Most of us would have had one of those days when we’ve forgotten to defrost something for dinner. Then you look in the fridge to make a quick meal and nothing jumps out at you. This is when having some pantry back ups can really come in handy. Instead of dialing the local pizza bar and waiting an hour for food to be delivered you’ll be able to put something together a lot quicker and significantly cheaper.
Everyone should have a can or two of baked beans in the pantry. They are good for you, filling and a great ingredient for a quick health meal. You can load them up on toast, put them inside bread to make a baked bean toasty, add them to Spaghetti Bolognese or even pop the top, grab a fork and eat them hot or cold.
Tuna is one of those foods which store well in the pantry and have as a back up. You might be able to scrape a few things together to make a quick mornay, have it on crackers, toast or in a sandwich. Perhaps you could add lettuce and mayonnaise and make a simple salad. One of our family favorites is tuna pasta which is easy to make and is great for school lunches the following day. The only things you need is tuna, pasta (whatever shape), tomato pieces, paste or soup and long life cream.
One of the most versatile foods to have in the pantry is long life cream. It can be found in the long life milk section of the supermarket and it a relatively new product compared to other food staples. You can do so much with this and turn a quick boring meal into a creamy sensation. For example I add it to pasta dishes and savory mince meals. The trick is to use your imagination and see what you can come up with. There are lactose free and 99 % fat free versions so you don’t need to feel too guilty about adding cream to a meal.
These are essential if you suddenly end up with more people to feed. Anyone with teens can probably relate. Corn is a favorite in our house and it’s great for lunch boxes and a quick snack. There’s also pea combinations or solo varieties which are really versatile. Canned tomatoes are a must for every pantry because there is just so much which can be made with them. There are a lot of canned vegetable varieties available now so try some out and see what you think.
Corn and plain flour
These are really handy to make sauces because they thicken natural juices. It only takes a spoonful to create Asian food like an expert. Plus if you’ve got a pack of frozen veggies in the freezer you can make a quick white sauce and viola, instant meal the family will love.
The idea with pantry staples is to stock up when things are on special and always have something on hand for times when you look in the fridge and nothing jumps out at you. It’s incredible just how much inspiration can be found lurking behind the pantry doors.