I know I have posted a lot lately about food. I hope this doesn't turn you away. I just hear so much about how people are struggling. Prices up and supplies short.
A lot of people don't want to have to shop multiple stores. Coupons are not a big option anymore. Folks don't all like using pre-packaged food.
So cooking from our pantries with simple and honest ingredients is now what many want to do.
Just more ideas today for a lot of SIMPLE pantry meals. **PLEASE remember, if you are struggling now, that a full belly is what matters. Not fancy meals, different courses, fancy ingredients - just good old fashioned basic cooking. It is good, it is simpler, and it is cheaper.
Here we go!!!!
- Roast veggies - root veggies are easy to do and actually you can use any veg. Roasting gives another layer of flavor. Use whatever vegs you have ** Try roasting asparagus, brussel sprouts or green beans - Mmmmmm
- Beans and rice - I know people say UGH. There are dozens of kinds of beans and dozens of kinds of rice. Use combos of what you have. Jazz it up with salsa, scraps of meat, relishes, etc.
- Sloopy Joe casserole - great way to stretch meat. Make up your favorite sloppy joe recipe, add pasta, corn, green beans, whatever you want. Top with corn bread and bake or top with fried onions, or biscuits. You can add cheese if you have it. This is a great meal stretcher. You all know I am NOT a follow the recipe kind of person! So I experiment and mix things together - most times it is just plain yummy.
- Fried rice - add any leftovers you have to rice - meat or veggies. Throw in a scrambled egg. Season. Makes a meal on it's own
- Tuna casserole - tuna, pasta, creamy soup, also think of adding cheese or any leftover veggie you have
- Creamy mac and veggies. Pasta of any type (or rice) - add creamy soup of any sort, throw in veggies. If you have any type of leftover meat - add. Use what you have.
- Gravy (any type) over toast or biscuits/scones
- Spaghetti and sauce or baked spaghetti. Mix together pasta and sauce, maybe some cheese, add an egg or two as binder - bake until set in a moderate oven. This is a favorite of mine.
- Poached eggs on toast. This is not one I could do - I don't do runny eggs!!!! BUT, I can do scrambled, fried or hard boiled - and it would be filling
- Chili made with LENTILS instead of meat. Lentils take the place of the meat. Make lentil tacos or burgers (see bean burgers below).
- Pinto beans with salsa over rice - any kind of beans
- SOUPS - any kinds of soups. You can totally throw any type of veggie and/or meat together with tomatoes, broth, gravy, etc. and have soup. Season and you have a hearty meal. Serve soup with bread or crackers. Soup is one of the easiest and best ways to stretch the food dollar and the pantry
- Hash - chop veggies and leftover meat - and 'fry' it up. I love hamburger hash - potatoes, carrots, onions and hamburger - corned beef hash is great (same way). Sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, turnips, onion, pepper - whatever you want to add
- Black bean or lentil burgers! I am not a fan of the "new" veggie "meat" being sold - plus it is expensive (& too many additives). Make your own and you know exactly what simple ingredients are in it. Beans (drained - I also smash a little), breadcrumbs or oats, egg for binder and seasonings. Form patties and fry like a burger. Protein and a great sub for expensive meat. Actually, you can use any kind of bean you have or want - it doesn't have to be black beans.
- PBJ sandwiches. For a spin on that - add banana or thinly sliced apples and grill like a grilled cheese - oh YUM!
- Baked oatmeal. I am not an oatmeal (in a bowl) eater. Love baked oatmeal. I make up a batch of oatmeal, add nuts, seeds, dried fruit, peanut butter, applesauce - whatever you have - place in a moderate oven and bake until top is crusty. Cut and serve with a drizzle of syrup or honey, or a dab of jelly.
- Baked potatoes - topped with anything.
- Tuna salad - served in a sandwich or open face on bread, or with crackers, or in a lettuce wrap.
- Salads are always good, especially in summer with fresh veggies. Pasta salad, potato salad, meat or egg salads - serve with crusty bread or crackers
Just a few ideas. There are hundreds of ways to stretch your food and your dollars. There are so many ways to make soup or a casserole - there is no limit to your imagination. Top casseroles with mashed potatoes, cornbread, biscuits, pie crust, crunchy onions, cheese, crumbs from chips or breadcrumbs, etc.
Keep that 'soup' starter container in the freezer - throw all leftover bits in it - when full, make soup.
We all try to keep the basics in our pantries and freezers. Beans, rice, pasta, potatoes, canned/frozen veggies, canned meats and frozen meats. Use a little imagination and you have a culinary world of delight at your finger tips.
No reason to get bored. No reason to bust the budget with fancy ingredients. No reason to go hungry. No reason to say 'we have nothing'. Keep your stock of basics on hand - replace as used.
Nothing super fancy - but good eating!!!!!
That is all I care about!!! How about you?