I hope you look at the title of this post and say to yourself, “what the heck does that mean?”. If not, props to you for being a connoisseur of vocabulary. I’ll give you a clue as to what this word means and maybe that way you can figure it out.

Clue: This word describes the dinner I had last night. My dinner consisted of about 10 stray pieces of kale made into tumeric-covered kale chips, a salad, hummus and cucumbers, and a medley creation of frozen veggies mixed with Shirataki noodles, Trader Joe’s Green Curry paste, and vegetable broth.

Do you think you know what the word means now?

How about if I put it in the term that my roommates and I have named these kind of nights: Garbage Disposal Dinners. I know, it sounds gross, right? These are the nights that I’m sure we all experience in the kitchen. They are the nights filled with opening and closing the refrigerator door dozens of time before finally concluding that yes, your shelf is empty and so is your produce drawer and all you have left is a packet of Shirataki noodles, some honey mustard, green curry paste, and pickles. They are the nights where you envision yourself driving to a restaurant – any restaurant – just to find food that looks better than a jumbled mess of forgotten-about frozen vegetables and weird, green lookin’ sauce.

I hope you’ve realized by now that the word ‘gallimaufry’ essentially means hodgepodge or jumble of items or objects. In my case, I’m admitting that my dinner was made out of a gallimaufry of ingredients.

So why share all of this? Because, it’s nearing the end of the week and I’m worried that you too may be experiencing the empty-shelf blues. Before you go out and buy yourself a colorful, happy bunch of new ingredients to set your creative, culinary mind into overdrive, here’s a picture of my dinner for inspiration. If I can make a dinner out of frozen vegetables that have been shoved in the back of the freezer for months, and a bunch of cilantro that was crying out to flavor my soupish creation, then you can too. Trust me, even though it might seem like a struggle and a far less desirable option than the take-out down the street, you’ll feel great starting the weekend off with a clean shelf and a full belly.

A rough estimate of how I made this dinner: open the bag of Shirataki noodles and let them drain. Rinse them well and then leave them sitting in the strainer for a little bit. Combine frozen mixed veggies (broccoli, zuchini, cauliflower, peas, mushrooms, etc.) in a skillet and pour vegetable broth over the top. While it begins to cook, mix in about a quarter cup of Trader Joe’s Green Curry sauce and about a quarter cup of plain soymilk. Let that simmer until all the ingredients are well blended and the veggies cooked. Next, pop the noodles in the microwave for a minute and then top them off with the curry sauce and veggies! Enjoy the ingredients that you have lurking in your fridge or freezer! View this opportunity as a “spring cleaning” of sorts, but for your fridge!

Question: do you ever have “garbage disposal dinner” nights? What’s been your most creative concoction when you have limited access to ingredients?


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