No Food Shopping Challenge

1 Jan

December 14, 2009 – Backdated Article

Last month, eGullet, a food forum that I’ve been following for a couple of years now presented a challenge which required no food shopping for a week and taking advantage of the available food in one’s fridge, freezer, and pantry.  Coincidentally, Ryan and I have been discussing not doing any food shopping on the weekend prior to leaving for our annual holiday visit in California to see our respective families (even if we weren’t going anywhere I’d have taken the challenge for the fun of it).

However, I’d be lying if I say that we completely went without any food shopping.  Thankfully, the rules are fair.  For instance, rule #3 states, “No making yourself miserable.”  Because we have two piggies with serious lung power and never hesitate to use said power when they’re hungry we had to actually food shop.  It just so happens that they love lettuce so to protect our sense of hearing, Ryan and I made a lettuce run to appease the little beasts.

The rules:

Our household’s results:

December 04 – Broiled black cod with rice – Oh, the surprises our freezer and pantry have in store for us.

December 05 – Linguine with anchovies and olives – I’m a fan of anchovies and olives, and what better way to put the two together.

December 06 – Broiled shrimp – Ryan loves shrimp so we keep a couple of bags of the yummy crustraceans on hand in the freezer.

December 07 – Leftovers

December 08 – Baked tuna and pasta casserole (with potato chips on the side) – All the bags of pasta and cans of tuna in the pantry put into yummy use.

December 09 – Leftovers

December 10 – Turkey pot pie – This is what became of the leftover turkey, vegetables, and pie crusts from Thanksgiving.

December 11 – *Kimchee rice and beef stir fry – I got the recipe for the kimchee rice from Sungyong, a good friend and little brother figure.

Our pantry, fridge, and freezer yielded pleasant results.  Monsieur “Fat Guy”, manager of egullet, is right when he said that we become more careful when we have to make do with what’s available.  Challenge or no challenge, it’s a good philosophy to apply, don’t you think.  The No Food Shopping challenge is one I’d definitely happily participate in again and again.

6 Responses to “No Food Shopping Challenge”

  1. ryanr 5, January 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    I never would have guessed that we didn’t do any shopping prior to that week based on the diversity of what we ended up eating. Nice photos!

  2. Jessica L 12, January 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    That’s a lot of yummy looking food there! Great variety for not having gone shopping too.

  3. cfchef 20, February 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    I’ve just done a half-hearted version on this based on being wiped out by honeymoon/Christmas/trip to London/weekend in Cambridge all unavoidably one after another! It’s surprising how much we have stashed away in the storecupboards, fridge and freezer.

    I’m planning to do this again properly in the next few weeks – it’s a great way to think more inventively about what you have to hand. Thank you!

    • chroniccravings 21, February 2011 at 11:37 am #

      Keep me posted, cfchef. Looking forward to reading your stories and checking out your recipes!


  1. No Food Shopping Challenge 2010 « Chronic Cravings - 19, December 2010

    […] Dec Winter 2009, I participated in my first “No Food Shopping Challenge“, a challenge pitched by eGullet, a nonprofit organization comprised of gastronomists, both […]

  2. No Food Shopping Challenge 2011 « Chronic Cravings - 13, February 2012

    […] A simple food challenge presented by eGullet that I partook in 2009 has become an end-of-the-year tradition for us, which I schedule before we leave for our annual home visit to awesome California.  Doing the challenge before our vacation is an excellent way to clear out frozen and refrigerated foods.  “Waste not, want not”, as the saying goes. […]

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