Even with lots of forward planning we often have snafus that will change our meal plans: the meat was supposed to be “used by” yesterday, I forgot to pull the roast from the freezer to the fridge to thaw and it’ll take “too long” to thaw a big hunk of meat, the day was long or I’m just not feelin’ what we were supposed to have for dinner that day. These are the days that I go for one of our pantry meals. Most of our pantry meals do use some of our fridge and freezer staples, too. We’ll have fruit (whatever we have laying around or frozen) and frozen vegetables or salad as a side and dinner comes together in about twenty minutes. Here are our favorites:
Seafood Veracruz with beans and par-cooked rice. We use whatever white fish or shrimp we have in the freezer and start by heating the sauce (we find it in a package in the organic section of the store) on medium-low and then just add the frozen seafood right in without thawing. While this cooks I open a can of beans (usually black beans) and add some seasoning then microwave these and voila!
Southwestern chicken soup. This is a quick Cooking Light recipe (see my Pinterest “Favorite Healthy Recipes” page for the recipe). I sometimes use a rotisserie chicken but usually just cook some budget-friendly split chicken breasts in the slow cooker and shred these. I try to keep some of this slow cooker chicken in one to two pound freezer bags in the freezer and just toss this in frozen.
Red beans and rice. This is an easy one that hubby bubby makes from memory. We just saute some slices of smoked sausage with a red onion and then add some diced tomatoes and seasoning (usually garlic powder, onion powder and oregano) and let that simmer while the rice cooks. When the rice is almost done we toss two cans of rinsed and drained kidney beans into the sausage mixture to heat through and then serve with the rice.
Indian shrimp or bean curry with rice. I heat one of our Indian simmer sauces over low heat and then decide if we want to have shrimp or beans. If it is shrimp I throw in the raw, frozen peeled and deveined shrimp and let them heat gently in the sauce. If using beans I usually add chickpeas or kidney beans. I always add a package of frozen chopped spinach (I just toss it in frozen and let it break apart in the sauce). If we have some other veggies on hand I might use those, too, usually cauliflower or frozen peas and serve this with par-cooked rice.
Tacos. We usually use the Frontera sauce and whatever meat (or shrimp) will be easiest to thaw. We always have salsa and tortillas in the pantry and some sour cream and cheese in the fridge to go with it. And, of course, beans on the side. 🙂
Tortellini and bean stew. This is one of my favorites. I just heat up a can of diced tomatoes with a can of low-sodium broth and bring this to a boil then toss in the frozen tortellini. When the tortellini are almost cooked I add in some white beans. Sometimes we’ll add some meat, usually frozen chicken or turkey meatballs or shredded chicken we have in the freezer and then season to taste. Super easy!
Spaghetti. When hubby bubby isn’t home for dinner we have good old spaghetti and meat sauce! I use our whole grain spaghetti, a jar of marinara and some chicken or turkey sausage (I throw it in the pan frozen and let the stove thaw it for me). We usually pair this with some frozen veggies or salad if we actually have salad ingredients on hand.
What are some of your go to meals? What do you always keep stocked in your fridge, freezer and pantry?Connect with Radishes Are Pink on social media: