This is an idea I've used before, but I give full inspiration credit to
http://glutenfreeeasily.com/everything-soup-and-cornbread/ in this case.
Between cleaning out the cupboards of everything with gluten and getting my paycheck a.k.a. grocery money today, there was a bit of a gap where the kitchen was bare indeed. It wasn't completely bare though, and after reading through a bunch of recipes on the site above, I was inspired by the "everything soup" idea. It's essentially a gumbo; you toss whatever bits of leftovers you have into a freezer bag, then toss it in to make soup. The appeal is that you have a different flavor every single time.
So I looked around the remains of our pantry and fridge and put the following in a crock pot to make enough gluten-free soup to last a good solid week!
4 frozen chicken breasts
1 small bottle of white wine (a Riesling, about 2 cups; I buy these specifically for cooking wine, as I only have to open a small bottle at a time instead of wasting a full 750ml when I'm the only one who drinks it)
The remains of a slightly shriveled ginger root (about 2 tablespoons minced)
A large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes (leftover from Thanksgiving, about 2-3 cups cubed)
half an onion, chopped
four slightly shriveled and half-frozen carrots from the back of the fridge (no longer edible raw) chopped
half a red-pepper, diced
about a cup of green onions (about to go bad but not quite slimy yet) chopped
about a cup of dried pinto beans from the back of the cupboard.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cardamon
1/4 cup butter, sliced
4 cups of water
Everything went into the crock pot about 9:00am, and by 5:00 we had a large amount of golden, delicious, slightly sweet and fruity soup. I added another 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the finished soup at the end to give it a nice fresh flavor and bring out the other flavors by raising the acidity (vinegar works well for this too!).
This is a great way to use up leftovers, especially if you have one of those "too little for another meal but too much to throw away" situations. Stuff it into a dedicated ziplock bag in the freezer. I'm planning to do a soup every grocery day (about two weeks) to use up leftover fresh produce before we re-stock the fridge. The best part is that because every batch is different, there's enough variety to satisfy anyone!
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