Do you have a plan for the items in your pantry? You know the cans of beans and tuna and broth? Is it for an emergency? Is it for some rare holiday dish you thought you’d make yesterday but didn’t? Maybe you’re realizing your pantry items are even coming up on their expiration dates. They have long shelf lives, but it turns out that you were able to wait even longer to use them. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. But throwing away food is a huge shame, and it’s something Americans do big time. To be specific, we throw away around 80 billion pounds of food each year.
You can do your part in addressing the problem of food waste by finding ways to use the pantry foods collecting dust in your kitchen. It can be pretty rewarding to find new ways to use items you always keep on hand, anyway. Next time you’re in a hurry, look in your near-empty fridge and say “We have no food,” you’ll realize that you’re wrong. And you’ll know how to whip up a decent meal from your pantry staples.
Jarred mushrooms + quinoa + creamy soup
Want to take some of the work out of making risotto? Grab your jar or can of mushrooms, cut them up finely. Cook up your quinoa (or other dry whole grain like brown rice or millet). Combine your cooked grains with your mushrooms and mix in a creamy canned soup. Cream of mushroom is obviously ideal, but creamy potato or corn chowder also works.