Monday, May 31, 2010

Menu Plan/Eat from the Pantry in June

So, my stockpile in the basement has become redonkulous. I was organizing it earlier last week while the baby scooted around in her walker. (The three-year-old was reigning from her pile o'toys on the other side of the room.)

I concluded that I need to plan a mostly-eat-from-the-pantry-month again - and with the influx of fresh summer produce, I'm thinking that June's edition may be easier than January's edition.

Basically, my goal is to buy only fresh produce, dairy, eggs, etc. while maximizing my pantry's nonperishable offerings - which involves a LOT of the following, most stockpiled on some kind of discount and/or coupons:
  • Brown rice (Minute and plain'ol' Mahatma)
  • Annie's Mac'n'Cheese
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Molasses
  • Chocolate chips ( bought @ $0.64/bag, yea, baby!)
  • Teff flour
  • Brown rice flour
  • Arrowroot starch
  • Peanut butter
  • Shortening
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Kix and other cereals
  • Yakisoba, acquired free after doubled coupons (I mostly use the noodles for a basis for other soups)
  • Heart Healthy Bisquick
  • Rolled oats
To top it off, we are spending much of the week in the presence of family who've flown in to visit, so between my mother-in-law (who is local) and sister-in-law (who flew in), there are several meals that I (yay!) won't have to plan or shop.

I'm kind of glad to have the menu mostly out of my hands for the week, because that gives me another 7 days to contemplate how I'm going to make use of this rather eclectic mix of stockpiled pantry staples through the end of June. Necessity is the mother of invention, am I right? (And boy, if you have recipes to suggest based on the above ingredients, please send'em or link'em my way via commenting on this post! I could sure use the inspiration.)

Here's a very general idea of how the week could proceed menu-wise. Between my mother-in-law's schnitzel and my sister-in-law's eggrolls, I could easily weigh a few more pounds by Saturday.

Breakfast - Oatmeal with raisins, milk
Lunch - Annie's Macaroni and Cheese, salad
Dinner - A homemade German feast of schnitzel, mushroom gravy, sauerkraut, etc., courtesy of my mother-in-law. I'll provide the German chocolate cake, based on this recipe, which should also use this never-before-tried but highly-rated coconut pecan frosting.

Breakfast - At IKEA, perhaps (doesn't get much cheaper to feed a crowd with $0.99 plates of eggs, home fries, and bacon!)
Lunch - $0.99-crust Trader Joe's pizzas with the extended family, Pioneer Woman Style
Dinner - Planned by my mother-in-law, so I'm not sure (?)

Breakfast - Banana bread, milk
Lunch - Unsure; planned by my in-laws after a family trip to the portrait studio
Dinner - By my sister-in-law, ergo bound to involve delicious Asian fare

Breakfast - Blueberry pancakes, milk
Lunch - Leftovers?
Dinner - My nephew's birthday dinner party, hosted by my mother-in-law
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CShipe said...

My first thought when I read your "eclectic mix" was Coconut Rice! I have friends from the Philippines who make this traditionally Thai dish. It's best with fish or curries. Here's a recipe I found:
Hope that helps!

Redemption Unlimited Girls said...

Oooo coconut rice. I love that there is a link to a rice cooker version since I have a rice cooker. I may try this some time next week - thanks for the link!

Tricia said...

I'm doing a pantry challenge in June, too! Good luck!

UnfinishedMom said...

Two suggestions for using some of your ingredients:
First, for the pumpkin & chocolate chips, try my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (
Second, for the oats and peanut butter - try this baked oatmeal recipe (

Both are delicious.