Hi Society,

Earlier this week I went through and wrote down all the food I have in my freezer, fridge, and pantry. I found quite a few gems! In order to save some money on our future grocery bills and reduce the strange stockpile I have accumulated, I’m going to plan meals to mainly eat from my pantry. Some of you may know this as a pantry challenge. My attempt is and isn’t a challenge. I do have a goal (save money at the grocery store, eat what I currently have) but I don’t (yet) have parameters like a deadline, a number of meals in mind, a specific allowed grocery budget or even a specific number of pantry items needed per recipe (think the TV show Chopped)… although all of those sound fun! The first step is to find recipes to use the ingredients I have.

Some ingredients are easily associated with recipes. For example, I can use part of the 2 lb+ pearl barley I have to make vegetable barley soup. The French lentils I have? I will probably make (frozen) salmon over a bed of lentil (I have a great recipe which I might even share with you soon – you’re welcome, society!). The gazillion walnuts, you ask? I’m planning to use part of them in this Fondue Parmesan recipe I found last night. And in banana bread, of course. Tuna cans? What can’t you make with tuna cans? The 1/4 C pine nuts I’ve been holding hostage? A mini pesto recipe! I’m a fairly creative person but the following ingredients might require a tad more head scratching:

  • sardine cans
  • pinto beans
  • cashews
  • navy beans
  • almonds
  • sunflower seeds
  • red lentils
  • dried mushrooms
  • red chili beans (other than chili?)
  • black bean noodles
  • wheat bran
  • oat bran
  • buckwheat (kasha)
  • farro
  • kamut
  • 1 C steal cut oats
  • 2 C gluten free flour
  • psyllium husks
  • 1/2 C bulgur
  • 1/2 C pecans
  • 1/4 C millet
  • seaweeds (dulse, wakame, and a strange unknown one)
  • potato starch
  • pearl couscous
  • coconut milk

The next steps will be to share the recipes I found and report on how they turned out as my project progresses. Feel free to help out if you think of a way to use one or more ingredients I just listed.