I'm still putting together my plans for cooking, menu planning and grocery shopping for July. My theme will be "Simple Abundance". I will be using what I have on hand as much as possible and hope to have a "low spend" month on groceries. I will still concentrate on using coupons combined with sales, but need to start shopping only to replenish the pantry.... and then actually cook FROM the pantry!
So, in an effort to kick start my plan of cooking more dishes from the pantry, this was last night's menu:
Rotini Casserole (wacky mac, cream of mushroom soup, petite diced tomatoes, cheese, browned hamburger, french fried onion rings) I had all of these things on hand!
Tiny garden peas (canned) In stock also!
Easy cheese cake (graham cracker pie crust, cheese cake pudding mix, milk, light cool whip) I have had the pie crust since I bought it on sale at Christmas. I bought the pudding mix on sale with coupons while coupon shopping yesterday as well as the light cool whip, which was on sale. We always have milk on hand. So it was a very frugal and light summer dessert!
My thanks go to Denise of MOUNTAIN QUILTER for the idea of making Rotini Casserole as a way to use the french fried onion rings! You can only eat green bean casserole so often and it was a delightful new recipe that my family liked.
I used the recipe found HERE. Even if you aren't interested in the recipe, please go look at the casserole dish collection shown on the same post. Aren't they gorgeous?! I have one similar in harvest gold:
I have had this one for over 30 years and I would love to start collecting more by searching yard sales and thrift shops.
Oh well, back to the subject of this post. I have come to the conclusion that I must really concentrate on eating from my pantry in the upcoming month of July! We are so abundantly blessed with foods of all kinds, including fresh vegetables and items bought on sale and with coupons.
Just yesterday I was given a bag of okra, a bag of new potatoes and corn. Last week I was given 12 pints of blueberries. After work today, I carefully went through the isles of Food Lion using some coupons that were about to expire and when I got home, my pantry was so full, there was hardly anywhere to store my new purchases. Also, We are starting to get ripe tomatoes and green peppers from our own plants.
The dirt still clings to these potatoes:
We love okra, both fried and in vegetable soup.
Our first tomatoes were picked this week. Tomato sandwiches, here we come!
We are so fortunate to be the recipient of gifts of fresh summer produce, but even if we didn't receive them, I pass by at least four places that sell fresh produce on my way home from work every day. If I need any veggies, I could supplement our food supply and help out the local farmers at the same time.
I have already made some progress this past month in cooking from the pantry by taking inventory and making a list of what I have on hand. I also cooked some dishes that included many of the ingredients found on the list. In July I want to continue with this quest of cooking from the pantry and also to make sure we eat the fresh veggies that are so plentiful this time of year so that there is no waste.
I am going to grocery shop only to take advantage of great sales and coupons and of course to buy milk, bread, eggs and meat. During July I plan to post the ways I have cooked from my pantry.
I am reminded of something my mother always used to say: "I can always knock up something to eat from what I have in my cabinets".