Both last night and tonight I arrived home at 5pm and started dinner. By the time the kids were done with homework, the food was ready to serve. Maybe an hour? Of course, there was plenty of time on Facebook and reading blogs included in that time, too.
Last night we had a Mexican lasagna of sorts. I've found all sorts of things I didn't know I had in our fridge and pantry. Like month-expired corn tortillas that had no mold on them. These became the "pasta" for the lasagna. Another package of tofu was in the back of the drawer in the fridge, so that became a tofu ricotta type thing with lots of lime juice. Rehydrated TVP with tons of spices became taco "meat". And I made a quick sauce in the food processor with indoor ripened garden tomatoes, a few stray green onions, and a damaged green pepper that was free from the co-op. After layering this all together with a little bit of leftover kidney beans, I baked it for 30 minutes at 350F. It was amazing!
Tonight I really doubted my abilities to make a nutritious and half-way tasty meal. We're out of any whole grains except cornmeal and a little brown rice flour I found in an unlabeled baggie on the baking shelf (yay!). We have no tofu, tempeh, or soaked beans. And the garlic supply is dangerously low. Only one head left.
Here's what I made:
- Polenta with a chopped garlic clove to season it. Somehow this was totally delicious. Maybe just lightly browning the garlic in oil before adding the polenta and water did the trick? And lots of salt.
- Tomato and pepper sauce with leftover taco TVP, indoor ripened cherry tomatoes, damaged red and green bell peppers, garlic simmered forever on the stovetop. I also did the classic money-saving technique of adding water to the little bit of leftover ketchup in the bottle and adding that to the sauce. Plus, a splash of balsamic vinegar.
- Chocolate chip, pecan, and shredded coconut cookies made with that "discovered" rice flour
I'd give you a recipe for these, but that totally defeats the purpose and spirit of these pieced together meals. So go forth and cook from your pantries!*
**Note: every so often I mistype pantry challenge and type panty challenge. I wonder what a blog about a panty challenge would look like?