If you’re like me, you’re avoiding the big grocery stores and relying on grocery delivery services or smaller stores that shop for you and offer swift pick up.
Sometimes that means you’re not getting everything you want which means being a bit more creative when it comes to putting a meal together.
For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been meal planning; I’ve been ‘shopping’ my cupboards to make simple meals.
Personally, I love making meals this way. I love the idea of looking into the cupboard and creating something from what seems like nothing.
Not everyone gets excited about this however so I wanted to offer a couple of tips on how to do this so you’re not stressing about what to eat every day.
Option one: Use the food in the fridge first.
Always check to see what’s in the fridge first.
The food in the fridge is perishable so you want to make sure you use it before you use the food in the cupboards. Don’t be afraid to use those little bits of veggies that are leftover.
Here’s an example of what I did the other night.
I assessed the fridge and found the following:
- Three small rainbow chard leaves
- A bunch of green onions
What I could have done with this:
- Sauté to eat with scrambled eggs.
- Sauté to eat with a can of lentils.
- Sauté to add leftover rice and an egg to make fried rice.
- Sauté, add ground beef, black beans, and brown rice (this is what I ended up making for dinner!)
I call the last one a skillet dinner. Anything can go into a skillet dinner really and you can change up the spices to make it taste different every time it’s made.
Skillet dinners are a great way to use up bits and bites of veggies in the fridge.
Another way to do this is in a salad.
For lunch yesterday I had a box of greens that desperately needed to be eaten. I used that as my base, added a few chopped green onions, chopped radishes, dill, some cheese cubes and half a can of wild salmon.
I had broccoli pesto leftover from my pizza night so I thinned it out by adding more olive oil, apple cider vinegar and a bit of salt and voila I had a tasty salad dressing!
Option two: Dinner from the cupboard.
- Do you have a can of lentils?
- Do you have rice?
Make lentils and rice! Then you can go backward and use up some bits of food from the fridge to add to the dish. Again, it’s important to use up what you have.
If you have spinach or other hearty greens in the fridge or freezer add it to the lentils near the end of the cooking time.
This is also a great time to use up any canned or jarred items you’ve been storing in the back of the cupboard. I have some jarred smoked artichokes that I could also add to the lentils for an extra smoky flavour.
One more idea is to make beans on toast.
Sauté white beans with garlic, olive oil, and salt and then smash them onto a crusty piece of toast.
If you have salad greens eat this with a salad or you can eat it with whatever soup you have on hand. You could also fry up and egg and throw it on top.
I hope this gives you a few ideas on what to make for a few upcoming meals.
Keep your meals simple to start and then once you get the hang of eating this way, you can start to experiment with different flavours.