Now more than ever at The Christopher, we are looking for ideas for tasty meals without running to the grocery store. We all have staples in our pantry, but how do we turn it all into a meal? Here are some ideas to inspire you.
Most of us have a few cans of tomato sauce or diced tomatoes in our pantry. An easy dish to throw together is spaghetti. Start with a base of tomato sauce and add Italian spices such as basil and oregano, along with garlic, either fresh or powdered, onions, and you have a great sauce! Add hamburger or Italian sausage if you wish and toss onto noodles. Maybe you have a can of enchilada sauce. Cook some rice in beef or chicken broth, toss into enchilada sauce, and you have a great Mexican Rice meal! Add shredded chicken or hamburger or sprinkle with cheese to add flavor and protein.
A simple yet pleasing dish with beans is rice and beans. Make rice of your choice and top with beans. Sprinkle on some grated cheese for extra taste. For a Tex-Mex inspired dish, combine a can of beans with salsa, Rotel, or diced tomatoes; add some shredded chicken and a package of taco seasoning. Serve in a tortilla to make a taco or top corn chips with the mixture for a nice twist on nachos! Taco Soup is another excellent dish using beans. Combine beans with tomato sauce or diced tomatoes, add some hamburger cooked with diced or dried onions, and combine. Using Fritos or corn chips as a base, spoon on top and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Add a couple of jalapenos for a kick.
How about a delicious alternative for macaroni and cheese? Prepare the mac-n-cheese as directed; then, spoon it between buttered bread to grill on the stove. You have grilled mac-n-cheese sandwiches! Or, combine canned tuna with a jar of sun-dried tomatoes. Add Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Toss onto rigatoni pasta for a great Tuna Rigatoni dish. Or, for a quick one-skillet meal, combine canned chicken, Rotel or diced tomatoes, and a can of enchilada sauce. Add black or pinto beans, fresh vegetables such as peppers and onions, chicken broth, and taco seasoning. Finally, add macaroni noodles and cook in a skillet. Add what you have to make this meal inspired by this Chicken Enchilada Pasta Skillet recipe!
Using what you have in the pantry is easy! Look for a good base ingredient to start and go from there. Enjoy good food while staying in!