Cooking tasty healthy meals doesn’t require a trip to the store. With a few kitchen staples and a little creativity, you can whip up some nourishing dishes.
Are you ready to go digging into the dark recesses of your pantry and dust off long-forgotten canned goods? Now is the time to use the non-perishables in your pantry.
Here are two simple recipes that will fill you up with what you have on hand:
Tuna Pasta Marinara
This delicious dish features tuna fish, a protein powerhouse. Low in calories and fat, tuna is nearly a pure-protein food. It makes a great nutritional base for this easy-to-follow recipe.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 can of tuna
- 8 oz. of whole-grain pasta (regular pasta works too)
- 15 oz. of crushed or diced tomatoes
- Salt and pepper
- Marinara sauce
- 2 TB of olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 TB of Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- ¼ medium onion, chopped
- Cook the pasta according to instructions on the package—typically boil for about 15 minutes.
- Over medium heat, cook the olive oil, garlic, and onion for 1 minute.
- Add in the tuna. Break the tuna up and stir as the mixture cooks for 2 minutes.
- Add your olives and tomatoes and continue cooking for 2-3 more minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix your marinara sauce with your pasta.
And voila! You have a wholesome meal for four that only took 30 minutes to make.
Lemon Quinoa with Peas
Here’s an even simpler healthy recipe.
The star of this recipe is nutrient-rich quinoa. The seed, classified as a whole grain, has become increasingly popular over the past ten years. One cup of cooked quinoa yields 6 g. of protein, 4 g. of fiber, and a host of vitamins and minerals. These days, you’ll find quinoa in many American pantries.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 c. of quinoa
- 2 c. of any stock (chicken, beef, vegetables)
- 1 c. of water
- 2 c. frozen or canned peas
- 1 c. pine nuts
- 1 c. of lemon juice
- Put the quinoa in a small saucepan.
- Add the stock, lemon juice, and water to the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low and place a lid on the pan.
- Allow the quinoa to simmer for 15 minutes.
- While the quinoa simmers, toast the pine nuts. Toasted almonds or walnuts work well as substitutes.
- Once the quinoa is done, remove from the heat, add your frozen peas, and wait 2 minutes for the peas to defrost. If you’re using canned peas, there’s no need to wait.
- Top your finished dish with your toasted nuts and you’ve got a delightful, healthy meal to serve your quarantined crew.
The addition of green peas and toasted pine nuts to this recipe adds even more protein and fiber, plus heart-protecting monounsaturated fats—you can also adapt the recipe for oats, brown rice, and nutritious pinto or black beans to make sure the dish packs a nutritious punch. You’ll be ready to serve this pantry-practical dish for four in just 20 minutes.
With limited ingredient options, it’s tempting to resign to eating PB&J sandwiches and canned soup. But you can still make great meals! Using only what you have on hand, you can bring nutritious, flavorful dishes to the tabl