Store Cupboard Recipes

Many of us here keep our pantries stocked with extras just in case.. but it's one thing having bags of rice and cans of tomatoes stashed in the pantry or under the bed, and another thing to have tasty recipes on hand that use them. I would love to know what kind of store cupboard recipes other green wizard folk when times are tough and all they have is lentils, rice and a couple of onions.
My first recipe here is from my blog and uses just those three ingredients and some spices: Lebanese Mujadara:

The next one is a bean chili recipe:

Suggested toppings of cheese, sour cream and yoghurt I have found to be unnecessary - but a dollop of salsa verde for the mujadara, and a tomato salsa for the chili makes them just perfect. Luckily both of those are shelf-stable pantry items as well.

My other pantry staple go-to is hummus:

I really like this recipe method, but I find it too sloppy - I double the chickpeas and it turns out just right. Hummus traditionally calls for a lemon, which I have on my lemon trees all year round, but lacking that, bottled lemon juice works, and I wonder, has anyone here ever made it with vinegar instead?

This might seem obvious, but not everyone knows how to make good old-fashioned porridge:

And if you know how to cook it in a saucepan you can do it on a BBQ in a blackout, or on the woodstove, which I do often in the winter.

I like my older cookbooks for just this reason.
Everybody (in ye good olde days) ate pretty much the same thing every day, depending on what was in season and available.
Thus, entire cuisines dedicated to potatoes and cabbage.

My older cookbooks don't use weird ingredients although most of them are drastically underseasoned to my taste. A few grains of cayenne pepper! A few grains!

Try mixing canned, chopped tomatoes, any kind of canned or cooked bean, and corn. Add plenty of chopped onion, season to taste and bake with biscuits on top.

Too much of modern cookbooks seems to be festival foods, using expensive ingredients and taking far too much time.

Teresa from Hershey

mountainmoma's picture

Soup 1 : Lentil soup, modified recipe from an old betty crockers cook book.

- 2 cups dry lentils
- 1 chopped fresh onion or 1/4 cup dehydrated chopped onion ( no need to rehydrate first)
- 1 sliced, fresh carrot or 1/8 cup dehydrated diced carrot ( no need to rehydrate first)
- a clove garlic, minced or pressed or some dehydrated garlic granules
- Dried parsley, could also add one chopped potato if you have one, or diced celery or dehydrated diced celery
- 1T salt, 1/2t pepper
- 1/2 t thyme, a bay leaf if you have it, I often dont
- 1 can ( about 2 cups) chopped tomatoes
- 5 cups water

you can just throw it all together and bring to a boil over the fire or put in a solar cooker or even on the stove, then turn down to simmer. Cook less than an hour. ( Yes, you can be not in an emergency and get fancy and sautee fresh vegetables before adding lentils and water) I have tried this out many times with dehydrated vegetables only and a pint jar of home canned tomatoes.

Soup 2: Split pea Dal

You could make this with lentils if you dont have split peas, I have split peas. I have even pressure canned a double batch of this into pint jars a few years ago, so that I could have it when too busy ( cooking for one is hard, this makes it easier) This is very nice. I opened a jar during the power outage this last fall, so I put this in the solar oven and then made some quick Naan bread with the StoveTek rocket stove. Made things alot nicer to have it on hand.

- 7 cups water
- 1 pound ( which is 2 & 1/4 cups) of regular green split peas, not some fancy Indian variety
- 1 medium onion, chopped ( or 1/4 cup dehydrated)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2t ground cumin
- 1t black or brown mustard seeds
- 2t curry powder
- 1t tumeric
- 1/2 t ginger powder
- 1/8t cayenne pepper
- 1t salt

Bring to a boil and simmer about 45 minutes to an hour. This also cans well in a pressure canner. Good with rice, or home made Naan bread ( any no knead refrigerator dough can be made into a quick Naan bread with a cast iron pan and a lid, maybe I will post how or get the book: Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day

Soup 3 : Lebanese Lemon Lentil soup

We like this one better than the other lentil soup right now. I have pressure canned this, but to do so, you MUST leave out the oil. Then make a note on the jar lid to add oil when heating up. But, kind of fancy in that it ideally takes lemon juice.

