The Roundup -

Meals At Home With Limited Options


With all the current changes we are all going through, and we are trying to figure out our new routines, you may find yourself making fewer trips to the grocery store, and when you go, your options might be limited. With making more meals at home and the possibility of fewer options at the store, you might be scratching your head trying to come up with breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dinner ideas. Have no fear the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, has some meal ideas using what you have on hand. In Making a Meal with What’s on Hand (2020), written by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, they have taken some very popular meal ideas and have provided some substitution suggestions:

How does pasta sound? But you realize you have no sauce, try using some olive oil (or vegetable oil) with garlic, or you could use chili or soup (maybe with less liquid for a thicker sauce).

How about a smoothie for breakfast? But you’re out of yogurt, try using applesauce, fruit juice, milk, or even a frozen banana instead.

Your family decided on homemade pizza for dinner but, you don’t have everything for your crust, try using a tortilla shell, biscuits, English muffins, Naan bread, etc. for your crust.

How about a casserole for dinner? But you ran out of pasta, try using another starchy food such as rice, potatoes, or sweet potatoes. You could also use carrots, beans (cooked or canned) or lentils.

Katie Greenawalt and Debra Griffie, of PennState Extension, wrote an article on Cooking from your Pantry (2020) and provided some ideas on how to use non-perishable foods. Try using canned tuna, chicken, or salmon in your main dishes; even canned beans could be used as they are also a good source of protein. If you are struggling to incorporate vegetables, try adding canned veggies into your soups, stews, or casseroles, adding more nutrition to your dishes. Katie Greenawalt and Debra Griffie, of PennState Extension, also suggested some non-perishable food items to stock up on. So on your next trip to the grocery store, try adding pasta, grains, cereals, oatmeal, and even shelf-stable milk and juice (remember to refrigerate after opening) to your cart. If you’re not able to track down these items, try using some of the suggestions talked about in this article to make substitutions or additions to your family’s meals.


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