My Pantry Challenge is well underway and my creative cooking juices are flowing! I have a long way to go before my pantry starts looking bare, but hey, it’s a work in progress.
Last week went mostly as planned except one minor glitch on Thursday night. I totally forgot about Supper Club and had to stop and pick up an appetizer and some wine. My budget took a hit there, but no new food came into the house, so that’s a plus.
Below is a roundup of my meals for the week. My recipes were picked mainly for their ingredients. I chose dishes that incorporated my fresh produce plus my pantry items. It was kind of fun to rummage through my cookbooks to find “the perfect recipe.” I won’t bore you with my salmon salad or baked chicken dishes; I’m just going to post meals that actually got my creative juices flowing…and maybe yours, too?
I made these parsnip chips last weekend for Sunday dinner at my sister’s. Really easy to make: just slice up, season, and roast.
I started Monday off with this flavorful Quinoa and Grape Salad.
Tuesday night I tried this super easy white bean and cabbage dish from Heidi Swanson of 101 cookbooks fame. Her cookbook Super Natural Every Day is a vegetarian’s dream. Her recipes are sophisticated yet simple and satisfying.
Wednesday night was this really awesome Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf from Oh She Glows. If you’re looking for a meatless loaf and you have some time to cook, this is a really tasty and satisfying dish for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. And it’s great as a cold leftover, too!
The rest of the week was a little less inspiring, salads and baked chicken and one meal out on Saturday night. Stay tuned for next week’s menu coming up on Monday!
You should definitely give the lentil loaf a try. It’s gluten and dairy free. A link to the original recipe is here, and below is my version.
Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf
- 1.5 cups steamed lentils I used Trader Joe's precooked lentils
- 3 Tbsp hulled hemp seed
- 1 cup walnuts finely chopped and toasted
- 3 Tbsp water
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1.5 cups diced onion
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 3/4 cup peeled and grated honey crisp apple
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp thyme
- salt & pepper to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
If cooking lentils, overcook slightly. Place cooked lentils in a large bowl and mash lightly with a fork. Toast walnuts in oven at 325F until lightly browned and aromatic. Set aside. Increase oven temp to 350F.
Whisk hemp seed with water in a small bowl and set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute the garlic and onion until soft, then add salt, diced celery, shredded carrot, and apple. Saute for 5 minutes and remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together until well combined, adjust seasonings to taste.
Grease a loaf pan and line with parchment paper and press mixture firmly into pan. Whisk up the glaze ingredients and spread half on top of loaf. Reserve the rest for leftovers or for dipping. Bake at 350F for 40-50 minutes, uncovered. Edges will be lightly brown. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before removing and slicing.