How often do you arrive home hungry after a long day at work, and you don’t know what to cook? You open the refrigerator, stare blankly into the pantry … and although you have several staples, as tired as you are, you just can’t think of anything.
Fortunately, many of the ingredients we keep stocked in the kitchen are versatile, and they can be used in various ways to prepare easy and flavorful dishes.
For those days when your creativity is shot and you are looking for a little inspiration, here are some tips that will make your life easier, using only the ingredients you have in your kitchen right now.
Eat the rainbow… of veggies
You can add practically anything to a salad. Use some leafy greens as a base and add any other vegetables that you find in your refrigerator. Then, you can toss it with foods rich in fiber, such as a grain– like lentils, chickpeas or beans– and/or something that gives it more texture and flavor, such as cheese, olives or capers. To round out your salad nutritionally, add a protein, such as egg, chicken or fish.
Another delicious option to make use of the vegetables in your fridge is to make a veggie tower. Super simple to prepare, just slice your favorite vegetables very thin and layer the slices with cheese and your favorite sauce or dressing. You can serve it cold or make it au gratin by popping it in the oven until the cheese is melted.
Effortless (and tasty) meat and fish
A great option for cooking with what you already have in your fridge is to make meat or fish. Simply season the protein with your favorite herbs and put it in the oven. In this way, it will practically cook itself. Just place the seasoned protein on a tray along with whatever vegetables you have on hand tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper and put it in the oven. Be sure to monitor the temperature and cooking time and you will have an easy, quick and delicious dish.
If you want to prepare the meat somewhere other than in the oven, meat and fish are easy to make grilled or fried in a pan and can be accompanied by your favorite side dish– something easy like rice, pasta or salad. In minutes you will have a meal that everyone will enjoy.
Pasta and rice: the pantry staples
Speaking of those side dishes that often save our lives, you surely have more than one package of your favorite pasta in your pantry. There are a thousand ways to make a delicious pasta dish, and you can use any ingredients you have in the kitchen. For the sauce, you can choose from a simple tomato sauce, a creamy sauce with herbs and cheese, a crowd-pleasing basil pesto, or simply toss with garlic and olive oil. Accompany any of this with the vegetables you have on hand and your favorite protein and you will already have a fairly complete dish that requires very little time to prepare.
And what about rice? The most versatile and easy-to-prepare of all dishes! This queen of the side dishes on Latin tables can be prepared in many ways. Mix it with your favorite vegetables, herbs, legumes or spices, and if you have a little sauce left over from another recipe– or even some leftover protein– you can toss it all in and you will have a delicious improvised dish in just a few minutes.
Bread and tortillas for the win!
Another ingredient that saves lives is bread. With just two slices of bread, you can transform any leftover protein or vegetables into a crispy panini or toast. If you don’t have much time, you can also prepare a delicious sandwich with your favorite delicatessen ingredients, such as cheeses and sausages. And if you want to get even more creative, you can add some sauce, sautéed onions or even a fried egg. Do you have ground beef in the fridge? Take advantage and make some hamburgers!
Another item that will save you when you are out of creativity is a tortilla, which you can combine with any ingredients you have in the kitchen. How about mixing the pork that you have in the fridge with a little sauce and cream cheese for a tasty wrap? If you have shrimp, you can toss it in a pan with some cheese between two tortillas and top with guacamole for a delicious quesadilla.
Now you know! The next time you are tired or do not know what to cook, just open the fridge and pantry, take out the ingredients you have available and run with any of these quick and easy-to-prepare ideas. If you are looking for delicious and healthy recipes, visit RoyalPrestige.com, its recipe section has a variety of options to choose from and will give you the inspiration you need to cook with the ingredients you have in your kitchen. With Royal Prestige we continuously strive to create new dishes, keeping it fresh and healthy. More possibilities, happier hearts and a very satisfied palate! Let’s create something together.