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Help me make a plan-I am out of ideas

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hey there I have meal planned for awhile and then summer hit and I just well lost it, I can't make a plan for the life of me. Unfortunately forces in our life right now make me have to tighten the budget a bit in order to save some $$. so I need help. I plan well, but just need to get back on the bandwagon.

Here's what we have:

Meats in the freezer:
chicken(breasts-precooked and boneless skinless, whole, boneless thighs)
marinated steaks
beef roast(these are 1.5 lb cut by me for my small family)
pork chop and country style ribs
pork and turkey tenderloins
ground beef
sausage(italian, sage, and turkey)
bacon

Other freezer items:
frozen tortellini and ravioli
mexican cheese blend
various juices(apple, orange, pineapple, grape)
milk(for drinking)
frozen peas and corn

Refrigerator items:
milk, cheese(mozz, jack, cheddar, parm)
Almost any condiments
sour cream, yogurt, buttermilk

I buy veggies at the farmer's market weekly right now-I've got peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, salad mix

I have basically all pastas, rice, lentils, pinto beans, kidney beans, soy sauce, vinegars, oils-you name it I (probably)have it. canned items-olives, pineapple, tomatoes. I am a pretty darn good cook. We have a very well stocked house, I am just trying to save some money, but just keep wanting to buy food. This is sort of like a pantry challenge to me.

I just need some new ideas with what we have. Help. TIA.
post #2 of 4
It sounds like you have a lot to work with!

Some ideas that I can give off the top of my head:
Refried Beans
Cook presoaked pinto beans with some onion and garlic in a pot until soft. When beans are almost done, chop up some slices of bacon and fry on very low heat so all the fat renders but the bits don't burn. Fry a little onion and garlic in the fat and add the beans and just a tad of water(this is to our liking, I like mine a bit drier) and mash. Add S&P and a little ground cumin and coriander if you have it ( you did not mention if you have spices. Sprinkle with some mexican cheese blend if you want. Use the bacon crumbles on baked potatoes or salad later. Use leftover beans in burritos

Quasi-Mexican rice.

Soak rice in hot water for about 10-20 minutes (this helps insure rice does not turn otu mushy. Meanwhile blend canned tomatoes a clove of garlic and a small roughly chopped onion. Drain and dry rice and fry it in oil for a few minutes until just starting to turn golden. Add tomato mixture and canned broth (if you don't have it, just use water. Add a jalapeno pepper to the mixture for some spice if you have. Bring to boil and simmer until all liquid is absorb. Serve with beans and some fried zucchini or fried frozen vegs.
post #3 of 4
It sounds like you have a lot to work with!

Some ideas that I can give off the top of my head:
Refried Beans
Cook presoaked pinto beans with some onion and garlic in a pot until soft. When beans are almost done, chop up some slices of bacon and fry on very low heat so all the fat renders but the bits don't burn. Fry a little onion and garlic in the fat and add the beans and just a tad of water(this is to our liking, I like mine a bit drier) and mash. Add S&P and a little ground cumin and coriander if you have it ( you did not mention if you have spices. Sprinkle with some mexican cheese blend if you want. Use the bacon crumbles on baked potatoes or salad later. Use leftover beans in burritos

Quasi-Mexican rice.

Soak rice in hot water for about 10-20 minutes (this helps insure rice does not turn otu mushy. Meanwhile blend canned tomatoes a clove of garlic and a small roughly chopped onion. Drain and dry rice and fry it in oil for a few minutes until just starting to turn golden. Add tomato mixture and canned broth (if you don't have it, just use water. Add a jalapeno pepper to the mixture for some spice if you have. Bring to boil and simmer until all liquid is absorb. Serve with beans and some fried zucchini or fried frozen vegs.
post #4 of 4
Sorry for double post.

Ds just woke up from a nap but then went back to sleep so I'm back! I am not sure if you are looking for exact recipes or ideas, if you want exact measurements for my last recipes i can post them. Here's some more stuff i can think of:

-Bake pork chops with canned pinneaple and brown sugar. Or instead of brown sugar, you could try pineapple juice. it will condense and carmelize the meat.

-Mix cooked sausage, some greens, and canned tomatoes with tortellini and sprinkle with parmesan.

-Make potatoes au gratin with potatoes, milk, flour (for thickening sauce) cheddar, onions, garlic) Serve with veg and meatloaf made from ground beef.

Serve chicken breasts cut up over salad green with some chopped walnuts and a tangy fruit like chopped green apples or grapes, or with bacon bits. Cover with salad dressing. You could also serve marinated steaks, cooked and sliced, on top of a salad

-Make chicken salad from chicken breast

-Simmer the boneless thighs and serve shredded in a creamy-type sauce over noodles.

-Make shepherd's pie with ground beef, onions, worstechire sauce and the frozen veggies or fresh if you want and mashed potatoes. Cover with cheddar cheese and put under broiler. Also, i like to make burgers one day and then use the leftover burgers chopped in shepherd's pie.

-Buttermilk is an awesome ingredient. You could make muffins, pancakes, quickbreads, mashed potaotes, etc. with it.

-Roughly chop carrots about the size of baby carrots and fry in butter until starting to get browned. Then, add apple juice and let it condense a little bit to form a sauce. Add flour or cornstarch to make it thicker if you want. Add some warm spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar if you want. Add raisins or other dried fruit. Add chopped nuts. Goes well with pork.

I could go on and on but this is making me really hungry so I'll stop!:::
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