5 Pantry Staples for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Louisa offered to write a guest post for recipes using pantry staples and it’s the perfect time! Mike’s been doing most of our meals so I’m going to have to use these ideas for when it’s my turn. Louisa and I are also going to be going to be cooking together live on Instagram on April 28th at 6pm EDT if you want to cook the Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry along with us 🥰

5 Pantry Staples for Easy Weeknight Dinners

Guest post by Louisa from Living Lou

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. I wanted to pop in here because I know people are cooking more than ever, for necessity for sure, but I also hope that you’re enjoying it. Everyone is baking banana bread and sourdough, which I am totally loving! 

But it’s also hard. Making breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday for weeks on end is no joke, especially when getting groceries is challenging and we don’t have access to as many options as usual. With all of this going on, I wanted to share some of my go-to pantry staple recipes, plus some ideas for substitutions! 

Carly and I hope to see you over on Instagram Live on April 28th at 6pm EDT! I can’t wait to cook along with you. (We’ll be cooking the Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry)

ONE // Lentil and sweet potato curry 

This is a go-to dinner for me. I’ve been making this curry on repeat for almost a year! It’s ready in under 30-minutes and made with mostly pantry staples–lentils, coconut milk and sweet potatoes. The other flavors come from onion, garlic, ginger and spices. 

Substitution ideas: I’ve made this curry without cilantro and it’s totally delicious. If you don’t have sweet potatoes, you could use any kind of root vegetable like butternut squash or regular potatoes.

TWO // Mediterranean Lentil Soup

This is my mom’s recipe and one that I grew up eating. I’ve been craving some of my childhood comfort foods recently and asked my mom for her recipe. I made a big batch of this soup last weekend and it’s been perfect for lunches working from home. 

Substitution ideas: You could use a can of lentils instead of dry lentils (just add the lentils during the last 10 minutes of cooking, instead of earlier). You could also make a slow cooker version

THREE // Kale White Bean Salad with Tuna 

Easy, bright and delicious! I love this salad for its balance of flavors; sweet crunch from apple and celery, a little bit of bitterness from kale, and a creamy tahini dressing. 

Substitution ideas: You could use any kind of beans in here and swap the kale for spinach or swiss chard. If you don’t have tahini, a nut butter (almond butter would be my choice) would be a great alternative. 

FOUR // Slow Cooker Navy Bean Soup

If you have a slow cooker that needs dusting off give this recipe a try. It’s a vegan white bean soup that is made with dried beans, carrots, celery and fennel. 

Substitutions: You could use another kind of dried bean here (dried white kidney beans or regular kidney beans would work). If you don’t have fennel, swap it for potato. 

FIVE // One pot curried chicken with rice and kale

The only fresh ingredients in here are kale, garlic, onion and chicken thighs. I’ve stocked my freezer with boneless skinless chicken thighs and a bag of frozen kale. 

Substitutions: If you don’t have chicken thighs, you could sub for chickpeas, just make sure to add a little extra olive oil since there won’t be any fat from the chicken. You could also sub the kale for spinach or swiss chard. 

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I LOVE lentils! I can’t wait to make that mediterranean soup!

And I’ve been looking for a new salad recipe and I have almost all the ingredients for the Kale White Bean Salad. Perfect timing.