One of the most obvious benefits of “looking in our houses” is the ole “shop from the pantry” technique. I’ve found that if I keep a few staples on hand, I can whip up a tasty meal in a few minutes with little to no planning.
Challenge yourself to see your pantry, fridge, and freezer in a new way. It’s amazing what you can create with an onion, olive oil, garlic, a vegetable, and a protein.
Here are a few ideas for the next time you’re staring into the pantry wondering, What’s for dinner tonight?
- Soup, salad or sandwich or baked potato night.
Items you need on hand: potatoes, bread, cheese, canned broth or cream soup, milk or water, veggies, beans, and/or protein, salad
- Crock pot/slow cooker meal.
Items you need on hand: protein, veggie, water, seasonings
Quick ideas: Toss cubed beef, sliced potatoes and carrots, some onion and a bit of water or broth into the Crock pot and you’ve got stew when you get home. Also, wrap potatoes in foil (one for each family member) and put in the bottom of the pot. Put a whole chicken on top. Season generously and add about 1 cup of water. You’ve got chicken and baked potatoes! Here’s another delicious recipe and easy way to season a chicken for the slow cooker.
- Try a simple pasta dish.
Items you need on hand: pasta, olive oil, veggies, protein, cheese, seasonings
Quick ideas: I make this one all the time, and it’s a family favorite. Saute frozen chicken tenders in a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings (I use garlic powder, salt, and pepper). Quickly stir in sliced asparagus (or other green veggie) and sliced cherry tomatoes. Cook until just crisp-tender. Melt goat’s cheese and Parmesan cheese over the top. Serve meat and veggies with pasta. You can substitute any of the ingredients for what you have on hand and/or what your family likes.
- Breakfast for dinner.
Items to have on hand: eggs, meat, cheese, milk, flour, grits
Quick ideas: Crack open some eggs and make a tasty omelet for the family. Serve with fresh sliced fruit and a side of toast. Or serve breakfast burritos and a side of healthy turkey bacon or sausage. You can make pancakes, cheese grits, or egg casserole. The possibilities are endless!
(And as an aside: I never buy pancake mix anymore. I just make my own using a recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. It’s so simple and costs pennies.)
Satisfying, healthy, and quick meals are at your fingertips with a bit of imagination—and with a quick look in your house!
What are your “go-to” last minute quick and easy meal ideas?
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Photo credit: earl53 from morguefile.com
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