Empty Cupboard Cooking & Our Allergy Meal Plan

I know that I’m not the only one who comes to dinner time (or later) and find there is no food to eat, let alone have something prepared.  While I do my best to avoid this situation through meal planning, shopping the grocery ads, and freezer cooking, it does happen sometimes.

A recent scenario of just that happened this past Saturday evening.  Our cupboards were quite bare after a busy week kept me from getting to the grocery store.  Saturday was filled with work around the house.  {We bought a house 4 years ago that needed major renovation.  We’ve been doing these renovations slowly over the years as funds and time allowed.}  Two weekends ago, we replaced the existing rotted front door with a new door.  Ah, no more rot, no more leaky door.  But now, enter me…painting.  This past weekend, while my husband and a couple men set out to put our fireplace back together (We found a leak around, in and above it 18 months ago, and promptly fixed that problem.  It has taken us until now to put it all back together though.), I set out to get that front door painted…black.  After 4 coats and “blue-ish” paint, we achieved a black front door.  Yay! Intermittently throughout the day, I was doing laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the house/directing kids to their chores, and cutting the grass.  Needlesstosay, it was a busy day.

Blue door? No, I want black!

Black Door...once it was done at night!

Dinner time at 8pm rendered us with no food.  We found some onions, peppers (the last of our garden crop), frozen mushrooms, and ½ pound frozen stew beef.  My aching body (seriously!) cleaned up from the day’s projects while my husband set out to fix up a yummy dinner with those ingredients.  The recipe is below.

So, why in the world did I give you this long drawn out story to end with a super simple, no-brainer recipe?  Well, to show you that you don’t necessarily have “nothing” to eat in your home, that your only choice is to head out to grab something from a drive-thru (although this was my initial vote).  There will be times when the former two are true, but that may be fewer times than you really think.  You just have to get a little creative and think outside the box.  For us, we thoroughly enjoyed my husband’s very simple and quick concoction, and I might just add it to our meal plan sometime.

Empty Cupboard Beef Stir-Fry

For those times when it seems there is nothing to eat.


  • 4 small onion
  • 1-2 bell pepper, sliced
  • 8-16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pounds stew beef
  • 2-4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper


1. Slice onions, peppers, mushrooms, and beef into strips. (Feel free to add in any other vegetables that you need to use up.)

2. Heat oil in large skillet (use whatever oil you wish, but make sure it has a high flash point). Throw all the sliced vegetables into the skillet and cook until beginning to brown. Add the sliced beef into the skillet and cook for another few minutes. Add more oil, if needed.

3. Season the stir-fry with garlic salt and pepper (and any other spices that sound good), and allow the flavors to meld together for another minute or two.

Serve as is or topped with a slice of your favorite cheese. Or, turn into a hoagie or wrap. Enjoy!

Do you have any empty cupboard tales to tell?


October 14-20, 2012

Sunday:  Crockpot BBQ Spare Ribs, Steamed Sweet Asparagus, Baked Beans

Monday:  Hamburgers w/ GF Buns, Breakfast Potatoes (recipe coming soon), Green Beans

TuesdayChicken Cacciatore

Wednesday:  Beef Tacos with Gaucamole Dip

Thursday:  Vegetarian Bean Chili (made with a blend of dry beans, peas, & legumes)

Friday:  Round Steak, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Salad

Saturday:  Refrigerator Round-up

What is on your meal plan this week?

Shared at Better Mom Mondays and Meal Plan Monday.

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5 Responses to Empty Cupboard Cooking & Our Allergy Meal Plan

  1. I love the name of your recipe!

    • Cook says:

      Ha! It was a stroke of genius! Just kidding. I suppose it doesn’t leave you wondering much what the recipe is about. Thanks for stopping in!

  2. Thank you so much for leaving me a note about the hamburger buns! Did they taste okay using the egg replacer?

    • Cook says:

      Hey Megan! Yes, I meant to come back and leave you a new comment about how they turned out. They were fantastic! My husband used 1 in the toaster the next morning for an English muffin. I was wondering about how well they freeze, so I saved one for the freezer. We haven’t tested it yet, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t turn out fine. Have you tried it? The process took some time (while well worth it) that I thought doubling the recipe and freezing half would be a great way to save time down the road.

      Thanks for checking back in with me 🙂

  3. Pingback: Empty Cupboard Skillet Hash & Our Allergy Meal Plan | The Willing Cook

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