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Quick & Easy Pantry Meals

Due to the COVID-19 state of emergency that is taking place across the globe, this is a challenging time for all of us trying to stay safe and eat well. Grocery shopping may feel more like grab and go, and its often unknown what will even be available. This is a good time to take advantage of canned, frozen and shelf-stable items and digging through your own pantry at home. With a little creativity, a healthy meal can be much simpler then we are led to believe. Here are a few of our favorite meals to throw together. Up first is Samantha’s 7-Can Taco Soup:

7-Can Taco Soup

Ingredients:

1 can of black beans

1 can of pinto beans

1 can of sweet corn

1 can of canned chicken

1 can green enchilada sauce

1 low sodium chicken broth

1 packet of taco seasoning

I always add vegetables to increase fiber: 1 bag of fresh baby spinach, and 1 bag of frozen (or fresh) peppers/onions

Instructions:

1. Combine all ingredients into a large soup pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally. OR Place into crockpot and cook for 3-5 hours on high.

2. Consider serving with fresh squeezed lime, cilantro, and avocado on top.

Broccoli Mac n Cheese

Here’s Caroline’s favorite basic weeknight meal that is perfect for the quarantine and super comforting. The recipe calls for frozen or pantry items and packs protein and fiber from the chickpea pasta! If you havn’t tried chickpea pasta before, there are many brands that make it including Banza. You could also use a high-protein whole wheat pasta, Barilla’s veggie noodles, or lentil noodles to substitute.

Ingredients:

1/2 box Banza elbow noodles

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp paprika, to taste

1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste

3/4-1 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese, depending on desired “cheesyness”

1 c frozen or fresh broccoli


Instructions:

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 c pasta water. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over pasta, add spices and mix to combine.

Add cooked broccoli (if frozen, simply microwave until heated through, if fresh steam broccoli on stovetop or microwave), pasta water and cheese. Stir to combine. Serve and enjoy!

Beans & Rice

One of Melanie’s favorite, flavorful pantry meals is beans and rice. This classic recipe is super easy and provides plenty of protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied. It can be jazzed up with seasonings, fresh lime and cilantro if you have it.

Ingredients

For the Rice:

  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Beans:

  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 28 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • juice of one lime (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro roughly chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • To make the rice, bring water to a boil, add rice and salt, stir, and simmer until cooked.
  • While the rice is cooking, make the beans. Sauté the diced onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium pot until softened.
  • Add drained and rinsed black beans, cumin, salt and water. Stir, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Use a potato masher or fork to mash the beans a few times, thickening the mixture, but leaving most of the beans intact.
  • Stir in the lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro.
  • Serve the beans on top of the rice as a side or meal.

Recipe adopted from bowlofdelicious.com

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