A blog by ordinary people about living an extraordinary life
As the first snowstorm of the season blows into New England, if you are like me, you have no desire to brave the mobs at the grocery store. Your list does not include 40 gallons of milk and 200 bottles of water. You don’t need to pick up 30 pounds of deli meats. I will never understand why people always hurry to the store to stock up on perishables ahead of a storm where loss of power is certainly a risk.
To avoid the temptation of heading to the store to pick up a few things, and possibly getting caught up in a riot in the frozen food section, it is a good idea to keep several versatile ingredients on hand in your pantry. Today is Saturday, and most of our perishable foods have been used. As you know from an earlier post, Meghan and I create a weekly menu so that we do not waste any of fresh fruits and vegetables. So, with snow in the forecast, is there enough in our pantry to create healthy, delicious meals? Of course! Here are some pantry staples.
Whole wheat pasta: we usually stock up on pasta when it is on sale, and whole wheat pasta can be make a quick and easy lunch or dinner. Fresh or jarred sauce can be added, or toss it with some pesto, or simply some garlic and oil. Mix pasta with fresh or frozen veggies. Or throw some pasta into a homemade soup.
White, black, garbanzo beans: our pantry always has several cans of beans on hand. Black beans are a great side for tacos. Garbanzo beans are delicious marinated in some oil and vinegar. Both can be drained, rinsed and used to top salads. White beans are the main ingredient in our crockpot meal planned for tomorrow, tuscan white bean soup (recipe tomorrow).
Brown rice, couscous: instant brown rice is a super quick side dish. Couscous is also a very simple side to make. The great thing about couscous is that it be a canvas for so many ingredients. I love to toss in dried cranberries, or pine nuts, or lemon zest and some fresh herbs. You can pretty much throw in whatever you have on hand.
Bagged tuna or salmon: Meg is not too keen on these, but I find that they taste better than the can, and I take them for lunch a lot. They can be used on top on salads, in a sandwich, mixed with some pasta, made into burgers, truly versatile.
So, what are your pantry staples? What are the ingredients that you can pull from the shelf and make a meal from, even as a snowstorm is blowing in.