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Sunday, February 11, 2024

Use It Up Food Challenge: 2/11/24

  What is a 'Use It Up Food' challenge?

 It's about food waste or more specifically not wasting food ...

 It's about repurposing our leftovers into another dish,

 It's about using every part of fruits and vegetables,

 It's about using up the really small amounts of food ...

It's about using up food scraps, peels and stems ...

It's about being mindful of every bit of food that comes in and through our kitchens and finding a use for it ... all of it!

That's our purpose for this series, so, how did we do this week?

This week I was checking my onions and discovered that several of them were starting to turn soft.  Oh! Oh!  Time to get busy ...

I peeled the onions and put the skins, peelings, end pieces, etc in the freezer to use in meat broth making or maybe to make some onion broth.

After I finished peeling the onions, I chopped and added them to the crockpot to caramelize.  I added Worchester sauce and balsamic vinegar for flavoring.  These cooked approximately 6 hours in the crockpot.

I then made up some beef broth from beef bouillon powder, because I didn't have any beef bones on hand to make it from scratch, added the caramelized onions to the broth and canned it all up together.  I plan to use this in cooking beef roast or other cuts of meat and as a base for soups and stews.

That was my use it or lose it project for this week, how did you meet our 'use it up' food challenge this week?

until next time,

 mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

 She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

 Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

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  1. Use it - don't lose it. I love using up everything, as it is just smart and economical. Your onions look wonderful.

  2. Love this Patsi! Thank you for the recipe for the carmelized onions.

    1. LaurieS, you're welcome. Caramelized onions are easy to do.

  3. I have to remember those onions for next time I have soft onions. They look wonderful!

    The only food waste this week was one small leaf of lettuce. I bought that lettuce three weeks before we finished it. so that was great.

    Two weeks ago I bought five pounds of grapefruit on sale. I love it but often forget to eat it so this time I am putting one in the fruit basket and putting out another when I eat that one. This seems to be working.

    1. Lana, out of sight, out of mind! I have that problem too, but you've come up with a good and practical solution. I will have to borrow that idea!

  4. I confess to waste this week. Most of a bin of salad greens spoiled before we could get to them. I need to remind myself that we don't eat as much as we did 10y ago!!!! At least it is feeding the compost pile??? And the bin will be used for seed starting in March!

    1. Elle, we suffer from the same malady! When you've prepared meals for several people for a long time, it's hard to change that mindset. You're still getting use out of the salad greens though, maybe not what you had originally intended, but it will still reap you benefits in the long run. Way to go!

  5. Those canned onions look great, Patsy! To Elle, I don't work for the company or anything, but can't praise Locknlock containers enough, especially the ones for "bread", which are too narrow for ANY bread, but are ideal for lettuce and produce: I used month old, still perfectly fresh celery and scallions in a stir fry this week. Leaf lettuce stays fresh for at least 3 weeks in them, too.

    Speaking of which, last Sunday I roasted a value pack of 2 beef tri-tip roasts. Our son took home the leftovers from the one cut for dinner. The 2nd went uncut into the fridge and the next morning I sliced it for sandwiches--cold and hot--that we had most of the week. I've found cold meat is easier to slice razor thin. The last of the thin slices were then cut into strips for a veggie/meat stir fry over rice. They were pre-trimmed, but the small bits of fat cut off before slicing went into a baggie in the freezer to season frozen veggies later on. All roasting pan liquid was strained, put in the fridge, then fat skimmed and transferred to the freezer. Bread crumbs were made with the last bit of stale bread and toasted in the oven at 250 degrees to make "panko" crumbs.

    I have a funny recipe to share that I'll call Lazy Meatballs. An AZ store (Basha's) had Italian sausage on sale this week 2/$5. That's CHEAP here, where a pack is usually $8 each. There are 5 links to a package. Usually I just vacuum seal them, but Hubs and I don't eat 5 sausages for a meal. So, I thought I'd partially freeze them, cut them into evenly sized pieces (same length as diameter), remove the casings (comes off easily when partly frozen), and pan fry them as meatballs! Once evenly browned, add some water to your skillet, turn the burner to low and simmer them for 10-15 minutes. Drain, cool and you have sausage meatballs that can be frozen in batches. Save all the liquid left in your pan. Once chilled in the fridge, fat skim and freeze to season veggies like Italian green beans or summer squash. --Elise

    1. Elise, look at all you did with those 2 beef tri-tip roasts! I'm impressed! The next time I find Italian sausage on sale, I'll going to try your 'Lazy Meatballs!'

  6. Patsi, those onions look yummy! This week I had. Bit of pot roast, a half of a baked potato, some carrots and celery that needed to be used. I gathered all the meat drippings from the freezer, added a bag of mixed veggies and some water to the pot, put the leftovers in and got two quarts of beef vegetable soup. We had some for dinner with garlic bread and some went into the freezer. I also had 2corn tortillas, a handful of arugula, half an onion, two sticks of string cheese, and a half cup of shredded zucchini. Sauteed all the veggies, put in a square pan beat some eggs and a bit of ricotta in the blender with a little water poured all that over the veggies, Torr up the tortillas and placed that with the shredded string cheese over the eggs and baked until done. We had this for another dinner with a salad This save also proved us with extra portion for another dinner. I get great satisfaction
    with stretching food to its max. Cookie

    1. Cookie, you should be on top of the world then, you are an expert at getting the most out of your food. I get so inspired every time I read one of your comments!