A Full Day of Eating Well From Your Pantry

A huge welcome to Anjanette from Eat From Your Pantry. If you like these recipes today (and there are FOUR!), make sure to click on over to her site and check out her other recipes!
A Full Day of Eating (well!) From Your Pantry

Our schedules don’t always allow for a quick run to the grocer for forgotten ingredients, and ready-made meals are not usually the healthiest options for our family. Gather flexible recipes that will allow you to pull together a meal from what you have on hand and you’ll be able to save yourself time, money and stress! Here are a few to get you started:
Breakfast: Cranberry Coconut Granola

4 cups oats
1/3 cup milled flax seed
1 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1/4 cup dried coconut flakes (I didn’t have any on hand – sad!)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup coconut oil (I use organic, unrefined)
1/2 cup honey


Preheat oven at 220 degrees.
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Fold in oil and honey.
Spread on ungreased baking sheet and put in oven for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Stir around on baking sheet every 20 minutes or so to make sure granola browns evenly.
It’s done when it’s started to get crispy. I sometimes let it sit in the oven with the heat off for a while to let it continue to dry out. Do not overcook or your cranberries will be too chewy/hard. The oats will harden up significantly as they cools.

**Tip – you can substitute any of the dry ingredients without changing the outcome as long as you keep track of quantities. Try dried blueberries, cherries, or raisins. Swap almonds for walnuts or pecans. Exchange coconut oil for canola oil. You can also leave out the coconut or flax seed without any significant change.
Breakfast Option 2: “Homemade” Instant Oatmeal
3/4 cup quick oats
a handful of any or all of the following:
  • dried fruit (cranberries are our fave)
  • seeds/nuts (we like sunflower seeds and pecans the best)
  • flax seed (whole or milled)

1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar or honey
you can also add a tsp of powdered milk or coffee creamer if you like creamy oatmeal

Add boiling water to desired consistency and voila!

When both my husband and I were working, we’d take a shortcut in this process and combine a dozen or so servings in a large tupperware container or ziplock bag and dish it into our bowls each morning until it was gone.

Lunch: White Bean Rigatoni

1 box (16oz) whole wheat rigatoni noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can or frozen box (I used frozen) spinach
1 (8oz) can white beans – any kind (I used great northern)
1 tsp minced garlic


Boil noodles as directed. In separate pot, heat sauce, beans, spinach, garlic, and and spices you’d like until just boiling. Remove from heat. Drain noodles and add then to the sauce pot. Mix thoroughly and serve (with cheese sprinkled on top if you’d like).

Dinner: Use What You Have Frittata

I typically use a 10″ stainless steel skillet that will safely transfer to my oven.
You can see an easy step-by-step guide to making a frittata (not mine) over at about.com but here are the basic steps:
  1. Decide what to put in it (suggestions below) and chop up any raw ingredients to cook first.
  2. Oil your skillet liberally (I use olive oil).
  3. Sautee any veggies until almost done, meats until fully done.
  4. In the meantime, boil noodles if you are going to add them.
  5. Add any pre-cooked ingredients (including noodles).
  6. In separate bowl, crack eggs (the more you use the thicker the frittata will be) and whisk with a little bit of milk or melted butter if desired.
  7. Add eggs to skillet with cooked ingredients and stir until well combined.
  8. Cook on low until eggs start to firm up – stirring occasionally.
  9. Finish in oven or under broiler until eggs are set. Add cheese near the end if you’re using it.
  10. Slice into wedges and serve!
I tend to keep mine on the stovetop for a shorter amount of time and in the oven longer – I think it cooks more evenly that way and I don’t have to be as attentive. :)
Here are some ideas for ingredient combos. Remember don’t be afraid to make do with what you have!
  • *Spinach, onions, garlic, potatoes, and chicken (what we had this week!)
  • *Zucchini (sliced thinly into strips), italian sausage, onion, mozzarella cheese
  • *angel hair pasta, kale, leftover turkey, and cream cheese (an accidental success!)
  • *leftover bacon, potatoes, and diced tomatoes (a breakfast frittata!)
Experiment away! I usually include a veggie, a meat, and a carb/starch(potatoes or pasta noodles). You really can’t go wrong though.
Anjanette is a wife, mommy, and the resident manager at a transitional housing ministry. The organization provides a food pantry for the residents and offers classes on basic life skills, including cooking. In the two and a half years in her position acting as a kind of house “mother” for these families trying to get on their feet, Anjanette has learned a lot about how to make do with what is on hand in the kitchen and blogs to share what she has learned about eating well on a budget.
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About Shelagh Cummins

Shelagh Cummins is the founder, editor and Mum-in-chief at Practicalmum.com – an online community parenting resource & blog. She is also the Principal at BizTrainHer.com, a boutique firm specializing in designing, developing and facilitating training for women in business.

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2 Responses to A Full Day of Eating Well From Your Pantry

  1. Yum, yum, yum! All of these sound delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Love the frittata. Love that there are no rules and that it’s easy to make. I agree Erin – looks yummy!

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