Going to the depths of your fridge and pantry for the ultimate low budget meal prep session!
By: Kacy Millar
Are you guilty of any of the following ‘crimes’?
- Grocery shopping when hungry
- Spontaneously throwing things in the cart because they’re on sale
- Purchasing items with no plan as to how to prepare them
If you answered yes to any of the above, you most likely have some random items sitting in your fridge or pantry that are considered wasted money. Not so fast though!
I challenged myself to pull out all of the random items that I had and put them on my counter. After discarding expired products or things that didn’t look so hot I went in with a plan of attack. I was going to make an AWESOME vegan meal-prep.
That’s a lie. I had no plan, but that’s reality!
Just like when I purchased these items I had no idea what to make out of them. My list included:
- Vegetable farro soup
- Organic veggie broth
- Boxed quinoa and brown rice blend
- Veggie pasta
- Basmati rice
- 3 carrots
- Leftover cut up bell peppers
- Roasted red peppers (jar)
- Sun-dried tomatoes (jar)
- Marinated mushrooms(jar)
- Frozen green beans
- Frozen spinach
I started out with the basmati rice because that takes the longest to cook (approx. 40 min). I combined 1/2 cup rice with the can of veggie soup, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 cup of veggie broth. I put this in my rice cooker and let it do its job. When it was finished cooking I put it over the steamed green beans and it was perfect!
Next I diced up my carrots and sautéed them in a pan with some vegan butter (I use Earth Balance) for about 7 minutes, drizzled some balsamic reduction, simmered for another minute or 2, and voila! A sweet little side dish!
Next, I cut the marinated mushrooms in half, diced up the roasted peppers, and rinsed and drained the chickpeas. I mixed these together and put them over 1/2 the bag of steamed spinach.
I saved some of my roasted peppers and spinach to combine with my veggie pasta. I also added some diced sun-dried tomatoes and some of the spice infused oil from the jar to make a ‘sauce’. I added some nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor (and B12) and it was delicious.
For my rice and quinoa blend I cooked it according to the instructions on the box and topped it with some sautéed bell peppers.
We challenge you to empty your pantry and see what you can come up with whether it’s for a meal prep or a dinner for your family! Get creative and get the whole family involved!