Spring Cleaning Challenge: Mid Week Check-In

Okay, so Sunday I announced that I’d be embarking on a freezer spring cleaning.  You can read the rules here.

It’s now Wednesday.  Here’s how things stand:

  • As far as not eating out, I had two pre-scheduled business meetings–last night (Tuesday) for dinner and another today (Wednesday) for lunch so I’m giving myself an out on those.  Other than that, we’ve stuck to the plan!
  • We haven’t purchased groceries at all since Chad’s last trip Sunday before I came up with the challenge. 
  • We’ve used a good bit of stuff from the freezer and the rest has just been what we’ve had on hand.  Here’s some of what we’ve made… (italicized ingredients came  from the freezer)
The Emerald:  Herby, floral, slightly citrus-flavored and perfect for slowly sipping
The Emerald: Herby, floral, slightly citrus-flavored and perfect for slowly sipping
  1. Chicken stock:  I’ve already shared how I make this.  This time, I had 2.5 frozen bags of veggie stems, peels and leftovers plus lots of backbones and wing-tips left from breaking down the 6 organic chickens we bought when Whole Foods had a heavy discount on Bell & Evans birds.
  2. Emerald cocktail: 1.5 oz gin,  0.5 oz Chartreuse,  0.5 oz sweet vermouth, a dash of your favorite bitters. Rather than water it down with ice, I used one of the blood orange halves that I froze and didn’t know what to do with.
  3. Turkey chili:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup stock (chicken or veggie–I used chicken since I had just whipped up a batch)
  • 1 red pepper, (previously seeded, diced and frozen)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves (OR MORE!) garlic, minced
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo (I always save these in a freezer bag flattened then frozen so it’s easy to break off only what I need)
  • 1 lb ground turkey (previously browned with onions, garlic, salt & pepper)
  • 1 quart home-jarred tomatoes (heaven in a jar!)
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste (when I open a can I store the remainder the same way I do the chipotle peppers)
  • 4 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

  1. Bring stock to a boil, then toss in peppers, onions and garlic. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent.
  2. Add turkey and just warm through, then add in all remaining ingredients except beans.  Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer and let the mixture barely bubble for about 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Add the beans and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the beans are warm and test the seasoning.  Adjust with salt, pepper and chili powder to your liking.  I added red pepper flakes, too, but of course I would.  ;o)
  4. Normally, I’d say serve with sour cream but if all you have is plain Greek yogurt it’s a pretty decent substitute.

This is actually pretty fun and I’m not getting any complaints from my husband about not buying any new ingredients.  Nearly three days in, I’d say we’re just beginning to see where this goes.

Care to share some of your favorite go-to pantry or freezer meals?

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