On Day 2 of our Clean-Out-the-Cupboard Week, we went to Costco, which is exactly not the kind of place that you want to visit if you're trying to clear the pantry. But we were running errands in the 'burbs with some friends, and they needed to go to Costco, so we tagged along.
When we announced this week of cooking down the food we already have on hand, we said that we would allow ourselves $15 to spend on items we want for the week. Doing this at a place like Costco has its advantages and disadvantages. In the plus column, prices seem pretty low. But at the same time, you can't get a small amount of anything. Buying proteins was out of the question, because there were only a handful of items we would have wanted for under $15. If we had been at another supermarket, we would have purchased a couple of onions. Here, we had to buy a 5-pound bag. So here's what we purchased:
A gallon of milk: $2.58
A bag of clementines: $6.99
Two bunches of bananas: $2.78
A 5-pound bag of onions: $4.49
So we went over budget by $1.84, but think we did pretty well. This really puts the pressure on, though, for making more out of what we have on hand. If you missed the list of what we have to work with, you can see it yesterday's post.
What did we cook and eat on Day 2?
Day 2 Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs and Salsa
Cupboard Items Used: Eggs, a jar of salsa
Degree of Difficulty: 1 out of 10
Verdict: This was a quick breakfast we threw together. If we'd had tortillas on hand, we would have made breakfast tacos.
Day 2 Lunch: Sweet Potato Soup with a Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts and a Maple Syrup Drizzle (pictured above)
Cupboard Items Used: Diced roasted sweet potatoes and other root vegetables we had frozen in the fall, onions, dried cranberries, maple syrup, toasted walnuts
Degree of Difficulty: 3 out of 10
Verdict: The soup is creamy and delicious. The cranberries and walnuts gave it a nice bit of texture. The maple syrup drizzle gave a bit of sweetness (which was good because the sweet potatoes were not very sweet).
[UPDATE: Several readers have asked for the recipe for the soup, so we have included one in the comments below.]
Day 2 Dinner: Roast Pork with Apple-Cranberry Mostarda, served with a Collards and Couscous Salad
Cupboard Items Used: Pork; for the mostarda: dried apples, dried cranberries, fig jam, and something called "citrus appetizer spread" that we're unsure how we procured; for the salad: Israeli couscous, collard greens, onions, olive oil, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and a hint of cinnamon
Degree of Difficulty: 4 out of 5
Verdict: The mostarda (inspired by this recipe) was sweet but played well with the pork, which we seared in an iron skillet and finished in a 400-degree oven. The couscous salad was delicious, with caramelized onions, thin collard ribbons and a hint of heat from red pepper flakes.
So that's Day 2 -- a success in our book.
For those of you doing this challenge with us at home, how's the cleanout week going for you? What have you made so far?