Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Whatcha Got?

I read an article a week or so ago in our Food Day insert and it hit a chord with me.  Although, I have been doing this for awhile not everyone does.  Instead some look in their pantry, refrigerator and see nothing while others see a plethora of possibility.  The article called it "The Pantry Principle" I call it, working with "Whatcha got!"

It really boils down to rather than running to the store every other day for ingredients to make that "perfect" meal, work with what you have.  If you have a well stocked pantry/refrigerator, often times you can make a meal on the fly if needed.  I find that when I do this, the meals are often times better because I get a bit more creative. 

And it doesn't have to break you grocery budget because many of the items in your well stocked pantry/refrigerator are multiple use items therefore you do not purchase these every time you shop.

My well stocked pantry/refrigerator often times looks like this:

~Spices:  Salt, Pepper, Dash (love this), Paprika, Chili Powder, Fajita Seasoning, Garlic Salt, Onion Powder, Basil, Thyme, Marjoram, Parsley, Johnny's Seasoning, etc...

~Rice, Beans, Condensed Soups, Tomato Paste, Stewed & Diced Tomatoes, Broth.


~Eggs, Milk, Sour Cream, Cheese, Condiments of all sorts: mustard (reg and Dijon), mayonnaise, salad dressings (several kinds I often times will use as marinades for meat), salsa, soy sauce.

~Olive Oil, Lemon Juice


~Chicken Breast (I always have frozen chicken breast in the freezer)

~Variety of frozen vegetables

The above might not seem like a lot but it really is. Here are several things that I can make with the above:

Southwest Beans
Southwest Chicken & Rice
Chicken & Mixed Vegetable Casserole
Chicken & Mushroom Over Rice
Chicken Picatta
Chicken Stir Fry
Taco Bake

Endless possibilities with only a few key ingredients. 

What does your pantry/refrigerator look like?

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  1. I always have all of those staples. What would we do without them?

  2. As we have been working through the pantry due to the fact as well those dry goods need to be rotated and used. They do have code dates. Some get shoved in the back and forgotten about. So this is agood way to force me to use and clean it up then restock once again. Great aricle on your blog.

  3. LOL. I'm actually baking bread today b/c I don't feel like going into the grocery store. Since I have a mango and avacadoes that I need to use, I'll be using a bunch of pantry items: Canned salmon, linguine, canned black beans, frozen corn. Gonna come up with some kind of mango-salsa salmon pasta. LOL And you're right, it does force you to be more creative.

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