Retirement Food

June 22, 2010

For the last couple of months, my major goal in life has been to not throw away food (yes, my life goals could use some refining), which means I’ve been doing a lot of cooking to use up my almost-bad food.

I am a cooking machine over here, pretty much. Also, an ingredient-Googling fool. But we will ignore that.

Some recent successes:

I feel like I am CONSTANTLY looking at brown bananas – I freeze them if I can’t use them right away, but I already have a giant bag of them, which means I now have an excuse to make this seriously delicious banana bread about twice a week: Buttermilk Banana Bread. Also uses up my buttermilk. Hallelujah. Also, it’s the bane of my existence that Kayla doesn’t like bananas because I have to fight the urge to tell her about this bread approximately ten times a day. In fact, I’m going to go make a loaf as soon as I’m finished with this post. And then probably eat it all myself

And then, in an effort to, for the first time in my life, not throw away the remainder of my ricotta cheese, this pound cake. Which was to die for. Also, it used up the last, sad looking orange from when I bought a giant package of them on the reduced-produce shelf. Even Bart, who is deeply skeptical about ricotta cheese in any non-pasta product (besides cannolis), loved this.

A few nights ago, I realized I had a half can of artichokes in my fridge and since I find artichokes painfully expensive, the thought of throwing them away was horrifying. Which meant. . . time to Google like an insane person. I didn’t have any french bread, but I made this topping and we ate it as a side dish. And after dinner, I. . . well, I um, drank the rest of the sauce. It was that good.

And my leftover box of orzo? Became this dish. We would have fought over the leftovers for lunch the next day, but I’m pregnant, so I automatically get them if I want them. Score.

Tonight: Blueberry Frozen Yogurt. After dinner can’t come soon enough. . . .

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  • Reply amber waves of grain June 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Hahahaha… I just laugh because I use the "I'm pregnant, I automatically get first dibs" thing too. My husband encourages it, so it can't be too bad, right? 🙂

  • Reply Life of a Doctor's Wife June 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I love this! It can be SO HARD to use up leftovers, and it drives me crazy to throw things away. CRAZY.

  • Reply Katie Rich June 22, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    This post was inspiring. I really need to do better about using up food before it goes bad.

  • Reply smalldog June 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    You pretty consistently make me reevaluate my budgeting, reading, cooking, creative skills. It's aggravating/spectacular of you!

  • Reply emandtrev June 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    I am now officially starving. 🙂 I have tried to be much better about planning meals and menus, and sticking to my grocery budget. It has worked pretty well thus far. I love when I can use a recipe and have great leftovers or freezables too. You are so great!

    Are you freezing meals for when your bebe arrives? I didn't do that so much with my first baby, but had about two weeks worth when my second arrived. In a nutshell, it was AWESOME. And there is my unsolicited plug for the day. 🙂

  • Reply emandtrev June 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    P.S. I love Mel's Kitchen Cafe!!

  • Reply Meredith Shatzer June 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Artichokes here are 4 for a dollar! Nothing could make me more insanely happy. Although, as my mother pointed out, I'd have to eat about a million artichokes a month to make up for the rent prices but I'll just keep my happy thoughts with the artichokes.

  • Reply Lady Susan June 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    First dibs on the good leftovers has continued past pregnancy for me. What with feeding, putting to sleep, holding, etc. the wee one, I don't have much chance to grab something to eat. The husband feels sorry for me and so lets me have whatever is easy and convenient.

    And do you know about It is a great way to look for recipes for random ingredients. Not all the food blogs will come up with a general google search, and I trust the food blog recipes a bit more than the big recipe sites. I have a huge amount of red lentils that I have no idea what to do with and found a few recipes to try using that.

  • Reply Heather June 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    must star this post for experimentation later. I am all about using up food instead of throwing it out. Bless you for sharing you recipes.

  • Reply Becky June 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    That's a great goal to not throw food out. I had to have a real shift in thinking this last year and continue to buy fresh regardless of the fear of keeping up with it. It can be tough using up what you buy, but so satisfying.

    Loved your post. Enjoy all that cooked food.

  • Reply megan June 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I like when you do this. Except what do I do with half a totally brown banana? b/c I am often left with that since Rog hates to let food go bad too and eats the bananas before I can make bread… hmm… life's dilemmas.

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