Pantry Recipe Ideas

Isabeau

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I often get recipe ideas from Budget Bytes and they posted this today


Which made me wonder if some of you have favourite recipes you’d like to share using pantry staples such as beans, canned fish and vegetables, pasta, flour, vegetarian friendly, etc. You know, just to help us be creative with whatever we’ve managed to stash away..

🥖🍜🥧🌯🍝
 

Rose Karuna

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I make black beans to go with lots of things. Sometimes I make a yellow rice (saffron and turmeric) and sometimes just a white rice. You can basically cook them to accompany any type of meat.


Ingredients:

2 cups dried black beans
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
1 large sprig of cilantro, very finely chopped
Either 1/2 Jalapeño or 1 whole poblano chili, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice (if you are using a real lime, add some lime zest, black beans work well with lime)
3 - 4 cups broth
1 teaspoon garlic, onion and chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

So I start with 2 cups of dry black beans and because I have an instant pot, I don't soak them.

If you don't have an instant pot, soak the beans over night in water that you have added 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of onion powder and 1 teaspoon of chili powder to. Drain the water when you are ready to use the soaked beans.

Finely cut 1/2 large onion, 2 stalks of celery and 4 medium carrots. I usually use my food processor to cut them (but you could even use a blender). With instant pot I use the sauté function and add a tablespoon of olive oil and then add the onions, celery and carrots. While they are are sautéing, I take 1 clove of garlic, a large sprig of cilantro and 1/2 of a jalapeño or [preferably] a whole poblano chili and put them in the food processor and chop them very, very fine (almost a liquid). Add that to the mirepoix already sautéing and stir. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper.

When this has cooked (the onions will be translucent) I add 1 carton of broth (about 3 to 4 cups), 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 1 cup of water if you need it (or more), the liquid should cover the beans and leave at least an inch above them when you add the beans). If I'm using instant pot, I just wash the dry beans and add them. I usually need the extra cup of water using unsealed beans. Again, season to taste with Salt and Pepper.

I use the "manual" pressure setting on my instant pot for 30 minutes, and then when the 30 minutes are up I let the pot depressurize naturally for 10 minutes and then I open the pot and put the instant pot on the crock pot function for a couple of hours with the glass lid instead of the pressure lid.

If you're using a a regular crock pot then add the sautéed vegetables, the liquid and the soaked beans. Add another teaspoon of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Cook on low all for 3 - 4 hours. If you want it cooked faster, just bring the soaked beans to a boil in a pan in the liquid and cook them for about 30 minutes and then on low for another 10 or 15 min.

If you are serving them with chicken, then use a chicken broth, with pork, use a pork broth and the same if you are serving them with beef. If you are a vegetarian, use vegetable broth.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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Lentils or split peas cooked with onion and some other spices that smell right when I'm cooking. Otherwise, I'm more planning on relying on my fridge/freezer for the time being - but we do have rice and a variety of beans
 

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Corn meal is awesome. It lasts forever, you can get it in bulk if you are a yankee like me (in the south it's probably harder to get), and you don't need anything fancy to cook with it. Corn pone is just water and corn meal, fried up in a frying pan, or sometimes baked. Massa is staple of latin american cooking, and it's the same thing, with the corn meal ground finer.

If you want to get fancy, explorers passing over the appalacians would commonly carry honey balls as rations. Taverns they would stop at to resupply would commonly sell them. It's very simple... You take corn meal, honey, water, some berries, maybe some oats, or whatever you have lying around that has a lot of calories and nutrients, and mix it into a batter. Form them into balls, then bake them, or fry them. It's a primitive granola bar, with an astronomical calorie count in a small package, which made them great traveling rations.

If you are reduced to scavenging, and you find a corn field, you can cut the raw corn off an ear of corn, grind it with a coffee grinder, or a rock, and get corn meal.

Here's a simple corn pone recipe:

 

Isabeau

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Not really “pantry” but a lot of people are making their own bread these days so here’s a recipe for no-knead bread to bake in a Dutch oven.

 
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Rose Karuna

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Not really “pantry” but a lot of people are making their own bread these days so here’s a recipe for no-knead bread to bake in a Dutch oven.

