August Pantry Challenge and Menu Plan ~ 2013

Usually I try to get a menu plan worked up by the first of each month. I have been slack this summer to say the least but I’ve noticed that it is not uncommon in the mommy blog world for this to happen. That helps me feel better somehow 🙂

After returning from our vacation well into August, not only did I not have any recipes lined up (except for those I didn’t get to in July), but I also realized that my freezers and pantry were full of stuff. It’s been over a year since my last challenge, and quite frankly it is overdue. Some of the ingredients I have was put in with the July Menu in mind, so hopefully I can still get to some of those recipes during this challenge. And the rest of it will be the basis of what I plan to cook for the rest of this month.

Here is what I found in my freezers:

Frozen veggies: 2 lb. peas, 2 lb lima beans, corn, veggie medley (peas, corn, and carrots) spinach, creamed spinach, green beans, 1 lb. okra, 2 gallon bags of fresh-cut corn, breaded mushrooms (embarrassing to admit how many lbs of this I have!) and 5 gallon bags of fresh pureed tomatoes

Meats: 1 salmon fillet, 1 pkg turkey bacon, 4 pkg turkey sausage links/patties, 2.5 lbs ground turkey, 10 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 5 lbs tilapia fillets, 2 lb. beef meatballs, 5 pts Brunswick Stew, 3 pkg of deer meat, 2 Qt. Beef Stock, 1 pkg. imitation crab (I’ve had this forever!), Tuna Steak (enough for one meal for four)

Fruit: 2 lb. rhubarb, 3 lb. frozen blueberries

Misc: 2 lb. french fries, 2 cups cooked rice (I always freeze leftover rice for busy days. It comes in very handy), 1 pkg. mushroom ravioli (the refrigerated kind), 3 pkg. Frozen Waffles, 12 Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwich, 2 boxes Trader Joe’s Chocolate Croissants, 2 boxes Trader Joe’s Jo-Jo’s Cookies

Can you say “Holy Cow”? I think that’s plenty to start working from, don’t you? It’s crazy to realize how often I go to the store and spend hundreds of dollars each month on food when I already have so much just sitting in my freezer. I won’t list my pantry but I know I have all the staples such as chicken broth, flour, cornstarch, sugar, rice, pasta, potatoes, canned beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and paste, marinara, panko, etc etc etc. Seriously way more than I care to list and you care to read about. Suffice it to say I think I’m covered for just about anything.

If you went through your pantry and freezer(s) you’d probably be surprised at what you find. Join me in this pantry challenge and let me know what you’ve been cooking!

Aside from the few new recipes I’ve decided on (there will most likely be more, just not sure which ones yet), here are some links to favorites that I am planning on cooking this month:

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Poor Man’s Mongolian Beef (using ground turkey)

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Slow Cooker Coq au Vin

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Turkey Ragu with Creamy Polenta

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Balsamic Grilled Chicken

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Chicken Cacciatore

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Tuna Steaks with Lima Bean Butter

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Tilapia Fabuloso

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Garlic Tilapia

Stay tuned for these recipes (red links will be added when posted):

Black Bean & Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Chipotle Aioli

Baked Tilapia with Mustard, Lemon and Horseradish Sauce

Tuscan Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream

Greek Rice Pudding

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