quarantine cabinet raid – recipes with expired food

I took some of the abundance of spare time I have right now during the quarantine to clean out my kitchen cabinets of food that is nearing or past its expiration date. Can someone please tell me how I moved into my apartment in the beginning of 2019, yet I have a package of seaweed that expired in 2014?! Oh boy… I found a lot more food that was past its expiration date than I was expecting. A couple things got tossed straight into the trash. RIP garbanzo bean flour that expired in 2018… But for the rest of my unsuspecting little finds, I have created some interesting concoctions, thanks to the plethora of creative recipes from the internet. *round of applause*

Warning: Some of the things I created don’t necessarily look edible. I ate it anyway. I was extremely hungry. Sometimes it tasted pretty good even though it looked gross, and sometimes eating it was a big mistake. Proceed with caution.

Amaranth Pudding
I made my pudding tropical by cooking it in coconut milk and topping it with dried apricots, macadamia nuts, a generous sprinkling of coconut sugar and a tiny pinch of balsamic sea salt from Hawaii. It was quite tasty, if I do say so myself. And it helped me use up the expired amaranth, the expired dried apricots, and the leftover half can of coconut milk that has been sitting in my fridge for a week. I’d definitely make this amaranth pudding again. You can top it and mix in literally anything. It’s like making any other type of porridge or oatmeal really. I give it a thumbs-up, even though Abdulla said it looks gross lol.

No-Bake Coconut Crack Bars
I’ve never tried crack (duh) so I guess I can’t really compare these bars to how good or addicting crack is. But they’re alright. The vanilla extract gives kind of this weird bitter/alcohol aftertaste. It basically tastes like the inside of an almond joy, which is kind of fun I guess. It was a good way to have one last use out of my bag of shredded coconut that apparently expired in 2018… oops.

Lemon Chicken Over Sorghum Pilaf
The marinade on this chicken is quite tasty. However, it dripped down to the bottom of my oven and made a mess 🙁 This recipe helped use up a large portion of my expired sorghum! And I learned that sorghum is quite tasty, when you cook it all the way. It’s chewier than a lot of other grains and has sort of an earthy taste, in the most pleasing of ways. But it takes a while for sorghum to cook, so don’t make the mistake I made and under-cook it. >_<

Amaranth Polenta
The cheese DEFINITELY helps to give this simple little grain some flavor. So I added even more feta cheese on top, after melting some cheddar into the dish. YUM. And eating 1 cup of amaranth gives you not only a full belly, but 32 grams of protein! Time to get SWOLL! *waddles around with chest puffed out, grunting and smashing things*

Split Pea Soup
This split pea soup is made of literally just four ingredients. Green split peas, vegetable stock, salt and olive oil. It looks gross, I know. But I wanted to make it because (1) I had a bag of green split peas that expired three months ago, and (2) Mark Bittman, the author of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, says that while most people think you have to add a ham hock or smoked chiles or toasted seaweed to split pea soup in order to make it tasty, this soup allows the green split pea flavor to sing on its own.
To be honest, I liked the first bowl. But that was because I was starving. When I went back for a second bowl, I took two bites, spat it out in the sink, and dumped out the rest. It smells like… weird. And the texture is very watery yet very sticky at the same time. And the flavor is very monotone – like Napoleon Dynamite in soup form. Don’t make this. Unless you want to poison an enemy.

Zucchini and Sun-Dried Tomato Sorghotto
So I actually used jarred roasted bell peppers instead of sun-dried tomatoes in this, and that substitution actually turned out okay. I’m sure sun-dried tomatoes would have been better, but this is about using up food so it doesn’t go to waste. Utility over flavor here, my friends. The sorghum is definitely not cooked after just 15 minutes in the pressure cooker though, so this is a real workout for the ol’ jaw muscles. The zucchini did become pretty “creamy” because it sort of just disintegrated in the pressure cooker lol. I don’t think I’d make this one again.

Popped Sorghum
Yes, I did try to pop sorghum in a pizza box. Yes, that plan did fail miserably. I thought, hey, since I don’t have small paper bag, I could use a leftover pizza box that fit perfectly in the microwave. They’re both made of paper right? Genius, I thought! But I soon smelled burning pizza box and saw smoke or steam (with my luck, probably smoke) coming from my microwave, so I promptly turned it off and didn’t open the microwave all night. I didn’t want to open the microwave, because my heart was literally pounding with fear that I’d set off my smoke alarm at midnight in my apartment. So I just slept in the stench of burnt sorghum and pizza box. Without any to eat. Therefore, I strongly urge you to use caution if you try this one. But on the other hand, look how cute these are – it’s like adorable baby popcorn! Awww!


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what do you think? :)

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