Awesome - I can make this after dinner and then just let it sit out overnight then pop it into the oven around 10:00 AM or so. It calls for all purpose flour but I might use half whole wheat and half all purpose and see how that does.
 

Rose Karuna

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I tried a new recipe that uses dry and canned ingredients with some fresh things you could grow in your garden:

Instant Pot Pork Pozole Verde

Ingredients: 1 and 1/2 cups dry pinto beans, 1 can hominy, 1 pound boneless pork (I used half a tenderloin because they were on sale), cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 2 poblano chiles, 2 jalapeño chiles, all quartered, seeds and veins removed. 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped. 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 yellow onion, 1 can chopped mild green chiles, 1 to 2 cups cup pork broth, a bit of oil for browning pork.

Wash the pinto beans and put them into the instant pot with 3 cups water. Put the instant pot on manual and set the time for 25 minutes. When 25 minutes are up, let rest for 10 minutes before opening pressure valve. Drain beans in strainer and put them in bowl to the side. They should be soft but firm.

Wash and put the pot back into the instant pot pressure cooker. Add a bit of olive oil to bottom of pot. Put pot on sauté and cut pork. When pot indicates HOT add pork and stir occasionally making sure all sides are brown.

Put the [fresh] peppers, garlic, onion and cilantro into a food processor (or blender) and process until very fine, until it is almost liquid. When pork turns brown, add the mixture from the food processor. Allow to cook with pork about 3 to 5 min and then add 1 cup of broth and canned chiles. Add pinto beans back into broth. Drain and add the hominy. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is not like a thick soup, add the extra cup of broth. Put the pressure cooker lid back on the instant pot, set it on manual and set it for another 10 minutes. (If your pinto beans were on the firmer side, allow the pot to depressurize naturally for 10 to 12 minutes after it has pressure cooked).

For pork broth, I use Goya Jamon (goya jamon seasoning) because it has a nice smokey pork taste, but about any pork broth will do, or take a packet of pork gravy and use more water to make that into a broth. If you want a really smokey taste, sauté your pork in left over bacon fat instead of olive oil.

If you know how to make your own tortillas, this is absolutely awesome with home made tortillas. I know how to make my own flour tortillas so that's what I use as a side to accompany this soup/stew.

Last night was the first time that I've made Pozole Verde, I have made Pozole Rojo before. The chiles for Pozole Rojo make it a little more complicated but it's pretty much the same recipe except with ancho, guajillo and chiles de arbó instead. Also instead of Cilantro as the main herb, I use Mexican Oregano which I have growing in my window all the time. For the Pozole Rojo I also add a pureed fresh tomato with the chiles, onion and garlic and a tablespoon of plain tomato powder or instead of tomato powder, you can use Goya Sazón with Cilantro & Tomato.

Note that if you cannot get ancho, guajillo and arbó peppers fresh (and unless you grow them, you probably can't), you'll have to buy them dry and then soak them in hot water before you puree them in your blender or food processor.

Also note that if you are vegan, just omit the pork and use a vegetable broth in the Pozole Verde or a tomato broth in Pozole Rojo.

Also note that if you don't have an instant pot, just soak and cook the the dry pinto beans according to the package directions first (maybe the night before). Sauté the pork in a frying pan. Dump that into a crock pot when it's done browning, add the broth and the chiles, add the beans, the hominy and all the pureed ingredients and cook them all day. That's how I used to make this before I got the instant pot.

One last note 🤪 you can add fresh vegetables like thin cut radishes, onion, parsley, cilantro or chopped avocado into it after you serve it.
 

bubblesort

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I made black eyed peas yesterday, just to learn the process. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be!

When all this started I stocked up on dried beans and rice, because they last forever, and they are a good source of nutrients. I never cooked dried beans before, only canned, so I made them simple.

I soaked 1 cup of beans 8 hours, then rinsed them and tried to sort them, but didn't actually find any of the stones people say they find in them. They probably washed out in the collander when I rinsed them.

