I don’t know about you, but most days, you’ll find my pantry chock full of stuff. Yet somehow, I still find an excuse to go to the grocery store to buy even more stuff. The madness had to end. The other day, I made a decision to use what I had until I absolutely could not function in the kitchen any longer. I’ve done fairly well but I can see where I’ll get tripped up. While I have plenty of nonperishable food staples like rice and beans, I have fewer, and use more of, fresh/frozen foods. I will need to make a trip to the farmers market this weekend to stock up on some delicious fruits and veggies. Until then, I will be creating dishes that satisfy my hunger and help empty the pantry.
Meal #1: Vegetarian Tacos
I am a Mexican food fanatic and since tacos are one of the easiest meals to prepare, I decided to give this one a go. For the meat, I used Progresso Cannellini Beans. First I drained and rinsed them. Then, in a shallow dish, I mashed the beans with a fork. I added a large spoonful of taco seasoning from the bulk container I got at Sam’s Club and a little water. After mixing it up, I microwaved the mixture for about a minute. Then I spooned it on to a hard corn shell, topped it with cheese and put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. I put some chopped tomatoes and spinach leaves on top and voila! Lunch is served. Spinach leaves have the same flavor and texture as lettuce (to me anyway) so I figured, why not? Spinach has more nutritional bang for it’s buck. I’m going to start using spinach leaves for everything. Hey, maybe I can grow some in my garden next year!
Meal #2: Pad Thai
This meal was a bit tougher to generate solely from my pantry. I did have to purchase the shrimp and bean sprouts especially for it but the rest of the ingredients came from what I already had on hand. I prepared rice noodles as directed on the package. In a large skillet, I saute’d shrimp, sliced zucchini, bean sprouts, scrambled egg and green onion. When it was fully cooked, I added the prepacked sauce (next time I’m making it from scratch) and noodles. I stirred to coat. Before serving, I topped it with scallions and crushed peanuts. I served it with a lime. Delicious and nutritious!! I actually made it for a friend who’d never had Pad Thai before and she loved it!