Last month I wrote a blog about how I plan my meals ahead and how easy it is. Well, I have a confession to make. The past couple of weeks I have not done a good job of planning meals. Between my son’s soccer practices and games and just wanting to be outside in the nice weather as much as I can, I haven’t been as committed to getting my meals planned. I feel like I’ve been in a rut making many of the same recipes for the last few months. Therefore, I am excited to have discovered a new resource from Utah State University that is all about making your own meals based on what you have on hand.
The Create Series has taught me how to prepare a variety of dishes, like casseroles, sandwiches, soups, and skillet meals without a recipe or having to run to the store. By understanding how some ingredients go together, you can mix and match a variety of ingredients to make your desired dish.
For example, to create a casserole, choose an item from each category below and follow the directions on the handout:
- Choose a starch, such as brown rice, whole grain pasta, potatoes, or whole grain tortilla.
- Choose a protein such as 1 can beans such as pinto, black, or white.
- Choose one to three vegetables like broccoli, carrots, corn, or green beans.
- Choose one sauce like a can of cream soup or a can of diced tomatoes with juice.
- Choose one or more flavors like chopped onion, green pepper, garlic, or salt and pepper.
- Choose one or more toppings such as breadcrumbs, grated parmesan cheese, or grated cheddar cheese.
The Good Foods to Have on Hand handout is also really helpful. By keeping your pantry and fridge stocked with these items, you can make a variety of things to eat in a short time, even if you haven’t planned ahead.
It is very helpful to plan your meals ahead of time but when that isn’t done, use the Create Series to help you get tasty, nutritious meals on the table.