Cleaning Out My Kitchen

As previously mentioned, I am moving across the country in three weeks (ACK!!!).  In the name of not wasting food and saving money, I am going to try to eat as much of the food in my freezer and pantry as possible before I leave.  I knew I had quite a bit stockpiled, but going through my freezer is always a fun adventure.

I started the clean-out game last week with this meal, mini bowtie pasta with cheesy sauce, sauteed seitan beer brats, zucchini and red pepper, caramelized onions, paprika and roasted brussels sprouts .

pantry:  pasta, paprika
freezer:  beer brat, cheesy sauce
leftover from another meal:  zucchini, half an onion
bought:  red pepper, brussels sprouts

Last night for dinner I made a similar sort of concoction – rice, mushrooms, peas and tofurkey kielbasa with cheesy sauce, savory carrot salad.

pantry:  rice, salad dressing ingredients
freezer:  cheesy sauce, peas
leftover from fourth of july:  kielbasa, mushrooms
from the fridge:  carrots

Want to play the clean-out game with me?  Here’s the list of what I have to work with.


one portion tamale pie
veggie broth
two seitan beer brats
alphabet soup
chocolate wafer cookies
veggie burgers
chickpea cutlets
chick’n strips
2 bags marinara
white bread
wheat bread
ww hamburger buns
seeded burger buns
ww hotdog buns
ww rolls
english muffins
mini bagels
pie crust
blueberry waffles
strawberry jalapeno corn muffins
blueberry muffins
gf orange poppyseed mini muffins
mini bran muffins
oatmeal raisin cookies
choco-choco chip-walnut cookies
bit of broccoli
lima beans
shelled & unshelled edamame
mixed berries
onion rings


can split pea soup
can corn
can rogan josh curry sauce
can chickpeas
cellophane noodles
1/2 c quinoa
shake n’ bake
ww orzo
4 ww lasagna noodles
spelt spaghetti
potato buds

I can figure out what to do with the cookies, muffins and soup (eat them!), any ideas for using the rest?  The breads in the freezer will make at least three pounds of bread crumbs.  Some ideas I have are:

chickpea cutlet parmesan (chickpea cutlets, marinara, pasta, shake n’ bake?)
falafel and tabouleh (chickpeas and bulgur)
succotash (lima beans and corn)

I don’t think realistically I can eat all this stuff in three weeks, but I’m gonna try!

Unrelated cute picture:  It rained a lot here yesterday; I got soaked walking home from the bus stop.  There is a pond in the courtyard of my apartment complex that is apparently full of frogs, and when it storms they go NUTS!  They were so loud that I had a hard time sleeping last night.  When I went in the hallway to take out the trash this little guy was glued to the wall.

I’m not sure how he found his way up to the second floor, and if I were a less squeamish person I might’ve returned him to the ground.  Here’s hoping froggy found his way home.


  1. VeggieGirl said

    Good luck with your upcoming move!!

    Aww, cute little frog :0)

  2. This is your pantry-food?! you lucky! I really don’t think you’ll be able to eat all this food in 3 weeks, but I guess it’s worth a try! 🙂

  3. aTxVegn said

    You could invite my son over and he would eat all your food in one week! And he would help all the froggies get home.

    Don’t know if I told you this the first time you posted it, but I love that you made a carrot salad without sugar and raisins!

  4. Damn girl, you got some serious eating to do. My suggestion? Have a freezer-cleaning party and invite your friends to help you create new dishes…it’d be like a cooking party/ going away party. Or you could donate some to a local Food Not Bombs, if you guys have one.

  5. Hellooo cute little froggie!

    Wow, good luck with all that food. I’m excited to see what you come up with.

    Your meals look so good (but I’m not surprised; they ALWAYS look so good).

  6. I’m just impressed that you’re cooking and blogging when you’re about to move! Grace under pressure, for sure!

  7. Theresa said

    Ugh, those frogs are so annoying, aren’t they? In my tiny back patio, I have at least six that make SO MUCH NOISE whenever it’s even slightly damp outside.

    If I were you, I would focus on the freezer items, since you can hypothetically bring some pantry stuff on a move, or at least donate them to a soup kitchen or something. Also, I would expect some odd matches, and not worry if things ‘go’ together well!

  8. Caroline said

    I run into the same dilemma at the end of every break–I have to use up all the food that I’ve stockpiled before I head back to school. There’s no way my family would use all my tofu, tahini, and turnip greens! I can’t wait to see your creative dishes!

