Gourmet Cooking From Your Pantry

Do you think of your favorite jar of pasta sauce over pasta or tuna casserole when you think of cooking from food storage? Think again. Not only can you throw together cost-effective, last minute meals, but you’ll impress your family AND guests with delicious Pantry Gourmet Meals. Even more important: A well-stocked pantry means you can avoid the fast food stop because you’re in a rush or didn’t get to the grocery store.

I’m a big proponent of food storage, but what good is it if you store food and then don’t eat it? Rotating the food in your pantry is vital for successful food storage. What better way to use your food storage to cook gourmet meals? No one will be the wiser that you’re using pantry items. You can serve up delicious meals, which are tasty enough for company!

I’ve just added a new category: Gourmet Pantry Cooking.

For me the challenge with cooking from food storage is not only flavor, but coming up with meals packed with nutrition. Keep in mind, most canned foods are laden with unhealthy ingredients. I read all labels and mostly purchase ORGANIC products. When available, I purchase food in glass jars.

I’ve just posted a new category: Pantry Gourmet Cooking. Gourmet doesn’t necessarily connote expensive, elaborate or time-consuming. I’m using the term gourmet as tasty and perhaps even an unexpected flavor. Over the next weeks I’ll be adding pantry gourmet recipes to this category. Not only will I be posting my favorite recipes, I’ll be taste-testing new ones.

Submit Your Recipes
I’d love to hear from you! Perhaps you have a favorite recipe calling for a fresh ingredient, but in a pinch you could make a pantry substitution. What’s your rush-to-the-table recipe your family absolutely loves? Do you have a Mediterranean tuna casserole recipe with an exceptional taste? A super grain dish or a tasty rice and bean casserole?

If you have a favorite, nutritious recipe (YES, it must be delicious AND nutritious), which primarily uses items found in your pantry, email it to me at info@BabyBites.info. I’ll give it the “nonna” (and of course Granddad) taste test and if it’s selected, I’ll post it online. Also, I would love to use photos of your kids in the kitchen and garden, at the store and table. Email them to the same address. Be sure to include your child’s first name: I ONLY post first names with photos.

In order to create fabulous gourmet dishes from your pantry, the pantry needs to be filled with yummy items.

My Go-To Pantry Items for Gourmet Cooking
Cans & Jars
Apple Sauce
Artichoke Hearts packed in water
Bragg Liquid Aminos (Natural soy sauce alternative)
Chicken Stock
Chicken (Enchiladas, hot creamed sandwiches, salads, casseroles & creamed hot sandwiches)
Cole Slaw
Coconut Milk in 5.5 oz and 15 ounce sizes
Coconut Water
Coconut Oil
Green chilies, diced
Herbs, Dried (Curry, Basil, Parsley, Garlic, Onion)
Jams (Strawberry, apricot)
Lemon juice
Olive Oil
Olives, Green and Black
Parmesan Cheese
Salt, Pepper & Kirkland No-Salt Seasoning
Tomatoes (Tomato sauce, tomato paste and pasta sauce)
Tuna (Hot creamed sandwiches, salad, casseroles & creamed)
Vinegar (Apple cider and wine)
Water Chestnuts

Dry Goods
(I freeze brown rice and quinoa for longer storage, but it’s not necessary.)
Dried Beans: Split-peas, yellow split-peas, lentils, red lentils, chickpeas, black, kidney, pinto, great northern, limas, etc.
Brown Rice
Flax seeds
Flour: white whole wheat flour, chickpea flour, cornmeal, brown rice flour, wheat gluten, etc.
Fruit (Dried: prunes, apricots, dates)
Nuts (Almonds, cashews & walnuts)
Pasta: spaghetti, lasagna, spirals, penne, etc.
Sprouted Bean Trio (truRoots, purchased at Costco)

Recipes from the Pantry
I’ve posted a couple of recipes already and I’ll be adding new recipes as quick as I can! Be sure to check back for more recipes, tips and information on Gourmet Cooking from Your Pantry. Click Here for this category listing.

CLICK HERE for ordering information for Nonna’ books: Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy EaterThe Forest Feast: Baby Bites Mealtime Adventures & Want Flies With That?


One thought on “Gourmet Cooking From Your Pantry

  1. Elizabeth Yarnell says:

    Thanks for this great list, JoAnne! I’m a big fan of keeping a stocked pantry and freezer for quick and easy meal creation.
    Some additional items I like to keep in my pantry are:
    -Dried mushrooms
    -Dry polenta
    -Quinoa flakes (make a fabulous, crispy coating for fried or baked foods)
    -Pomegranate syrup (mix w/mustard for a glaze on meat, or coat a log of goat cheese w/syrup and nuts for an elegant cheese plate)
    -Taco shells (organic corn, of course!)
    -Boxes of tofu (Extra firm and Soft)
    -Enchilada sauce (I’ve even used this instead of marinara sauce for a quick pizza i a pinch!)

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