Pantry cooking. I know, it’s not exactly the first place you’d turn to whip up a romantic date-night meal, is it? Cooking from the pantry cooking may not seem exciting, but it really can be. With a well-stocked pantry, cooking from the cupboard becomes the home cook’s version of Iron Chef as you wield your skills to make something from essentially nothing. And, a well-stocked pantry can mean the difference between constantly heading to the store and having the option for a home-cooked meal at all times.
As part of the Family Food Summit, I’ve been talking up home cooking tips for the last week but it wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t talk recipes. As a means of taste-testing some pantry experiments, I came up with these Greek-influenced garbanzo bean burritos that are filling, healthy, and only require only a few fresh ingredients.
Garbanzo Bean Burritos Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes
Hands-On Time: 5 minutes
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1 cinnamon stick (or 1 pinch ground cinnamon)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 medium red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans (from 14 ounce can)
3/4 cup water or low-sodium vegetable broth
Leaves from 2 sprigs oregano (optional or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
Red wine vinegar
2 handfuls baby spinach (or other greens like chard)
1 handful pitted olives, diced, for garnish (optional)
Feta cheese, for garnish (optional)
Plain yogurt, for garnish (optional)
Whole Wheat Pita, Flatbread, or Tortillas
Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add onion, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add cinnamon and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until softened. Add garbanzo beans and water or broth and stir, using a non-metal spoon to scraped up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and cook until liquid is reduced and flavors have melded, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Stir in spinach, cover, and cook until wilted. Add a dash of vinegar and taste, adding a tad of vinegar, sugar, salt, or pepper, as needed to boost the flavor. Serve in a warmed pita, flatbread, or tortilla topped with any combination of olives, feta, and yogurt, as desired.
Here are a few more recipes that, with a well-stocked pantry and few fresh ingredients, you can cook up at a moment’s notice (under 30 minutes to be precise) – not to mention that they’re all healthy and very affordable.
Under 15 minutes:
Egg-in-a-hole topped with arugula, Parmesan, and prosciutto
Salmon Flatbread Pizza
Wilted Greens with Balsamic Fried Eggs
Tuscan bread salad
Tapenade and Manchego Sandwiches
White Miso Mussels with Watercress
Lemon Chicken with Artichokes
Egg Salad Gribiche
Beet Greens and Feta Pasta