A month ago, I wrote a blog post about my refrigerator not working. My refrigerator has been having trouble defrosting and consequently stops getting cold after awhile. I’ve had to use the blow dryer to help defrost the fridge.
As a result, I’ve had to make meals using ingredients found in the freezer and the pantry. I’ve been keeping the bare minimum in the refrigerator. Why keep milk and yogurt in the fridge when it’s just going to go bad soon? But hopefully, we should be getting a new part for the fridge next week and our problems will be soon be resolved.
Today I am going to list the top five best food I’ve had to make using basic ingredients from the pantry and freezer.
This is a classic meal. All you need is two slices of bread, peanut butter, and jelly. It is a great meal for days when you just don’t have the time to spend one or two hours cooking. You just want to grab what’s in the fridge or pantry, make it in less than five minutes, and then be out the door the next minute.
I know that there are many variations to PB&J sandwiches. Some people like peanut butter & banana sandwiches. Some people just like peanut butter. Some just like jelly. Some like to use almond butter in place of peanut butter.
But however you make it, this one’s a classic and staple for the kitchen.
This is me and my daughter’s favorite sandwich for obvious reasons. It’s nutella. It tastes like chocolate. And it is just perfection on bread. All you need is two slices of bread and some nutella. You can put as much or as little as you want. But I personally think you should not skimp on nutella. That is the soul of the sandwich and reason why it’s so heavenly good.
This one requires a bit of preparation and cooking time, but quite worth it. All you need is a couple of heated tortilla wraps, chicken breasts, onions, peppers, cumin, lime juice, and hot pepper flakes. I actually got this recipe from this adaptation found here, but I modified it to suit my own needs.
First, you cut the thawed chicken breasts into strips and salt and pepper it. Then, add some cumin, lime juice, and hot pepper flakes. I go heavy on the hot pepper flakes because I like it spicy. Let the chicken sit and marinate for thirty minutes or so.
Then, heat up a frying pan with vegetable oil (or whichever type of oil you prefer) and heat up your chicken. Once the chicken is halfway cooked, add your veggies. I actually just use a bag of frozen peppers and onions instead of the fresh veggies. It’s much easier to use the frozen kind, and you don’t have to worry about them going bad.
Meanwhile, grab a few tortilla wraps and heat it either in the frying pan or in the microwave. Ideally, you are shooting for a warm tortilla, but you don’t want it to burn your mouth.
Once the chicken and veggies are done, then it’s time to put them in the wrap.
4–Rice and Beans
This is an easy meal that requires just a few ingredients: rice, black beans, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and garlic. This meal was adapted from this recipe and simplified with what was in my pantry.
First, heat up some vegetable oil in the frying pan. Then, add a couple of spoonfuls of minced garlic. Add a cup of uncooked rice into the pan along with a cup and a half of water. Cover the pan and let it boil. The goal is letting that rice cook so it’s soft enough for you to eat.
Meanwhile, open up a can of black beans and rinse it out with cold water several times. Once the rice is cooked, pour the black beans into the pan and cook the rice and beans together. Add your cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. I usually go very liberal with the cumin and cayenne pepper.
Let the rice and beans cook for a few more minutes on low heat and then you are ready to serve.
I’ll be honest. I’m not a huge fan of tuna. But when you suddenly find yourself with cans upon cans of tuna in your pantry, you gotta make it work. You can’t just throw them away because that would be wasteful. So, I googled this recipe, which is actually pretty good. I adapted it to fit my needs.
First, you boil some water and then cook your spaghetti noodles until al dente.
While the noodles are cooking, heat up some vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add your minced garlic. Then add your canned tuna and tablespoon or two of lemon juice. Cook on low heat.
Once the noodles are done, add them to the tuna mixture. Add some parmesan cheese and mix it all together. Before serving, add some parsley.
These are the meals that I can make using ingredients found in my pantry and freezer. Life is hard without a refrigerator, but I’m glad there are some staples that can be made.
What are some of your favorite pantry or freezer meals?