Use it or Lose it

Sometimes we buy food for whatever reason, and it just doesn't get used.  I know it happens to me, and hopefully when it does, it was something that is somewhat usable when you discover it is still there. 

That is what happened with this product.
Normally, this is a refrigerated product, so it shoould be used by the expiration date.  At our commissary, almost everything is frozen, so when I first moved here and commented about the lack of vegetarian options in the commissary, an employee showed me this.  It was frozen, and on significant clearance because it was expired.  But it had only been frozen, it never sat in a refrigerator case.  I was hesitant, but they were eager to give me some options.  I purchased it and it has been in my freezer for a year.  Yes, a year, and I will admit it expired a year ago.  I rediscovered this when clearning the freezer to make room for Ryan's birthday cake (see below).  I had an idea for a dish, but I knew I better test the meatless product first to see that it was not spoiled.  Even though it is not meat, there is still a chance it had gone bad, but I knew it was probably unlikely.

My plan was to make a vegetarian chili.
I put the no salt added tomatoes and the tomato sauce into a pot and heated it up.
Then I rinsed off my beans.  I used two kinds for some variety.
Then I added in the meatless crumbles, which I had defrosted for a day in the fridge.
After a short period of time, actually very short, I had some vegetarian chili.
So I loaded up my bowl...
and added some cheese to the top.  It was delicious, and super easy to make.  Ryan even tasted it and liked it, so I may make this again, and add some other ingredients.  For this batch I used black pepper and chili powder, but I think next time I need more.  I will probably try out some hot sauce too.
So, there you have it, sometimes you have to use it or lose it.

Actually, the same rule applies to this next dish.  I had bought a 4 cheese florentine mac and cheee prepared box side dish from Target the last time I was at home.  I went to make this for dinner and when I opened it, I noticed it had grown mold.  We are so humid here that the boxed grow mold and it transfers to the food inside.  I am usually careful and put everything into plastic bags.  I guess I forgot with this food.  I already had the water boiling and it was getting late.  Ryan came up with a great idea.  We made the rotini pasta instead and then added the cheese mix to this.  It was a great way to not make a complete waste out of the mac and cheese.
Now here is one where I did have to through some away.  I guess  I bought too many yogurts before I went out of town.  When I got back, Ryan mentioned new flavors on my favorite yogurt.  I was so excited I bought 5 new ones.  They had peach-passion fruit (pictured), chocolate cherry, and blueberry.  I had to buy them.  When I got home I saw the others, already expired.  I tried one out and it was surprisingly fine.  I ate 3 of the 5 I had left over, so I did not feel like I had wasted so much.  Ah, now I have moved on to my new flavors.  I love this yogurth so much.
Well, that was it for my use it or lose it products.  I do not think I would have remembered or cared about the soy product if I was not making room for the ice cream cake.  I had to take the meatless crumbles out of the freezer and into the fridge just to make space, along with throwing out some other leftovers.  In the end it was worth it to enjoy both the chili and this cake.
The commissary just happens to sell a Carvel ice cream cake.
Ryan was super excited and this meant I didn't need to bake a cake.  Plus, this was really good.
QUESTIONS:  Have you had a use it or lose it moment this week?  Have you ever "lost" something in your freezer or refrigerator?  Do you like ice cream cake?

5 comments:

Beth said...

I often find things that are a bit past their prime...but mostly they're pantry staples, like rice, so I just use them anyways!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

I don't just like ice cream cake, I LOVE it! This one looks so good. I love the fudge layer, it's a must in an ice cream cake.

I think when things are in the freezer they are fine, even after a year! The only possible problem is freezer burn or the taste of freezer (yuck) obviously that's not fun. This chili looks awesome. I do not typically buy meat-free meat, but in recipes like chili I love it! And, so does Nick.

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Yes, I have "lost" things in my freezer plenty of times. I now try to "clean out" = use up everything in my freezer every few months. But things still get lost sometimes...

I'm actually not a big fan of ice cream cake. I'm weird, I know! Hubby LOVES ice cream cake as he had it every year for his birthday growing up...

Have a great weekend!

Simply Life said...

oh that chili looks delicious!

Mer said...

AHHHH love Carvel!! Has some over the weekend @ Megan's shower. nom nom nom!

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