Hey Thermomixers, Jess here. The local supermarket isn’t exactly the most fun place to hang out. So, I decided to challenge myself and forgo the shops for a week, and solely cook from what was left in my pantry and freezer.
I kept a diary of what I made in the hope it inspires someone else to do the same, so you can save yourself some money and unnecessary trips to the shops.
I started by emptying most of the contents of my fridge, freezer and pantry onto my dining table. And let me tell you, for someone with a smaller freezer half filled with frozen dog treats, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I had to work with. I’m lazy so left things like spices and flour right where they were.
Most of the contents of my fridge and pantry. Photobomb: the owner of the dog treats.
While I’m not exactly sure how I ended up with one lonely chicken breast in the fridge (seriously… who does that?), years of watching my Mum make chicken cutlets has finally paid off. Into the Thermomix went two pieces of bread, the last of the Parmesan cheese and a few sprigs of parsley from my herb garden to make a fresh breadcrumb coating. This is the time I’d like to thank my past self for planting those herbs a few weeks ago. Voila – one chicken breast becomes four modest cutlets. I served with some leftover Corn and bean salad that I bulked out further with steamed rice.
Since I had enough garlic on hand to ward off the entire cast of Twilight I decided to try making Toum, a Lebanese garlic dip. I didn’t have any egg whites on hand but I did have a can of chickpeas, so figured this a good chance to put aqua faba to the test. The result was a slightly watery Toum, but one that was still garlicky and delicious.
A good start. Chicken cutlets with fresh breadcrumbs and leftover corn and bean salad.
In the spirit of keeping my immune system strong I started the day with a blend of one orange, 1 tsp ground ginger & a clove of garlic all blended in the Thermomix with some ice. Lucky for my coworkers that I’m working from home today.
Lunch was Broccoli pesto served with lentil pasta. I used the stems of my broccolini and swapped the almonds and Parmesan for a mix of pepitas and cashews as that’s what I had. I also threw in a bunch of spinach for good measure. I had some pesto left in the bowl so decided to add a zucchini, half a can of chickpeas, 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp vegetable stock paste and water to make a soup.
Dinner was a cup of the zucchini soup, leftover chicken cutlets and homemade potato wedges made with two of my precious potatoes.
This morning started with a smoothie made up of pineapple, orange, ginger and a few sprigs of mint from my mediocre herb garden. Lunch was leftover broccoli pesto pasta.
For dinner I took the steak and minced it in the Thermomix. You can watch how I did that here on Facebook. I then followed steps 2-7 of the Beef tacos recipe. Served half with homemade tortillas, chopped tomatoes, red onion and jalapenos. Used all my willpower to keep half of the spicy mince for tomorrow’s dinner.
It’s cold outside this morning so a great time to make porridge (sprinkled generously with cinnamon). How have I never done this in my Thermomix before? So easy! Lunch was leftover zucchini soup and a piece of toast slathered in butter. I was feeling peckish in the afternoon so made Hazelnut crunch bliss balls but used cashews instead so I guess technically they were Cashew crunch bliss balls?
Now onto dinner: Using last night’s spicy beef mince I layered the leftovers into a casserole dish – steamed rice on the bottom, one tin black beans, then leftover mince topped with homemade tomato salsa (also known as my remaining tomatoes and red onion finely chopped). All this was baked in the oven at 180C for 30 minutes. It would have been extra delicious with cheese but rules are rules, so I made do with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast from my pantry.
I don’t think I can put off using my greens for any longer so for dinner I whip up a quick pasta sauce made of zucchini, asparagus, broccolini, olive oil, garlic (of course) and anchovies. I fry up the diced pancetta to sprinkle on top. Not bad for Day 5.
Things are getting a bit desperate now so I type potatoes into Cookidoo and I’m relieved to discover I have almost all of the ingredients for the Savoury potato and onion bake, minus the onion. This might be the standout recipe from the challenge and will be added to the regular rotation!