Then I put them in hot water and simmered them for 2 hours. Took a while to find the low simmer point, because they wanted to either boil or stop bubbling. Once I found the right simmer level, the water kept evaporating off so much I had to add another cup of water every 15 or 20 minutes, so I had to watch it constantly for 2 hours. In the end, I got some nice soft black eyed peas, but I didn't get much bean broth.

The beans are good, but they are very plain. Next time I make them, I'll probably chop up an onion and put some bacon or a ham hawk in it. Definitely add some salt. Maybe butter?

Most of the time if I go to this much trouble for a dish I'm making pasta or barbecue or something. I don't think I'll be making these again unless I'm desperate, which is why I bought them, so they should keep.
 

Rose Karuna

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I made black eyed peas yesterday, just to learn the process. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be!

When all this started I stocked up on dried beans and rice, because they last forever, and they are a good source of nutrients. I never cooked dried beans before, only canned, so I made them simple.

I soaked 1 cup of beans 8 hours, then rinsed them and tried to sort them, but didn't actually find any of the stones people say they find in them. They probably washed out in the collander when I rinsed them.

Then I put them in hot water and simmered them for 2 hours. Took a while to find the low simmer point, because they wanted to either boil or stop bubbling. Once I found the right simmer level, the water kept evaporating off so much I had to add another cup of water every 15 or 20 minutes, so I had to watch it constantly for 2 hours. In the end, I got some nice soft black eyed peas, but I didn't get much bean broth.

The beans are good, but they are very plain. Next time I make them, I'll probably chop up an onion and put some bacon or a ham hawk in it. Definitely add some salt. Maybe butter?

Most of the time if I go to this much trouble for a dish I'm making pasta or barbecue or something. I don't think I'll be making these again unless I'm desperate, which is why I bought them, so they should keep.
For dried beans or black eyed peas, I generally soak them overnight. If I'm not using them that day, I just put the soaked beans in a baggie in the fridge and then when I'm ready to use them, pull out the soaked beans and cook them. (Don't leave them too long in the fridge or else they'll sprout).

If you can, try and buy an Instant Pot, not only do you not have to soak beans, but they cook in record time (less than an hour). Same with grains and rice.

Sometimes I'll cook more than I need in a recipe of a bean (like kidney beans), put them in a container in the fridge and then use them in salad or soup. In fact, last night I made Pasta Fagioli (bean soup with Pasta) with some left over kidney beans.

We eat black-eyed peas every Christmas and New Years, in the South they are considered good luck. Here is a recipe for them without the instant pot:

2 cups dry black-eyed peas
1 small onion
2 stalks celery
4 carrots
1 clove garlic
1 table spoon olive oil or bacon grease
1 red hot pepper (Tabasco if you can find them but a Habanero will do)
1 Ham Hock
4 cups broth (I use ham broth but you could use chicken)
salt and pepper

The night before: Soak 2 cups black-eyed pea in 4 cups cold water

Next Day:

  1. Chop the onion, celery and carrots finely, sauté them in oil or bacon grease.
  2. Grate or crush the garlic into a mash
  3. Open the hot pepper, remove the seeds and the inner lining around the seeds and finely chop the pepper
  4. Add the broth, the ham hock, the soaked peas, the sautéd vegetables, the chili pepper, the garlic and some salt and pepper.
  5. Let it cook on a very low heat until the peas and vegetables are soft (a couple of hours).
  6. Take out ham hock, remove meat off the bone and put it back into liquid. Let it cook some more.
This is where a crock or instant pot comes in handy because you could just dump it all into a crock pot and forget about it until supper time.

For some reason, collard greens taste particularly good with black-eyed peas. We usually put them both over plain white rice.

Happy cooking!
 
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Kara Spengler

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The nissu recipe I posted is at What are your essential cookbooks? and probably the only thing non shelf stable is some soy milk for the glaze. I say probably because there is self stable soy milk too. More work than most things but it is a good way to kill time.
 
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Rose Karuna

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I made Enchiladas last night, they are a good choice because except for the meat and onions you can use mostly pantry ingredients. Even if you can't buy tortillas they are pretty easy to make from scratch.

