>Inspired by Liz over at Food Snobbery is my Hobbery and by being broke/wanting to be able to get holiday gifts for the folks I care about, I am going to do a pantry challenge for the month of December. The only things I am allowing myself to purchase at the grocery store will be milks and produce (limited to broccoli, onions, potatoes, cabbage and spinach). There’s really no reason for me to be grocery shopping. I have an addiction when it comes to groceries. I see a good deal and I really just can’t resist.
Which is probably how I ended up with every kind of dried bean I like, four varieties of rice, kasha, quinoa, israeli couscous, polenta, soba and rice noodles galore, pasta for days, 10 cans of various varieties of muir glen tomatoes, cans of corn & green beans, several kinds of peanut butter, five boxes of cereal, dried wild mushrooms, tortillas, tortilla chips, soy jerky, 8 boxes of tea (wth), so many kinds of protein bars and fruit leathers, pasta sauce, veg stock, four blocks of tofu, two packages of tempeh, soyrizo, Italian Tofurkey Sausages, earth balance, pumpkin & cranberry butters, olives, two kinds of teese, parma, every condiment you can imagine,pomegranate juice, apple juice, green juice, and a freezer crammed full of naan, gyoza, frozen veggies, soups, waffles, 4 kinds of veggie burgers, brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, walnuts, blueberries, papaya, mango, pineapple, raspberries…and I can’t even begin to finish….you get the idea. While I am prepared for the end of the world clearly, I really should start cooking some of the amazing foods I have at home. I have a fully stocked spice cabinet, a cabinet full of oils & vinegars, and various types of flours, corn meal, chocolate chips, extracts, and syrups. There’s no reason why I should need to go to the grocery store except that sometimes the idea of shopping for and cooking food is more enticing than using all the awesome stuff I already have.
No more though. Clearly I could hook up vegans all over the Nashville area with amazing foods.
Tonight I will take pictures of the ridiculousness, and for this month, I’ll be sharing recipes and pictures of all the things I’ve made with what I already have at home. I will also be giving full disclosure when I go to the grocery store so you all can give me a hard time when (if?) I buy things I don’t need to be buying. I honestly even have enough ingredients on hand to make all the holiday sweets I want to give to folks.
I’m really excited about doing this. Not only will I be able to save money, I’ll be able to clear out the cabinets and the fridge and start over. I’m excited to cook things that I have had every intention of cooking for weeks (months maybe), but this will also teach me to cook a wider variety of healthy foods.
Let’s face it, after a 12 hour day at work-the last thing I normally want to do is cook something. That’s going to change. I’ve started today off right: last night I started soaking some Navy beans for dinner. I also went ahead and marinated some tofu in a simple mixture of apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke and hot sauce.
I also made vegan country corn bread to go with the beans I’ll be making. I honestly wanted to just relax after I got the cornbread in the oven, but then I noticed a lonely bag of cranberries in the produce drawer that I’ve had for about 10 days. In the spirit of not being wasteful, I made cranberry sauce. I have no idea what Wes did with the cranberry juice I had, so I improvised and used a mixture of pomegranate and apple juices, cranberries and sugar to make the sauce. It. Is. Amazing. In fact, I brought a piece of cornbread and some of the cranberry sauce with me for lunch to have along with my soy jerky. I’m really excited about this pantry challenge and hopefully it will mean changing my spending habits at the grocery store.