If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me anything, it is to make use out of EVERYTHING I have in my house. From salvaging paper supplies to using every last drop of shampoo, these times have made us all creative and savvy in ways we likely never imagined. As we try and stay inside unless absolutely necessary, I have been rounding up random items in my pantry to make some unique pantry meals that we’ve never tried before. You may be staring at a few cans of food and some spices and wonder how the heck you’re going to make a delicious meal. Here are some ideas to help you utilize your non-perishables as we limit our social interactions.
Looking for some convenient crock pot recipes? Here’s my post about healthy keto crockpot recipes to try!
Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
Is your local Chinese take-out closed right now? Have no fear, you can easily make a yummy recipe of a classic Chinese dish using items you likely already have at home in your pantry!
- 1.5 lbs boneless chicken breast, tenders or thighs
- 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or any oil you have)
- Sea salt + pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/2 cup bone broth or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1–2 tablespoons sesame oil
- About 6 cups organic broccoli florets (I used frozen broccoli and microwaved it first to save time!)
Thinly slice the chicken and season with ingredients and set aside
- Mix together stir fry sauce and set aside
- Heat skillet with the sesame oil and add the garlic and warm for about 2-3 minutes over medium heat
- Add the chicken and cook until they are just golden and slightly undercooked
- Add in the broccoli and pour sauce on top and mix well to evenly combine
- Cook for a couple of minutes then remove from heat and serve while warm
- Optional: put it over a bed of cooked rice or cauliflower rice if desired
Cheesy Taco Pasta
Is your family always fighting over whether to have Mexican or Italian food for dinner? The solution to that problem is this simply and delicious Cheesy Taco Pasta, a dish the whole family is bound to enjoy. One or two items are out of the ordinary for a typical pantry stash, but it’s amazing how many recipes you can make with such basic ingredients!
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons your favorite taco or fajita seasoning
- 4 cup chicken broth
- 8 ounces pasta (any short type of pasta works best)
- 1 cup enchilada sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- Fresh cilantro and/or green onions for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a shallow dutch oven over medium high heat.
Add the ground chicken to the Dutch oven and cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes
Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and taco seasoning to it, stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the onion softens and becomes translucent and the meat starts to brown.
Add the chicken broth, pasta and enchilada sauce to the pot and stir well
Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to a medium and cook for about 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Combine the mozzarella cheese with the cheddar cheese and add about 2 cups of it to the skillet and stir it well.
Turn off the heat and top with remaining cheese. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Black Bean Soup
Winter is dying down which means that the ideal time for making big pots of soup is coming to a close. Sneak in this yummy vegetarian option to your dinner plans this week for a comforting dish. One of my favorite things about black bean soup is its diversity. I love eating my black bean soup with tortilla chips, a baguette,
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 60 oz (4 cans) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 32 oz vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
Garnish options: avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, sliced green onion
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add the onion, carrot, celery, and red pepper.
- Cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the black beans, vegetable broth, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
- Turn the soup to low and let simmer for 25 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf. If you want to thicken the soup, use an immersion blender to purée some of the soup for a thicker consistency
- Stir in the cilantro and fresh lime juice. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve warm with desired toppings.
Blackened Pan Seared Salmon
Not sure about you but just reading the title of this recipe is making my mouth water! Can I really make this delicious sounding meal from items in my pantry. The answer is YES! Who says you can’t set up a fancy date night at your own kitchen table. I will definitely be making this one for Kevin and I to have one night during our social isolating!
FOR THE SEASONING MIXTURE:
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper optional, for spice
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
FOR THE SALMON:
- 4 6oz salmon filets
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1/2 lemon, sliced into wedges
For the Seasoning Mixture:
- In a small bowl, combine all of the seasoning mixture ingredients and stir until well combined.
For the Salmon:
- Using your hands, evenly divide the seasoning mixture among the salmon filets and gently rub into the tops of each filet.
- Heat avocado oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat.
- When the oil is hot, but not smoking, place the salmon into the pan, flesh side down, until a deep blackened crust forms, about 3 minutes.
- Using a sturdy spatula flip the filets to the skin side and continue cooking until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily, about 2-3 more minutes.
Feeling creative in the kitchen? Check out my favorite salad to make at home – Chicken Avocado Salad!
What are your favorite pantry meals? Let me know in a comment below!