- 1 cup lentils
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 cup olive oil, etc....
- 4 or so potatoes, cut in pieces
- lemon juice. Juice of one lemon or 1/4 cup, up to 1/2cup if you have more( can be frozen or bottled) . If I had no lemon, I would use vinegar, about 1/4 cup but not add it until the end
- 6-8 cloves garlic, if you dont have fresh, use dehydrated garlic granules
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- Greens if you have any. Kale, spinach, even Malva ( it is a weed in my garden) Lambsquarters, etc.... roughly chopped between 2-4 cups Dried Greens work well, use less of course if dried.

This probably cooks for an hour. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer. The recipe says to mash lightly before serving, but that just depends if you like it slightly blended or not, I sometimes do, my daughter never does

mountainmoma's picture

This is used as a taco filling in tortillas, but you can just use it as a "burrito bowl" by itself with hot sauce on the side, or with tortilla chips, on lettuce if you have any. This is not my recipe, I just copy and pasted it from another site.... Substitute freely if your stocks are low, for example, use lentils if that is what you have, vinegar for the acid instead of lime juice, just start with less vinegar and dont add the vinegar until the end. Hot suace, canned tomatoes, chili powder might be pantry stapes you do have on hand to give a soutwestern feel

" Bean & rice tacos

2 c chicken stock
2 T lime juice
1½ t honey (or 2 t sugar )
½ t salt
1 c long grain rice

when rice is soft, add:
2 T butter
2 can black beans, drained, rinsed
1/4 c dried cilantro (or ½ c fresh)
lime juice to taste
½ c water "

A similar thing can be done by just making spanish rice instead of that rice.

Spanish rice:
- an onion ( or 1/4 cup soaked, drained and pat dry dehydrated onion)
- 1 cup rice
- 1 can tomatoes
- about 1 cup water

Saute that onion you have, then add the dry rice and sautee just a couple minutes more then add the rest. Use a can of tomatoes for part of the water measure and then you do not need stock at all. For example, maybe a 2 cup can of tomatoes counts as 1 cup of water out of your 2 cup measure. I havent made it in a while, so forget, it depends on the canned tomatoes, realy. Practice pantry cooking before you need it.

Taco beans:

use what you have. Could be lentils. Cook the beans, or lentils, first, then drain all or most of the cooking water. Reheat with spices, an acid ( maybe even onion) Think of spicing with salt, cumin, oregano and a bit of cayenne or just chili powder if that is all you have ( or you dont like cumin) . Add an acid at the end of cooking, like vinegar. Use soaked and rehydrated dried carrots in this mix if you have it.

- Cuban Black beans ( done with lentils)

Or, cook Cuban black beans but done with lentils . I always use vinegar with cuban black beans, and canned tomatoes. You cook the beans or lentils first, drain mostly, then cook with the veggies/spices/acid. If you do the beans fancy, like a proper cuban black beans ( with lentils ) So sautee onion, carrot and spices as stated above, add that and canned tomatoes to the beans, you can serve with plain rice.

mountainmoma's picture

- Baked beans. Cooked white beans, onion, a bit of mollasses and mustard, further cooked in covered dish on stove top or in oven. Serve with rice or bread or biscuits

- Spanish white bean and potato soup. Also uses onion

- Minestrone ( beans, onion, tomato, some green veg, carrot and either macaroni or rice) but the beans in this can be almost anything

Saute an onion and 2 garlic cloves OR add onion and garlic powder to
2T curry paste OR 2t ground coriander, 4t ground cumin, 2t garam masala, 2t tumeric, ground pepper.
Add 2 400g (16oz) cans chickpeas (garbanzos)
1 400g (16oz) can chopped tomatoes plus any veggies (optional) on hand (potato, pumpkin, sweet potato all store well)
Simmer until vegies cooked.
Add 1 400g (16oz) can coconut milk (optional) plus any green leaves in garden (optional), lambs' quarters, spinach, etc
Serve with rice plus any pickle or chutney available.

