Pantry Dinner

Hello readers! Sorry for vanishing for the past month — things around here have been quite hectic! But now I’m back and hopefully won’t be disappearing again any time soon.

Do you ever get home from a long day and wonder what you can have for dinner besides take out? My clients often face this situation, as do I (after all, dietitians are normal people!). I suggest keeping a well-stocked pantry for these occasions.* I always make sure to have whole grains, beans, and canned tomatoes or tomato sauce on hand, and these ingredients, plus extra veggies, make up a balanced meal: Protein? Check (beans). Whole grain carbs? Check (whole wheat pasta, quinoa, or farro). Vegetables? Check (tomatoes and extra veggies).

Here are two quick (and very similar!) dishes made with my pantry ingredients over the past few weeks:

Penne with beans and roasted vegetables Penne with chickpeas, Parmesan cheese, and asparagus

On the left: Whole wheat penne with cannelloni (white) beans, and canned diced tomatoes topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a side of roasted veggies (carrots, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower).

On the right: Whole wheat penne with chickpeas, tomato sauce, shredded Gouda cheese, and roasted asparagus.

Both of these meals were fairly quick to make (the vegetables were leftover from previous meals), well balanced, and a lot cheaper than ordering in or going out to dinner!

What’s in your pantry that you can use to make dinner?

*For some healthy pantry food swaps, check out “Pantry Raid” from Fitness Magazine’s April issue, where I was quoted (slides 1 and 3), and stay tuned for a pantry guide coming soon to nutritioulicious™!

2 responses to “Pantry Dinner

  1. Frozen vegetables are “pantry” staples that could be substituted for the roasted veggies in your meals. Steam-Fresh (Birds Eye) are favorites of mine.

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