I love to cook, but when I visit the grocery store I notice that I might be in the minority. The food that I’ve noticed is still missing, and therefore a hot seller, is stuff that’s pre-cooked and ready to just heat up like soup, mac & cheese, and frozen dinners.
I have heard from a lot of folks who are experimenting in the kitchen. That’s great! But, if your pantry is stocked with the stuff I just mentioned, you’re not going to get too far. So, here are a few staples I suggest you keep in your pantry/freezer/refrigerator so you’re always ready to go …
Fat to cook with:
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
In the fridge:
- Chili seasoning
- Instant mashed potatoes
- Canned broth/stock
- Tomatoes (crushed, stewed, whatever!)
- Sweet potatoes
- Meat (Chicken breasts, ground beef, ground turkey)
- Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, corn, peas (they’re really good!)
Okay – and now a quick and delicious recipe to put a lot of this stuff to use (in terms as easy as I can):
Andie Summers’ Shepherd’s Pie
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- 1T butter
- 1 Onion – diced
- 1C Frozen or canned vegetable (your fave)
- Instant Mashed Potatoes (4 servings)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Set your oven to 400
- Put a large non-stick pan on the stove, add a pad of butter and heat on medium high until it melts.
- While the butter melts, dice an onion (if you think this will take a while, dice before you heat the butter so it doesn’t burn)
- Add the diced onion to the hot pan and sauté for about 30 seconds to a minute – just to soften the onion and let it become fragrant.
- Add about a pound of ground beef/turkey, sprinkle salt, and pepper on it, and break up the meat with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula (you don’t want to scratch the non-stick surface) Heat until it’s no longer pink.
- While the meat browns, follow the directions on your box of instant mashed potatoes and get those started.
- Transfer ground meat in an even layer to a baking dish. Sprinkle your favorite frozen or canned vegetables and layer over the meat.
- Scoop globs of your mashed potatoes to the top of your layered dish and sprinkle with grated cheese (I think sharp cheddar tastes best)
- Put the dish on the center rack in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. (You’ll see the cheese starts to melt and brown – don’t let it burn!)