5 Pantry Staple Meals To Get You Through Quarantine

Trying to cook balanced and wholesome meals at the moment isn’t always easy. And we’re not just talking about a lack of motivation to eat healthy–we’re talking about the current state of grocery stores worldwide.

Sadly, a pleasant jaunt through Trader Joe’s that yields every last item on your shopping list probably isn’t reality right now. In fact, just thinking about going to the store may be downright stressful. We asked you what the grocery situation was like where you live, and 72% of you said that shelves were empty. Some of the most common items missing? Bread, fresh fruit, flour, eggs, meat, fresh vegetables, and the notorious toilet paper.

We totally get your frustration–not being able to buy your usual staples, plus the added pressure of cooking everything at home, means you’re probably feeling a little stressed about mealtime. One of the ways we’ve been able to deal with these challenges is getting creative with the items we already have lurking in the back of our cupboards or bottom of our freezers.

And don’t worry–no fluorescent orange Mac & cheese or sodium-bomb canned soup here! We’ve created healthy meals that will help you work through the basics you already have (anyone else guilty of buying a few too many BOGO canned tomatoes…?).

First things first: let’s go to your kitchen cupboards and take stock of what we’re working with. Here are some key items to pull aside, and keep an eye out for them when you’re shopping:

All set? Let’s get cooking!

Chickpea Lentil Curry

  1. 1 can of chickpeas
  2. 1/2 cup dry split red lentils
  3. 2 large carrots, chopped
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 TBSP curry powder
  7. 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  8. 1 TBSP olive oil
  9. 1 cup vegetable broth
  1. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, and carrot to a large frying pan on medium heat, and sauce for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add spices and stir to coat the veggies, allowing to cook for 5 more minutes (until soft)
  3. Add your chickpeas (rinsed) and lentils, pour in vegetable broth, and give it a stir
  4. Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes, or until lentils are tender
  5. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve with rice and cilantro

Healthy Tuna Salad

  1. 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 of 6oz can tuna in water
  • 1/2 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Handful arugula
  • 1 TBSP plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
  • Squeeze of lemon
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  3. Spread on a toasted slice of bread and add arugula and tomatoes

Bean & Barley Soup

  1. 1 can of chickpeas
  2. 1 can white beans
  3. 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  4. 1 cup pearl barley
  5. 3 large carrots
  6. 4 cloves garlic
  7. 1 onion, diced
  8. 1 TBSP olive oil
  9. 4 cups vegetable broth
  1. Heat oil in a large pot and cook garlic and onion until softened.
  2. Add desired spices such as cumin, paprika, and Italian herbs
  3. Add rinsed beans and chopped tomatoes to pot. Stir in stock, and season with salt and pepper
  4. Simmer for 1 hour, or until the barley is tender. Add greens to wilt, and serve with parmesan and herbs.

Sweet Potato Chili

  1. Photo
    4 medium sweet potatoes
  2. 1 large onion
    2 bell peppers
    1 can chopped tomatoes
  3. 1 can black beans
  4. 1 cup dry split red lentils
  5. 4 cups vegetable stock
  6. 1-2 TBSP chili powder
    1 TBSP canned jalapeños (optional)
  1. Sauté diced onion and minced garlic in 1 TBSP olive oil until softened. Add spices to coat.
  2. Add chopped sweet potato, bell pepper, and jalapeños. Stir to coat in spices.
  3. Add rinsed beans, tomatoes, and stock. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until lentils are cooked and chili has reduced.
  4. Serve with avocado, plain greek yogurt, or cilantro.

One-Pot Pasta

  1. 1 pack uncooked spaghetti
  2. 1 large can diced tomatoes
  3. 2 cups low-sodium chicken/veggie broth
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  6. 4 cups fresh/frozen spinach
  7. 1 tsp. oregano
  8. 1 TBSP dried basil
  9. Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Add everything but the spinach to a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil (about 15 minutes), and reduce to a simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in fresh spinach to wilt. Top with grated parmesan, herbs, and serve!

For more easy (yet nutritious!) recipes, be sure to follow us on Instagram @baby2bodyofficial and check out the Kitchen in the Baby2Body app!

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