Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A week's worth of dinners - eating up our food stores

We tend to eat the same kinds of meals around here and rotate them a lot, so this is a fairly standard week for us. However, I have just done a kitchen stocktake and planned a month's worth of meals based on what we already have in the fridge, freezer, pantry and garden, which means things might get a little more adventurous over the coming month.

For today's post I tried to remember to photograph our dinner each night, but didn't quite catch them all so you'll just have to use your imagination on the un-photographed meals. Also, please excuse the low-light in the photos I did take. It's the middle of winter here so the days are short and it's dark by the time we eat our dinner.

Because I do our grocery shopping on a Wednesday, I tend to plan our menus from Wednesday to Tuesday, which is why this post is going out today and not at the end of the week.

Dinner one
Panfried gurnurd and potato chips with cucumber, carrot and apple slices. We often have fish on a Wednesday night, since it's fresh from the supermarket that day. Usually I'd make the potato chips myself from scratch, but I had a headache so took a nap to clear it up. By the time I'd got myself back up, it was too late to get chips cooking so Paul picked up a scoop from our local fish and chips store.

Dinner two
Asian mince on rice
Asian mince on rice. 
This is one of the most popular recipes on Craving Fresh, and with good reason. It's easy to make, very accommodating of whatever vegetables you have on hand, and tastes so good. I used plain Basmati rice that I cooked in homemade chicken stock for added nutritional value. The vegetables I grated into it this time were courgettes and carrots. I also threw in some fresh coriander and mint from the garden at the last minute.

Dinner three
I made several portions of this in small oven-safe glass containers that come with lids, so that anything we didn't eat for dinner could easily get stowed away in the fridge for leftovers. I also made extra lasagnes to freeze straight away for future meals. We got through one and a half of these containers for dinner (my kids don't eat much) and then I had the other half for lunch a few days later.

Dinner four
A shared meal at our church. I helped prepare a chicken curry for it with some other ladies from my Bible study group.

Dinner five
Roast chicken, roast potatoes, steamed brocolli, steamed cauliflower and gravy.
These free range size 16 chickens usually retail for around $15 at Pak 'N' Save,
so when I saw them marked down to $9.99 recently, I bought five of them. 
My partner-in-crime, Paul, cooked this roast chicken meal for us since I was laid low with another headache. (Two headaches in one week! Very unusual for me, but I have been sick with a cold so maybe that played into it.)

Dinner six
Nonya chicken and potato curry on rice cooked in chicken stock and served with a side of green beans and peas
This featured leftover chicken from the previous night's roast. For the Nonya flavour, I used an Asian Home Gourmet Nonya packet. My sister-in-law recently introduced me to this delicious curry, but my children find it too spicy if I use the whole spice packet, so this time I only used half the packet and they were good with that. I saved the other half to make Nonya again another night, which is a frugal win since it means I get two dinners out of the one packet. We spontaneously had friends over for dinner, and they shared this meal with us. So fun.

Dinner seven
Refried bean quesadillas and tacos

I haven't made this yet as it's what we'll be eating tonight, but I took a photo of some of the ingredients for you. The beans are pinto beans I bought dry in bulk, soaked and cooked up before freezing in small ziploc bags. They'll serve as the main source of protein for tonight's dinner, which is our only meatless meal this week. It's not an entirely vegetarian dinner, as I'll cook the beans in homemade chicken stock to refry them.

Since there are only six tortillas in the packet, I've also pulled out a mostly-used packet of taco shells to bulk the dinner out.

I'm planning to use half the jar of salsa for tonight's meal, and will freeze the other half for a future Mexican meal. That's because it's the only salsa I have in the pantry and I'm planning to eat through everything I have over the next month before I buy more dinner staples.

What have you been eating this week? Let me know in the comments.

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