Friday, January 12, 2007

Creative Pantry Cleaning

Well, the Beo-EcoMama household is recovering, slowly but surely. Many thanks to all who sent well-wishes. When we first started getting sick, Beo headed off to Whole Foods to stock up before the plague struck him down as well. I was flabbergasted by how much food he brought home. He doesn't often do such big stock ups on his own. We're talking over 40 pounds of flour, over a dozen huge carrots, three bags of apples--you get the picture. Earlier this week I realized that we hadn't been on a real grocery run in over 10 days. Beo had picked up a few things here and there on his way home from work, but just bare minimum stuff. My knee jerk reaction was to summon up the energy to do a big shop. Realizing that I couldn't possibly summon enough, I decided to get creative with what was left. I turned to the Veggie Board and was thrilled with the ideas they came up with, which ended up inspiring me to do something entirely different. Last night I started with tortillas, rice, tomato sauce, onions, a wilted pepper, frozen corn and some frozen tofu. By the time I was done we had veggie fajitas and spanish rice--a meal we haven't had in ages. I really enjoyed the challenge to break out of the recipe ruts I fall into, and to use up the last bits of what we have around. So, I decided to see how far we could go. Tonight I took a half package of wonton wrappers (left over from ravioli) two carrots that needed to be used up, some ginger, onion, and a package of cream cheese left over from the cream cheese frosting and made "Carrot Rangoon". I used leftover rice, eggs, a bit of onion, and frozen peas to do a veggie fried rice. It made a fabulous meal. None of this was from recipes, it was all improv. A lot of this stuff would have gone to waste because it would have gotten stuck in the back of the fridge until it went bad. It feels good to be creative, frugal, and foodie at the same time. We're getting down to the last of the veggies and fruit, but I think I can make one more meal out of it, making it two full weeks since we did any grocery shopping. Even with the gigantic nature of our last trip, this is still pretty astounding for our family. I'm hoping to stock up only on fruit, veggies, eggs, and milk/soymilk on our next trip, and see just how far I can stretch the pantry next week.


txgeek said...

Hey man! We want some recipes :-) The carrot rangoon sounds yummy. Did you document anything as you went along?

Mia said...

Just for you, Geek. Beo swears I used to be annoyed by this kind of recipe-giving, but I don't remember that time in my life now. :)

Peel and grate 2 carrots. Finely dice (I used the processor) a bit of fresh ginger, a clove or two of garlic, and about 1/4 of an onion. Saute all of this up, adding some soy sauce towards the end. Let cool, then mix into about 6 oz. of cream cheese (low fat should work fine, I used part neufchatel). Spoon a small amount into wonton shells, brush the edge of the shell with water, then fold diagonally and seal by pressing firmly. I cooked them in a frying pan with just a thin layer of EVO in the bottom. Pre-heating the oil, they cooked about 45 seconds on each side. I pulled them out into a paper towel lined baking dish, and kept them warm in a 200 degree oven until they were all done. Enjoy!