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Easy Recipes You Can Make From Things Found In Your Store Cupboard

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Easy Recipes You Can Make From Things Found In Your Store Cupboard

At the moment, we’re in unprecedented times and many of us are worried about keeping ourselves and our families fed. Not being able to get to the supermarket due to illness, self-isolating, social distancing or working on the front line is making us all understandably nervous. But even without fresh fruit and veg, we can still create healthy, filling and balanced meals using the essentials we’ve still got in our food cupboards and freezers. Here’s some ideas…

One of the simplest meals you can make is pasta with a sauce made of tinned tomatoes and whatever dried herbs you might have. Basil works well, as does oregano or an Italian mixed herb seasoning. To add some filling protein, add a tin of chickpeas or beans (butter beans, cannellini beans and mixed beans all work well).

Another store cupboard pasta idea is this one using pesto. If you have jars of pesto, then this is super simple and quick, and makes a change from tomato based sauces.

If you do have some basic fresh ingredients, such as carrots and onions, this Black Bean Chilli recipe makes good use of tinned black beans and tinned tomatoes. We suggest using dried black beans, soaked overnight, but a tin will work just as well. If you don’t have fresh chillies, dried chillies will also suffice. It contains dried cumin and paprika too, which you may find lurking at the back of your cupboards!

This Mac and Beans recipe is great for making use of everyone’s favourite food cupboard staple – pasta. Obviously, it uses macaroni, but if you have other pasta shapes or even spaghetti which you can break up into shorter pieces before cooking, it will still work. If you don’t have the fresh ingredients needed, then now’s the time to get creative with what you do have. Leafy greens can work well here, for example cabbage or kale chopped into strips and wilted by stirring though the hot pasta.

Frozen vegetables are also a godsend, so if you can’t get anything fresh, look to buy frozen peas, carrots, sweetcorn and green veg. You’ll also find frozen herbs that can jazz up even the simplest of meals.

Tinned soups and tins of chilli are also great for keeping in the cupboard. Both can be filled out with rice that most of us also have at home. Cook your rice as normal and serve with your tinned chilli, or stir a few spoonsful of cooked rice (whilst it’s still hot) through warmed up soup for a filling meal. 

Jacket potatoes are definitely making a well-deserved comeback as they’re so versatile. Serve them with tinned chilli, tinned tuna and frozen sweetcorn, baked beans or try adding a ready cooked rice mix like we did with our Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

In this current climate, there’s a certain ‘make do and mend’ attitude starting to bubble up and it’s never been more important to avoid food waste and make do with what we have. Hopefully it won’t come to weird dinners of packet mash and that old jar of marinated artichokes. But in the meantime, choose your food carefully, don’t over order, use up leftovers and keep a stock of tinned foods. You never know when you might need them.

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