It is a time when residents across Florida are urged to ‘Stay Home’. Staying home means less trips to the grocery stores. The best solution is to stock up on foods that have a longer shelf life. It is a time for creative cooking with what is stocked in your kitchen. The below food items are among affordable and staple items. Stocking up on these items will keep you away from the grocery line for at least one week:
- Breads & Grains—corn tortillas or chips, whole grain English muffins, rice varieties, bagels, frozen grains such as grain medleys, whole grain cereal, whole wheat or seed crackers, popcorn, grits, old-fashioned rolled oats, rice cakes, granola, frozen baguette or sandwich bread, dried pasta, couscous, refrigerated pizza crust.
- Fruits— frozen variety such as mixed berries, fresh fruit (pomegranates, apples, citrus), dried, plain, canned in juice or water, fruit purees.
- Vegetables—frozen veggies, fresh veggies (root and hardy veggies, cabbage, garlic, bell peppers, celery, broccoli, onions, white and sweet potatoes), low sodium canned, sun-dried. Buy whole produce instead of pre-cut.
- Sauces—tomato pasta sauce, salsa,
- Soups & Broths & Chilis—canned, frozen, shelf-stable cartons.
- 100% Juice—frozen, canned, refrigerated, boxed.
- Milk—fresh, canned, powdered milk, non dairy, frozen yogurt, shelf-stable packages.
- Eggs—fresh eggs, egg whites in cartons.
- Cheese—sliced, cubed, shredded, crumbled, hard (ex cheddar, Parmesan) or grated hard cheese.
- Beans/Legumes—canned beans (black beans, chickpeas), dried beans and lentils, hummus.
- Nuts and seeds—bagged, canned, peanut or nut butters.
- Chicken—frozen or canned.
- Seafood—frozen seafood or fish fillets, canned or in a pouch tuna, salmon, and sardines.
- Beef—pre-made frozen lean ground patties, frozen steak, roasts or meatballs.
- Flavorings— condiments such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, relish, mustard, bbq sauce, dried herbs & spices, breadcrumbs, vinegar’s, lemon/lime juice, light dressings, honey, Greek yogurt
Here’s a recipe from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach that sounds yummy and healthy as well as utilizes your pantry items. Estimated cost per serving is $1.09. Serves 6. Serving Size: 2 Tacos.
1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 cup dried lentils
1/2 package (1.25 ounces) of 40% less sodium taco seasoning
3 cups water
12 corn tortillas
1 cup salsa
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups lettuce, shredded
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4–6 minutes or until they become soft and fragrant. Stir several times during cooking.
- Add the lentils and seasoning. Stir so that the seasoning is mixed in.
- Slowly add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Uncover and cook for 5 minutes more until the mixture has thickened and the liquid is absorbed. Mash slightly with a fork.
- Heat corn tortillas according to package directions.
- Spread 1/4 cup lentil mixture onto each tortilla.
- Serve with salsa, cheese, and lettuce.