Hopefully everyone has gotten the message by now to do their best to avoid other people to slow the spread of the virus. If you have to go out to work, thank you for keeping societal necessities running for all of us, I’m so grateful for you. And for those of you hunkered down at home, I thought I’d share some ideas and tips about feeding your families nutritious and tasty meals when you don’t have unlimited access to groceries and fresh ingredients.
What Pantry Staples Should I Have?
If you have the ability to go to the grocery store you can prepare by buying key pantry staples. Some of the best things to buy are canned goods and frozen food because they have a very long shelf life. I’d buy canned or frozen chicken, tuna, salmon, beans, vegetables, and fruit. These things are generally better fresh but in times like these they will provide plenty of nutrition and will taste just fine. I always like to have dried pasta, rice, flour, and other grains. Other canned/jarred goods that add flavor to pantry dishes: chicken broth, canned tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, artichokes, pesto, salsa, and nut butters. And as long as you have olive oil, salt, pepper, and a handful of spices, everything will taste just fine.
The first thing to remember is every meal you make doesn’t have to be fit for a dinner party or even Instagram-worthy. Basic, nutritious meals are all you and your family need. I think a slow cooker is one of the best tools you can use. You can put in frozen meat and vegetables, maybe some rice, add some spices or condensed soup and you will always have a tasty homemade meal ready for dinner. If you make crock pot meals or casseroles, make big batches so you can have leftovers for lunch.
Substituting Dried Herbs for Fresh Herbs
The Kitchn has a fantastic article on substituting dried herbs for fresh, but the general rule of thumb is: 1 TABLESPOON fresh herbs = 1 TEASPOON dried herbs
Substituting Garlic Powder for Fresh Garlic and Onion Powder for Fresh Onion
When using garlic powder in place of fresh garlic, 1/8 TEASPOON garlic powder = 1 clove fresh garlic
When using onion powder in place of fresh onion, 1 TABLESPOON onion powder = 1 medium onion
Recipes Made with Pantry Staples
White Bean Puttanesca with Garlic Bread
Pasta e Fagioli
Vegetarian Lentil and Chickpea Soup
Slow Cooker Turkey Chili (*If you can’t find ground turkey, beans alone will work great)
Easy Chickpea Curry
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Cheesy Mexican Quinoa and Black Bean Casserole
Quinoa Salad with Shrimp and Olives
Pecan Pie Baked Oatmeal
Lemon Garlic Tuna Burgers
Waldorf Tuna Salad
Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Grilled Cheese with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes
Herbed Salmon Pita Pockets
Salmon Salad with Cucumber and Feta