Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's Left Over?

On Sundays, I do plan my meals for the week. I almost always plan before I go shopping so I will buy exactly what I need and, in theory, only what I need.

But even so, I have a pantry, fridge and freezer full of food I need to eat! I think it's because I mainly cook for myself so even if I eat rice twice in a week, if I don't plan to eat rice for the next two weeks, I'll have a ton leftover from when I first bought it.

As I result of my overflowing food storage and the fact that, who doesn't need to save a little money around this time of a year, I decided this week I would buy only a few fruits and veggies at the grocery store and everything else I would eat would come from what I already have.

It's actually going quite well. Better than I would've expected to be honest. Sure, my dinners have all involved rice in a bowl- but they have been nutritious and different enough to not be too boring. All I bought at the grocery store this week was apples, bananas, mushrooms and zucchini.

On Sunday night I used one of my salmon patties from Trader Joes. I love these because they are frozen so they are easy to grill up and quickly add some healthy omega 3s to any meal. I grilled this salmon with some rice, mushrooms and teriyaki sauce. Messy, but delicious. I also had a side of leftover carrot ginger soup my mom gave me last week. Yum.

I told you, lots of bowls. For breakfast I have been eating lots of peanut butter and for lunch I made my favorite black bean and veggie pizza.

For dinner tonight I attempted to make fried rice, though I'm not sure it was any different than just pouring some sauce on my usual tofu, rice and veggie mix but hey!

Ingredients: extra firm tofu, rice, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and Trader Joe's Island Soyaki Sauce.

Pretty amazing that I had all this stuff lying around my house just ready to be used. I have to start implementing a no grocery store shopping rule once every couple of months! Have you ever tried to eat only what you have in your house? If not, I seriously recommend trying it out and let me know how it goes!

So, does anyone else feel like MAYBE it's time for a vacation? Or...if you don't get a vacation this time a year, at least a couple of long weekends in row? I feel like every day at work because more of a comedy act. Today one of my lovely 6 year olds tried to convince me that the word "yellow" starts with a "w." I nicely pointed out that it, in fact, ENDS with a w but does not start with one. He continued to fight with me about it for 5 minutes, and would've continued but I stopped caring. He still thinks he is right...

Also, I have ANOTHER six year old who sucks her thumb. This is not normal school behavior for a kindergarten kid, but her doctor insists that "peer pressure" will make it go away soon. Well, so far all peer pressure has done is convince two of my other girls to start sucking their thumbs too. I love the idea of kids sneezing all over each other and then sticking the germs RIGHT into their mouths. Not to mention, do I teach two year olds? Thumb sucking?! Honestly!

End rant. 6 days to go.


  1. I swear little food elves come and stock my pantry overnight -- I have more food than I know what to do with.. yet, I'm always tempted to buy more! Oh the perils of being a foodie!

  2. I have NEVER been so ready for a vacation! Kelly help me! My roommates have decided to go nuts and I'm so stressed/borderline tears and I'm not sure why I'm writing this on your blog and not emailing you. I need to get away from blogland.

  3. wow, way to go doing that! i try and rotate things up so we keep using what we have here - I hate throwing away old food so I try and plan my meals out using similar ingredients!

  4. Wow that looks delicious, as usual on your blog! I love that you do meal plans. I really need to start doing that.

    That rice looks delicious!

  5. I try my best to clean my shelves, but I never seem to have the right stuff to put together a meal. It could also be that I don't know how to make food combos other than what I typically eat. I know I could waste a lot less by using up what food I do have. I am motivated to be more thoughtful in the planning of meals and how I use those ingredients...thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I try to meal plan but I never stick to it which has also brought me to a freeze, pantry, and frige FULLL of food. I need to do something! lol

  7. Ok, the yellow thing is kind of hilarious. ;) Gotta give it to the kid for being persistent, I guess!

    I am so overdue for a vacation. I am taking Christmas Eve off and can't wait to have 4 days off in a row!!!

  8. OMG.. I cannot handle 5 year old logic anymore. Every night I go home hoping for a snow day and it usually isn't even snowing! I don't even want to talk to my husband cuz I am so tired of TALKING TALKING TALKING all day.. no no no no.. do this .. listen to me.. ahhhhh and it only gets worse before it gets better... Friday is our craft day and party and then we have two days of school and then break.. ughhhhhhhhh

    and we have cleaned out our cupboards a couple times.. usually in the summer when we are really trying to save money aswell and when veggies and fruit are cheaper!

  9. Do doctors know everything?? Clearly no! Six ear olds should NOT suck their thumb. Have you talked to the parents? Ugh, that's probably difficult, I'd imagine. Good luck with that.

    thanks for the idea for the salmon patties. I have actually had about 3 in my freezer for a while and I can never think of how to use them. A rice dish sounds perfect.

  10. I am also counting down days until vacation begins. It cannot come fast enough.

    Cleaning out the freezer/pantry has also been happening for us the last 2 weeks - so helpful to see what you have and it forces you to be creative. (The little extra bit of money helps too).

    I can't believe you have a 6 year old who still sucks her thumb - do her parents try to get her to stop?!?

  11. Nice blog. Go Red Sox. I've been a fan all my life and miss Fenway Park. Went there during my childhood during the summers!

  12. Gina and Heather- I talked to the mom which is how I found out that her doctor said "peer pressure" end the habit. Mom said its okay for me to tell her to stop, but she is not going to at home cuz the doctor said there is really no point in her having a "bad experience" with it. Well- i'm glad she's allowing me to say no at school, thats like saying someone can smoke at home but not at work, you can't break a habit without stopping! Also, it's kind of difficult to tell her to stop all day.....oh sorry Johnny, I know you are working really hard to read this book to me but I need to get tell Julie to stop sucking her thumb haha

  13. I have been all over soup lately..and rice bowls filled with veggies of late as well. Must be a winter thing.
    Me and my sibs never sucked our thumbs...don't know why we just never did.

  14. oh my, we are alot alike :) i have so many things in my "pantry" i could probably eat for a month. i just need my fresh fruits and veggies! then i pick up one other thing i see... it's gotta stop ;)

    good luck with the thumb-sucker :/ i can't believe christmas is next week!

  15. I'd love to do a "pantry/freezer" week. I'm SORT of doing it right now and trying not to buy anything because we leave on Sunday for a week. It definitely requires some creativity!

  16. I need to get better about using the things in the kitchen, rather than going out and spending more on groceries that I only eat about 75%. I was so disgusted last night when I was cleaning out my refrigerator and threw away so many items that were expired... and then some that were never opened. *GASP* I don't even want to think about how much money I threw away.

    I know that some people make it a goal of theirs to go a certain amount of time without buying groceries and I would like to try that in January... however, I know I will need to go once or twice a week for fresh veggies/fruits and dairy, but that's about it.

  17. That's such a great idea!! I always TRY to do that... but fail. Simply because I don't want to do it enough I guess :(

    I may try to do it more seriously once I get home... I want to save my money!

  18. Haha, I work with two-year-olds all day and thumb-sucking is babyish even for them! We had a child try to suck his thumb during naptime the other day and told him to take it out! I found this part of your blog amusing because of the fact we don't have any thumb-suckers (in a class of 20!) so having a thumb-sucker in a kindergarten class? Way, way, way babyish!

  19. i try to meal plan but waht ends up happening is I just decide what to eat for dinner taht day! I get in food moods so I never knwo if I will be int he mood for something the day before!

    I sometimes do the whole freezer clean out and make a stirfry with random veggies I have lying around, its usually pretty good!