Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Food Pantry Challenge_week 2

Well the first week seemed to go pretty smoothly for the Food Pantry Challenge (to be referred to as FPC from here on out)

Week 1 summary
Fri 1/1/16-Pamko crusted pork chops, cottage green beans,  sauerkraut perogies (for good luck!), glazed carrots and corn bread. It was a great meal. I made the green beans cottage style (chicken bouillon, onion, minced leftover xmas ham, bay leaf, a dash of mustard powder and cracked black pepper) and they could have been the main entree.

Sat 1/2/16-Thai Sweet Chili Meatballs, white rice, potsticker and spring rolls. What began as an appetizer became a tasty meal! Click the Food Pantry Challenge link (at top of the page) and scroll down for the recipe.

Mon 1/4/16-The Asian Chop salad (pre-packaged from Dole) was a refreshing change from all of the heavy food during the holiday season. I defrosted the chicken in the fridge Sunday night, marinating the chicken in about a cup of Panera bottled Fuji Apple dressing with 1 tbs oil, I then sprinkled it with some Kroger Zesty Seasoning Garlic/ Onion blend. A quick spritz of cooking spray on a foil lined cookie sheet, in the oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes. Yum! Plus there was enough leftover for my lunch the next day. score!

Tue 1/5/16-"The Toddler Special" This is always a favorite with the hubbs. All I can say is..meh. I am not a fan of boxed mac n cheese but I keep 1 or 2 boxes on hand-in the event my niece Lele comes over-because she loves the stuff. I am not fond of much of any  kind of seafood and  I made the extra crunchy fish tenders instead of fishsticks. I did not make french fries, since they were on the menu for Friday. I did buy 1/4 lb coleslaw, since I felt like there should be some kind of vegetable. I skipped the pudding cups reserving those for lunches, since we still had leftover jello.

Wed 1/6/16-Turkey vegetable soup. It was so  satisfying! I did a quick dump of all the ingredients in the crockpot before I left to go to work. I came home to a delicious aroma filled home. I made biscuits using the copy-cat baking mix I made last weekend (more on that later). All told there was maybe 25 minutes of hands on food prep time. I was free to enjoy my night doing nothing...ok not really. I did laundry and played on the laptop, but that is pretty close to doing nothing. The remaining soup was portioned,  It will make for a nice quick lunch. I was able to use my mini lunch crockpot I received as a xmas present. No standing in line waiting for the microwave.

Thur 1/7/16--Grilled cheese sammies and leftover Turkey soup . No leftovers for the Turkey soup. We had it for dinner then lunch. So Campbells tomato soup it was! 10 minutes in and out of the kitchen.

Week 2 Plan

Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
01/08/16 01/09/16 01/10/16 01/11/16 01/12/16 01/13/16 01/14/16
Cheeseburger Crockpot soup beans Leftovers “Meatless Monday” Baked Chicken “Brinner” Tuna Noodle Casserole
French fries and leftover xmas ham Fend for yourself Super veggie spaghetti Au gratin potatoes Pancakes (from DIY baking mix) Broccoli
side salad Fried potatoes That box of cereal is calling your name! garlic bread (frozen from Xmas) Scrambled eggs Sugar free Cherry Jello
milkshake Cornbread Muffins Or eat a poptart, I don't care side salad Brussel sprouts Sausage links w/ fruit cocktail

Just wash your own dishes...

Wins for week 1
Knowing what was on the menu really alleviated the stress of me thinking about it. The time savings is great.

Losses for week 1
Leftover day on Sunday--the container from 1/1/16 (2 chops, a cup of cottage green beans, 3 pierogies, 1 tbs. of carrots and 1/4 pie) were not eaten. I was a little bummed about the waste.  My cutoff is 3 days in the fridge to eat. I prefer to freeze things the same day or next. I am kind of weird about food storage. I was much better about packaging and freezing the remaining meal leftovers. And the budget did take a hit. I allotted myself $40 and I spent $68. Yikes! Hopefully I make this up over the next few weeks. In my defense the hubbs asked for "frozen meals" and Krogers had Lean Cuisines for $1.69 each. So I bought 10 but the hubbs is on call which means long hours and sometimes he misses supper. He stashed these in his work freezer for back up. I also bought some fresh produce, backfilled some staples.

Onward to week 2!


  1. I love meal planning and prepping - it's a lot of work, but all combined it's a quarter of the time you'd spend in the kitchen every night!

    Kudos to you for being ultra-kitchen smart!

    1. I am certainly trying :) As much as I love my kitchen, I am am glad to have some free time in the evenings.

  2. Personally, around here--leftover day is always the favorite--it's like a big honkin' buffet of a dib of this and a dab of that!
    Hubby would love the Kid's special as well. What the heck is it with those guys????

    1. The best leftover day is actually our junk food night. It usually filled with the frozen leftovers not quite enough for 2 servings, like french fries, onion rings, chicken tenders, tortilla chips n salsa. We save this for a Friday night--binge food, tv and no other plans :)


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