I just came back from my mom's. She fell and hurt herself quite badly so I headed over to help out for the day. My first task was to decide what I'd make for dinner. This required a review of her fridge and freezer. I was seriously depressed when I found an expired box of fresh spinach, unopened and a 3 pack of romaine hearts gone bad. I even found a cream cheese that was unopened and expired Nov 2009 in the back of a shelf! Then I played the "Name That" game while trying to identify frozen meat packs hiding in the freezer. People, people, people label EVERYTHING that goes into your freezer. It's a simple task that makes life so much easier in the long run. Tomorrow I'm going to do an inventory of her freezer contents and get a list done up for the freezer door so she'll know what she has without having to poke around and play the "Name That" game every time she goes to cook.
Mom had a just made a Pete's run the day before her accident. If you live anywhere near Halifax or even visit once in a while, you've been to Pete's for a top notch selection of veggies. If you're not lucky enough to live here, then if you ever head this way plan a trip, even if it's just for snacks. It's a fun spot. Mom had veggies at home she had forgotten about plus she bought a bunch of stuff at Pete's so I wanted something that would make a big dish with lots of leftovers and use a lot of her veggies. So what did I do?!
Lasagna! It's a great way to use a whole lot of veggies. (and I managed to identify some ground beef to throw in as well) For today's edition I used leeks, onion, mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus and tomatoes. Man was it tasty. And Lasagna doesn't have to be too complicated. Fresh lasagna noodles freeze right in the package and are ready to go when you are or buy the ones that don't need boiling. You don't have to get really complicated with the sauce or you can buy something already to go. Today I just used a can of tomatoes and tomato paste with some italian seasoning sprinkled in. And the very best part.... tons of leftovers that freeze beautifully!
I'd like to take this opportunity to speak to the issue of overbuying. Either make a list of what you need or want before you go to the grocery store or as soon as you get home, take your receipt and sit down and make a menu plan. Go through the items you bought and determine what will go bad first then use it first. And so forth and so on. Don't assume you'll remember what you bought or what you planned to use the items you purchased for. WRITE IT DOWN!! It is the simplest and most effective advice I can give you.