Times of uncertainty don’t have to knock us off our healthy routines. If you’ve stocked up on wholesome ingredients, you’ll have lots of delicious food options. The trick right now, is to learn how to meal plan based on what you have rather than making a grocery list to buy what’s needed for recipes. Make sense? Pantry Meal Planning is smart and easy. I mean, even if you did feel comfortable running out to the store, the chances are they won’t have what you’re looking for.
Did you buy a lot of root veggies and hardy winter squash? I know I did because they don’t spoil easily. This recipe easily accommodates substitutions….perfect for what we’re doing. Use what you have! That’s what pantry meal planning is all about!
Take a look in your cupboards, in your freezer, your fridge and get creative. Here’s what will show up on our table this week, based on what I have on hand.
I washed and froze all the fresh kale and spinach so it wouldn’t spoil and we would be able to have green smoothies….call this one a chocolate shake and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!
- Pumpkin Bread. I found lots of canned pumpkin in the pantry!
- Chocolate Cherry Smoothie (Hubby’s favorite).
- Green Lemon Zinger. (I also bought an abundance of avocados and as they ripen I am scooping out halves and freezing–more for this recipe than anything else!)
- Orange and Fennel Salad. I don’t have any water cress but I did buy plenty of citrus so I will make this and serve it with parsley that I grow in the window all year.
- Oatmeal. I make old fashioned rolled oats or steel cut oats. Toppings are important….make sure to include plenty of protein and healthy fats to balance out the carbs. (Nuts, nut butters, seeds). If you don’t have fresh berries, stir in some frozen or chop up an apple or other fruit that you do have.
Lunch and Dinner
We often eat leftover dinner for lunch…eating at home means anything goes any time of day. Soups and stew are terrific because they are made in one pot for easy clean up and are easy to heat up for another meal.
- Chopped Salad: I have a large covered bowl in the fridge with assorted greens and chopped veggies. If there are any roasted veggies or potatoes I will add them in too for a heartier salad.
- Veggie Burgers. Follow this recipe and use whatever beans you have on hand.
- White Bean Chili with Easy Green Salad (make sure to use up your greens before they go bad).
- Dijon Lentils with roasted veggies. Lentils are a great pantry staple and I have a lot of them. I will sub the cauliflower for broccoli because I have plenty and I want to save the cauliflower to make hummus.
- Lentil Tacos. As I was saying, lots of lentils. I will also serve the filling on top of this taco salad for lunch another day.
- Butternut Squash Soup. Super easy and filling recipe. If you have another hard winter squash variety, you can sub that and make this yummy soup.
- Balsamic roasted root veggies. I stocked up on hearty veggies that can be stored for longer periods of time.
Snacks and Desserts
Life’s too short to give up on cookies! Make sure to include healthy snacks and desserts in your pantry meal planning.
- Tahini Brownies
- Spiced Nuts. It’s fun to have a crunchy and tasty snack…just remember they are calorie dense so try not to overindulge.
- Cauliflower Hummus: serve it with all those extra veggies and crackers you bought.
- Cookies: Bake a double batch of these and keep some in the freezer. So yummy.
Stay safe, stay healthy and stay satisfied with wholesome homemade food! Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re making this week. Or send me a DM on Instagram and tell me what you have in YOUR pantry that you’d like to use.
Yes it is time to get creative in the kitchen. We are facing very strange times. We will find ways to use up ingredients in new ways. Stay safe, stay healthy.
Thanks Gloria…you too.
Wonderul advice. Even the most seasoned of home cooks is looking for new ideas, variations, and smart meals to make right now. Thanks for sharing these posts and ideas (especially the root veggie stuff – I’ve got LOTS of root veggies!). Cheers.
You’re welcome. Yes…we’ve gotta all get creative with what we have in the house. Those balsamic root veggies are so tasty. Enjoy and stay healthy.