Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Autumn Asks: Have You Ever Done a Pantry Challenge?

Nope. Not me.

Yes, I'm nerdy. Yes, I'm frugal. But to date I have never done a pantry challenge.

If you check sites around the internets, you will see that it is usually a month you pick where you by the very basics only (like milk and what fresh veggies you need) and everything else you eat that month comes from your pantry. (This is also to get rid of the old stock so you can buy new.)

But then again. I guess I have done these....unintentionally....every time I move.

And here we go again. Sad thing is that I had just finally reached the point where I considered my pantry stocked. And we aren't even talking natural disaster or zombie attack stocked.

Having watched all the problems in the states this last winter and with the economy as it is, we are going to try to do a more stocked/3 month pantry....but thankfully I hadn't gotten there yet when we were handed orders.

Anyways....I'm wandering again.

So. We are trying to eat up all the food from the pantry. And I have a bigger pantry than I've ever had before (and will miss so very much) so there's a bit of food in there.

We've had some interesting and new meals this week to accomplish the emptying. Right now I'm working hard on finishing up a bag on coconut flour. I had only tried one thing with it so its a full bag. This weekend Songbird whipped up a batch of coconut flour brownies for a picnic/potluck we went to out at a friends place. And they were good. Keeper. And yesterday I stopped at a farmers roadside stand and picked up strawberries fresh picked from the field. So I found a recipe for coconut flour strawberry shortcakes to eat the strawberries on. Keeper again. Anybody else have coconut flour recipes (with no wheat products in it)? You see, 1/4 coconut flour is the equivalent of 1 cup of wheat it goes a long way. Help.

Also, I have a bag of dried kidney beans I need to use up. Suggestions anyone? I don't even know why I have these as they are our least favorite due to their thick skin. Anybody know what I can do with these that does not include making chili?

Speaking of dried beans...anybody know what to do with split peas that does not include split pea soup??? I tried a google search and all I got was soup. Really?? Then why do these even grow?
And do you have any good lentil recipes?

Another thing that is stumping me is the vast amount of asian noodles I have. They range from rice sticks to bean know, pasta with no wheat. I can't make spaghetti sauce that many times so I need some help. Some good Chinese recipes would rock.

To those that are wondering why I don't just pack it....Do you know how much weight that racks up? We have a limit and with three kids we reach it without foodstuffs. Not an option. I don't want to turn around and have to pay an overage cost for food we could have eaten prior. Just doesn't make sense. (And is also why it takes me 2 1/2 years to restock to my satisfaction.

So here's my cry for help. We love trying new recipes -- but they need to NOT include strange or new ingredients that I would have to go buy. Maybe you know a really cool recipe site? Any suggestions are welcome!!


  1. From 365 Ways to Cook Chinese, the cookbook you gave to me. Well, one of them:)

    Ants Climbing a Tree will use up your bean threads. And I have used rice sticks as a substitution before, too.

    I googled it and there are tons of recipies for it out there, so I won't type it out. We usually wrap ours in lettuce leaves. Kind of messy, but really good. And we add more chile paste than our recipe dictates. When we don't have lettuce, I throw in broccoli and/or snow peas and make a stir fry type dish.

    Can't help you with the beans, but look forward to reading recipies your freinds post here.

    I have never officially done a pantry challenge, but we seem to clean it out at least once a year. This used to be because I ran out of money and had to use the food stockpiled to feed us. Now, it is more just a habit that seems prudent. We are so blessed.

  2. Autumn, I can suggest Calico Beans for your kidney beans. It's a favorite around here. You can find the recipe on my recipe blog.

  3. I use dried beans when I make this recipe-,1726,156184-240204,00.html
    My kids love it!

  4. Autumn-here's the link to that recipe I mentioned.

  5. I'll just say right now I am no help when it comes to cooking dried beans, split peas, lentils, OR chinese noodles. However, my mom has celiac, so I do know some about the wheat-free stuff. I just can't remember her making anything with coconut flour. But, I was thinking pancakes sounded good!

  6. Coconut flour sounds so good. My mom used to make lentils as a soup with carrots and ham. My sister recently told me that she made them with ham and a can of garlic and herb diced tomatoes. I've even just cooked them and added salt, pepper and butter. I guess it doesn't take much for me b/c I really like lentils.

    I wish you weren't packing up...boohoo.

  7. Autumn are you guys moving? I am doing that same thing right now - although I should have started a month ago... now we are down to a little over 2 weeks and I still have enough to feed a squadron.

  8. I love and

    How about Red Beans and Rice to use up the kidney beans?

  9. Use the noodles as a side dish. Cook in stock and add green onion or other handy veggies for color and flavor.