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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day one

I am working on a week five days of no spending, using up the produce that lingers here, and cleaning out the fridge and pantry...

Day one was a complete success!  I had more time in the morning than I expected, and I was able to do a little cooking. I noticed that we are low on lunchbox items... I usually include some sort of crackers or pretzels in the lunch boxes. So, I found a box of gingerbread mix in the pantry that we bought last Christmas. I baked that and wrapped up the pieces, ready for snack time and lunches. I also divided the tail end of a bag of tortilla chips into snack-sized portions.

When I baked the gingerbread, I remembered reading that veggie puree can be used in place of the oil in any baking recipe. I am still leery of those people who sneak spinach into their brownies. But ginger goes into carrot cake. Why not put carrots into gingerbread? I used my frozen and oh-so-convenient carrot puree into the gingerbread. It came out great, and no one noticed a thing. Now, not for a minute do I think that 1/3 cup of carrot puree instantly makes this into healthy food, but it surely isn't hurting.

While strategizing this big veggie cleanout, I came back to that dang red cabbage. I decided to use it in a recipe that is one of my regular go-to recipes for a cole slaw made with green cabbage. I figured that there is no harm in trying it with red. And it was great! As a matter of fact, I ate it all up myself. I will include the recipe at the bottom. That took care of the cabbage.

Now all that I have in the refrigerator is a bunch of onions, and potatoes. Always potatoes.

I also have 13 oranges and 8 kiwis. Can we eat them all before Saturday morning?  The oranges are pretty tart, so the kids don't much love them. I might need to find some kind of orange cookie or cake (or something! anything!) recipe. Wish me luck!

We had school and karate class, and then we came home for dinner. I made macaroni and cheese (with more carrot pure) and we called it a night.

So far, so good! No money spent, some of the produce gone. However, I have a couple of challenges coming my way. I have just about run out of milk. Can you have kids in a house and no milk? I am embarrassed writing that. It feels like some sort of neglect. Also, I have invited some friends over for a drink and appetizers Thursday night. Can I pull together a decent spread without going to the grocery store? Stay tuned!

Asian Cole Slaw

Half of a cabbage, thinly sliced
4 green onions
1 package of Oriental flavored Top Ramen, noodles crushed into small pieces
2 Tbsp sesame seeds (toasted)
½ c. sliced almonds

Mix together all of the salad ingredients, and then toss with dressing: 

½ c. oil
2 T. vinegar
3 T. sugar
seasoning packet from Ramen