The current global coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has turned what once was a routine grocery shopping trip into a stressful and overwhelming event for many households. With orders to stay home and social distance, most of us are forced to spend more time in the kitchen and preparing homemade meals. If you are new to cooking or don’t keep many pantry items on hand, we can help! Pantry items that have long shelf-lives can be economical and versatile. So what can you shop for to create your quarantine pantry? And what can you possibly make with that can of beans hiding on the back shelf? We’ve got it covered.
Here is our roundup of our favorite recipes and tips for utilizing pantry items:
- Oatmeal or Overnight Oats or Baked Oatmeal
- 3 – ingredient cookies or oat bars
- Energy balls like these Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Balls
- Ground to make oat flour for baking
Canned tuna or salmon
- Tuna melt
- Drain and mash a can with an avocado, salt, pepper and lime juice for a quick “salad” to scoop with crackers.
- Tuna or salmon patties
Diced or crushed tomatoes
- Perfect for soups, stews, and curries
- Add to pasta or lentils
- Curried lentils
- In soups like this lemony lentil soup
- Mujadara (an Arabic lentil, rice and carmelized onion dish)
- Easy breakfast or snack, just add milk. Choosing whole grain cereals that offer protein and fiber will be more filling.
- DIY trailmix: combine with popcorn, pretzels, almonds, dried cranberries or banana chips…the possibilities are endless. Top contenders: Puffins, Kashi, Cheerios
- Make your own cereal bars like these Cinnamon Nutty No-Bake Bars
- Make your own nut butter. Here’s how.
- Flourless chocolate blender brownies
- Smashed chickpea and avocado salad sandwiches
- Sriracha chickpea salad wraps
- Cookie dough dip
- Enchiladas like black bean or a dessert like these apple enchiladas
- Chicken or bean and cheese quesadillas or the ultimate bbq chicken quesadillas
- Breakfast burritos, great for meal prepping and freezing
- Baking desserts
- Baked goods: make your own bread like this sourdough starter, bagels, muffins
- Battering proteins such as crunchy fish sticks or chicken tenders
- Make your own pasta
- Whole wheat pasta is more filling and nutritious – any shape will do! Toss with sauce of choice like marinara or pesto or cheese.
- Macaroni and cheese with broccoli
- Cold pasta salads
- Make ahead meals for the family like these spinach artichoke lasagna rolls
- As a side to any meal like Chipotle’s cilantro lime rice
- Skillet/one-pot meals like this Southwest chicken skillet
- Leftover rice can be made into pancakes
- Make your own baked or air-fried fries
- Potato pancakes or hashbrowns or sweet potato hash with sausage or an egg on top
- Applesauce, as is or with a dash of cinnamon, can be used in baking like these applesauce
- Apples, peaches and pears can be cooked into crisps and cobblers, or baked oatmeal, as a yogurt-topper, or stuffed french toast or waffles
- Mixed into pasta dishes like these spinach artichoke lasagna roll ups
- Add peas to cold pasta salads for a protein boost.
- Flaxmeal: protein/fat source used in smoothies, can be used as a flour for baking, or as a replacement for eggs in baked goods.
- Evaporated milk: not to be confused with condensed or sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk is regular cow’s milk with 60% liquid removed. It’s benefit is that is shelf-stable in a can and doesn’t take up precious refrigerator room, and can be reconstituted with water and used for whatever you use milk for (smoothies, oatmeal, coffee).
For more meal planning tips and personalized nutrition plans, schedule an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists here.