Cleaning Out My Closet

Well, okay, not my closet.

My fridge, freezer, cabinets and pantry. It’s getting ridiculous.

{Quick & embarrassing side note: my sister and I definitely used to rap to that Eminem song. My parents just loved that.}

You see, I have kind of a problem when it comes to grocery shopping – I get way too excited. I buy things that look fun. I buy things with which I have no idea what to do but regarding which I am convinced I will have moments of creative genius.

I buy things, in other words, that hang out in drawers or on shelves, that keep getting pushed to the back, that continue not to get used. I always have lots of fresh produce and don’t use the canned or frozen goods I already have because, well, the fresh stuff needs to get used up before it goes bad!

You all know what I’m talking about. You’ve all been there.

This week (and maybe next), I’m taking control of this ridiculous situation.

On Sunday (my normal grocery shopping day), I went to the grocery store for exactly three things: apples for after my lunches, bananas for smoothies and snacks (I was also out of frozen bananas, so this was necessary), and blueberries for breakfasts.

Oh, and I’d already purchased a few yogurts on Saturday, so I had that, too.

Okay, and I’d also purchased those two loaves of bread from Great Harvest. But, come on – that was a rare opportunity! And they went straight into the freezer!

But that’s it. Everything else this week needs to come from what I already have.

Breakfast on Monday was easy.

I mean, obviously I needed to break out my new and amazing bread from Great Harvest.

(The rest went into either Mark’s mouth or the freezer.)

For breakfast, I toasted a thick slice of the Raisin Cinnamon Chip, then spread some Smart Balance on top.

For some bulk and protein, I had a cottage cheese bowl.

Into the mix went:

  • 1/2 cup of 2% cottage cheese (which I’d had, unopened, in the fridge for at least a week and a half – but it was still within its expiration date!)
  • blackberries (left over from the week before)
  • blueberries (one of the lone new purchases)
  • 1/2 a banana (left over from the week before, though I did buy more), sliced
  • sprinkle of cinnamon.

Lunch, too, was a no-brainer. It also involved Great Harvest.

I had the other half of the previous day’s sandwich left over, so I obviously needed to work around that.

I added some carrot sticks (made from two of the small carrots I had in the fridge), an apple (as always), and a yogurt for some extra protein.

All together now:

The lunch was more filling than I had anticipated, so I didn’t end up eating the yogurt at lunch. Instead, I saved it for snack, when I topped it with a little granola from the office kitchen.

I got that Honey Almond yogurt at Target, on a whim. It’s Archer Farms. And it tastes like cake batter. You should probably go get some right now.

Monday night’s dinner, though it went undocumented (mostly because I had a surprise visit from my friend Jeff while I was cooking… oh, and FYI, Jeff is the guy you see posing with me after the mud run on my About page), was a zucchini I had hanging out in my produce drawer from last week, sauteed in a little olive oil and topped with garlic gold, salt & pepper, with a runny fried egg on top.

Breakfast yesterday morning was an ice-cold smoothie, which was strangely appropriate on this January morning because it was 80 degrees in LA yesterday. Ridiculous.

Into the mix went:

  • 3 ice cubes
  • big handful fresh baby spinach (left over from last week)
  • ~1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • heaping tbs 2% greek yogurt (the last of the container from TJ’s I got last week)
  • 1 scoop Greens & Whey protein powder

On top:

  • 1/2 tbs coconut butter, melted
  • small handful granola (from my office’s kitchen…. which I’d brought home. Does that count?)

For lunch, I was practically upholding a wedding tradition.

Something old:

(As in, it’s been in my freezer forever.)

Something new: a slice of Dakota bread from my Great Harvest excursion.

Something borrowed: a slice of cheddar cheese from the office kitchen.

While I microwaved the veggies, I set the toaster oven on broil and let the cheese melt and bubble atop the densely delicious Dakota bread.

Nothing blue. Sorry. I should have brought blueberries.

Check out the seeds on that bread! So good. So, so good.

Snack was a Larabar from my drawer full of bars. I had the PB&J flavor for the first time. I was kind of disappointed… it was pretty dry!

Not too shabby with my clean-up-the-pantry-etc. goal, right?

I also made a fun dinner from a bunch of stuff I had sitting around… but I’ll get to that in another post.

What do you have in your fridge/ freezer/ pantry/ cabinets that you’ve been meaning to use forever?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Cleaning Out My Closet

  1. I’ve got a bag of lentils that has been in our pantry for months =X

  2. This is the story of my life! I still haven’t figured out how to break myself of the buying and not using habit entirely, but it’s a goal! Your solutions looked yummy and effective 🙂 And yes, this LA heatwave is CRAZY! I needed a break from the cold though, so I’m loving it…

  3. I totally hear you on the buying too many grocery things. I don’t shop nearly as often as I used to, so I go from having an empty fridge to one that’s stuffed to the brim. So basically, I have way too much food for a few days and not enough variety for the next week!

  4. Andy and I have a goal to stop buying pantry items for awhile. It gets out of control way too easily. I’m hoping to eat down the pantry asap.

    That great harvest sandwich seriously makes me crave one! We should do a meet-up there one day!

  5. actorsdiet

    ok. i must get to GH stat!!!

  6. Laura @Backstage Pass

    Fun post and very relevant topic! I’ve got a pantry disaster waiting to happen. The culprit? My boyfriend, who crams the shelves full so we can never see what we have.
    The worst right now is pumpkin. Since there was a shortage earlier in the year, I kinda overdid it. I have at least 6 huge cans hoarded in the pantry, yikes.

  7. I love doing a pantry/fridge/freezer clean out! I often times buy out of sheer product excitement and then never figure out what I want to do with it.

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