In an effort to use things I have on hand, instead of going out to buy more groceries (when I have my own little grocery store filled with food that threatens to go bad eventually if I don't use it), I have come up with a few meals this past couple of weeks that used only what we had in the pantry or freezer. I will admit, it feels easier to come up with new recipes and meal ideas (and go to the grocery store & buy the ingredients) than to come up with creative meal solutions using ingredients in our stockpile~already bought & paid for. Silly me, that kinda equates to me taking my already paid for car and letting it sit & rust in the driveway while I go out & buy a new car because I don't want to deal with the maintenance of the blessing I already have. Spending more time, gas & money to aquire more.
I know everyone has different foods, and amounts of food, on hand but with a little creativity and effort (thumbing through your cookbooks, going online and googling recipes that contain key ingredients that you already have) we could probably eat for days or even weeks with items we already have socked away.
Here's a few dishes I came up with using leftovers, pantry items and meals that were previously cooked and then frozen for later use:
1) Italian sausage stew - going through the freezer unearthed some italian sausage that hubby had cooked previously and with a little rifleing through my recipe box for a faintly remembered recipe, I was able to make a yummy stew with ingredients on hand that everyone loved.
2) Banana bread - what I made with my favorite, often used banana bread recipe and a freckled bunch of bananas that no one seemed interested in eating when they were in the prime of their life. Again, I had everything on hand that I needed to make a few loaves.
3) Peanut butter cookies - another old faithful recipe made with stuff I already had.
4) Beans and ham & cornbread - hubby takes pride in the hams he makes around the holidays! And we love 'em but can't always eat all of it before it threatens to end up in the garbage, so I freeze one pound portions and the ham bone by itself for future meals. Yes, I had everything I needed for this meal too!
5) Yankee noodles - I ran across this recipe in a newsletter I got from Living on a Dime and happily realized I had everything I needed to make it, substituting ground turkey for beef. WINNER!!! (Thanks for sharing Tawra!)
Those are a few meals and sweets that I've come up with lately and am enjoying being creative and using what I have on hand more often these days. I'm also trying to eat the leftovers from dinner the day before for breakfasts or lunches or trying to remember to freeze them for a future meal, rather than letting them go to waste. I'm getting better at it. And that's a start.