The Poorman's Meal #Sponsored by OXO

A few weeks ago I talked about how to regrow green onions using nothing but leftover onions, a glass, and some water. It's a great way to stretch things a little further in kitchen and hardly requires any work at all. Today I thought it was time for my next tip: how to reduce kitchen waste, especially from produce that isn't being used up quickly enough.

Let's face it, we've all been there. Sometimes you have an over abundance of food from the garden or a recent shopping trip and sometimes you just plain forgot you had something and it's starting to look a little sorry. I frequently find myself in this situation, so every other week I make a dish I've always known as The Poorman's Meal. I'm sure it has a billion and one other names, but that's what I've always known it as, so we'll just keep the name for now (even though it's probably not politically correct.)

This dish consists of whatever odds and ends I have on hand that are starting to get old. In our case it's usually some really wrinkly bell peppers, onions and potatoes that have started sprouting, and the last sausage in the package that I've forgotten to use up. The nice thing about this meal is that there is no recipe. I've seen it made with green beans and bacon instead of sausage and peppers, you just toss whatever leftovers you have in a skillet, cook them up, and season it with a little salt, pepper, and garlic. This meal couldn't possibly be easier and it's a great way to reduce your kitchen waste while spending only a trivial amount of time actually cooking. 

Don't forget to keep reading after the recipe for a quick review of a great tool from OXO that will help you on your quest to reduce waste in your kitchen. 

Want more tips for using up your leftovers? Make sure to check out our posts for Southern-Style Sawmill Sausage Gravy (to use up expired milk) and Banana Split Bread (for brown bananas.)

DISCLOSURE:  Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a mandoline for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

DISCLOSURE: Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 Campaign, through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a mandoline for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

The Poorman's Meal
makes approximately 3 servings

Ingredients

1 tablespoon salted butter
1 large potato, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
6 - 8 ounces sausage (I use Andouille)
sea salt, black pepper, and garlic, to taste

Directions

  • In a saucepan melt butter. Add sliced potato, bell pepper, onion, and sausage. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, flip the potatoes so they brown on both sides, then cook for an additional 10 - 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Season with sea salt, black pepper and garlic powder before serving.

Notes

If you find you're out of one of the ingredients listed, try substituting the missing ingredient for something you do have. I've seen this made in a number of different ways and it's always been tasty. If you want a real treat, trying making it with maple sausage links instead of the andouille, fry or scramble some eggs, then serve it as breakfast for dinner. This is one of those meals that's tasty any time of the day.

OXO Chef's Mandoline 2.0 | Not Starving Yet

Review

 

OXO Good Grips Chef's Mandoline Slicer 2.0:

When I talk about reducing waste in the kitchen the first thing that springs to mind for most people is food waste. The simple truth is this: most people toss a good portion of the groceries they purchase each week. Often times it's leftovers that have gone uneaten or produce that has spoiled before it could be used. This translates into a lot of money that goes straight into the landfill. This wasted food and money is one of the reasons I make sure to incorporate dishes like the poor mans's meal into our menu rotation frequently—it cuts down on one form of the waste I frequently see in our kitchen.

Now I want to give you a little food for thought—food isn't the only thing that people waste when they're cooking. Time is another thing that is frequently wasted, but it's not something most people stop to consider.

If you're anything like me then you've probably wasted plenty of time standing at the fridge wondering what to cook. You've also likely wasted time searching for missing ingredients in your disorganized pantry or making last-minute trips to the store because you've discovered half way through a recipe you're missing a key ingredient. Anyone who has cooked a meal has been there, but what you may not realize is that you've also been wasting time by using tools that aren't quite up to the job at hand. This may sound like common sense, but having the right tool for the job can save a lot of time and that extra 15 minutes you save by using a more efficient tool can make the difference between a home cooked meal and ordering takeout for the third night in a row because you're too tired to cook.

That said, I've actually been a naysayer when it comes to using some of these time-saving tools in my kitchen. I don't have a large kitchen, so every tool I own needs to be a multi-tasker and it needs to perform well. To date I've not had a good experience with using a mandoline as the one I've own for years is a bit of a heath-hazard. The blade is always falling out and at one point took a huge chunk out of my hand that resulted in a trip to urgent care. Early in our marriage my poor husband came home to an unlocked apartment with a trail of blood leading clear across it, then discovered I was no where to be found. I was at urgent care receiving nearly 15 stitches while he wondered how an axe murdered got into the apartment.

After that I tucked the mandoline away and went back to using a knife, which works well for most tasks, but it's not always the most efficient way to cut up a huge pile of potatoes or vegetables (especially if you want them thinly and evenly sliced.) 

When OXO offered to send me the new version of their chef's mandoline I was curious to see how it differed from the model I had from their competition. The first change I noticed is that the blades are permanently stored in the mandoline, you'll still need to slide them out to adjust the type of cut you want, straight or crinkle, but they're locked in to place firmly and won't fall out. Even fine-tuning the thickness of your slices is simple—there's a red slider bar that adjusts in 0.5-mm intervals allowing a paper thin cut or something thicker like I used for today's recipe. You can even make julienne, waffle, and French fry cuts with the turn of a knob. The easy adjustment knob and the blades that stay put solved the two biggest pet peeves I had when using a mandoline. It was incredibly easy to set the thickness I want and produce a pile of potatoes that were uniform in size and therefore cooked evenly.

