When Shelf-Stable Meets Family Table

It’s the end of the week and maybe you didn’t have time to hit the grocery store. Pulling out all the fresh ingredients for a difficult dinner recipe can be stressful. You might think that when cooking for kids, it’s only best to always cook with fresh ingredients, but think again! While fresh is often best, there are many different ways to include key shelf-stable ingredients in tasty meals. This will also likely reduce the chances of letting any pantry items go to waste! This week, try to pair one of these common pantry-based ideas using one fresh ingredient for a tasty and healthy meal:

Looking for a shelf-stable plant protein source? Try using different kinds of beans in dips, thick soups, and salads.

Grains (rice, pasta, etc.)
Use it as a side dish or the main event! Whole grains are a great way to add fiber and volume to any meal.

Going for a lighter meal? Soups are a great way to try different herbs and spices when you don’t have many fresh ingredients on hand.

Canned meat and fish
Don’t feel like breaking the bank for fresh meat? Try adding canned tuna or beef to any meal as a cheaper source of protein!

Canned vegetables (corn, green beans, tomatoes)
Having trouble using your fresh vegetables before they go bad? Add a can of tomatoes and your own herbs and spices and make your own pasta sauce! Rinse any canned vegetable well to lower the sodium content for an added benefit.

Using these ingredients can help you be smarter with your money and your ingredients in your kitchen’s pantry. Go explore other easy ways to build self-based meals with ingredients you already have on hand!

By Jana Leotta

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