Sundays are fast becoming my favorite days in the kitchen. Before I head out for my weekly grocery trip I like to step back, survey the selection and see how far I can get on what I’ve got left.
The pickings were slim this week. Simpler shopping lists and smarter meal prep have allowed me to shake a lot of the excess from my pantry. This is a good problem to have. My goal is to always eat all I buy, but it certainly doesn’t always work that way and I cringe when I throw away perfectly good food. But after spending the last year becoming more intimately aware of our domestic hunger problems and taking a hunger relief service trip to Tanzania, that decision to dispose of food is a personal burden I prefer not to carry.
Today it would have been easy to say, “I have nothing to eat.” But I think after you watch children fight each other for a bowl of corn porridge, “nothing” takes on a new meaning. So here’s what I did with: 4 bananas, 6 sweet potatoes, 1 spaghetti squash, 1 jar of tomato sauce, 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, 1/4 of an onion, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 can of chickpeas and assorted pantry staples.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Soup
My host madre in Spain always made the best pureed soups to accompany our meals. I loved them and just assumed she had a never-ending collection of soup recipes in her head. Now I realize she was probably just simmering leftover straggling vegetables together and pureeing them into a thick, satisfying soup. That’s what this is. It’s just 3 sweet potatoes and 1 can of chickpeas simmered in miso stock and then pureed with a little hot sauce and almond milk.
Red Beans and Rice
What could be better than beans and rice? This cheap, simple staple always satisfies and is a great way to get ride of carrots, celery and any other veggies nearing the end of their rope. I just sauteed a can of kidney beans with 1/4 onion, 3 carrots, and 3 celery stalks. Add a little hot sauce and serve over rice. Can’t beat it.
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
To be fair, I haven’t prepared this yet but I did get a head start. I cooked my spaghetti squash and plan to combine it with chickpeas, spinach, tomato sauce, Neat (a bean-based vegetarian meat alternative), and cheese and cook until golden brown and bubbly. You’ll want to stick around for that one.
Does anyone buy bananas for any reason other than making banana bread? I did set three of my browning bananas aside in the freezer for smoothies later this week, but used the last one to make toasted coconut banana bread.
If you thought you had nothing to eat, I hope this gave you a little kitchen inspiration for your week. I’ll be posting full recipes for each throughout the week.
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