A mandoline may not be for everyone, but there are certain times when using one is much faster—especially if you have a huge pile of potatoes, zucchini, squash, or onions that you need to cut into uniform slices. If you find yourself performing this task on a regular basis, then it's definitely a time saving tool you may want to consider for your kitchen. 

Where to Purchase


OXO Good Grips Chef's Mandoline Slicer 2.0: Find it on Amazon or purchase it directly from OXO

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 Campaign through the blogger outreach program. They have provided me with a mandoline for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Pantry Organization & Spring Cleaning with OXO #Sponsored

Last month I decided to tackle a huge organizational project—my home office. This month I'm at it again, but it's our kitchen and pantry I'm hoping to get back in order.

It's been a while since I've given any thought to organizing my pantry. Way back in 2014 (as you can see from the photo below) it was a disorganized mess. Very little had changed over the past few years until I discovered that my laziness had finally caught up with me. I pulled out a bag of flour to bake my son a cake and found it full of weevils. They're those annoying little bugs that you find when you've left your flour sit too long.

Whoops!

I guess that means I should bake more cakes... or remember to put bay leaves in the bags... or maybe clean my pantry a bit more frequently?

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Spring Cleaning & Organizing with OXO blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of pop containers and cleaning tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Spring Cleaning & Organizing with OXO blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of pop containers and cleaning tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

A not-so-quick cleanup got rid of them and fortunately they hadn't spread beyond my flour bin, but in the process I found a swarm of silverfish that had been making themselves right at home eating the glue that holds together my canning jar boxes.  I made it a priority to pull everything out, get rid any paper boxes, and put my bulk dry goods away properly. 

After that I ran out of steam...

By the time Spring rolled around you couldn't even tell I'd organized anything. I had tons bags hanging everywhere and no idea what was in them. When OXO reached out to me a few weeks ago about testing out their POP containers (and a few other goodies) I thought I'd give my pantry the proper cleaning it needed—starting with the bags of snacks and other one-off items I can never find a place for. Those are the things that tend to end up stuffed in grocery bags and hung from hooks, never to be heard from again.

Pantry Before

What I really like about the POP containers is the variety of options. Whether your shelves are large like mine or on the smaller side, you'll likely find one to suit your needs since they come in several different formats (square, rectangular, and round.) Since they can be stacked several high they'll accommodate a variety of shelf heights which is especially handy if you don't have adjustable height shelves in your pantry or kitchen cabinets. With the variety of shapes and sizes you'll be able to store your leftover bits and bobs just as easily as a 5lb package of flour.

Out of all the containers I've actually found the smaller sizes the most useful for reducing the clutter in my pantry. My half-eaten packages of nuts, chocolate, and granola fit in the 0.3 and 0.9qt containers perfectly, so I no longer have a bunch of open packages cluttering up my shelves. You can see from the photos how much of a difference moving my open packages of food to storage containers did to keep things more organized.

Where to Purchase

10-Piece POP Container Set: Find it on Amazon or purchase it directly from OXO

In addition to the POP containers I did add a few other items during my pantry reorganization to help make things more manageable. The first was a beverage organizer that holds 24 cans of soda. I decided this was necessary after I dropped a half-open case of soda during my pantry clean-out and had it explode all over everything.

Talk about a mess! 

I never want to clean that up again, so with the new organizer I know that my precious stash of Dr Pepper (that I use for making Dr Pepper Pulled Pork) isn't wasted when I have butter fingers.

The second addition was a set of command hooks running up both walls. These hold packages of tuna, spices, pre-made sauces, and other odd-sized items that have a hole punched in the top. This way they're easily accessible and I can quickly see what I need to restock without having to dig through the pantry.

IMG_7350.JPG

Now no organizational post would be complete without a little Spring cleaning thrown in for good measure. Fortunately OXO also sent me their new Microfiber Under Appliance Duster to help me get started. Let me just say that I've never had a kitchen tool terrify me as much as this one! It occurred to me recently that the last time I cleaned under my stove was when it was installed eight years ago. I'm pretty sure it's a disgusting wasteland under there, so I chickened out and have been using it to clean under our furniture instead.

The duster's long handle makes it perfect for fishing out all the toys and snacks that find their way under our couch. It's raised off the floor, so all sorts of things get lost under it. After the first pass I came away with a large collection of lost legos, balls, bits of play-doh, snacks, a few random socks, and a whole lot of salt, dirt, and cat hair. It's only been a month since I pulled the couch out to clean, so I can only imagine what I'll find when I work up the courage to clean under the stove. It's accumulated eight years of dirt and grime, so can you blame me for procrastinating?

On the plus side, the duster comes apart easily and cleans up with a quick wash in cold water, so once I'm brave enough to tackle the kitchen at least I won't have a lot of extra clean-up to do.

Where to Purchase

Microfiber Under Appliance Duster: Find it on Amazon or purchase it directly from OXO

IMG_7351.JPG

Last but not least is the OXO's Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Set. It's a handy set of nylon brushes and scrapers that helps you reach the hard to clean spaces in your kitchen. It's especially great and cleaning off all the burned-on crud that builds up around the burners on your stove, but I've also found it useful for cleaning around the sink and backsplash, or scraping off stubborn stuck-on food from stainless steel pots and pans. 

It has a lot of uses, so it's one tool that would be a valuable addition to any kitchen.

Where to Purchase

Kitchen Appliance Cleaning Set: Find it on Amazon or purchase it directly from OXO

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Spring Cleaning & Organizing with OXO blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of pop containers and cleaning tools for evaluation, but no other compensation was given for this post.