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Making a Meal with What's on Hand

Struggling to make meals with what you have on hand? Are you wanting to make a favorite recipe, but missing some of the ingredients? Are you tired of buying ingredients that you only use once? Here are some examples to spark your imagination:

  • Want to make sandwiches, but you've just eaten your last slice of bread? Use tortillas, bagels, pita bread, French bread, English muffin, rolls, biscuits, or lettuce wrap instead.
  • Feel like pasta, but you're missing the pasta sauce? Try these tasty alternatives:
    • Olive oil with garlic.
    • Pesto or fresh tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    • Top your pasta with chili or soup. For some soups, you may wish to add less liquid, so they make a thicker sauce.
  • Craving tacos or burritos, but you are short on ingredients?
    • No tortillas, use rice instead to make rice bowls.
    • No ground beef or chicken, use a can of black beans in place of the meat. Drain and rinse the black beans. Sauté with 1 tsp of olive oil and ½ of a taco-seasoning packet for a plant-based meal.
  • Craving a burger, but out of ground meat? Try making a salmon burger recipe with canned meat instead. Place on a bun and enjoy with your favorite toppings.
  • I want to make a smoothie, but I'm out of yogurt! No problem, swap the yogurt out for applesauce, fruit juice, milk or frozen bananas. Then, add fruits (fresh, frozen, or canned) that you have on hand and blend it up.
  • Hungry for pizza, but missing some ingredients?
    • Warm a tortilla shell in a skillet and top with your favorite pizza toppings.
    • Use another type of crust such as English muffins, or Naan bread.
    • Make your own homemade pizza sauce by combining 15 oz canned diced tomatoes, 2 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Add to a blender and pulse 2-3 times until tomatoes are finely diced.
  • Save my salad, I'm out of dressing! Homemade salad dressing is a breeze with this simple salad equation. Simply add 1 c. oil with ½ c. lemon juice or vinegar in a sealable container. Add 1 tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and 2 tsp. dried herbs of your choice. Shake until combined.
  • Out of pasta for casseroles? Substitute another starchy food such as cooked rice; cooked or canned potatoes, carrots or sweet potatoes; cooked or canned beans or lentils for pasta.

Source: Nebraska Food Calendar

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