Tricks & Treats

1 Nov

For the first time in many a year, I had a very sober Halloween!  Oh, growing up is so much fun.  Instead of dressing up like a skank or a meatloaf (yes, I dressed up as a meatloaf one year), I enjoyed some Thursday Night Football at home and watched Christina finish painting my living room.

Disclaimer:  While I was much heavier in 2008, I tied half a dozen sweatshirts/pants around my torso to make myself appear like a lumpy meatloaf for this costume!

meatloaf2008

Halloween 2008

Yes, I am a meatloaf in pan.  And yes, I have a gravy cape made out of hideous thrifted curtains.  Amazeeeeeballs.

Anhoo….

I’ve been doing a really great job staying on track with food as of lately.  I’ve been cooking delicious, healthy things and snacking smart!  I know I talk a lot on this blog about the importance of where food comes from (ethically sourced/grown/local), what it contains (chemicals, GMOs, etc.), but there is another side to it as well.  It makes me absolutely sick to think about how much food I used to throw away, for no other reason than I was too lazy to store it properly.

Here are some of the week’s note-worthy dinners with a few tricks (no, not the Halloween kind) thrown in the mix!

On Tuesday we had Crockpot Beef Tacos (cooked in a yummy adobo-based sauce) and Spanish Rice. We ended up eating this beef for lunches over the next 2 days.  I will share the recipe here in a few days!

crockpotbeeftacos

I only needed 2 peppers out of a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  Buying a whole can, using just 2, and then throwing the rest out is just plain wasteful so here’s my little tip:  Puree the remaining peppers in the food processor. Then, freeze it in a log shape.  That way, I can just cut from the log as needed for future recipes!

ChipotleAdoboPuree

Also, remember when I saved big on tortillas using coupons?   I had used the fajita size wraps long ago, but the taco size tortillas were still lingering in my freezer.  I HATE how defrosted bread products taste.  Something about the composition changes and they just taste old.  Solution:  Wrap the stack of frozen tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave on defrost setting until they are thawed.  By adding the extra moisture back into the product during the thaw, it keeps the fresh gummy-like consistency that it had when I first bought it!  Winning.  I even got Miss Picky Pants’ approval on the taste/quality of the taco shells.  Let me tell you, she would freak out if she knew they were way back from May!

On Wednesday we had this Sweet Potato, Black Bean, & Chicken Chili.

BB.SPChili

This recipe called for just 1 T. tomato paste, so I of course wanted to save the leftover tomato paste.  At one point in my life, I was buying a can of tomato paste every week, because I would toss it after using a tablespoon! I cringe even thinking about that now.  Instead of freezing it in a log, I scooped out tablespoon size dallops, froze them on a cookie sheet, and then transferred them to storage bag. (Sorry for the poor quality, I only thought to take a pic after they were frozen, so the moisture is all condensed on the bag.)

tomatopaste

So those are my tips on freezing and storing commonly used items!  It’s just as important to make sure that you make the most out of the things you buy as it is to make sure that you buy local, organic, and ethically made products.

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3 Responses to “Tricks & Treats”

  1. Mom November 4, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    How did I miss the year you were a meatloaf?!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Crockpot Shredded Beef Tacos | SOLE for the Soul - November 3, 2013

    […] will make this short and sweet because I’m just here to share the recipe I used for Crockpot Shredded Beef last week!!  It was so good that I think I will be planning a few more Taco Tuesdays into our […]

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