What a time. Right? We really are in uncharted territory in so many ways. Virtual schooling, working from home, wanting to see friends and family, but choosing not to out of love.
And on top of that, there was an earthquake in Idaho on Tuesday! Dalton and I were sitting on the couch talking with a friend when the couch started shaking. We both looked at each other about to ask "why are you shaking the couch?"
This was the first time I felt an earthquake and it was quite a strange feeling to say the least.
Well aside from the earthquake, we're hunkered down in northern Idaho, leaving the house only for walks and grocery runs.
I've been trying to plan more pantry-focused meals so we don't have to go to the store as often and I thought you might appreciate some ideas too.
With flexible ingredients, mostly from the pantry and long-lasting produce, these recipes have become some go-to solutions in our house. Hopefully they'll be helpful for you too!
Here we go.
One skillet and 30 minutes. That's all you need for this super flavorful Mediterranean-inspired orzo. Pretty much just throw in any Mediterranean-ish foods you have. Sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, chickpeas, olives, capers, raisins. It all works. Don't worry if you don't have kale and feel free to use rice (it will need to cook a little longer) or another small pasta if you don't have orzo.
If you've been trying your hand at making a non-yeast flatbread, then it's time to make this easy, clean-out-your-fridge pizza. Use hummus as your sauce and top with whatever veggies you have in the fridge. Plus every member of the family can customize their own pizza!
If you happen to have butternut squash, curry paste, some coconut milk and broth sitting on your shelves, make this seriously delicious and easy veggie-based soup. Long-lasting produce and pantry staples are all you need.
If you can find yourself some oats, peanut butter, honey, some seeds and (fingers crossed), a few chocolate chips, then you're well on your way to enjoying these delicious bite-sized snacks.
5 - Thai Larb Bowl
Cabbage is nutrient-dense, filling and it lasts a long time. You may have to skip the fresh herbs if you can't find them, but this Thai Larb will still be super flavorful and filling.
6 - Thai Green Curry
If you happen to have curry paste and coconut milk in your pantry, then make this delicious and versatile curry. Don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list - most are spices and can be easily swapped out for more curry paste. Feel free to swap the veggies with whatever you have on hand.
These banana pancakes are exquisite even without the extra toppings of almond butter, syrup-y goodness or blueberries. But if you have them at the ready, these pancakes make for a delicious breakfast (or anytime, really). If you don't have almond flour in your pantry, you can use regular flour (though it won't be gluten-free) and these pancakes are great for using up those brown bananas sitting in your freezer.
Pasta, canned fish, capers, and artichokes can all come from cans or jars. Use canned tomatoes instead of fresh, and skip the greens if you don't have any. And only ONE dirty dish to wash. I call that a win.
Beans and rice are a perfect pair, both nutritionally and for a hearty meal. Toss in some veggies - fresh or frozen peppers, carrots and celery - lots of spices and serve with rice. Bam, dinner is served.
Because we all need a little treat these days, amiright!? And the almond butter and chocolate situation here is on par. There's no judgement for eating more than one or three...
11 - Carrot Ginger Soup
Is that 5-pound bag of carrots sitting in your fridge your only vegetable? Us too... This carrot soup is sure to cure the isolation blues and create an entire meal out of that bag of carrots (and a few other pantry staples).
12 - Black Bean Tofu Bowl
Use the leftover cabbage from the Thai Larb Bowl, because for some reason there's always leftover cabbage... Crisp up a protein, season that can of black beans and throw in whatever else you have sitting in the fridge.
If you can only make one sauce right now, this is it. Use it on salads, for marinades, over pasta (and the list goes on). Plus you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already. Tahini for creaminess, soy sauce for saltiness, maple syrup for a touch of sweetness, apple cider vinegar for zing, and Dijon mustard for some tang.
If you're looking at that can of chickpeas in your cupboard and wondering what to do with it, make this. Puree with tahini, lemon juice and olive oil and you've got yourself a yummy snack. This can also be used with our naan pizza.
15 - Stovetop Popcorn
Tell me I can't be the only one who has had popcorn for supper since this whole quarantine started...? If you find your Friday virtual happy hour went late into the evening and you're just not in the mood to cook, then popcorn and a movie are coming your way. Definitely not a balanced meal, but sometimes just what the doctor ordered. Fingers crossed you have some popcorn kernels in the pantry.
For those apples that aren't looking so hot. Cut out the soft spots and toss them in a pot with some water and spices. Let it simmer away until it softens into apple sauce bliss.
Black beans, rice and any burrito-type ingredients you've got - toss 'em in. Use canned tomatoes instead of fresh and even add in that can of corn. Even better if you have a little avocado or Greek yogurt, but still great if you don't!
18 - 5-Seed Crackers
For that time when you run out of crackers, but still have cheese and hummus to eat. Use whatever seeds you have on hand, mix with some flour and oats, press it out and bake. Thanks to these crackers for saving the [almost] crackerless day.
For when you're tired of oatmeal, but don't have any eggs left. This granola is deliciously simple. If you don't have milk or yogurt, eat by the handful, pour yourself some canned coconut milk, or (if you're feeling really ambitious) try your hand at making homemade nut or oat milk.
20 - Zesty Italian Bowl
A great meal to have in your back pocket since you might have most of the ingredients in your kitchen already - farro (you could use rice), olives, and jarred peppers. If you don't have fresh tomatoes, used canned ones instead. Thrown in whatever Italian-ish ingredients you have, dish it into bowls and dig in.
We hope this helps you. We believe that food can be such an important source of joy and connection, especially in these uncertain times. And I feel grateful to be able to help you put some [scrappy] deliciousness on your table. Stay healthy and safe my friends.