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#708293 - 08/17/11 10:37 PM Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals
Jilly Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
Do you use food banks or food pantries?

Last night I went to one in my community for the first time and I got so much food! It really was exciting and a lovely experience. Right now I am working hard to come up with ways to use everything before it goes bad. smile

here is what I got -

five pound bag of chopped lettuce
four loaves of bread - two artisanal, one wheat, one farmhouse white
two containers greek yogurt
two zuchinnis (Huge)
Four summer squash (huge)
two acorn squash
a ton of fresh shrimp
large package of potato chips
several candy bars
sleeve of water crackers
can of butter beans
package of dried pinto beans
one liter of soda
five large white onions
about 30 small potatoes


Right now I am focused on using up the lettuce, bread and summer squashes/zuchinnis. I think the acorn squash, potatoes and onions will keep for a bit.

It is so nice to have all this food to eat. Although i am limited in my options, I can mix these things with food I already have, to make some nice meals.

I am thinking of getting some ground beef, cheese and tomatoes to go with the shredded lettuce and zuchinnis. I can make taco sandwiches using the artisanal bread! The unflavored greek yogurt can serve as sour cream.

I am also wondering if i can make some sort of bread pudding with the acorn squash and the farm white bread, and use the vanilla greek yogurt as a filling with some spices?

Any ideas? I am a miserable chef but would like to use the food up. BTW - I hate shrimp and gave all that to DH. smile

Ever use a food pantry? How did you feel? Do you have any tricks for using up food you are gifted?


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#708305 - 08/17/11 11:08 PM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Jilly]
Jilly Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
Oh, and about ten plums too!

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#708315 - 08/18/11 12:00 AM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Jilly]
Deb - Animal Life Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 729
Loc: Arizona
With those ingredients you can make a fabulous marinara sauce. Take squashes, carrots, tomatoes, onions, add stewed tomatoes, simmer in crock pot, mashing with hand masher - do NOT put in blender - hand mashing only. This sauce goes well by itself, over shrimp, or make turkey and pork meatballs. It is healthy and extremely filling. Slow cook time varies from 6 to 10 hours, depending on how full your crock is.

Before you add acorn to mix slice it in half add butter and cook in microwave for 5 minutes. Add the meat of the acorn squash but toss the peel. Summer squash and zucchini you can cut and add raw, depending on your school of thought you can leave on skins. I would suggest peeling as these are likely chemically processed.

Potatoes ... I suggest soup.

Boil potato, carrot, red onion (can use white onion but I prefer the flavor red lends to soup)
Boil down until all are tender
Blend (with the water from boiling)
Add some chicken or veggie broth while blending
Put back into pot and add either coconut milk or regular milk
Keep on medium-low (don't allow to scorch)until you start to see bubbles. Turn off. Let sit uncovered to thicken and enjoy.

Homemade bread goes well with this meal. It is filling, freezes well and is nutritious.

Yogurt is a no brainer, add some fresh fruit, oats, and enjoy. It can also be added to soup. It's also wonderful in a bath!

_________________________
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The evolution of humankind can be measured by how its animals are treated.

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#708316 - 08/18/11 12:01 AM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Deb - Animal Life]
Deb - Animal Life Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 04/03/11
Posts: 729
Loc: Arizona
The plums ... lol ... you can make a fantastic sauce by simply reducing plums in pan over medium low heat with some water. You can also make a plum cobbler.
_________________________
I look forward to reading your comments.

The evolution of humankind can be measured by how its animals are treated.

Deb Duxbury
Animal Life Editor

Animal Life Forum
Facebook Page
Twitter

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#708335 - 08/18/11 04:38 AM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Deb - Animal Life]
Jilly Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
MMMMmmmmm, the sauce sounds great. We will see if any fruits are left after dan gets through with them. smile

I also have a cucumber. is there some sort of cucumber yogurt sauce i can make to eat with the potatoes or as a dressing on the lettuce?

I am most concerned about the shredded lettuce. The bag is the size of a bed pillow. Once I open it, it will have to be used rapidly! smile

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#708336 - 08/18/11 04:41 AM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Jilly]
Jilly Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
For dinner tonite i sliced the zuchinnis very thin, drizzled with olive oil, basil and garlic and then cookeda little. Then i added diced tomatoes from a can and some mozzarella cheese, and let it cook once more.

It was yummy. I dipped some of the the artisanal bread in the drippings.


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#708595 - 08/18/11 10:48 PM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Jilly]
Jilly Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
For breakkie I used the bread that seemed the most stale, chopped it up and layered with cinnamon, raisins, greek yogurt (vanilla), choc chips, butter and milk. Heated in the microwave and let it set for a few minutes.

Not bad!

For tonight, maybe i will have the acorn squash?

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#708612 - 08/18/11 11:46 PM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Jilly]
Sandy / Cocktails Editor Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Gecko

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 566
Loc: Texas, USA

There's a truly refreshing Greek sauce made with cucumbers chopped really fine (discard the seeds if they're too big) and yogurt. Stir those two ingredients together with a little minced garlic, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top, top with chopped mint leaves and/or chives, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir it up, chill it, and drizzle a little olive oil on top before serving with pita wedges, Italian bread rounds, chips, or crackers. It's called tzatziki. It's sooooo good as a dip but I use it as a salad dressing, too.

As for some of the other veggies you mentioned, make soups and freeze the soup for some incredibly nutritious warm foods when it gets cold outside again. The veggies won't keep but soups will.

Deb's marinara sauce recipe sounds to-die-for and it freezes beautifully, too. Make your freezer your friend.

I even freeze lettuce sometimes, too, if I've got too much to use before it goes bad. (I just cannot STAND to put food in the garbage can!) I just stick a bag of it in the freezer and in the winter time, when I use my crock pot a lot to make stews and soups, I just break off a chunk of my frozen lettuce (or spinach or other greens) and toss it in the pot without bothering to thaw it first. As it cooks, it releases all the nutrients we know and love. Try it!


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#708616 - 08/18/11 11:50 PM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Sandy / Cocktails Editor]
Jilly Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
These are great ideas. I don't have a real freezer though. We have two of those mini fridges. So I prefer to preserve foods via pickling, salting, drying, fermenting, jerking, etc.

I also using those methods make me feel better since they don't require a permanent source of energy. If the power fails, I won't have to go crazy eating stuff from the freezer. smile

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#708618 - 08/18/11 11:52 PM Re: Food Pantries and Stretching Out Meals [Re: Jilly]
Jilly Offline
BellaOnline Editor
Highest Posting Power Known to Humanity

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 14392
Loc: Verde Valley, AZ
Oooh, i love the tzatziki idea!!! And I can use my lettuce with that, or make toasted flatbread from my leftover breads (would be good with tabouli, yes?)

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