Pantry Essentials for
Nutritious Homemade Meals

Pasta e Fagioli Soup recipe

(Family Features) Every parent has been there. It’s Thursday afternoon and the kids are asking, “What’s for dinner?” Searching for inspiration, you head to the refrigerator, only to realize that the groceries you bought on Sunday have run out or spoiled. But before the panic sets in and you reach for the takeout menus, remember that the solution for a wholesome, homemade meal is right in your pantry — or “Cantry.”

“With a well-stocked pantry full of canned ingredients, I know I always have the makings of a nutritious and flavorful meal,” said Kelsey Nixon, host of “Kelsey’s Essentials” on Cooking Channel and Food Network. “Fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak of ripeness and canned in just hours, making the can one of the best ways to get food from its source to my family’s table. I just open up a can, unlock that flavor and goodness and make it a ‘Cantry’ Thursday night!”

With canned food staples like canned beans, chicken, green beans and broth on hand, you’ll be well on your way to savory meals like Quinoa Chicken Vegetable Salad and Nixon’s Pasta e Fagioli Soup.

For more information about the canning process, delicious recipes and to learn how you can get cooking with canned foods, visit CansGetYouCooking.com.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Recipe created by Kelsey Nixon

Recipe Ingredients

Method

  1. In large heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown pancetta bits just until they start to crisp before adding onion, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté until fragrant and golden brown.
  2. Add canned beans, tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring soup to rapid boil before adding pasta. Reduce to simmer and cook soup covered, stirring occasionally for 8–10 minutes or until pasta is cooked al dente.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.

Note: You can substitute bacon for pancetta, if desired.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time:
25 minutes

Quinoa Chicken Vegetable Salad

Quinoa Chicken Vegetable Salad recipe

Recipe Ingredients

Method

  1. In medium saucepan over high heat, heat chicken broth and quinoa to boiling. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. In large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, diced tomatoes, chicken breast, green beans, corn, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley and pepper; toss to mix well.

Serves 6
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Pea and Corn Risotto

Pea and Corn Risotto recipe

Recipe Ingredients

Method

  1. In 2-quart saucepan over high heat, heat chicken broth to simmering; keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, in hot olive oil, cook onion until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Add rice and cook for 2 minutes until coated with oil. Gradually add chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue adding remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally, cooking rice until al dente, about 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in corn, peas, Parmesan cheese and butter to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Mediterranean Chicken Pitas

Mediterranean Chicken Pitas recipe

Recipe Ingredients

Method

  1. In large bowl combine chicken, cucumber, red bell pepper, green chiles, yogurt and dill; toss to mix well.
  2. Cut each pita in half horizontally; carefully open each pita half. Fill each with 2 lettuce leaves and half of chicken mixture.

Serves 2
Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Almond Cherry Tres Leches Cake

Almond Cherry Tres Leches Cake recipe

Recipe created by Kelsey Nixon

Recipe Ingredients

Cake

Tres leches mixture

Icing

Method

  1. For cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9-by-13-inch cake pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt into large mixing bowl.
  3. Cream butter, sugar and eggs with electric mixer on high until yolks turn pale yellow. Mix in almond extract. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully combined — avoid over-mixing. Pour into prepared pan, evenly spreading batter out.
  4. Bake until cake has cooked through, 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then pierce surface of cake with fork several times.
  5. Combine heavy cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk in small bowl or pitcher. Drizzle milk mixture over top and allow cake to sit and absorb milk mixture.
  6. For icing, whip together heavy cream, sugar and almond extract. Spread evenly over top of soaked cake. Top with toasted almonds.
  7. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

Serves 12

Source: CMI