Cleaning out the Pantry

Since we did our kitchen remodel we have a beautiful open floor-plan but we did lose our huge wall of shelving. I am totally okay with the trade-off (and the new granite countertops) but I have had to make sure that our pantry doesn’t get too full. It’s amazing how many boxes of half-full pasta boxes I can accumulate! This week I decided to only buy the basics when grocery shopping (i.e. milk, cheese, stuff for bag lunches, produce) and wing it every night for dinner. I buy chicken once a month from Costco and have a few other things in the fridge that needed to be used so I wasn’t too worried about putting meals together. Here was the menu for the week:


Bean burrito: can black beans, seasonings (garlic salt, cumin, chile powder), cheese, salsa
Note: this really needed rice to be a complete meal because although black beans are a good source of protein they are not a complete protein so they should be paired with rice. A tidbit leftover from my vegetarian days that I don’t know the science behind. I didn’t feel like waiting 45 minutes for the rice to cook so I skipped it (even though I shouldn’t have).


Polenta and Beef Skillet: tube of polenta, ground beef, jar of spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, half an onion, salt and pepper to taste, shredded cheese (mozzarella)

I sauteed the meat and then added the onion and mushrooms and cooked for a little while longer.  Add the spaghetti sauce and let simmer for a little while longer, season with salt and pepper if desired.  Then place slices of the polenta on top of the meat mixture and top with cheese.  Put the lid on the pan and cook on medium-low until the cheese is melted and the polenta is warmed.


Chicken and Quinoa Stew: Chicken breasts, quinoa, zucchini, mushrooms, crushed tomato (28 oz. I think), white wine, garlic, fresh basil, dried oregano, salt and pepper to taste

Cook the chicken breasts in a little olive oil and once they are browned on the outside add about 1/2 c. white wine and a couple cloves of garlic. After this has simmered for 5-10 minutes add the can of crushed tomato, quinoa, vegetables, and seasonings.  Continue simmering until the quinoa is cooked.  If you feel like it isn’t “soupy” enough (that sounds appetizing doesn’t it??) then add a little chicken broth.


Garbanzo bean wrap: can of garbanzo beans, assorted greens, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, hummus, tortilla

Rinse the beans and then mix with some olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  Layer the ingredients on the tortilla this way: hummus, greens, beans.  This is yummy and light, great for summer!  The hummus made it even better, it was chipotle hummus from Trader Joe’s.  So yummy! I don’t think this recipe would be nearly as good without it.  This wrap would also be delicious with feta.

Going grocer shopping tomorrow so back to planning meals! It was kind of fun to get creative with my meals but I like having recipes that I can just

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