Have you ever opened up your pantry and thought, “There is nothing in here to make?” Whether you buy a little too much or not enough, the end of the month is sure to find you wondering how to make the random items in your pantry and fridge work. Here’s how to make meals out of odd grocery items:
How to Make Meals Out of Odd Grocery Items
Have a Side Only Meal
George would probably kill me for writing this, because he is a meat and potatoes type of guy! He NEEDS to have a protein with dinner. It’s not possible for him to only eat sides. However, when he is working late–this is what I do often with my kids. You don’t always have to have a meat included in your meal, or provide all of the pyramids. If you have a box of macaroni, instant mashed potatoes, corn, peas, and rice, make it all. Not one box will be enough for a whole family, but each side can add to the meal and you use up all your miscellaneous sides.
Look Up a Recipe
Pick something out of your pantry or fridge and type it into the search engine with recipe after it. No matter what strange item you have chosen, you are sure to find something that you can make with it. For example, you can make a lot with onion soup mix including:
- Baked Potato cubes
- Beef Stew
- Onion Dip
Make it all into a Soup
Soups are delicious and nutritious. You may not know this, but most soups we have today came from people not know what to do with their odd grocery items. They mixed in some pasta, various veggies, water, and some leftover meat for a new meal that couldn’t be beaten. When it comes to using up those random items, a little creativity goes a long way.
Have a Leftover Bake
Have you ever thought of combining all your leftovers into a dish and putting it in the oven topped with cheese? Cheese makes everything better. So, next time you have a bunch of leftovers, pick out what goes well together, mix it up, and top it with cheese for a whole new meal.
Make Something for Everyone
Sometimes it’s good to have variety. If you have a big family, get out your pens, and ask the family what they want. Someone may want pancakes while another may want mac & cheese and tuna. If everyone is old enough, you could have a make your own dish night. (… and you can make them do their own dishes too! 😉 )
Check out Weird Combos
Some things may not sound good together at all but are actually a delectable treat. Here are just a few strange and unusual combinations to add to your list:
- Avocados and Chocolate: Avocados are a great source of protein and mixed with chocolate a tasty treat.
- Mangos and Chili: Who would have ever guessed mangos and chili would go together?
- Cheese and Jelly Sandwiches: Cheese and fruit go well together, so if you are lacking the peanut butter, cheese, and jelly sandwiches work too.
- Ramen Noodles and Cheese: Ramen can be a little bland, but with a little cheese can become a main course. Add some peas, chicken, and celery for a delicious chicken noodle soup.
- Rice and Cheese: This is a dorm room favorite. Melt some cheese with some instant rice, add some pepper, and salt and eat up.
- Peanut Butter and Waffles: If you don’t have syrup, don’t worry. Peanut butter works great on waffles, pancakes, and French toast.
- Hot Sauce and Veggies: All veggies are a little better with some flavor. Add hot sauce to your veggie plate and watch them disappear.
- Lunch Meat, tortillas & cheese: This is a kid favorite and a perfect lunch meat sandwich without the bread.
When it comes to random food in the pantry, sometimes you just need a little creativity. What other weird foods have you eaten?