Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Foods & Recipes Inspired by the 6 Ingredient Challenge

Six Ingredient Challenge buttonJoin the Six Ingredient Challenge hosted by Hobo Mama and Anktangle!

We're on a six-week path to eat more whole foods, guided by one simple rule: Buy foods with six ingredients or fewer. And we're blogging about our journey on the way.

This week we're answering the question: What new foods or recipes have you tried or discovered?

You can see all the responses to this question today at this link-up post at Hobo Mama and Anktangle.  
If you're a blogger who's published a response, please post the URL in the linky below so we can visit to read. If you don't have a blog or haven't published a response, feel free to provide your answer in the comments on this post on either Hobo Mama or Anktangle.

Next week's writing prompt is at the end of this post along with posting instructions.
To join in the Six Ingredient Challenge anytime during the six weeks, visit the sign-up page for a list of posts and to link up!



My answer:


I have to admit I haven't been trying a lot of new foods so far. I have, however, been trying a few new cooking strategies over the past few weeks. I'm making a much more intentional effort to cook at home and to not let any food go to waste. After just a few weeks of being more purposeful with food, we've saved quite a bit of money from our food budget—great motivation to keep it up!

One strategy I've been using to prepare more easy meals at home is to utilize my crock pot more frequently. Actually, I have two crock pots in different sizes, and it's not unusual to find both of them on my counter running at the same time: I often cook a main dish (soup, stew, risotto, or roasted meat) in the larger one (I think it's a 7-quart) and veggies in the smaller one (3-quart). Thrift stores are great places to find cheap slow cookers, if you don't have one. Check out my Pinterest board of crock pot recipes for more ideas about all the different things you can make in your crock pot!

Along with using my slow cookers more often, I'm making an effort to prepare meals ahead of time to store in the freezer. As I mentioned in my Challenge reflection last week, this past weekend I hosted a freezer meal prep party at my home with a few of my friends. I thought it was wildly successful and also far easier (and more fun!) than preparing food alone, and we've decided we're definitely going to do it again soon.

Here's how it worked:

I chose a recipe (beef stew) based on what vegetables were on sale through Azure Standard. Then I bought bulk carrots, onions, and potatoes through Azure for the prep. I took a trip to Grocery Outlet for bulk spices and tomato paste, and I bought the stew meat on sale from Fred Meyer.

On the morning of the gathering, I set out a few snacks and put on water for tea, and we got down to business chopping vegetables and assembling the freezer bags. I had slated two hours for prep, but we ended up starting about half an hour late (we were all running on mama time that morning). Even with the late start, we finished all of the food prep in just under an hour, which left some extra time at the end for socializing and having tea together. Each mama put in some cash to cover the price of the food, and in the end, we each went home with two completed crock pot freezer meals (ready to store in the freezer and then pull out and plop into the crock pot for an easy dinner).

The part I enjoyed most about this meal prep gathering was the sense of community I felt throughout. It took about the same amount of time for us to prepare eight meals as it would've taken me to make one or two by myself, and we all benefited from spending time together laughing and socializing while we worked. I'm excited about next time!




We hope you'll join us by blogging or journaling about the writing prompt each week. We'll introduce the prompt each Thursday and host a link-up for the answers the following week.

Start formulating your answers to Writing Prompt #4

What has been the easiest part of this challenge for you so far? The most difficult part?

Writing prompt #4 guidelines:

  • You have till next week to think of a response to the prompt. Post your response on your blog anytime by next Thursday.
  • Next week's post (2/28) will have a writing prompt linky where you can link up your response.
  • If you don't have a blog, you can leave your response in the comments on next week's post (2/28).
  • Copy and paste the header below into your post to tag it as part of the challenge.
  • Responding to the writing prompts is optional and just a fun extra way to play along! We encourage you to at least think out a response.

Header code for your writing prompt #4:

Simply copy the code in the box and paste it into the html box of your blogging software to appear at the top of your response post.

Link up your answers to prompt #3!

What new foods or recipes have you tried or discovered?



2 comments:

  1. I love the idea of your prep party ... what fun. And how nice, sometime later, when you pull out that freezer meal and pop it into the crockpot. Fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was really fun. I only wish I had organized it sooner!

      Delete

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