Hi, my name is Gale and I am a nutrition educator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. I got inspired by Katy’s kitchen plans to do a little organizing myself. I don’t have a family to cook for, which means I should be more organized, right? Not at all. As I was looking through my kitchen, I found out that my bad habits include:
- Buying condiments and other ingredients, but not having a plan to use them. I have five different kinds of mustard and two different types of pesto – what’s up with that?
- Forgetting the fresh produce I already have. It gets buried in the bin below the newer fruits and veggies I buy.
- Putting the groceries I just bought in front of the older ones. Just like the produce, I lose sight of foods like rice and dried beans in the pantry.
- Finding interesting recipes I want to try, but setting the recipe aside with a stack of others.
Since I have been home-bound, I am trying to get better about using up what I have on hand. That way I can avoid trips to the store. So…
- I am putting those condiments to good use. What does Thai curry sauce taste like on frozen broccoli? Pretty good, it turns out.
- I am making one of my favorite Spend Smart. Eat Smart recipes, Easy Quiche. This is a versatile recipe, so I can toss in any fresh veggies that are in my refrigerator.
- I am using the slow cooker method of preparing dried beans and making chili with them. I do not need to buy chili seasoning because, when I searched through my kitchen, I found out that I already have all the spices I need.
- I am trying to create meals from what I have on hand instead of relying on a recipe. Things like canned chickpeas, frozen vegetables, brown rice, cream cheese, and dried peas and beans. Hey, I think I just invented dinner!
Have you gotten creative with the foods you have in your kitchen recently? If so, please share your ideas with us!
Gale Francione is a program assistant with the Buy. Eat. Live Healthy nutrition program in Scott County. She loves concocting dinner, especially with left-overs so they become something totally new.