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Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Meal planning

shopping list

Credit: iStockphoto

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Last night I used up the red lentils that have been sitting in my pantry for months now. I bought them by mistake, thinking that any old lentil would do, when I actually needed green ones to put in the salad I was going to make.

I looked up lentils in my Stephanie Alexander cookbook. She says they go well with bacon, tomatoes, warm spices like cumin, mustard seeds, chillies, ginger, garlic, lemons, and parsley.

Then I typed "red lentils" into the search bar at Taste.com.au, and came up with this recipe: Yoghurt-rubbed chicken with tomato lentils.

It was pretty tasty! I packaged up the leftovers right away, to be eaten today for lunch with a bit of bread.

One of the things that can leave you with spare ingredients in your pantry is not being careful when you shop.

I often make a list, but with vague items like "meat" or "cheese". By the time I get to the shops, I can't remember what I wanted them for, so I just pick whatever looks nice. Then I get home and realise I needed chicken, not lamb, or cheddar instead of brie :)

I'm trying to do better, having read this post at Unclutterer about creating a weekly meal plan. The comments on that post have some good tips too.

Do you plan your meals ahead, or are you a freestyler?