Last week I did a pre-Passover clean out, doing what I should have done a long time ago. I separated out old food. I know, this is old news to you all – but a brand-new, “cripes why didn’t I do this before,” thing to me. And I am super pleased with it.
Trashed or composted:
- Anything that was more than a year out of date.
- Dried &/or processed food more than 6 months out of date.
Use Soon section (brand new!):
- Canned goods that were up to a year out of date – put in a Use Soon section.
- Anything that would be out of date within the year.
- Anything that would be out of date within the year that I couldn’t see eating somewhat immediately.
I’ve also made a list of fridge food that goes bad.
Since I now have an old food section, it’s pretty clear what needs to be dealt with immediately, and that is good. So now I’m trying to figure out what to do with this old food. Job one, and probably the most disgusting one, is using up spam.
The goal is to use some old food in every non-breakfast that I make for myself. Because breakfast is devoted to the temple of steel-cut oatmeal.
Using this recipe, I made a quarter portion & subbed fried spam for bacon. I subbed egg noodles for spaghetti. And I put the heatproof bowl of beaten egg, half-n-half, noodles and some of the parmesan in the lowest possible temp oven to keep it warm but not cook the eggs. I would have liked to have added some white beans, but I didn’t. I garnished with romano & more parmesan.
I wouldn’t recommend this, but I did use up some spam & some half-n-half and that was the plan. So go me. Next time, beans and peas to make it a smidge healthier.
Spam burrito bowls
I used some fridged Guatemalan black beans. And some fried spam. This is a great application for spam. I could have used the whole can for this. Live and learn.
Used this recipe for the roasting, and seasoned with lemon pepper, salt & french thyme. This is the first time I’ve used oil in roasting chickpeas. The seasoning sticks on better, but I’m grossed out by the greasyness. If I’m making these for myself, no oil. These were used as croutons for my
Greek style barley salad
Used this recipe for the barley, and groovy apple juice for the cider. I made 2 dry cups barley (in three batches; the first two were .5 cup dry, until I realized that I wouldn’t have enough to share with just that) in my rice cooker (about all whole grains end up there, save steel-cut oatmeal) without soaking for about 40 minutes. Depending on the website, both barley & farro have wildly different ratios.
The first run of barley started with 1:2.5, and ended up with an apple juice tahdig and the barley was orangey – that was not what I wanted – so I ended up washing the cooked barley, which improved the appearance and didn’t hurt the taste.
Batch two, was 1:3, which was better, but still not where I wanted it to be.
The last batch, was 1:4. I ended up needing to drain the barley, but not by much, and the results were just where I wanted them – tender, flavorful, sans tahdig, and barley colored.
For the vegetal parts, I used chopped pistachio, quartered grape tomatoes, chopped red bell peppers, chopped & pitted green & black olives on a bed of italian parsley & watercress leaves. As this was for a vegan potluck, feta on the side.
For the dressing, I went with this. It made a smidge too much dressing in spite of my using twice as much barley. I would definitely add more lemon zest, because lemon.
I got lots of compliments. I would definitely make this again, and this will probably go into regular rotation with less (and less oily) dressing and white white or cannellini beans. I bet haricots verts could be a very good addition, too.
I am definitely going to make a non-Greek style variant using bottled blue cheese & oil dressing, walnuts, and red leaf lettuce – I can’t imagine that not being fabulous.
Horror of horrors, I ran out of oatmeal. So I made T0p Ramen with a smidge of the MSG powder, tired homemade chicken broth, frozen turkey meatballs & fresh broccoli, garnished with a little soy sauce, sesame oil, and togarashi. If I add the meatballs and broccoli stems right when the liquid boils, this takes no more time than the ramen plain. Florets in maybe a minute in.
My usual MO is to add frozen veg with the frozen meatballs at the beginning, fridged & prepared meat or veg midway (so it can warm through), and fresh or frozen baby greens at the end. Since I amazingly have fresh broccoli in the house, well, there you go. I am rarely unhappy with doctored packaged ramen, and I definitely was not unhappy with this.