Monday, September 29, 2014

"My Pantry Project" Using What You Already Have

I have been busy in my kitchen. Here I am about a week into "My Pantry Project".  In order to get through all the "stuff"in my existing pantry I have been cooking up a lot of things that probably don't warrant a recipe, but are probably worth sharing. Maybe these dishes will give you some ideas to use staples you may already have in your own pantry.  Beats running to the grocery store for the ingredients to prep your next meal, right?

This is a sampling of what The Vegan Version's household has been eating as of late:

Italian Pasta Salad

For this one just some tricolored pasta, a can of artichoke hearts, a jar of pimentos and some homemade champagne vinaigrette. In hindsight, I should have added a can of chickpeas. Nest time.

Blueberry Barley Breakfast Bowl

I cooked up a bunch of pearl barley and left it in the fridge for use in recipes.  For the breakfast bowl all I did was add some So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk and heat it up. I topped it with a dollop of Blueberry Jam and sprinkled it with cinnamon.  A great breakfast!

Chickpea Salad

Truly one of my go-tos. I usually use canned chickpeas and use whatever fresh veggies and herbs I have in the house. Just add a little Vegenaise, salt and pepper and, voila! My 12-year-old vegetarian (non-chickpea lover) has discovered that she loves this and now she asks for it regularly for lunch at school. I consider that a win!

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

While I love oatmeal for breakfast I am discovering that there are more grains than just oats to make a great breakfast (as evidenced by the Barley Bowl above). Quinoa is delicious and a good source of protein, iron and magnesium.  Plus, it is really filling and is super versatile. I have been keeping some cooked quinoa in the refrigerator so that I can quickly dress it up as a sweet breakfast or a nice lunchtime salad. For this breakfast it was a splash of coconut milk, dried cranberries, pecans, brown sugar and a drizzle of agave syrup. A new go-to quick breakfast.

Corn and Quinoa Soup

This soup was so easy. I had a box of prepared organic Corn Soup in my pantry. To dress it up I just sautéed one quarter of a white onion in a little bit of olive oil, added the soup and one cup of the quinoa in the refrigerator.  Once it was heated through I garnished with some canned corn kernels, avocado, jalapeño pepper and some cilantro. Delish!

Multi Layer Dip

For this dip I simply added a jar of pre-made black bean dip, layered it with vegan sour cream, salsa, lettuce and green onions.  Super easy and really tasty, too.

The balance of my week will be comprised of business travel and a weekend family wedding. I don't suspect there will be a lot of cooking over that time, maybe I can sneak another dish in tomorrow evening and again on Sunday, we'll see.  Even at a week in my pantry is already far more organized. I am loving it!

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