Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goals for the year..#1: Pantry

This year I'm really going to work on pairing down the other ways than just purging unwanted goods. My number one pet peeve? The pantry. I really have been sick of an overstuffed pantry that is quite inaccessible and quite inconvenient when I want to cook. Too much stuff and a horrible design. I've decided to get back into cooking, purge the pantry and save money at the same time.. sound good, right?

As a vegetarian for almost five years now, my main staples are definitely carbs (and I have no complaints about that!). I have an assortment of whole grains (bulgur, millet, quinoa, and brown rice) that have been neglected so my plan is to cook up a large batch of two different grains each week and then pair it with beans (black are my favorite!) and then whatever condiments I have in the fridge (olives and balsamic vinegar,f or example). Not only is this smart on my pocketbook, but also on my thighs. Eating whole, far from processed foods is definitely something I've been looking to perfect for the past few years.

Why don't you do the same? Save for fresh produce, why not get creative with what you already have in the pantry? Make a list of the items that you have and then create some recipes ideas from that. Be creative. Have sunflower seeds that you're bored with just snacking? Throw it in some spaghetti sauce for some added crunch and protein. Why not make your own tomato soup from some canned tomatoes? You can get some awesome recipe ideas from here.

Work through your pantry until you need to restock. Once everything is out, vacuum out any crumbs, wipe down the shelves with some cleaner and start fresh. Always wanted to store your food in glass containers? Why not? Not only will you have saved a ton of dough over however many months it takes you to go through everything, you'll be proud of a clean, streamlined pantry!

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