I make this with long storing vegies - pumpkin, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and optional carrots or dried carrots, also dried celery or celery seeds, or celery salt if you have them (or of course, fresh if not eating out of the food stores). Start with a sauteed onion, then add stock or water plus all the veg and a cup of red lentils. Can substitute onion powder, and also add tumeric and black pepper for extra immune support.
Btw I have found that the best way to store a cut sweet potato is to just leave it on the kitchen bench. It forms its own protective coating across the cut surface and lasts for a very long time (eventually shrivels up, but doesn't go mouldy).

mountainmoma's picture

Butternut squash stores very well, until at least June. It is easy to grow, I harvested an insane amount last fall, especially since I have never realy "liked" squash. But realy, it is just that I dont care for baked squash, stuffed or not. So, I have been trying out recipes and new ways to eat it. I am behind, I am most likely supposed to be eating a couple pounds a week, even after some was given away.

- Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin and butternut squash are the same plant , realy, and I have heard that most store bought pumpkin pie is realy made from butternut squash. This thanksgiving we made the pie from the butternut squash. Any other pumpkin bread or pumpkin dessert can be made with butternut.

- there are many standard butternut squash and pumpkin soup, usually pureed, some with curry in all our recipe books. All good, but I had to find a few more for variety

- African squash and Chickpea stew
which can, of course, be served over rice, the combo which I will be eating in about 10 minutes.

Sautee 2 cups of chopped onion in oil
add spices and cook 3 minutes more :

1t ground corriander
1 & 1/2 t cumin
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t tumeric
1/4 t pepper
salt to taste, about 1 t I think

Then add everything else:

2 cups peeled butternut squash, chopped about 1 " squares ( or bite sized)
2 cups water
2 cups ( 1 can or homemade pint jar) tomatoes
2 cups or one can cooked garbanzo beans

Cook until squash pieces are tender, maybe 20-30 minutes or more. This was served to many college-aged young people during the holidays who were over for dinner and they all liked it too. ( Even the vegans and the gluten free...)

- curried squash-vegetable soup

This recipe was written to use all convenience foods, so one can butternut or pumpkin puree; one can diced tomatoes; a 2cup bag of frozen mixed vegetables. Saute one medium onion in oil, add the other vegetables mentioned plus 1 & 1/2 cup water or broth, 2t curry powder, 1t paprika, salt and red pepper flakes. I have made it a few times but substituted greens for the vegetables, I think I used wild malva, a weed still growing outside in patches, any fresh or dried greens would do. I used onions and butternut squash grown here last season and home canned tomatoes too.

- Butternut squash soup with cheese,

but the recipe was wierd at first, I will have to try it again to see if my proposed changes work. I think it called for milk too son, because it curdled. But, next day, this was very good, like a cheese fondue. Think something like startignwith a standard onion and butternut squash soup but with beer, red pepper flakes, fresh rosemary, salt to season. blend. then add milk and 1/2 pound of grated cheese. I will try it out again in a week or two

I really like the Mennonite "More-with-Less" cookbook for cooking with pantry staples. Most of the recipes use very basic ingredients and there's lots of wiggle room for substitutions. Available here (or at Amazon, etc.); I have an older, used hardback version.

Ooh, thanks for the reminder, my mum has that book, must get my hands on it.

Sometimes I make Polenta for Sundays. I use Mark Bittman's recipe from 'How to Cook Everything'.
It has to be made the day before to stiffen up so the slices fry up nicely.

It's stone-ground yellow cornmeal, water, salt, pepper, butter, and Parmesan cheese.
It's good too! With syrup and sausage or scrapple and apple sauce.

Most of us have corn meal on hand so this would be another addition to the repetoire.

Clare and Sweet tatorman posted cornbread recipes over in the shelf stable pantry storage thread too, for extra cornmeal recipes:)