Menu Plan Monday – Eating From the Pantry

Gluten free dosa

Last week was an interesting one, as I didn’t go shopping (apart from a carton of eggs and an avocado) and forced myself to eat what I had on hand. This is something I would like to do at least once a month, because I (still) have a very well-stocked pantry and freezer.

My problem is that I love food and cooking so much that I try to turn every meal into a gourmet feast. By not going shopping, I force myself to cook with what I have. Sometimes it turns out great, and sometimes not-so-great, but that’s not the end of the world, and I haven’t made anything completely inedible yet, so I still get nutrients. My meals for last week were:

Smoked oysters with sweet potato

Monday – Smoked oysters, with sweet potatoes, stir-fried greens, sauerkraut and homemade mayonnaise. I was not a fan of the smoked oysters and don’t think I’ll buy them again!

Mexican red bean casserole

Tuesday – I was at a vegetarian cooking class where we learnt to make Mexican food. Not all of it was gluten free, but I was able to eat the red bean and rice casserole, salad and soup. I’ll post about the class soon.

Mexican beans and rice with egg

Wednesday – Mexican beans and red rice, topped with an egg, served with homemade salsa, avocado and lime.

Stir-fried liver broccoli and kale

Thursday – Stir-fried liver, broccoli  and kale, with a baked sweet potato (topped with mustard) and sauerkraut.

Friday – Dosa (gluten free chickpea pancake – made using this recipe) filled with potato and onion curry, served with homemade mango chutney and lemon pickle (pictured above).

Saturday – Homemade pasta sauce (tomatoes, red lentils, zucchini and spinach) with leftover red rice and parmesan cheese.

Fried rice with sardines

Sunday – Fried rice with sardines, egg, bok choy, zucchini, carrot, onion and spring onions (made with the last bit of leftover rice). This was surprisingly tasty and is my new favourite way to eat tinned sardines.

Do you have weeks where you don’t shop? Do you have any tips to share?

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  1. Even if you “just” cooked from your pantry, everything looks delicious again. What is red rice?

    • It’s been in the pantry for so long that I’m not 100% sure what it is, but it looks similar to white rice, but is red in colour. I bought it in an Asian supermarket and haven’t been able to identify it on google.

  2. That all looks delicious. It’s kind of nice not to go to the store every week, a break from routine, and it frees up the time that would have been used shopping, to do something else.

  3. EK, your food still look pretty even with restricted ingredients. I’m sure they are delicious. And yes, can see how you love cooking 😉

  4. That all looks absolutely yummy! Joining in with Food Waste Friday has made me much better at using up what I already have.

    • Food Waste Friday definitely makes me think about using up the food I have in the cupboard, and judging by your blog you’re pretty good at reducing your waste in all areas of the home 🙂 I’m enjoying the slim your bin posts.

  5. EcoCatLady says:

    Can you come cook for me? 🙂 Seriously, it all looks delicious.

    I love smoked oysters, but I’ve never heard of eating them in bulk like that. I think the texture would get to me if I tried to eat them that way. I usually eat them on crackers with soup.

    • I’ll cook for you if you come to my place and bring spaghetti squash 🙂 I probably was eating the oysters the wrong way, and they were cheap ones from Aldi, so that might explain why they were mushy and not very nice.

  6. We do have weeks of cooking from the pantry, but it’s nowhere near as delicious as this! Looking forward to hearing more on the vegetarian class.

  7. I wish I had you on hand last night – it was one of those ‘I don’t know what to cook’ nights (settled for ramen with a sauce of miso, soy and mirin). I’m not surprised you didn’t love the smoked oysters – but good on you for trying them! Still a very healthy and diverse range of meals, good work!

  8. I’m impressed by your healthy and varied diet. Getting it without an extra grocery shopping day is even better!


  1. […] I try to avoid. For the most part I eat meals that are naturally gluten free, like baked potatoes, dosa and roast chicken, but sometimes I make my own substitutes like socca […]

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