Your pantry is only useful if you can make tasty, filling meals from it. It is vital that you purchase “ingredients” rather than meals, so that you can make a wide variety of foods. Not only is this healthier, but it is also a much more cost-effective way to build a stockpile.
The ingredients that you buy or preserve are the basis of your future health should a situation arise in which you must rely on your pantry. It is imperative that you have the ability to cook from scratch if you intend to use a pantry full of ingredients, so brush up on your skills by using these items now, and not just storing them away.
I have gotten a lot of requests for meal plans based on pantry items. This is challenging because every family has different preferences and different items available to them at a good price. So the following is simply a list of meals that we have at Chez Organic Prepper, heavily based on pantry items.
- Granola with homemade yogurt and fruit
- Oatmeal with fruit and nuts
- Homemade muffins
- Biscuits and gravy
- Eggs and toast
- Toast with peanut butter
- Cornbread with butter and jam
- Breakfast cookies
Lunch box fillers
- Sandwiches made from leftover meats
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- Thermos of soup
- Yogurt with fruit and granola
- Pasta salad
- Home-baked treats
- Crackers with peanut butter
- Homemade calzones
- “Platters” – an assortment of meat, cheese, veggies and crackers in a divided container
- Thermos full of leftovers
- Potato soup
- Onion soup
- Chicken noodle soup
- Split pea soup
- Spaghetti with meatballs
- Salad with chicken and homemade vinaigrette
- Beans and rice
- Baked beans and biscuits
- Chicken and dumplings
- Bean burritos
- Curry with potatoes, chickpeas and cauliflower
- Pasta with pesto sauce
- Noodles with peanut sauce
- Baked macaroni and cheese
- Creamy rice with veggies (rice cooked in milk instead of water – it tastes similar to risotto)
- Roasted meat with vegetables (a meal that creates lots of wonderful leftovers!)
If you only have one or two servings of a leftover and 4 people to feed, don’t despair. Often the addition of grains or some broth can help you extend it to create a new dish to serve to your entire family.
- Leftover chili baked with rice and cheese
- Leftover spaghetti sauce baked with pasta and homemade cottage cheese
- Leftover soup
- Fried rice made with leftover meat
- Pasta with whatever veggies and leftover meat are on hand, tossed with olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan
- Stroganoff made with leftover beef
- Baked potatoes topped with whatever you have left over
- Biscuit crust atop leftovers to make a “pot pie”
Click HERE to learn more about repurposing leftovers.
What thrifty, pantry-based meals are the favorites in your household?
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Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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