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Does anyone fancy a 'using all the weird stuff up during November so there is room in the cupboard for Xmas goodies ' challenge?

(52 Posts)
Parsnipcake Sun 27-Oct-13 08:18:21

My food cupboards are full to bursting. With things I bought on impulse - spices, weird grains, odd noodles etc. the fridge is full of last tablespoon jars and the freezer has loads of single portion UFO's.

My plan is to clear all this during November, and as a personal challenge I am going to cut my £1000 a month food budget to £100 and use the saved money for Christmas presents. We are a familyi of 2 adults, 5 older teens and a baby.

Does anyone want to join ( set your own rules , it's about clearing cupboards and meant to be helpful) or am I the only food hoarder?

NotAnotherPackedLunch Sun 27-Oct-13 08:25:49

Great idea.

I'm making a start today with a big pot of split pea soup.
I'm not sure how I managed to accumulate 5 bags of them. blush

Then it will be onto working through my stockpile of red lentils and using up all the spoonfuls of pastes that I have in jars in my fridge too.

Parsnipcake Sun 27-Oct-13 09:05:59

Sounds like a lot of dahl in the coming month for you NAPL! I can't do split peas as I had too many ferment and stink when I was a student, but I love them if someone else cooks. Today I will be using Freekeh - a sort of green cous cous I found in our Lebanese grocers, and I also seem to have 3 bags of dried pear which I am going to incorporate into a crumble.

Dilidali Sun 27-Oct-13 09:12:11

I am in!!!
So the challenge is to spend £50 in november, on fruit and milk and some green veggies.
Thanks for the idea.

Bubbless Sun 27-Oct-13 09:17:17

Does anyone have any recipes for using the 1:2 tbsp of fish oil etc we all have sitting around?
Best make a meal from nothing recipe?!

Xiaoxiong Sun 27-Oct-13 09:49:05

I'm in. We have a big jar of chickpeas taking up huge amounts of space in the cupboard, a big bag of kale taking up the fridge and a load of last bits of Indian spices in pots - that will be the basis for dinner I think...chana punjabi and saag aloo.

InsultingBadger Sun 27-Oct-13 13:23:35

I will join you!

Nodney Sun 27-Oct-13 13:29:56

Me too! Sounds like a great idea

Clutterbugsmum Sun 27-Oct-13 13:31:46

What about homemade pot noodles. I use it as base and change whatever meat I have dying in the fridge which needs using.

NotAnotherPackedLunch Sun 27-Oct-13 13:54:31

I know it goes against the spirit of your thread Parsnipcake, but I've not had Freekeh before and now feel the urge to go out and buy some.grin
Is it tastier than quinoa, or fairly similar?

On the positive progress front, the split pea soup is ready and smells great.
Thanks for the dahl solution to the red lentil stockpiles - I hadn't got further than planning the usual lentil, tomato and grated carrot soup which will get very boring if I cook all the lentils that way.

trish5000 Sun 27-Oct-13 14:07:21

I thought I would do this, but there is nothing extra there. Discovered I needed to buy something hmm

My freezer on the other hand...

So not sure if I am eligible or not!

Parsnipcake Sun 27-Oct-13 15:13:21

Ooh so many fellow food hoarders! I suppose it would be ok to buy the freekeh if you were using up something in the whole recipe smile but I can see this as a thread where we just all end up buying even more food! Fish oil? Do you mean from a jar of anchovies? I use that as a dressing for brocolli. Homemade pot noodles seem like a great idea - they are very popular here, and freezer hoards are also welcome.

Any good recipes for odds and ends of pasta?

Dilidali Sun 27-Oct-13 16:27:41

I boil the lot, irrespective of shape, pour bechamel sauce over, grate cheese and sprinkle paprika over, oven, done.
One thing I like doing is put sweetcorn and broccoli in the middle, sandwiched by the pasta.

Redpriestandmozart Sun 27-Oct-13 18:18:22

I love Dahl but if you're afraid of wind, do as the Indian do, add a pinch of asfoedifda when cooking blush it aids digestion and prevents wind wink

TheHappyCamper Sun 27-Oct-13 18:32:30

I have done exactly this today and have only seen your thread after tea.

DD and I had between us:

1 potato waffle
1 crispy pancake
3 gluten free mini sausages
2 chicken nuggets
2 slices bacon
1 fried egg
tin of beans
about 20 chips

A very strange combination, but we both quite enjoyed it smile and it has cleared a massive space in the freezer!

I have found 4 packets of noodles in the cupboard so we may be having a few stir frys.

HettiePetal Sun 27-Oct-13 23:46:41

Brilliant idea.

I have quite a few packets of things like pastry, crumble & cake mixes that I forgot to use, and they are all a month or so out of date. Does anyone know if this matters much?

Xiaoxiong Mon 28-Oct-13 11:45:25

Hettie I assume you mean a dry mix that you would add eggs/milk/fat to mix up? As long as they smell ok, I'd definitely use them.

We ended up having an odds and ends spicy soup last night - made stock from the roast chicken from lunch and any sad looking veg lurking in the basket, then threw in the roast chicken scraps, all the assorted broken noodles and bits of pasta from the pasta drawer, a lonely leek and carrot and the dregs of some random asian bottles from the cupboard (sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili oil) which I then merrily pitched into the recycling smile

Dilidali Mon 28-Oct-13 12:12:30

Tamarind paste. I seem to have a little jar of it. I can't remember tue recipe I used it for.
Any suggestions?

Xiaoxiong Mon 28-Oct-13 12:28:36

Dili I use it for south indian style curries and pad thai, but I was curious and found this:

Now I want to dig out my little jar of tamarind paste too!

Parsnipcake Mon 28-Oct-13 12:31:02

I like tamarind in spicy stews and curries or chilli. It's nice mixed in with shepherd's pie too!

I am looking for any ideas for Ras-al hanout. I have 3 tins as I kept buying it for a recipe and then losing it and having to buy more!

I would use the crumble mix smile

Dilidali Mon 28-Oct-13 13:03:23

Thank you!
I love the idea of chickpeas and potatoes curry from the link you kindly posted.
Never thought to add it to curries, we have one every week for goodness'sake!
That's dinner sorted.
Thank you so much.

Dilidali Mon 28-Oct-13 13:06:34

I didn't know ras el hanout can be bought, I mix from individual jars to condiment my tagine!
I do mine with parsnip, potatoes, leeks, tomatoes and a good dollop of harissa.

cate16 Mon 28-Oct-13 13:12:11

And I thought I was the only food hoarder smile

I'm in.

TheSlug Mon 28-Oct-13 13:40:11

I'm so in! I'm going to hopefully only buy milk, break and a little bit of fruit/ veg for the next few weeks. Can't believe it's nearly November already! I made a lovely lentil soup the other day with odds and ends that were in the bottom of the fridge, plus a mugful of lentils. made 5 portions so very happy with that! I have just done a list of all the things in my fridge, freezer and cupboards and feeling slightly over whelmed!

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Mon 28-Oct-13 20:53:27

What a great idea for a thread, and like others have said, I'd always assumed myself to be the only one hoarding like this. I'm in for the challenge! Between now and Christmas, I want to try and keep our food bills below £40 a week

Where I get stuck is: what do I do about the sub-portion dregs at the bottom of packets? I have a few tablespoons full each of arborio rice, millet, quinoa, polenta, pearl barley and something in a yellow bag which seems to have lost its label. Does anyone have a good recipe for multi-grain (or perhaps anonymous grain) risotto or similar?

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