Current social distancing guidelines mean there’s plenty of time to learn a new hobby that’ll reduce stress.

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3 Recipes to Make with These Pantry Staples

Life is a bit crazy right now with most of us social distancing and dealing with “stay at home” orders across the country. Shelves at the grocery stores look a bit better than they did a couple of weeks ago, but they’re still sparse from time to time. The good news – you can do a lot with some of those pantry staples you already have on hand. While beans, dried pasta, and other canned items may not seem like the recipe for a tasty meal, you can whip up some easy and delicious meals with pantry staples.

Pantry Staples You’ll Need
Here are a few pantry staples that you’ll need for these recipes. You probably have these items on hand, even if they’re pushed all the way in the back.

  • Canned tuna (or salmon) – great protein
  • Pasta – Any shape is fine
  • Beans – Canned or dried (just remember dried beans need soaked a long time). Pintos, black beans, and garbanzos are all great choices.
  • Canned tomatoes –Whole, diced, crushed – doesn’t matter. Whole ones can be chopped.
  • Broth/Stock – Vegetable for vegetarians and chicken is excellent for those who eat meat.
  • Bread – You can freeze extra.
  • Spices – They’ll flavor up even simple recipes. Turmeric, red chile flakes, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and cumin are all great ones.
  • Cocoa powder – Contains flavanols which can support healthy brain function.
  • Walnuts – Contain DHA – a type of omega-3 fatty acid which is good for brain health!

3 Great Recipes to Try
Ready to jazz up your quarantine meals. Here are three yummy recipes to try that make use of those pantry staples you probably have on hand already.

Pasta e Fagioli
This weeknight dinner combines tomatoes, pasta, and beans together on the stovetop for a comforting meal the whole family will love. Serve up with extra parmesan cheese and some crusty bread.

  • Combine ¼ cup olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 3 garlic cloves or 2 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper to large pot. Sauté over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  • Add in 3 cups of broth, chicken or vegetable, 15oz diced tomatoes, dash of thyme and rosemary. Add in crushed red pepper, if desired. Bring to a simmer.
  • In a separate pot, cook short cut pasta according to package directions.
  • Stir in 1 can of cannellini beans to the pot with the vegetables. Stir in the cooked pasta.
  • Top with parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Don’t let that tuna just sit in the pantry. It’s a great source of protein. This casserole will serve the whole family, and you can customize it a bit to fit what you have on hand in your own pantry.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Mix 2 10.5oz cans of Cream of Mushroom soup, 1 cup milk, ¾ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, pepper, and dash of garlic powder in a bowl.
  • Stir in 2 5oz cans of light tuna, drained. Stir in 1 cup of green peas.
  • Meanwhile, cook 5 cups of macaroni noodles according to package directions.
  • Stir in noodles with your tuna mixture.
  • Bake in a 9×13 pan.
  • Cook for 30 minutes. When there is 5 minutes left, top with French fried onions, and bake for remaining 5 minutes.

Black Bean Brownies
You most likely have the ingredients for this delicious dessert already on hand! A special treat that the whole family will love.

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 9×9 inch pan with baking spray
  • Belnd together 2 eggs, 14oz can of black beans (rinsed and drained), ½ cup cocoa powder, ¾ c sugar, 1 tbsp skim milk, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp vegetable oil.
  • Mix in ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • Pour into greased pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

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