Weird Pantry Food: Rice Salad

Strange, but good

If you’re in the U.S., you’ve probably had mayo-based potato salad and macaroni salad. These (usually summer) dishes are potluck staples, and most Americans have eaten plenty of them.  If you’re not from around here, how it usually goes is you cook pasta or potatoes until they’re just done, toss them with some diced vegetables and a mayo-based dressing, and serve at a cookout or something.

Me, I eat them during any season. And I have a weird variation that I make when I have leftover rice. Basically, I make rice salad, but not in the tabouli-ish grain-salad kind of way. Just rice with veggies and mayo, kind of like pasta salad. But not.

plate of rice salad

Anyway, that’s what I did today. In this one, I have red onion, roasted red pepper, and sliced black olives, but really anything that can go into potato salad can go into rice salad. I like it, but I’ve never fed it to anyone because the few times I’ve mentioned it to anyone, they got that squinched-up look on their face that one usually only gets when someone talks about eating bugs or something.

Anyway, I like it a lot, and I do recommend it if you think you might like this sort of thing.

A little more kitchen sink, please!


Oh, my. James made SUCH  a delicious dinner tonight. I wish I had gotten a photo. And no way is there a recipe. He told me to watch out while eating because there still might be bits of the kitchen sink in there.

To my knowledge, the stew contained the following:

  • Leftover kalua pig
  • Okra
  • Tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Black olives
  • Olive oil
  • Onions

And who knows what else.

Anyway, it was DELICIOUS, both plain and on tortilla chips.

I am a lucky woman.

Pantry Cooking Month: the inventory

Sometimes, a cooking geek just has to inventory the canned goods.

For some reason, I got it in my head to inventory the pantry contents before and after this pantry cooking month. Silly/nerdy, I know, but hey.

IF you are a similar nerd and want to see what’s in my cupboards, the full list (minus a gazillion spices — I started to list them and gave up) is in this shared Google doc.

The short take, however, is that I have pounds and pounds of pasta, loads of other grains, and so many condiments I can’t even. Also many, many, many cans of beans, along with some other canned items.

Here we go! Yesterday, I made a big batch of pork fried rice from some jasmine rice and leftover kalua pig. Haven’t decided yet what to have today; since I’m back to work after the holiday break, I may let James take care of it.

Pantry Cooking Month, January 2017

One way to save money on food? Stop buying food! (Not forever, of course.)

canned food
Stock image purchased from

The good news: We’re getting out of debt!

The bad news: We’re still spending too much money on food.

Thanks to a plan I discovered in Anna Newell Jones‘s The Spender’s Guide to Debt-free Living, we are practicing needs-only spending for a year while we try to pay off some of the debt we incurred during our move down to San Diego. We’ve never had credit-card debt before, and I hate it, so I am taking a very drastic measure. If we don’t need it, I’m not buying it.

That means no eating out, no new clothes, no junk food, etc. However, groceries are an obvious need, so I’ve been buying all the groceries I want, and when I looked at my grocery bill for December 2016, I was floored. It was a LOT.

Pantry Cooking Month to the rescue! I have a ton of food in the house. I’ll take some photos so you can see, but basically, I’m pretty sure we can get through the month with almost no influx of food. We’ll buy anything we really need that we run out of (bread or flour for making bread, for instance), but I plan to see how empty I can get my pantry by the end of the month.

I will, of course, post any fun/weird/creative recipes I come up with.

Today, I’m cooking for the kid’s birthday. I already made the mango pudding, and the kalua pig is in the oven. Next, I’ll throw together her favorite salad.

What are you cooking lately?