Quick Meal & Snack Ideas For Pantry Staples
Feeling a bit lost for meal ideas?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you!
If you need to make a meal but you only have a few pantry staples, I’ve put together some ideas of how you can use simple ingredients in different ways to make healthy meals and fast, easy snacks.
Quick and simple meals can be good for you
Even if you have minimal ingredients in your pantry, there are still lots of options for making meals and snacks.
Many food basics are extremely versatile, so by adding a few vegetables and getting creative, it is definitely possible to make healthy and tasty food!
If you have some quinoa in your pantry, there are lots of ways you can turn it into a delicious dish.
Quinoa can be used for SO many different snacks and meals. Add some to a berry smoothie, make a quinoa porridge, use it for burger patties, add to a Mediterranean salad or stuff it into some roasted vegetables.
If you have a food processor you can even blend quinoa into a flour and use it in brownie recipes!
As well as being super versatile, quinoa is also packed with goodness. It is gluten-free, contains all 9 essential amino acids and provides our bodies with both carbohydrates and fibre.
Chickpeas (or garbanzo beans) are a staple that I use to make another one of my favourite dips — hummus! I love eating hummus as a dip with some freshly chopped veggies or adding it to my wraps or sandwiches at lunch time.
You can also add different vegetables or herbs and spices to take your hummus recipe to the next level!
Chickpeas are also the main ingredient for falafel, which is delicious as a meal or a snack.
Like other pulses, chickpeas work really well in salads! They are honestly the easiest thing to add to some couscous or your salad when you are in a hurry and want some added protein and fibre.
Oats are such a nutritious breakfast staple!
They are high in fibre, which can keep you full. It is also great for keeping your blood sugar levels steady so you don’t experience the crash you might get from a sugary breakfast. I like keeping rolled oats in my cupboard to eat them warm in the mornings, as part of my smoothies, or use them in baking recipes.
For a quick oat porridge recipe, mix 1 cup (250ml) of water or milk of choice with ½ cup (60g) of oats, microwave on high for 1-2 minutes and top with fresh fruit. Some of my favourite toppings are banana, honey and cinnamon, or mixed berries. SO good!
If you have a food processor or a powerful blender, you can even make your own flour from oats — use it to make healthy, delicious oat pancakes!
Greek yoghurt is another one of my favourite staples because it can be used in SO many meals regardless of whether they are sweet or savoury.
It can be added to muesli, smoothies or smoothie bowls for breakfast or you can eat it with some fresh fruit or nuts as a snack.
I also use it as a dressing for salads and to make tzatziki, which is one of my favourite dips — I use it on everything! You can have tzatziki with falafel, chicken skewers, or with vegetable sticks as a snack.
As well as containing protein, greek yoghurt also contains probiotics, which can help promote healthy digestive and immune systems.
Canned tuna is one of my pantry staples.
One of the reasons is because tuna is SO versatile — it can be used for so many different types of tuna recipes.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that one of my favorite lunches is a tuna salad. I mix a large can of tuna with some baby spinach, tomato, capsicum, basil, red onion and dress it with some balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I’ll often add some brown rice too!
However, you can easily make a salad with whatever vegetables you have at home, and add a handful of cooked pasta instead of rice.
Tuna is also perfect to eat as a post-workout snack! It is good for you too — tuna is a source of omega 3 fatty acids, which is important for heart health! It also provides your body with vitamin D, which is needed for growth and development.
A lemon can add flavour to almost any dish! Fresh lemon juice is fantastic for flavouring chicken or fish, while some lemon zest can add depth to marinades, salads or grains. Lemon is a source of vitamin C, which may help to boost your immune system too!
Fast, healthy meals can be delicious!
A few key ingredients in your pantry can easily be made into something tasty to eat.
I eat Mediterranean-style foods, which includes a lot of dishes that only require a few essentials and some vegetables — I've always believed that healthy food can be simple to make and good for you!
Which pantry staples do you use for fast, healthy meals and snacks? Let me know in the comments below!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.