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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?

moomoo1967 Thu 31-Oct-13 10:13:50

HTH smile

Xiaoxiong Wed 30-Oct-13 09:44:08

devonsmummy and bitches - I do lentil soup that's quite similar to your recipe but sort of backwards:

- fry 2 medium onions, 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- add spices - I add 1tsp each ground coriander, cumin, chili powder and garam masala, and 1/2 tsp turmeric
- add 1 tin tomatoes, 4 tins of water/stock, 1 tin red lentils (ie. measure the water and the red lentils using the empty tomato tin)
- bring to the boil and simmer 45 minutes.
- stir in 1tsp salt, or to taste

The best part is then: in a little frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil - fry 1 tsp each mustard seeds and cumin seeds until they pop. Then when you serve the soup, put some toasted seeds and a little oil on top. I like putting fresh coriander on as well and serving with a dollop of yoghurt.

Also, if you're not vegetarian this is the best ever one-pot lentil soup/stew for the autumn and winter - I guarantee you will love it. I have never found sweet Italian sausage here so I use nice pork sausages with as much % pork as I can find (you only need 2 or 3) then add lots of fennel seeds, dried oregano, basil, thyme and paprika to the sausage meat as it browns.

TheBitchesOfWeestick Wed 30-Oct-13 06:53:33

I do water but either would work. Not sure re dried ginger, but it can't hurt to find out!

HettiePetal Tue 29-Oct-13 23:50:05

Bitches Would you boil the lentils in plain water or stock? Also, would dried ginger work?

Sounds delicious.

TheBitchesOfWeestick Tue 29-Oct-13 23:18:36

devonsmummy very easy dhal recipe:

- boil your lentils till easily crushable (this usually takes about 20 minutes)
- fry some chopped onion, garlic and ginger till soft
- when soft, add spices: 1 tsp paprika, half tsp of cumin/coriander/garam masala/turmeric/chilli powder. fry with the onion mixture for a minute or so
- add lentils to onion stuff, mix well, heat through
- turn off the heat, add salt and vinegar and some chopped green chilli if you like it hot

Really surprisingly delicious. The vinegar sounds bizarre but is the making of the dish. My fussy 5yo loves this with plain rice (I leave out the chilli for his portion) and it's quite healthy too.

Xiaoxiong Tue 29-Oct-13 22:56:49

I'm in danger of shifting ingredients around now instead of using up! a bag of dried black turtle beans has been sitting in the back of a drawer for months (possibly years...) so slow cooked them with chorizo. However there's far too much but instead of half going into the freezer as usual and taking up space, it's beans for lunch and dinner till they're gone!

Also jointed two chickens (on special offer, two 1.6kg chickens for £9) froze 4 breasts, thighs and drums, and made stock with the carcasses - so that will take up yet more space in the freezer.

Snowlike Tue 29-Oct-13 22:05:48

Devonmummy try this

NotAnotherPackedLunch Tue 29-Oct-13 22:04:27

I've just finished a big pot of split pea soup...
I fried some chopped onion and celery and dried chilli flakes and when they were soft added the split peas and and stock. The stock was lurking in the bottom of the freezer left over from cooking a Nigella ham in cider. I also added a halved tomato to help soften the peas and boiled until the peas were soft.

The soup went down very well, so I'm now hoping that getting everyone to eat their way through the red lentil mountain will be just as easy.

devonsmummy Tue 29-Oct-13 21:30:06

Ive 2 huge bags of red split lentils,
Any suggestions for recipes - I've never used them in cooking before , only stuck them on kids pictures!

Snowlike Tue 29-Oct-13 21:17:38

Inspired by you guys, I made chicken stock from frozen carcasses and then made Thai chicken curry. Delicious.

Dilidali Tue 29-Oct-13 20:35:29

Oh, forgot to tell you about my tamarind:I shrugged to the fact it's been in the fridge since ?2012, diluted it in some hot water ready to add to the curry last night and then the smell hit me! I had to pour if down the sink. It smelled of rotten leaves.

Dilidali Tue 29-Oct-13 20:32:36

Ginger and garlic paste is an excellent base for curries smile

HuevosRancheros Tue 29-Oct-13 19:52:56

schmalex I used stem ginger (the type in syrup) recently in a ginger cake when I realised halfway through making it that I didn't have any dried ginger in the house, d'oh blush
I chopped it finely, but blended to a paste would have been better imo. Guess it would work in ginger biscuits too smile

Parsnipcake Tue 29-Oct-13 19:45:47

I haven't used anything up today, but am very proud that I went to the Chinese supermarket on the insistence of my korean foster child, and only bought his stuff and 1 bottle of vegetarian oyster sauce. Normally I would come back with masses of stuff I don't have a clue about. He however bought the biggest bag of star anise I have ever seen. So any recipes appreciated!

Put lentil are good cooked in stock and served with nice sausages and apples smile

moomoo1967 Tue 29-Oct-13 17:59:27

I would like to be in but I would still need to buy milk, eggs, fruit and veg each week. I have bread mixes I can use up, and plenty of meat in the freezer, along with noodles, rice, pasta. I could probably do it on just under £20 per week maybe less. smile I'm presuming we can include the freezers in this challenge, as I have copious amounts of meat, breadcrumbs, bread
If anyone wants meal planners the link is here :
Freezer inventory :
Pantry inventory : hope they work

Littleredsquirrel Tue 29-Oct-13 17:50:26

cup of apricot jam, mustard and balsamic vinegar is apparently a good glaze for pork or chicken.

KenDoddsDadsDog Tue 29-Oct-13 17:48:05

Fab idea. Split pea soup recipe anyone ? Have a random bag in the cupboard!

schmalex Tue 29-Oct-13 17:46:18

Mmm, tamarind in shepherd's pie!

I am also clearing freezer and cupboards as we're moving in a couple of weeks.

Any ideas for some leftover stem ginger?

oscarwilde Tue 29-Oct-13 17:08:38

Horribly sweet though and as it was bought for bbq'ing, it's not v naice jam. There must be some sort of glazed ribs/chinese duck kind of recipe that will use up a huge glut of the stuf.

Littleredsquirrel Tue 29-Oct-13 16:32:13

jam tarts, cheap as chips (in fact cheaper than actual chips!!), easy and yummy.

oscarwilde Tue 29-Oct-13 15:41:23

Any suggestions for 3 boxes of puy lentils and 5 jars of apricot jam (bought for bbq glazes apparently)

Parsnipcake Tue 29-Oct-13 15:11:36

Huevos, I know that will happen to me too but I am not allowing myself to buy new ingredients until December, when I will have hopefully used up the crud!

HuevosRancheros Tue 29-Oct-13 13:45:29

Well, that didn't go quite to plan....

I have just made Delia's Baked Spinach with Brown Rice and Cheese, in an effort to use up the brown rice that has been in my cupboard for ages, and the spinach that's been lurking in my freezer.

Except it was absolutely lovely, so I will have to make it again, so buy the ingredients again!

trainersandcake Tue 29-Oct-13 10:49:10

This is a great idea! I have about five tins of sardines in tomato sauce among many, many other things knocking around my cupboard! I will be so on for doing some exciting things with it all!

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Tue 29-Oct-13 10:07:29

grin I once had a PM (I suspect from a journalist or someone with interesting fantasies) asking whether I actually make lattes out of my breast milk.

But yes, good ideas: thanks. There's a three-pack of stuffable peppers in the veg drawer which DH found reduced in Aldi yesterday. Will experiment. And I'd not thought of soup, either <wanders off to google minestrone recipes>

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