Today’s recipe: Use what you have available for a nourishing meal!
How to survive COVID-19: Nourishment can be found in our pantries ~ I’ll give some hints on how to make the best of what you have on hand and make some delicious meals to savor.
As we all hunker down in our homes and are social (really spatially) distancing ourselves – life and freedom as we knew it has changed since the coronavirus has touched all of our lives.
As I watched American’s wipe out the toilet paper aisle, I thought – this could get much worse; what food items do I use on a daily basis?
I wrote a list.
I am so spoiled (was so spoiled!) – any food item I desired for a recipe testing day I just had to source out locally. Never thought I would be so excited when I found a chicken at my local grocer!! (After the poultry in the last few days were wiped out as well.)
Chicken soup with rice noodles and ginger is what I made; had lots of root vegetables in storage.
So now, I’m cleaning and organizing my pantry, freezer and refrigerators (I have three.) With sooo many condiments – how can they all come together to actually make tasty meals?
Trader Joe’s Organic Tahini – check! Sun-dried Tomatoes – check. Two bottles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil – check. Many types of Nut Butters – check, Frozen Peas – check. Many types of Pasta; Rice, Italian bronze dye, Gluten Free varieties- check, more Spices and Spice-Blends than I can count- check, and a good stash of Garlic – check!
We are being told that there is no shortage of food, so not to panic. I’m just not too happy about being around too many people while shopping – all close together scrambling for a head of romaine at the produce section. I’m trying to shop at smaller grocers that are not too crowded. We all should do our best by buying what we really need to get through a week or two.
So pantry ingredients are important – think about what you want to cook each week and purchase, or use up appropriately.
Good sense is to build up one’s immunity ~ reduce stress, get enough sleep and sustain a good diet.
A good diet includes bounty of fruits and vegetables.
So, take stock of what fresh you have, and what is in your freezer. Plan meals, so when you do visit your grocer, or get deliveries – you have some sense of meals you can prepare.
Frozen veggies and fruits are looking more enticing – stock up on your favorites; frozen spinach, green peas, mixed veggies, frozen berries and any fruits you can whirl into a smoothie.
No need to hoard groceries, just shop with a purpose.
It’s common sense to have grains, pasta and beans in our pantries.
I can make a great pasta dish with my stash of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and toss in any vegetable I have, fresh or frozen – and shave a bit on cheese on top.
I’m using up cans of garbanzo beans for an aromatic stew (with my abundance of stored spices) and whirling some interesting variations of hummus. I’ll use up some more cans of garbanzo beans making some tasty falafel… concocting a sauce out of my pantry organic tahini.
This week I made a huge lasagne – stretching one pound of ground turkey in a 4″ high largest oven baker I had. Dotted with ricotta cheese, Rao’s marinara, gluten-free lasagne noodles (in the pantry), fresh spinach and any cheeses I had in the fridge. Lasagnes freeze well, so I cut wedges and put away for another day. Yes – I wrote a list and found all of these ingredients!
While snack foods, loaded with carbs can add bulk to our waistlines – we must consume what we have, and take “comfort” in those foods.
Try to figure out how to continue to take in enough protein (animal or vegan) with a dose of dairy, fruits, vegetables, legumes, eggs and nuts.
See if you can find any fresh herbs in your local shops – can add flavor to any dish you prepare!
I also have been making a killer Quinoa Tabouleh salad using up my Grainy Mustard Vinaigrette, fresh parsley and added any vegetable I could dice from my crisper. So, yes – I have a good stash of quinoa in my pantry.
Is this a time to learn how to cook?
Finally break out that Instant Pot in storage?
You can search my library of well tested recipes on my site ~
and… feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.
Today’s recipe: This comfort stew adds an essence of Mediterranean flavors with cupboard dried spices – and your kitchen will smell terrific!
Canned garbanzo beans team with potatoes, carrots, onions and spinach.
Items I had on hand are canned tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable broth, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic & ginger.
Looking into my dried spice stash ~ I’ve added ground cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, ground cloves, red chile flakes, thyme and sea salt. See recipe for substitutions so you can use what’s on hand!
Makes a delicious lunch or dinner, Vegan and Gluten Free.
Cooking always brings me a sense of joy
Best to all,