Monday, September 26, 2011

Clean out the Freezer and Pantry Challenge

My freezers are so disorganized that I don't even know anymore what I have so I keep buying stuff so I "know" I have it. And, my pantry is full of a lot of items I can't have since having to go gluten-free so I want to use them up.... things like cream of chicken and mushroom soups, rice a roni, and a lot of flour. My family can have them so I thought I would make some casseroles with the soups and package them up for my husband to take to lunch. My teen boys are eating a lot so I just need to add the rice a roni to meals at lunch time to fill them up. (By the way, I have about 40 cans each of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup. I have about 20 boxes of Rice A Roni that I got for about $.30 each.)

Looking only on a few shelves of my freezer I have come up with some meals to prepare this week without having to buy a lot from the store.

Today I have a friend coming for lunch. I thawed a bag that had two chicken breasts in it and baked it in the oven with Greek seasoning on it. I then a chicken salad with it mixing it with mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and some sliced grapes. I will toast some pecans today to sprinkle on top of mine and add in if she likes them. I plan for her to do a sandwich or salad with it and I will have mine on a salad. I have two Roma tomatoes that I need to use. I am going to slice them and then bake topped with mozzarella, Parmesan, and oregano. I have carrot sticks and Ranch dressing. I may steam some edamamme. And then for dessert I am using a home canned jar of peaches that I put up last year. I will add some cinnamon sugar to the peaches and put them in individual ramekins, then top with my gluten free oats, some oat flour mixed with butter and a little brown sugar and crumbled on top. All of this was items I had without going out for anything like I normally would do.

Some of the other menu items using what I have are:

pancakes, biscuits,  and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I have one and a half ham steaks that I cooked and diced that I can add into omelets, ham cup quiches baked in muffin cups, and scrambled eggs. I have 2 lbs. of breakfast sausage to make sausage biscuits, have with eggs, etc. I have a lot of certified gluten free oats that I got from Amazon. I don't really like oatmeal for cereal, but want to try some oatmeal bars and homemade granola. There are about 5 waffles and 2 omelets in the freezer to eat.

I have a few frozen soups in individual containers so I am going to eat them a couple of times this week. Beef fajita served over rice. Pizza on grilled yellow squash. Ham and peanut butter sandwiches for the family. Tuna salad and sandwiches. Black bean soup. Ramen and grilled cheese.

Suppers will be a Chicken stir fry kit from Sams- not gluten free so I am going to make it for the family and let my husband take leftovers for lunch. It is a huge bag so I will only make a portion of it. King Ranch chicken casserole. Tacos. Have 5 hamburger patties preformed. Shepherd Pie. I have a bag kit for a breakfast skillet which has potatoes, sausage, onion, black beans, corn, and you add eggs to it. I will make that one night for supper instead of a breakfast. A chicken and rice casserole.

I have home canned apples and peaches from last year so I will make some crisps with those. I have boxes of gelatin and can make parfaits with gelatin and cool whip. I have boxes of jello pudding to eat. I have apples, grapes, strawberries and oranges. I have frozen yogurt to make smoothies with. I add in frozen strawberries and bananas with a little milk. If I make some granola I can sprinkle that on top. I want to make some oatmeal peanut butter cookies. I have a partial jar of chunky peanut butter no one is eating and that would be perfect to use up in the cookies.

I will need to buy milk, bread, eggs, sour cream, tomatoes, a green pepper, and chips for the kids. Other than buying the coupon items for the week, that is all I can think of that I need.

I don't think this cleans out a lot of stuff so plan to organize as I go and plan to continue on into the next week thinking up meals to use up more of the cooked chicken and other items.

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