We've all been there...We get home from a long day, look in the fridge, and don't see a single thing that tempts us for dinner. After aimlessly rummaging for a few minutes, we often deduce that there's nothing to eat at home and either go out or order take out. But, in actuality, we are probably ignoring a treasure trove of ingredients that is right next to us: the pantry. Not only will you save money by turning to your pantry more often than Seamless or your local noodle shop, but you'll also help to reduce food waste, which is always a big "thumbs up" in our book. We reached out to GP chefs to ask what they're go-to recipes are when they're fridge doesn't leave them with much inspiration and they turn to the pantry.
Executive Chef Rob Valencia says his go-to recipe is "Granola from the Pantry."
“My girlfriend and I are granola junkies. We tried a million varieties until we finally came up with our own version using stuff we had lying around in our pantry. It's super easy to whip up and take on our power walks.”
For a hearty salad, Event Chef Ken Chin recommends a "Around the World" Lentil Salad. It'sfilled with protein from the lentils and chickpeas and will surely be satisfying enough for lunch or dinner.
Ken says, "I love cooking with lentils for their ease of preparation and versatility. Lentils are a great base for whatever ingredients you throw at them. This recipe was created from ingredients I had lying around."
Another protein-packed dish comes from Event Chef Natalia Usacheva.
"I like Georgian cuisine a lot, because it's not only magically delicious and healthy but also bright, original and unforgettable. It has absorbed the best culinary traditions of of Transcaucasia, Asia and the coast of the Black Sea. The western part of Georgia was influenced by Turkish cuisine, the eastern part by Iranian cuisine.
Lobo Nigvzit (მჟაველობიო) is a cross between bean soup and refried beans. Its consistency and taste varies widely, bears a resemblance to Mexican bean dishes and is always satisfying. Eat with mchadi (Georgian corn bread) for the full experience.
Lobo Nigvzit makes for a great cold weather dish as well year-round dish because of the lovely cooked beans and the warming hint of chili. It's perfect for a potluck but is also great spooned into a salad wrap or piled on your veggie burger. It's very versatile and a great source of protein."
For more of a sweet treat, Event Chef Reggie Anderson swears by her Milk and Cookies.
"I hate wasting food, and I love making cookies. Milk goes well with cookies but a lot of people these days have a hard time digesting dairy products. So, I use almond milk in my recipes. Almonds are tasty, versatile and chock-full of nutrients, which makes the cookie and almond milk recipe a win-win for all!"
Photos ©Flickr Commons