Monday, March 7, 2011
Pantry Challenge Week One Wrap up
One week down, 3 to go.
And in spite of my earlier whining we are actually doing okay. The fridge and cupboards are all still fairly full and we are not in danger of running out of anything quite yet. We don't have as many eggs as I would like but if I can convince the Russian not to eat two a day for breakfast we should be okay. Beverages are still problematic but I'm coping. We've run out of instant coffee but I don't drink it and the Russian has switched to tea without complaint. We have lots of tea and hot chocolate.
Sundries on the other hand are going to be an issue and I forgot to clarify if they were included in the no buy challenge. We are low on dish soap, laundry soap and already ran out of tp which I had to buy at the corner store. This is apparently an area I need to pay attention to and either stock up or find homemade alternatives to (the family cloth however is SO not going to happen).
Here's a brief overview of last week's menu, in no particular order:
steak fajitas with homemade flour tortillas and home canned salsa (red and green)
4 cheese macaroni and grated beet salad
homemade chicken noodle soup ( from previously frozen stock and meat)
eggs and homefries x 4 (the Russian)
yogurt and frozen fruit smoothies x 4 (me)
Roast beef and cheddar sandwiches and homemade shiitake mushroom soup
beef and beer stew in the slow cooker (leftover from last sunday's roast)
Oven bbq chicken with potato salad and steamed beans
Canned sardines on toast
Pasta with turkey, shiitakes and roasted red peppers in vodka cream sauce (last of the cream but not last of the frozen turkey)
Gado gado is an Indonesian salad of sorts that is simple to make and easily adapted for what's available at any time of year. I used potatoes, cabbage, frozen beans and cucumber ( thankfully we were able to pick up an Ontario grown hot house cucumber last week) in this version- you could also use fresh tomatoes if you have them.
2 cups of potatoes, cut in pieces, skins on.
1 cup of cabbage coursely chopped
1 cup of green beans (or carrots, cauliflower, snow peas, etc)
1/3 of an English cucumber, cut in chunks
1/2 cup tofu cut in small pieces and pan fried (or use tvp soaked in a diluted soy sauce)
1/2 cup bean sprouts
2 green onions chopped
1/2 cup shrimp chips, broken in small pieces ( optional- they add a nice texture and flavour but I rarely have them at home)
Put potatoes and eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil. When potatoes are partially cooked (about 5 minutes) add cabbage (and carrots, cauliflower etc if using) and cook for a minute. Add beans and turn off heat- cover and let sit for another minute or 2 until beans are partially cooked but still crunchy. Strain and run cold water over everything until cool. Peel eggs and cut in quarters, set aside.
Meanwhile pan fry tofu chunks in oil until browned on both sides. Or soak tvp chunks in warm water with a dash of soy sauce until softened. Set aside.
Spicy Peanut sauce
2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
few drops of dark sesame oil
2 cloves garlic chopped
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (chunky is best, can substitute other nut butters)
1 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
1 tbsp yellow curry powder or red or green curry paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
4 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sambal oelek or hot chili sauce (use less if you aren't fond of spicy!)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice or red wine vinegar
1 cup coconut milk or 1 cup water
Heat oils in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add garlic and stir briefly until soft but not browned. Add peanut butter and tahini, stirring constantly until it's all softened. Add the remaining ingredients except coconut milk or water. Reduce the heat and slowly add liquid stirring well. Simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring regularly until the sauce reaches a creamy consistency. If sauce is too thick add more water.
You can adjust this to your taste by adding more or less of the sweet, sour, salty or spicy. This peanut sauce makes a great dipping sauce if you add even more liquid, or can be added to any number of stir fry or noodle dishes.
To make gado gado - on a plate or bowl layer potatoes, cooked veggies and tofu. Place cucumber chunks and quartered eggs around the edge. Top with bean sprouts and pour peanut sauce over everything. Sprinkle with green onion and shrimp chips if using.