What are your pantry/storecupboard recipes?

AKA What Do You Cook When You’re Tired?

I’m a little bored with what I’ve been cooking. Mr. Lissar and I don’t generally eat at the same times, so I do a lot of big-batch reheatable stuff- stew, goulash, chili, baked pasta. Macaroni and cheese with extras added- ham, broccoli, chipotle peppers. We also eat a lot of eggs, primarily in fritatta form or scrambled.
Some of it comes from either my sporadic meal planning, but most of it is concocted from ingredients I just tend to keep around.
So, when you come home from work, and you’re tired, and haven’t do any special shopping, what do you make from stuff you’ve got around the house? (Aside from phoning the nearest Mexican/pizza/Thai place that delivers) What takes little effort, but tastes good, and is comforting? Preferably, but not necessarily reheatable? Vegetarian or not- it doesn’t matter.

Super-easy and yummy in my house is cook up some pasta, drain it and put it back in the pan, add a can of black beans and a fair amount of salsa (stuff that’s tasty enough for you to eat a good amount without burning out your taste buds), and warm through. Nice side dish, or with high-protein pasta or some added cooked meat, it’s a main dish.

For my personal comfort food, I cook and drain a serving of pasta, melt some butter on top. Add Basil, Oregano, and grate some parmesan on top. Feels like I put in a little more effort than Easy Mac, but it’s just as comforting. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add vegetables or meats, but that of course adds to your prep time.

Cooked pasta (I sense a theme here!) with some sauteed garlic and onions, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of sliced black olives and a spoonful of capers and a handful of oregano makes a quick and easy vegetarian Puttanesca like dish. (Add anchovy fillets for the real thing.)

There the Midwest Cream of Something Slop, described once by Roseanne Barr something like: brown some onions and meat in a pan and subdue it with a can of cream of whatever you’ve got. Serve over rice, noodles or potatoes. I find that adding a bit of vermouth, sherry or dry white wine actually makes it edible. Of course, it’s not too much more work to simply sautee some mushrooms with those onions, make a roux and add milk or cream, salt and pepper, instead of using the canned stuff. I especially like this one with pork chops or pork steaks, cream of mushroom soup, some garlic salt, a splash each of vermouth and milk and potatoes cut into wedges and simmered in the gravy with the meat for about 40 minutes. Served with peas. Mmmmm, comfort food!

Never underestimate the power of grilled cheese and tomato bisque soup.

Pasta Puttanesca, or, as we call it in our household, “ho sauce.” We just about always have the ingredients in the cupboard.

Heat a good amount of olive oil in a pan, add 5 or 6 anchovy fillets, saute. Throw in some garlic and 2 cans of diced tomatoes. Let simmer for 20 or 30 minutes. Add in some oregano, basil, a biggish handful of kalamata olives (pitted and sliced) and a couple big tablespoons of capers. Cook a pound of spaghetti. Mix and enjoy.

Beans and rice is another good one. Cook some white rice, or one of those boxes of flavored rice (cajun is good). Heat up a can of pinto or black beans in another pan, with varying additives depending on how tired I am: onions, garlic, red wine, beer, maybe some chipotles or other peppers. Maybe a can of corn. Serve all together with shredded cheese on top.

OH! Have I posted this link yet?

Weight Watchers lowfat Taco Soup I LOVE this recipe. I keep fiddling with it - add different beans, like black beans and garbanzos, different tomatoes, like with chiles and stewed with celery and green peppers, and I always use fresh or frozen corn instead of canned. Last time I used tomatoes with smoked chipotles, and frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe’s, and it was even more fantabulous than normal. I generally add one more can of beans, with the canned water glop (which has a lot of nutrients and fiber), without needing to change the tomato or seasoning quantity. Two additional cans of beans gets an extra can of diced tomato, but there’s still enough seasoning as written.

It’s a great hearty soup, not quite a chili, more “fresh” in taste, if that makes sense.

Wow. Browning meat in a pan strikes me as a minor PITA even when I’m not tired. But then, I’m a bachelor; even stirring something halfway through microwaving counts as Effort.

Saute some garlic and onion, mix in a can of beans and a can of mexican stewed tomatoes, let all that cook while the rice is cooking. Serve the beans over the rice. Quick, easy, tasty, and other than the garlic and onion, requires no fresh food!

Saute garlic with tomatoes; throw in some dried oregano, broccoli and water; cover and let the broccoli steam while the rice is cooking. Mix the broccoli tomato stuff with rice, and mix in some feta cheese. This one requires some planning, because I don’t usually have broccoli in the house. I suppose you could substitute any other green vegetable, but I like the contrast in textures that the broccoli provides.

The easiest desperation dinner we do is beef stew over biscuits (UK folks, I don’t mean cookies.) A quick batch of Bisquick drop biscuits is nearly effortless. A 24-ounce can of Dinty Moore beef stew goes into a saucepan with some spices and a few squirts of Cholula hot sauce. I always have glazed onions and chopped bell peppers in the freezer, so I break some off into the stew. When the biscuits are done, split them with a fork, and spread the stew over them.

chop up one chicken breast or 2 thighs
peel and chop 4 carrots, 1 tennis ball sized onion
chop up 4 stalks celery
break up 1 brick of ramen

put it all into a pot. Cover with swanson chicken broth from the resealable box to a depth of about half an inch [over the top of the assorted chopped up stuff]

Bring to a boil. Season with 2 cloves garlic smashed into a paste, 2 half dollar sized slices candied ginger, 1 large pinch basil and black pepper to taste.

