: popcorn, jerky, fresh fruit
Dinner: Sunday: baked trout, salad, rice
Monday: bread salad, pasta
Tuesday: quesadillas, Spanish rice, corn
Wednesday: baked potatoes, venison steak/roast, salad
Thursday: leftovers, salad
Friday: tortilla soup, cornbread
Saturday: taco salad