Do you ever wonder what to do with those random items in your fridge and pantry? How to use food scraps that aren’t quite scrappy enough for the trash?
You know the ones. The handful of broken nuts at the bottom of the jar, the half empty box of pasta, the one carrot, one celery rib, and opened can of green beans in the fridge.
Instead of just ignoring them until they go bad, use those foods to make a meal! You barely have to think about the ingredients, just pick a style of meal and make it happen.
Whatever you have on hand can be prepared in any one of the following ways:
- roasted – put everything but pasta in a 9×13 baking dish, dab with pads of butter and roast at 350 degrees until done. Serve over cooked pasta.
- soup – put everything but nuts in a large pot, cover with homemade chicken stock and simmer until noodles and vegetables are cooked through. Chop nuts and sprinkle before serving.
- stir-fry – put everything but pasta in a wok or large sauté pan, drizzle with sesame seed or coconut oil and sauté until al dente. Serve over cooked pasta.
- salad – cook pasta and when done, put everything over a bed of lettuce.
A quick, non-complicated meal that avoids food waste AND saves money.
Those types of meals are not included in my meal plans at the beginning of the month, but don’t think I don’t make them! Before grocery shopping, I always check to see what is on hand and adjust my meal plan accordingly. I can easily change a soup or salad night to use up food that we already have instead of buying more ingredients.
Summer Dinner Recipes: June 2013
A note on summer dinner recipes:
- This meal plan is for a family of four and costs approximately $350. Prices will vary per region and with family adaptations
- Many of the meals utilize portions from a prior meal to make cooking easier. Keep that in mind if you change any of the dinner recipes.
Summer Dinner Recipes: Week 1
(S) Grilled Apple & Cheese Sandwiches
(M) Red Curry Lentils
(T) Spaghetti with Dinner Rolls
(W) Coconut Cashew Beef Stir-Fry
(T) Minestrone Soup with Man Bread
(F) Homemade Mini-Pizzas on Man Bread
(S) One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potatoes
Summer Dinner Recipes: Week 2
(S) Prime Rib with Garlic Green Beans
(M) DIY Salads with Dinner Biscuits
(T) Grilled Beef Sandwiches on Whole Wheat Bread
(W) Spinach & Chicken Enchiladas
(T) Tortilla Soup with Jalapeno & Cheddar Focaccia
(F) Black Bean Sliders on Homemade Buns
(S) Grilled Greek Chicken with Summer Squash Rice Pilaf
Summer Dinner Recipes: Week 3
(S) French Dip Sandwiches on Homemade Buns
(M) Minestrone Soup with Sourdough Bread
(T) Beef Tacos with Coconut Lime Rice
(W) Summer Squash Pasta
(T) Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwiches
(F) One Pot Cheeseburger Skillet
(S) Grilled Tilapia with Grilled Sweet Potato and Lemon Pepper Asparagus
Summer Dinner Recipes: Week 4
(S) Grilled Fish Tacos with Coconut Rice and Pineapple Salsa
(M) Marinated Beef Greek Pitas with Couscous
(T) Tomato Basil Soup with Sourdough Bread
(W) Buffalo Chicken Ranch Salad with Sourdough Bread
(T) Spring Vegetable Pasta
(F) Homemade Pizza
(S) Summer Chickpea Salad with Dinner Biscuits
Making meals that use up random foods in your fridge and pantry will help you stay within your frugal grocery budget. You can use those meals to cover the few days between months or insert them weekly to use up the fresh foods that would otherwise go bad.
If you need more summer dinner recipes – check out the meal plan archives!