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How to Repurpose Pantry Staples for Fresh Meal Ideas

 

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The best chefs in the world know that you don’t need rare ingredients to whip up something delicious. With a little creativity in the kitchen, you can have a culinary feast with whatever you already have on hand. Here’s how you can make the best out of your pantry staples:

Make hearty soups

A warm bowl of soup is perfect for chilly nights. It’s comforting, filling, and tasty — soup always hits the spot. Even without vegetable or meat stock, you can use dried ingredients like bay leaves, whole peppercorns, or a flavor-packed soup mix to amp up the taste for the base liquid. Don’t be afraid to use canned or frozen veggies or even canned meat!

To start, precook your protein of choice in a separate pot that you can add later into the soup. You can also add some type of carb, like noodles, to make it more hearty. Lastly, here’s a tip from the pros: Add an acidic ingredient, like apple cider vinegar or citrus, for more balanced flavors.

Upgrade your favorite pasta

Everyone has their go-to pasta recipe, and if you don’t already have yours, you can go through hundreds of recipes online for fresh ideas. That's because pasta is one of the most versatile ingredients home cooks and professionals work with.

For instance, you can make creamy pasta without dairy using a can of white beans. All you have to do is to mash it while it’s cooking and add some pasta water to make the consistency sauce-like. Add a few sprigs of rosemary, salt, pepper, and crushed walnuts if you have them. Now you have the perfect sauce for any pasta shape you have at home! It goes perfectly well with homemade garlic beer bread fresh from your own oven, too.

 

Build your own grain bowl


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Grains, like rice, have an incredibly long shelf life, which is why they are a staple in many countries. In fact, half of the world’s population eats rice everyday according to this website. So, don’t miss out on a nutritious and versatile pantry ingredient.

One way to incorporate it into your daily meals is to use any sort of grain as a base for a healthy bowl. For example, on a bed of white rice, you can add refried beans, tinned corn and salsa, and grilled chicken. Top it off with a dollop of guacamole and sour cream, and you have a healthy Mexican rice bowl with lots of flavor.

Bake fresh pizza or bread

It seems that everyone’s getting into pizza-making or bread-baking these days, and why shouldn’t they? The ingredients for these American favorites are easily accessible and probably already sitting in your kitchen cabinet.

There’s even a yummy bread recipe from the 1930s that’s making viral rounds on the internet. All you need are flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, milk, and the secret ingredient — peanut butter. It’s dense and sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It goes perfectly well with tea and coffee, too.

Experiment with sweet treats

Running out of pizza ideas? Why not turn a savory classic into a sweet treat in the form of delicious fruit pizza? This pina colada fruit pizza recipe can make you feel like you’re on a tropical island rather than stuck at home.

You can also make dessert out of simple ingredients like rolled oats and cereal. There are even no-bake recipes online that can give yield sinful sweet treats that are easy to make.

For more kitchen inspiration and ideas, be sure to explore our website.

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Article for countryhomecreations.com by Je.Bree