Tortillas
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out (I actually had "Tortilla" flour but I think it's pretty much the same as all-purpose)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup cold lard (I actually do use lard but you could use bacon fat or crisco, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup warm water

  1. Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. With your fingers, mix lard into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  2. Slowly pour warm water into flour mixture, a little at a time, until course dough forms. Put it onto floured surface and knead like bread until smooth (about 4 or 5 minutes). Divide dough into 8 pieces and roll them into balls. Cover with plastic and let rest 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat (I use cast iron). On a floured surface, roll one ball into an 8" round (I use an Italian rolling pin but any way to roll them out would be fine). I prefer my flour tortillas a little on the thicker side but you can experiment with how thick and thin you like them. If you do make them thicker, make the temperature of the pan a little cooler so that way they cook all the way through and don't burn them). Transfer tortilla to the skillet and cook until dough bubbles and develops golden spots on the bottom, about a half a minute. Flip the tortilla and cook until the other side develops spots. Put in a covered dish or cover with a dish towel to keep warm. Repeat with each ball of dough.
There are so many ways to make Enchiladas. Usually I use left over meat from a Sunday roast but on occasion I've used hamburger (that's what I did last night) and occasionally I've made chicken or just bean and cheese Enchiladas. I also used canned Enchilada sauce (I have made my own but it's best to do that another day and freeze it for use later). If you want quick and easy, buy it in the can. Personally I prefer La Preferida Enchilada sauce if you can find it, if not then what ever you can pick up on the grocery shelf. If you want to make your own Enchilada sauce, this is really close to the recipe I follow. Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe [Step-by-Step]

Easy Beef Enchiladas

2 cans Enchilada Sauce
1 jalapeño pepper
1 small yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pam or some sort of non-stick oil spray
2 lbs hamburger
8 to 10 Flour Tortillas
3 cups grated cheddar cheese (I use Colby) (reserve 1/2 cup to put on top of the Enchiladas)
1/2 cup sour cream for garnish
8 - 10 black olives for garnish

Clean the pepper, remove all seeds. Finely chop the jalapeño pepper, onion and garlic together (I use the food processor). The more finely you chop the vegetables the stronger taste you'll have.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and spray it with oil if it's a non-stick pan. Add the hamburger, as the hamburger begins to brown, add the vegetables, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. When the meat is brown and the vegetables are cooked, set aside and let cool.

Spray a 9x13 baking pan or casserole dish with oil. Put 1/2 can of enchilada sauce into the baking pan. Take out one tortilla and sit it in the sauce, flip it and then fill it with a couple of tablespoons of the hamburger mixture and a couple of tablespoons of the cheese. Don't over fill - roll the tortilla and put it up against the edge of the pan. Repeat this, adding more enchilada sauce as needed (both sides of the tortilla should be coated with sauce but not soaked). Keep filling, rolling and packing them into the baking pan like little sardines. Remember to reserve at least a 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. When the pan is full of the rolled, stuffed tortillas add the remainder of the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the dish. Cut the olives in half and put them on top of the rolled tortillas.

Put the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes (this gives your tortillas more time to soak up the sauce).

I always have left overs and these freeze well.
 

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I'm a fan of rice, but I might avoid this "recipe" if you're in any way a fumbler when it comes to cooking!



Main point no matter how you cook rice is the fork vs spoon one. Always use a fork to fluff, not a spoon to stir! About the only thing rice-wise I believe with great conviction.
 

Rose Karuna

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I'm a fan of rice, but I might avoid this "recipe" if you're in any way a fumbler when it comes to cooking!



Main point no matter how you cook rice is the fork vs spoon one. Always use a fork to fluff, not a spoon to stir! About the only thing rice-wise I believe with great conviction.
I followed this recipe for rice yesterday (I always make Ham, Rice and Black-eyed Peas for Easter). It was the fluffiest rice I've ever made. Also, on a whim, I added a bag of Publix frozen "Gumbo Vegetable Mix" to my black-eyed peas and OMG, it added so much flavor. For those that don't like okra, it cooked down to the point that it because part of the sauce. My husband didn't even know there was okra in the dish but he loved the flavor.
 

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Good idea for a side dish.

 

Rose Karuna

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So a new recipe with lentils. I'm not sure what to call it. Serve it on top of Basmati rice.

