I love getting free food. (Who doesn't?) The other week I was lucky, because after a local charity organization finished giving out the food they brought to the recipients, anyone was able to come take what they wanted, and my friend Ewa let me know that they had some great stuff. I'm so grateful that I have a car that going to pick up things is not even a question, it's just an extra 10 minutes out of my time to get a lot of great stuff.
They had a lot, and I mean a LOT, of quark cheese. It's this soft cheese that I guess you can compare to Greek yogurt, both in terms of taste and texture, but not quite. I'm honestly not the biggest fan of it (in addition to it bothering my stomach) but my kids enjoy it somewhat. But in my opinion, the best way of all is using it in other recipes, which my kids do enjoy, so I got some. These were not sold in their usual tubs, and instead were sold in bags of 1.5 kg, which was a lot. I decided to take 3 of them.
They had a lot, and I mean a lot, of avocados. Some were mushy and gross, but many were perfectly ripe, and if left at all, would become overripe and gross. So I knew that I could take as many avocadoes as I could either use within 2 days or figure out a way to process them to stop them from ripening.
I grabbed some apples, onions, hot peppers, and a few sweeties as well, and brought them home to see what I could do with them.
I decided to challenge myself to see how many things I could do with what I brought home before it goes off, knowing that I had a lot of foods that were more on their last legs.
First of all, I made sure to wash all the produce I brought home and dry them very well, because they were touching spoiled produce (which is why they were free) and I wanted to get rid of any germs that might speed up spoilage.
Already that night I used some of the quark cheese to make a crustless cheesecake for my kids. I have no idea how it tasted because it was with gluten and eggs, but the kids seemed to appreciate it, even if it didn't come out perfectly.
I mixed the quark cheese with tomato sauce, spices, grated cheese, pasta, and water, and baked it together for an easy baked "ziti". (I didn't use ziti pasta.) (I slightly overcooked it. Oh well. Will do better next time.)
I took some avocadoes that were ripe bordering on overripe, mashed them up, and froze them to make guacamole in the future. I put them in ziplock bags and divided them into two when freezing so I can remove just part at a time instead of defrosting it all at once.
I took some of the hot peppers and boiled them up, the blended them with other ingredients to make homemade sriracha, using this as the base but obviously with changes since it was with fresh hot peppers instead of dried.
I used some of this sriracha to make spicy mayo.
I made poke bowls using the avocado as one of the ingredients and used the spicy mayo as one of the sauces.
I slightly watered down the quark cheese and used that as the base in pancakes, which my kids loved and said it tasted even better than regular pancakes. (It took a few tries to get the texture correct because the thickness of the quark cheese made it hard to tell how much flour was in the mixture, but I played around with it after the first batch, and then it worked out great.
I think I did alright.
Did you get anything free lately? What was it? Did you use up any "on its last legs" produce? What did you make with it? What would you have done if you got these items for free?
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