In general once it comes to a boil, it will be fully cooked in about 5 minutes of rolling boil as the entire thing is heating along with the broth. It cooks nice and fast because stuff is chopped fairly small [half in cubes or so]

2 cans great northern or white kidney beans drained and rinsed clean of the goopy juice

2 slices of bacon chopped finely and about a quarter of a tennis ball sized onion chopped finely. Saute until the bacon is cooked and the onion is cooked but not brown and crunchy.

Run the beans through a ricer to puree and remove the skins. Put the glop into the pan with the bacon/onion mix. Thin with a little chicken broth to cream of wheat thickness. Simmer gently.

Chop a jar of unmarinated artichoke hearts [or rinse off the marinated ones in a sieve under running water] and add to teh puree. Simmer until nice and hot.

Add enough heavy cream to make the soup normal cream of whatever soup consistancy and heat very gently until warm again.

Top with a few sprinkles of nutmeg [like one or 2 passes with the microplane grater and nutmeg, maybe a bare 1/8th tsp]

Well, tuna melts. On bagels. If we have bagels. If not, then toast.

Toasted cheese sandwiches with pickles on the side, and soup.

Bread + protein = semblence of meal.

Fake Alfredo:

Grab some shrimp from the freezer and soak them in water for about half an hour until they that; drain. Put a pot of water on for the pasta of your choice. Chop up a shallot; fry with butter over med heat until soft. Add teaspoon of flour and let that simmer about a minute. Add a baby can of condensed milk, a couple of shakes of nutmeg, some pepper. Grate some Parmesan so that it would fill the baby can (loosely packed), add that. Turn heat on sauce to medium low. Throw pasta into boiling water. Let sauce thicken up while pasta cooks. About 3 minutes before pasta is done, add the shrimp to the sauce (if the shrimp is cooked, make that 1 minute). If you have frozen peas you can add those to the pasta about 1 minute before it is done. Nummy!

I take two frozen deep dish pie shells. Drain a can of Veg All, spread in one pie shell. Drain a can of tuna, give tuna juice to cats, break up tuna over Veg All. Open a can of Cream of Celery (preferred) or Cream of Mushroom soup, plop over tuna, spread it around a bit. Cover with second pie shell, don’t worry about the cracks, and cut a few vents in the top. Bake at 375 until pie crusts are done. I have taught several bachelors to make this dish, and they’re all happy to be able to make it. With some fruit for dessert, this is about as easy as cooking a complete meal gets.

I make ground beef and green peas over rice, with soy sauce. I can make the whole thing in 15 minutes and the hardest thing to do is stir the beef.

I am an American and got this from the Chinese maid to a Canadian family while living in Malaysia.

Ok - my two favorite “helper” meals:

Hamburger Hash

1 lb hamburger
1/2 chopped onion
3-4 peeled and diced potatoes
1 can beef or chicken broth
1 tbs corn starch

Brown the hamburger with the chopped onion. Add salt and pepper, then drain off grease. Add the potatoes and broth, and 1 can of water. Simmer about 15 minutes. Thicken with a slurry of corn starch and 1/4 c water. Serve with a veggie and bread.

Chicken Noodle Stuff

1 lg can chicken (like a large can of tuna - tuna works in this too)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can milk
1 small can mushrooms (or some fresh sliced)
1 10 oz box frozen peas and carrots
1/4 lb of velveeta, cubed (or shredded cheddar)
12 oz cooked egg noodles

Cook the noodles per pkg directions. Meanwhile, add all other ingredients until heated through. Stir in cooked noodles.

I have heard this called Campfire Stew, Girl Scout Stew, Boy Scout Stew etc. eE call it Soup Stew:Brown some ground beef with a few chopped up onions. Dump on a can of Campbells alphabet vegetable soup (other brands just don’t taste the same)without the water. Cook it down a little. Sprinkle some parmesan atop and eat.

Bruschetta isn’t just made with tomato/garlic/basil/olive oil; you can top toasted leftover Italian or French bread with:

A salad of drained canned big white beans mixed with pitted sliced olives, slivers of red onion, parsley, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Leftover grilled meat (such as steak or chicken or pork chops), diced into small cubes, and mixed with bits of green onion, oil and vinegar, and lots of cracked pepper.

Canned tuna chunks mixed with garbanzo beans, and dressed similarly to the first two listed above.

Just about any combination you can come up with, as long as it’s well-seasoned and wet with some kind of dressing that will soak appetizingly into the toast.

One simple thing I like to do is quick and simple garlic bread. Take a slice of bread, spread some butter, and put bits of garlic (or sprinkle garlic salt) on it, then stick it in the toaster oven until it’s nice and toasty. It may not make for a whole meal, but it satisfies me if I’m not all that hungry.

Real Alfredo:

For one serving (double as needed):

1/4 pound pasta (fettuccine, linguine, whatever)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan (real Parmesan, not the stuff in the green can)
1/4 cup cream
1 T. butter
salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic, whatever herbs/spices you want. Only salt is essential.

Cook pasta. When it’s almost done, put butter in pan over medium high heat. If you’re using garlic, now’s the time to add it. When butter is melted, add cream. Heat for a minute or two until it’s hot. Add cooked pasta. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and stir to combine. Add salt and whatever spices you want. Voila, Alfredo.

Borsjt,or beetroot soup.

Open a pot of boiled beetrootslices with onion. Take a pan, put the beetroots in them, a broth-cube, and a laurel-leaf. Heat for 10 minutes, then put the mixer on the soup to make the slices of beetroot small.
Meanwhile, boil some eggs.

Serve the soup with hardboiled, cut-up egg, and cut-up parsley (if you have some growing in the garden or on the balcony). Add a dash of cream, milk, or condensed milk if you have it around.

Eat with toast, and if you want to fancy it up, with sardines on toast.