Preparing the lentils:

1 1/2 cup lentils (brown or green)
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 TBLS olive oil
1 onion chopped small
4 serrano chilis chopped small
3 cloves garlic, grated (I use a micro grater)
1 medium tomato, chopped small

Since this all goes together, the chilis, onion, garlic and tomato can be chopped fine using a food processor.

  1. Wash the lentils and drain
  2. In a sauce pan, add the olive oil and let heat up on medium.
  3. When the sauce pan is hot, add the onion, chilis, garlic and tomato and stir until the onions are clear and the other vegetables are soft.
  4. Add the water or broth
  5. Add the washed lentils
  6. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 3 or 4 minutes, then turn down the heat low and cover sauce pan and cook for about 30 -40 minutes, until the lentils are soft but not mushy.
Preparing the Vegetables to add at the end:

  1. 4 Carrots peeled and chopped into small squares (don't use a food process for this, you want them to look nice and cook evenly)
  2. 1 bag baby spinach or baby kale
  3. Cook the chopped carrots in a casserole dish in the microwave. They should not be too soft but should not be hard either. I didn't cook them with the lentils because I wanted the bright color in the dish and I did not want them to get too soft.
  4. Add the spinach to the lentils about 10 minutes before they are completed cooking, so at about the 20 min mark. Slowly stir them in and just let the steam cook the spinach.
  5. Add the cooked carrots to the lentils when they have completed cooking and fluff the lentils with a fork.
Preparing the Sauce (do this while the lentils are cooking):
1 cup tomato sauce
4 TBLS tomato paste
1 cup greek yoghurt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon red chili (or more if you like it hot, I used cayenne)
1 TBLS sugar
1 TBLS curry powder
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
3 TBLS butter

Combine tomato sauce, tomato paste and yoghurt in a cold sauce pan and stir with a whisk to get it combined together. Stir in dry ingredients.
Put sauce pan on stove on medium heat. Heat until sauce bubbles and then add butter. After butter melts, stir again with whisk and remove from stove.

Garnish with finely chopped cilantro if you like it and have it around.

So I put this on top of cooked Basmati rice and the way I layered it on the plate:

  1. Cooked Basmati rice
  2. Sauce
  3. Lentils
  4. Sauce
  5. Garnish with cilantro
It actually was really tasty. I was hungry for chicken tikka masala but didn't have any chicken, so I thought hmmm, I have a whole jar of lentils, time to use some of them.
 

Rose Karuna

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In our stores, rice, most pasta, and all flour and quinoa are sold out. I did find two grains that I haven't used in a while; pearl barley and bulgar wheat.

I often make soup with barley but it's also great as a pilaf and in a salad, some people even use it in desserts. I generally make my own tabouli but bulgar wheat can also be made into a warm pilaf. There are tons of recipes for both barley and bulgar wheat. So if you are looking for something because you're getting tired of rice, check out bulgar wheat and pearl barley.
 
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So, if you're running out of things to do with beans in soup, don't forget there are salads. Last night I made a black bean and corn salad and it was great. Even my husband loved it.

INGREDIENTS
4 cups cooked black beans drained, rinsed and chilled
1 1/2 cups corn kernels fresh, frozen or canned but need to be chilled
2 cups romaine or ice berg lettuce
1/4 cup sliced radishes
1/4 cup red onion minced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 green bell pepper diced
1 avocado peeled, pit removed and diced
1 jalapeno ribs and seeds removed, then minced
1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon corriander
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the black beans, corn, red onion, bell pepper, avocado, lettuce, radishes and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, honey, sugar, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the beans and vegetables and toss gently to coat. Serve.
    * Note: instead of the lime juice I used 1/4 cup of vinegar from the hot jalapeño carrots that I made last week. I also added some of that vinegar to my beans when I cooked them in the Instant Pot. If you do use the Instant Pot, you need to cook the dry un-soaked beans for 30 minutes if you don’t use vinegar and 40 minutes if you do. (Vinegar tends to make your beans firmer, which is what you probably want in a salad).
    It’s a fun recipe to play with and vary it to your own tastes.