Today is the first day of September, and that means the first day of September's Eat Your Pantry Challenge!
The Task: To eat all the stuff that is in our pantry. (With the exception of almond, vanilla and coconut extracts, meringue powder, salt and corn starch...we don't have to finish those things!) We will be endeavoring to eat the beans that have been there for a year, the chickpeas and split peas of unknown vintage, pastas, barley, and specialty flours. Whether we like it or not, we are going to muster up the creativity and courage and turn them into dinner.
The Why: We are spoiled. I am guilty of standing with the pantry door open and exclaiming that there is nothing to eat for dinner. And what I really mean is that there is nothing that I want to eat. Or that I failed to plan ahead enough to make something great from scratch.
Even though the shelf life of some of these dry pantry items is supposedly as long as 6-8 years, at the rate we're eating them (which is pretty much not at all) they seriously run the risk of going bad in our pantry. So we are going to do what we should have done from the beginning: be thankful for a pantry full of (mostly) nutritious food instead of wishing we had something more delectable.
The How: You can create whatever ground rules you want for your own Pantry challenge. You could plan to eat from your pantry 3 nights a week, or to make a soup from scratch every weekend using what you can from your pantry and freezer.
For us, I've moved all of the pantry items so that there is one big empty shelf in my pantry. This is where any new things will go: a bag of flour I need to get, some fresh potatoes, that sort of thing. The rest of the shelves are the ones we need to eat up. And eat them we will!
There is no rule against buying new things. We will need to buy fresh veggies and dairy products and meats to go with our pantry adventures, we just need to make a point to eat what is in the pantry. And to be grateful for it.
So, what inspired pantry meal is kicking off this challenge in our household? Black bean soup? Enchiladas? Split pea and brown rice burgers? Errr....Um....well, actually we are grilling beef burgers with friends today! But I had to do something to commemorate the first day of eat your pantry month, so I'm simmering some chickpeas (and then roasting some garlic, YUM!) so that I can make some homemade hummus to go on the burgers.
Are you joining us? What are your rules to help you eat your pantry this month?
P.S. If you know of any recipes containing beans that are so yummy that even this avid bean-hater will like them, please leave a link in the comments below! And don't forget to get the button to share on your own blog if you're following along! Thanks!
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