Your daily dose of global news, tech trends, financial insights, health updates, and cultural commentary.

She Took on the Challenge: A Week of Meals Made with Forgotten Food from the Freezer

I usually cook a homemade meal every night, even when it’s just my husband and me. Our weekly menu consists of fish, chicken, pasta, and sometimes more time-consuming dishes like eggplant moussaka, jap chae, or chili.

Leftovers from these meals often end up in the freezer, where they are forgotten amongst ice trays, half-eaten cartons of ice cream, and bags of soup dumplings and frozen peas.

So when my husband went away for a week, I decided to clear out the freezer, fridge, and pantry and avoid real cooking for a few days. I didn’t even go grocery shopping; I wanted to save money on food and get creative with recipes.

I liked the idea of decluttering without wasting food. I would eat whatever I reasonably could. I had some odds and ends in the vegetable drawer, like cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery, fruits, and a cabbage, so I wouldn’t completely run out of produce.

The results were sometimes good, occasionally great, but often just okay. I posted pictures of my experiment on social media, and my friends had mixed reactions, ranging from enthusiasm to downright hostility.

Some offered recipes for the cabbage, which I couldn’t seem to finish. Others messaged me to express how much they enjoyed following my daily updates. One friend said, “These posts are bringing me a lot of joy.” Another said, “This is the food content I didn’t know I needed.”

On the other hand, when one of my meals didn’t look appetizing, people threatened to order pizza for me.

On a positive note, after running out of milk, I started putting vanilla ice cream in my coffee, and I may never go back.

Here’s a day-by-day account of my week of making do with what I had:

DAY 1: Leftover chicken-feta-pasta salad with a corn tortilla, Muenster cheese, smashed avocado, and a salad with carrots, celery, parsley, red pepper, pomegranate seeds, and olives.

DAY 2: Had brunch with friends, so I made a simple soup for dinner using chicken-cilantro dumplings from the freezer and various veggies, including cabbage.

DAY 3: Fried some months-old pierogies from the freezer with mushrooms and onions, and made a side dish of sauteed cabbage with a random half-apple, onion, and red wine vinegar.

DAY 4: Had a mishap with leftover macaroni when I added too much red sauce and a defrosted chicken sausage. Also tried to make a caprese salad with sliced tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil, but it didn’t turn out as expected.

DAY 5: Opted for ready-made microwaveable Asian-style noodles with added chicken.

DAY 6: Had a less satisfying meal consisting of a Boca burger, kosher hotdog, microwaved potato, and burned black carrots.

DAY 7: Used the last tortilla with melted Muenster cheese, a mix of frozen corn, chicken, black beans, cherry tomatoes, lime, and chopped cabbage.

On the final day, I ate the last frozen half-bagel with a dot of cream cheese and butter for breakfast. For dinner, I made a dish with black beans, celery, cabbage, scallions, cilantro, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, ginger, garlic, and mushrooms. Both the black bean and cabbage dishes turned out good.

Throughout the week, I hardly created any food waste and generated very little garbage since most of my leftovers were stored in recycled plastic containers. However, I still had some cabbage remaining in the fridge, and I even lost 5 pounds during this experiment.

A friend jokingly remarked, “It was all that cabbage you ate. It just melts the pounds away!”

Share this article
Shareable URL
Prev Post

Joe Biden Applauds Unions as Nationwide Strike Action Looms, Endangering U.S. Economy

Next Post

Active Userbase of Threads Plummets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read next