So last night was such a mix of items. The hardest things for us to be consistent about not letting sit forever are the giant bags of rice, and dried items such as beans and lentils. I love the idea of dried beans and lentils because they are not in a can. Recently the lining of cans leaching into the food has brought up some concern. Also dried, they are not preserved in anything which is another plus.
The difficult part, and in perspective it is not all that difficult but we like things to be easy. You need to take the time to soak and boil a dried item, which although it is not hard it is time consuming and takes planning. Popping open a can of already soft lentils or beans is much faster.
That being said one of the items I made from the pantry last night was dried lentils.
I soaked the lentils for 2 hours and boiled them in a large pot of water for 1 hour, then drained.
Next I added 2 Tbsp of brown sugar, and ½ cup of water, and simmered for 10 minutes.
Place the squash on a baking sheet with tin foil for less mess.
Next I sprinkled salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme on the squash.
In each cavity I added 1 Tbsp maple syrup. You can also add a dollop of butter for more flavor if you like.
Put that in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 1 hour, basting the squash in the syrup from the cavity every 15 minutes.
All together it was a lot of food, which was good because it makes easy leftovers for more meals. To make meals kid friendly without cooking different things sometimes it helps just to separate the items so the kids can add more of their favorites and less of the rest. Also serving the Thai sauce separately allows each person to make their own serving with the amount of spice they like.
Each person had the portion of brown rice, topped with lentils, pinto beans and Thai red curry sauce on top that they wanted, with the squash on the side.
I find it interesting to see in blog-land what others stock in their fridge and pantry. It gives me new ideas to change things up. If you were inspired to make a pantry dinner and would like to share it, please email me as I would love to post it.
What items do you have in your pantry that sit for a long time?