My tips for what do with essential pantry staples like canned beans, tomatoes, chicken and basic vegetables.
Recipe Ideas For Pantry Staples
We live in uncertain times. With the swift spread of COVID-19 around the world many are taking the precautions recommended by the World Health Organization to “social distance” 2020 now has a buzzword that compares with the famous “conscious uncoupling” of 2016). People who fear they have been exposed are asked to quarantine causing many to panic and “fear-buy” grocery items leading to empty shelves. Things that have been the first to go? Toilet paper (apparently people’s biggest fear is running out of toilet paper more than it is running out of food) and canned goods like tomatoes and beans.
Tips for Buying Pantry Staples
I recommend purchasing canned goods like black beans, chickpeas and tomatoes (dried beans are good too!)
I also advise grabbing some rice, dried pasta and other grains like quinoa or farro.
Look for longer shelf life root vegetables like sweet potatoes and potatoes. These can also be utilized in many different ways.
Onions, garlic and shallots are great because they can be used so many different ways.
Keep some versatile proteins like packages of chicken thighs, sausages, steak, shrimp and ground pork in the freezer. This way it can be thawed as needed.
Keep cooking oils on hand – I always have both olive oil and a neutral oil like vegetable oil.
A few dried spices can go a long way to flavoring and seasoning food.
I save takeout containers to store my leftovers easily in the fridge. It’s a great way to reuse them and I find they stack well in the fridge.
I took to Instagram to help people create meals out of the random assortment of products they picked up in their preparations for potential quarantine situations. My friends will frequently send a list of some of their random pantry items for help making dinners when they don’t want to go to the store, so I’ve taken that concept and applied it here.
Think of it as Chopped: Quarantine Edition, inspired by the popular Food Network show where contenders are given a basket of random products and asked to create dishes with them. I have a longer list of what I like to keep stocked in my pantry at all times here.
Some of my recipes can be paired down to better fit a limited quantity of items. I have made suggestions on those recipes below based on what ingredients you may have in the pantry/ on hand.