Ever catch yourself staring at your pantry for way too long wondering what to do next? I know I do; standing there waiting for an epiphany that never seems to come. For the times when you are feeling stuck, here are some tips and easy recipes to help get you fed and on your way:
1. Clean out your pantry
When things are messy, opening your pantry can feel intimidating. If you have a bit of time, cleaning and organizing your pantry is a game changer. Discard expired foods and donate anything you know you aren’t going to use. Organizing things by use (e.g. baking ingredients, canned/dry foods, spices, oils etc.) will help you find what you are looking for faster
2. Make sure you have the basics
Pantry foods are great because they can last a long time. Having some basic pantry staples on hand, like a can of tomato sauce or black beans, makes it easier to whip up recipes in a pinch. Here are some great ideas for kitchen staples to keep in your pantry.
3. Know your go-to recipes
Having a few go-to recipes in your mind is super helpful when you arefeeling stuck. These can be easy recipes you have made before that you know you like, recipes from friends and family, or inspiration from online recipes. Here are some ideas to get you started finding your go-to recipes:
- Red lentil soup
- Chili – 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves crushed garlic, 3 cans rinsed
beans, 1 can mushrooms, 1 large can of diced tomatoes, 1 tbsp chili
powder, salt and pepper
- Slow cooker – place all ingredients into slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours
- Stove top – place all ingredients into a large pot, bring to a simmer for about 30 minutes
- Black bean soup
- Tuna salad sandwich
- Creamy Mushroom Lentils and Mashed Potatoes
- Breakfast cookies
- More breakfast ideas!
4. Have fun!
Cooking is pretty forgiving; no reason to stress if you don’t have exactly the right ingredients. Similar ingredients can easily be substituted in recipes – for example honey for maple syrup, peanut butter for almond butter, plain yogurt for sour cream, regular milk for almond milk – use what you have and get creative. Most flours, beans, vegetables, oils can also be swapped in similar amounts for what you have on hand. Let recipes be your guide, not the law!