Real Life Chopped

I’ve always wanted to see an episode of Chopped that reflects my kitchen.  I’m never going to run out to buy cactus flower buds, and I’m definitely not interested in what they can make with goat brains (I can’t even say gross because in my house that means you have to try it!).


What I would like to see, is what these talented chefs can make with the contents of my fridge: near empty carton of milk, one piece of bread, half a chicken breast, and two eggs.

Of course they’re welcome to use my vast supply of condiments and the container of tortilla chips that apparently no one wants to finish- because they’d have to put it in the dishwasher- so it’s mostly crumbs.

Breakfast, school lunches, dinner, and a snack. Ready…set…go.

Ok, there are a few other ingredients, but there’s definitely significant empty space in the fridge.

Although, even if I’ve just returned from the store, someone will invariably claim that we have nothing to eat.

imageOn the other hand, I hate over buying food and having it go to waste. Obviously that isn’t the greenest option.

If it feels like you’ve been throwing out well-intentioned food (that recipe for brussels sprouts sounded good at the time, right?!), or you’re too busy/tired/unmotivated to grocery shop, host your own “chopped challenge.”

What can you make from three close to stale pita breads, 1/2 a jar of pizza sauce, and goat cheese? Bake the pitas; put the goat cheese in the center of a baking dish & surround with the sauce- heat for a few minutes- voila! It’s Tapas night with baked goat cheese!

imageEnlist the kids help. “Johnny, what can you make out of this?” “Why I can make a hat, or a brooch, or a…” oops- sorry, I digress.

Kids are creative chefs, and they always welcome a little family fun competition.

Use your sparse ingredient list to test a vegetarian dish. Mix together leftovers for a new stir-fry or paella.

How can one chicken breast feed four people? Shred it for quesadillas or add it to Southwest salad.

Instead of feeling guilty over waste, use your creativity. You may even develop a new favorite recipe.

What’s your most successful “Mother Hubbard” dish?

Chopped Photo Credit
Airplane Photo Credit


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