  9. Best of luck on the move! It’s too bad you can’t take your cute little froggie friend with you. 😉

  10. Jennifer said

    Wowsa, that’s a lot of food to get through in just a few weeks. I agree with Theresa though, focusing on your freezer and refrigerator items first, because, if all else fails, you can pack your pantry items. Sounds like a fun challenge though. I’m not moving, but I know I have lurking around my cabinets that need to be eaten. Maybe that will be part of my next months challenge to live more simply. There is always room for improvement.

    I must have missed something though – where are you moving to?

    That frog is really cute. Aw! We have (albeit brown and ugly) little tree frogs in our neighborhood and they get REALLY loud at night – between them and the screeching nighthawk there can be quite a din.

  11. jessy said

    clean-out game = super fun! and your meals are looking super tasty! gotta love reducing so as to not waste! yay!

    (i tried to post earlier, but i think it got lost so i’ll retype! sorry if this is a repeat!)

    lasagna noodles + marinara + local eggplant + local squash + bread crumbs. mmmmmm!

    frozen veggies + bulghur + veggie stock = summer soup (if there’s such a thing as summer soup! hahahaa!)

    orzo + sauteed veggies = orzo salad

    chick peas + curry sauce + onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes = indian yummies.

    maybe you can bread up some zucchini + eggplant to fry & enjoy.

    frozen veggies + chick peas + bread crumbs = homemade veggie burgers. if it makes a lot – invite friends over for grilling out funness!

    you can also give away goodies to your friends, or have a clean-out food party at your place and invite friends! or bake them dinners to enjoy!

    bananas + berries = smoooooooothies!

    biscuits + chick pea cutlets + gravy = mmmmmmmmmm!

  12. Cecilia said

    good luck on your move! Yummy meals you have there, the rice dish looks really yummy and creamy :0)

  13. Let me know if you need any good tree frog recipes to go with your refrigerator and freezer contents. They make great stir fries.

  14. Dawn said

    I sympathize! I am moving in 3 weeks too, about 8 hours away. No luck in taking my freezer or fridge items, but am bringing my dry goods with me.

  15. Janeen said

    I can help with your overstocks of food. 🙂

    Specifically I would be willing to help with those lovely choco-choco chip-walnut cookies.

  16. “As previously mentioned, I am moving across the country in three weeks (ACK!!!). ”

    I feel your pain. I HATE moving. Moved from Indiana to North Carolina- not fun.

  17. julieannef said

    WOW-you can fit a shitload of stuff in your freezer!! I’m jealous.

    I have no recipe ideas, my only idea is to invite people over to eat 🙂

    -Julie’s Kind Kitchen

  18. veganhomemade said

    Veggiegirl – Thanks!

    Alice – Yes, it’s a challenge for sure, but one I’m up for. Most of the baked goods are only a few of each thing, leftover. That’s how it all fits in there.

    Bianca – A food party sounds fun, but now is not the time for me to be organizing anything other than me getting out of my apartment on time! I think I’m on my own for now 🙂

    Except for you Janeen, you can come eat my foods anytime.

    Lisa – Well, I have to eat. And if it’s decent I figure I might as well take some pictures and spread the love..

    Theresa – I don’t normally mind the frogs as they make a background noise that’s actually kind of nice to listen to at night, but for whatever reason they were riled up that night, bigtime. I think there was one big boy frog that was rallying the troops.

    Jennifer – I’m moving to the East Bay area, east of San Francisco. And it might be fun to make cleaning out your pantry a project! Saves you money, and opens up space to buy new stuff.

    Jessy – Thank you so much for all the suggestions! Those are definitely some combos that I would not have come up with, and I’m going to try to get to a few of them. You’re a very creative lady!

    JohnnyPeepers – Thanks but no thanks on the tree frog recipes, I’ll let them stay in the pond for now 😉

    Dawn – Good luck with your move! It is not an easy thing to do, that’s for sure.

  19. Good luck with your big move, I can’t imagine how stressful that kind of move is. But you’ll be well fueled with all those pantry goodies! And that frog is so stinking cute!

  20. Louise said

    Aww a frog! I love frogs =) I just came across your blog today and have been reading through your entries, you make some amazing looking meals! Especially considering you are just trying to empty out your freezer! =)

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