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Day 258: Creative cooking with food bank ingredients


I luuurve you guys like these two kittehs luuurve one another., i.e. A LOT!

You guys, I feel like I have a secret weapon in this food basket challenge and that is ALL OF YOU GUYS. For serious. After I got home with my bags of 1/3 lettuce, 1/3 white bread products and 1/3 other stuff, I was not sure what I would eat. I was envisioning a week of just eating peanut butter sandwiches (a la contestants on Big Brother after losing a challenge) but I don't even have enough bread to do that.

But then you guys came through with so many great suggestions of recipes! I made carrot soup! I made croutons! Apparently, there is such a thing as lettuce soup! I'm going to do... something... with lentils! (Lentil hummus? Lentil and potato soup?)

Lentils: nature's little WTF? 
So then I got to thinking (TM Carrie Bradshaw) that do food bank recipients necessarily know what to do with lentils? It's pretty easy to Google easy recipes with various ingredients, but a lot of them assume you have lots of kitchen things (i.e. food processor, good knives, a big pot) and food bank peeps don't necessarily have all of those. I know that they can all use the internet for free at their local library to google recipes, though! Yay libraries!

The big lesson I've learned so far is: donate good food to the food bank. Because just because someone is in need of help, doesn't mean they can't have yummy food. I remember being blindsided a few Halloweens ago when food bank fundraisers came to the door and were like, "We don't want candy. We're picking up non-perishable food for the food bank!" And my roommate and I took this as a good opportunity to get rid of random things we hadn't gotten around to eating - a can of chipotle peppers, a can of escargot I got one time as a joke, canned wax beans.

Escargot: nice to eat from a fancy restaurant, but somehow really skeevy to eat from a can.
I know they're just snails but... I don't know. In a can? Canned snails?
At least in a restaurant, you can pretend like it's something fancier than that.

Note to the world: food bank people don't want your crappy food. Much like libraries don't want your crappy books (all 350,000 of them). I mean, crappy food is obviously better than starving, but I know for sure I'll be more mindful next time I donate food that it'll be something that I, personally, might want to eat.

So anyway. One of my AMAZEBALLS frugal advisors provided me with a meal plan that I'm going to try and stick to for the rest of this challenge. The one thing I'm not sure about what to do with, still, is the thing of plain yogurt. I know I need the dairy, but how do you eat this when you don't have fruit or anything yummy to put in it? If I add it to a soup, won't it like... curdle or something?

Thanks, team!


Anonymous said...

I would think a dollop of plain yogurt in your hot carrot soup would be a little slice of heaven...

Sarah Klein said...

Yes, to yogurt in soup! Also, you could add it to a potato soup to make it creamier (since it often calls for milk), or to mashed potatoes for the same purpose.

tristadawn said...

totally! whip the mashed potatoes with yogurt and throw in spices if you have that available. it will feel creamy and smooth and I THINK the yogurt would work well in place of milk in whipped potatoes.

I saw a link that you can make cream cheese from yogurt..?

Kerry said...

Actually, one of the things they recommend you do to support food banks is give money instead of items--food banks have lost traditional sources of donations as store supply logistics have improved, and can leverage money into a more reliable supply of food instead of just relying on donations.

And yes, some people don't have knowledge or pots and pans, or even stoves that work and that makes everything that much harder.

jesspoole said...

I used to love plain yogurt with molasses for desert!

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