I know that when we think of fresh, healthy, homemade meals, we don’t think of canned foods. I have very ambitious ideas for my homemade meals. In my dream world exists this other version of me that somehow visits the Farmer’s Market every day—with her own reusable bags that she somehow remembered to pack—and picks up fresh-from-the-dirt produce, chatting with the vendors, learning what new, special recipe she should try. My ideal version of me even has a little garden in her yard (I don’t even have a yard) and potted herbs on her windowsill. But, the reality of the situation is that the only people who have time for that are retirees and chefs who have to hit up the Farmer’s Market regularly for their restaurants.
My life looks a bit different. I have to schedule oven times between laundry cycles and dog walks and often eat over my laptop or in the car (which is not safe, and I should stop doing.) So I have to take some shortcuts if I am still technically going to make meals from scratch, at home. Which I do want to do, most days of the week, because it’s a serious money-saver and generally healthier than dining out. There are just so many benefits of eating in.
While I used to see canned foods as apocalypse preparation items that I just stocked up on and forgot about, I’ve been starting to learn more about all of the ways I can incorporate these little tin-lined items into the many healthy recipes I make on a regular basis. Sometimes, when you’re in a hurry, it’s nice to just use a can opener as opposed to some fancy vegetable chopper/slicer/peeler/puree machine. Here are multipurpose canned foods you should always have in your pantry.
Boiling an artichoke and extracting the heart is time-consuming and inefficient. Use canned artichokes to make things like parmesan-crusted artichoke, pureed artichoke soup, or a simple salad with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and goat cheese with balsamic.