Thursday, November 5, 2009

The no-shopping dinner menu

Having discovered I had completely well and truely blown my budget for the month I decided I would have to eat only what I have in the house for as long as possible - allowing no veg to go to waste and getting creative with what I had in the freezer and pantry.

And somehow this is the most fun and interesting my vegan cooking has been! AND actually quite delicious.

Tuesday: I started the week with teriyaki tofu steaks, with asian mushrooms and bok choi sauteed in garlic and ginger.

Wednesday: I was off to the pub so could get away with a meal consisting solely of two cobs of corn and a few crackers with hummus. Followed by a main course of a few pints of the finest vegan beers at Grumpy's.

Thursday: A quick stirfry of bell peppers, bok choi, asparagus, onions and mushrooms in Braggs, mirin and blackstrap molasses with tofu steaks on the side.

I then went away for the long weekend and came back with some leftover veg - and whipped up steamed asparagus spears and fried eggplant rounds with quinoa on a bed of rocket and red onion salad with cider vinegar and tahini dressing. (This was surprisingly great! The bitter rocket was great with the slightly salty eggplant and the nutty quinoa and the delicate asparagus, topped with the vinegary dressing. Or maybe I was starving.)

And last night was a few crackers in beetroot dip whilst waiting for my entree of steamed mushroom dumplings with sweet chili and soy dipping sauce, and a main of corn on the cob. Ok, not such an obvious combo but I was getting a bit desperate and determined to eat my fridge empty! I made up for it with dessert: Purely Decadent Cherry Nirvana soy icecream with grilled banana patties, maple syrup and cacao nibs. Divine. Even better if I had fresh strawberries.

And what's great is I think I can keep going through to next week also and use things I have bought but not got around to trying yet! So going by the success of this last week I think I will make this a permanent addition to my cooking: 1-2 weeks of eating the place bare.


  1. I'm in a similar mode of using pantry and freezer items right now, but more due to laziness and a lack of enthusiasm for shopping! I'm curious about your grilled banana patties... is there a recipe?

  2. I should do this too...I've got so much food in my pantry and freezer (not to mention the fridge!) and I really should be using up what I have rather than buying more. I agree with Theresa on your grilled banana patties...they sound fascinating.

  3. Aww, sorry to disappoint guys - but they are frozen ones I bought from Coles, basically small bananas covered in batter which you whack in the oven. As far as I can tell the ingredients are vegan, but I don't think they are entirely healthy - I reckon you could make up a recipe or just fry up some bananas and they would be just as good or better!

  4. Hey Niki! We're planning to be at Grumpy's tonight and usually sit at the platformed table between the trivia host and the door. Might see you there?