HOUSTON – It’s time to put that well-stocked pantry to good use!
Culinary instructor and owner of Smart in The Kitchen, Marcia Smart, sharea how to use those basic pantry ingredients to create a simple and delicious meal.
“To be better home cooks, we should always have a well-stocked pantry of dry goods. There’s no need to grocery shop every day. Canned and dry items, such as dried beans, rice and other grains, have a longer shelf life,” said Smart, who emphasizes that in this time we are living in, you don’t need to follow a recipe precisely.
“I don’t want people to stress out about having exact ingredients right now, because there’s so many variations you can use and use what you have,” said Smart.
“ For example, if a recipe calls for a yellow onion, most likely a red or white one will suffice as well. If you’re running low on vegetable oil but you’re really craving those brownies? Substitute half the oil with apple sauce. Making a simple homemade tomato sauce? You can interchangeably use crushed, chopped or whole peeled tomatoes,” said Smart.
According to Smart, you can use what you have in your pantry to create something basic, but important, like a salad dressing you can do in a jar.
“It’s healthier and less expensive to make at home and it will lasts for a couple weeks refrigerated,” said Smart, who wanted to share this recipe because you can use this dressing not only on salad greens, but also pasta salads, grain salads and a tasty and easy to prepare three bean salad.
“This is something my grandmother used to make for lunches when I would visit,” said Smart, who suggests you can add in canned and drained tuna if you want some protein.