Okay, friends. I have to confess that I felt a bit like a cheater when we got this assignment. Prior to coming to class, I had placed an online grocery order AND confirmed my HelloFresh subscription delivery for the week. Groceries showed up on Wednesday, and HelloFresh arrived Thursday. So I had lots of food on hand and several recipes I was committed to preparing. In general, I think I do a pretty decent job of keeping cupboards stocked. I still fall into the convenience and processed food traps, but not as much as I used to. I like to cook, so that helps.
My cupboards typically have beans, soups, and pastas. I’m not much for canned veggies. Would rather use fresh and prepare them as needed. This works out well with HelloFresh, since most of the veggies they send are fresh. The grocery delivery included bell peppers, avocados, chicken breast, and ground beef (all of which were on sale). So I decided to include one of my HelloFresh adventures in this blog post and also one of the recipes I intended to make from my groceries.
The HelloFresh recipe was Spicy Shrimp Linguine. The photo shows the ingredients that were sent and the finished product. I will confess to adding some garlic bread (the frozen kind that I know is not healthy but have a hard time resisting) to that plate after taking the picture. I was really pleased with the dish overall. I try to always choose a pescatarian meal if one is offered in the delivery menu, because I like fish but don’t tend to buy it at the grocery unless it’s frozen or on sale. The best thing about this dish, other than the taste, was that it portioned out to three meals. I ate one Friday for dinner and put the other two in the freezer for a future meal.
The next recipe was chicken chili. This one is my own modification of the recipe on the back of the prepared spice mix (pictured). I shred the chicken instead of cutting it up, because I like the consistency better. I also use chicken broth instead of water and use the pot in which the chicken was cooked/shredded. I think it adds to the flavor. I add green chilies and bell pepper (1-1.5). In this case, I even added some celery because I had some on hand that needed to be used up. I also throw in some extra black pepper, garlic, onion, chili powder, and cumin. I’ve tinkered with this recipe for a while to get it the way I like it. The McCormick’s prepared spices are good, but they don’t pack enough of a punch for someone who grew up in Texas.
Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the state of my cupboards and refrigerator. I would say my biggest downfalls are putting things in the freezer and leaving them too long or buying things and not using them quickly enough. Part of this is a result of living alone and not always having people to help me consume what I make. Part of it is the result of buying things to experiment and then having more than I need or deciding I don’t care for it after all. (The meal delivery subscription services are helpful here.) The other thing I wish I was better about is having fresh veggies on hand. I do a better job of this– I’m sure most of us do– in spring and summer. As good as I am with freezing, I’d like to learn how to can. I think that would help me take better advantage of summer veggies. Maybe that should be my next cooking class. . .