We've continued to buy fresh fruit two or three times a week, and we've been alternating between fresh produce and veggies from our freezer. (And this week we'll be getting a ton of fresh green beans from my dad's garden--yay!!) But it happens that pantry meals are rich in vegetarian sources of protein, so we've been spending much less on meat than usual the past week or two. Also, it's kind of crazy the food you find, forgotten, in the back of the cupboard when you force yourself to plan meals around what you already have. Like several pounds of lentils. (Why do I keep buying MORE lentils? My mother-in-law also bought a pound of them when she was here. So many lentils.) Luckily, since we are trying to eat that food, we won't have to move it all with us. :)
Here are some of our favorite pantry meals:
Mujadara. Oh so delicious. I discovered this recipe through Like Mother, Like Daughter and made it a few times during Lent. It is an amazing meal to make during the colder months, but it tastes good in summer too, and it only uses the stovetop so it's good hot weather cooking. It only has four ingredients but the flavor from the carmelized onions is just incredible. I can't recommend it enough. (I use brown rice for this and all other rice recipes, since it's what we keep in the house. I just added the rice in to pre-boil with the lentils and itcooked well and tasted great.)
|It may not look like much, but trust me, it's delicious.|
|... and if you can't take my word for it, trust Michael.|
Rice and beans. Unless we have tortillas, avocados, and salsa around for tacos, I think of this as more of a lunch meal, but with some shredded cheese and sour cream it is filling and tasty.
Quiche. I try to make this only on cooler days since it uses the oven, but it is tasty and easy to make. I use homemade pie crust which is cheaper than ready-made and, frankly, tastes a LOT better. (I was spoiled growing up by my mom's homemade pies; I actually don't like store-bought pies because the crust is so disgusting!) The recipe I linked to uses Swiss cheese, but I generally use cheddar. I add cream or half and half when I have it, but when I don't I just use whole milk.
Pizza. Actually, a friend brought us some homemade pizza a few days ago--I haven't made it lately myself. But pizza crust is easy to make, and it's easy to use whatever toppings you have on hand. Our friend used pepperoni, peppers, and broccoli, and it was delicious.
Pasta and meat sauce. We always have some sort of pasta in the cupboard and a jar or two of sauce, and it's easy to add a package of ground beef to the mix.
Vegetable Korma. This isn't necessarily the best summer food, because it involves standing over the stove and cooking. (In fact, when I think of this dish, I associate it strongly with autumn. But if you have the right spices stocked, it's a good dish to make with whatever vegetables you have on hand or that are on sale.
|Meanwhile, this guy would be content to live on lemons.|
Do you have any favorite recipes for pantry meals (or meals that are otherwise healthy but inexpensive)? I'm always looking for new ones!