Use It or Lose It

by Sarah on September 21, 2011 · 18 comments

So after last week’s What I Ate Wednesday post about hating to waste food, and then going to see DIVE!–which further solidified my strange need to avoid wastefulness as much as possible–well, I’m back with what we might call, Part II*: Use It or Lose It. I hope you (the party guests) and Jenn (our unfailing hostess), will forgive me for revealing yet more ways in which my frugal sense of repurposing [AKA “trying as hard as possible not to throw anything away”] has served to influence what I’ve been eating this week.
*Anyone else think Roman numerals look SO much more awesome in titles than standard numbers.^
^If the others are Roman, do we call these “English”?

Just because I’m avoiding food waste as much as possible doesn’t mean I don’t buy fresh fruits and veggies. [Hello! Y ‘all KNOW my life is a produce lovefest.] I would have been very sad to miss out on those incredibly sweet grapes I stumbled upon at HEB. And obviously I cannot live without gum.* 😉
*Not a vegetable. Occasionally a food group.No, it just means that I try not to overbuy, and get just what I think I’ll actually eat. Pairing fresh with leftovers is sort of how I’ve been eating these days. One lunch featured leftover BBQ chicken on top of cauliflower salvaged from a roommate dinner, and peas I’d thawed for my Indian Butter Chicken. Twice this week that meant I ended up with rather boring* looking salads, both featuring fresh spinach, mushrooms, and cucumber, with my Baked Falafel (in patty form) on top.
*But is boring really that bad?My need for color (for once) did not lead me to unnecessarily go buy more tomatoes or bell peppers or extra carrots—which I already had as a snack–but instead pilfer through open condiments in the fridge for some Stonewall Kitchen Red Pepper Relish.This wasn’t so bad, really, especially as I was able to continue the Greek theme following a dinner with my lovely friend Katelyn at El Greco, which featured us sharing the Hummus Trio [traditional, roasted red pepper, and a Hatch chile hummus not nearly as awesome as mine ;)] platter……and me taking home the leftover pita bread to pair with some remaining tzatziki in my lunchbag.The olives we didn’t finish? Well, they were the perfect addition to an impromptu charcuterie platter created from some saved-from-languishing-in-the-fridge-unenjoyed proscuitto and Antonelli’s Cheese Shop-purchased venison pate and duck salami.*
*Amazing as you imagine it might be. Unless you think it sounds gross. Then you’d be wrong.Of course, you can’t go to a cheese shop and not also buy cheese….and then to a market for bread, where you’ll obviously have to leave with marinated artichokes. Right?There aren’t always such smooth transitions in this “Use It Or Lose It” philosophy. Sometimes you come home from a fabulous lunch at San Francisco Bakery & Cafe…bearing a hard-boiled egg and a slice of the best sourdough bread EVER.And after eating the bread with lunch, you end up with a REALLY random dinner: mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, that egg, and tomato…topped with garam masala, nutritional yeast, red pepper relish, and…mustard (?).Plus a random piece of California roll. [Why not…?]

Followed by tortilla chiplets and spicy smoked black bean hummus.

Who am I kidding?
It might seem random, but it’s not really to me.
Most of my dinners look like that.

Just like most of my breakfasts look like this:

Except because my new philosophy has been a bit of “What should I eat?” rather than “What do I want to eat?” I didn’t touch the ‘weeks ’til expiration*’ date and focused on using up other calcium sources in the fridge.

*Not that I ever pay attention to that with yogurt. 😉

Like buttermilk.

Yes, I did eat buttermilk for breakfast. But when you think about it…it’s kind of like kefir, isn’t it? Cultured milk instead of yogurt? Besides, mix it with a little almond milk and add some maple extract…and it was actually quite good.In my ode to Raffi, I ate it all mixed up with ‘opals and banonos.’
This “should” vs. “want”* idea also means that despite the fact you might have noticed your Maple Coconut Peanut Butter jar is PERFECT for finishing with breakfast…
*Which is almost sounding like a first grade economics lesson.That will last indefinitely…but almond milk? Well, it won’t.^
^Although it does last a helluva long time.So you make a very large pancake with a flax egg and multigrain pancake mix….and due to the fact that the first pancake ALWAYS fails…well it’s not pretty.
But you can dress it up in my love (in my love)…with coconut butter, raspberries, and mango and Tiger Stripe fig so ripe they are like jelly.And although you SHOULD eat it in Pan-crepe or Pan-rollito form…
…you’ll WANT to eat it with a fork on a pie plate…while driving. [And this time the want will win.]

I’m not saying it was smart.
But it happened.
[Although I put it on the floor after I was finished.
Goll, otherwise that would have been STUPID.]
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