6 Recipes from Bare Pantry Essentials

*Note: This is for those victimized by this week’s snowstorm. If you’re in a sunny or unaffected spot, go to another story, or read on and enjoy some schadenfreude.


When we went to the grocery store in New York City yesterday, we shopped differently. We were shopping for our lives…stocking up for a snowstorm that would last one whole day. We combed the aisles, grabbing things we’d never normally let ourselves buy, because we knew we needed a new sort of strength; the strength to sit at home during a blizzard. Grocery stores were pillaged and emptied by 3pm, and bread was scarce. Even though a bevy of Seamless.com restaurants were still at our fingertips, and the storm was predicted to last only 24 hours, we still needed a completely random assortment of things like jumbo canned vegetables (they don’t go bad if the snowstorm somehow lasts two weeks), a huge bag of tortilla chips (because you’ll be entertaining no one, so you need a bag of chips the size of a body pillow), and maybe even a king sized pack of gatorades (in a snowstorm, when you’re sitting inside all day, you need your electrolytes). That’s the beauty of the snowstorm, everyone talks about “stocking up” in the same way Kramer talks about “writing things off” on Seinfeld. It doesn’t necessarily always make sense, but people are doing it anyway. For whatever it’s worth, us potato heads do it with pleasure (we’ll use any excuse to eat in abundance), but we’re here today to help those who aren’t necessarily followers of the ‘stock up’ movement.

Whether you didn’t have time to go grocery shopping before the storm yesterday, or are a logical person that’s realized a storm for one day doesn’t necessarily warrant buying a month’s worth of food, you may need some aid in working your pantry to the max. That’s why we’ve given you six recipes to make with the bare essentials in your pantry. Because even if you didn’t ‘stock up,’ we’re pretty sure this is going to leave you eating comfortably. And if not, just visit one of your neighbors; they may just have a seventh king sized can of baked beans that’s calling your name…


Spicy Baked Eggs

– 2 cups Tomato Sauce

– 4 eggs

– 1 TBSP Garlic, minced

– 1 TBSP Ground Cumin

– 1 tsp Paprika

– 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper

– Parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a cast iron skillet, sauté garlic for 1 minute, do not burn. Add tomato sauce and spices. Stir to combine. Once tomato sauce is hot, crack eggs into the pan, evenly spread out. Bake for 15 minutes. If you have it, garnish with parsley.


Spinach and Feta Strata

– 4 cups spinach (Works well with any green on hand)

– 1 tsp garlic, minced

– 3 cups bread, cut into cubes

– 1/2 cup Feta (Works well with any cheese on hand)

– 1 TBSP Dijon Mustard

– 5 eggs, lightly beaten

– 2.5 cups milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a skillet, sauté garlic and spinach until slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

In a greased baking dish, make a layer with the bread cubes. Top with spinach and feta.

In a bowl, whisk mustard, eggs, and milk until combined. Pour over with bread, spinach, and feta. Bake in the oven until set, about 18-20 minutes.


Charleston Red Rice

– 1 cup Whole Grain Rice

– 1 tsp garlic, minced

– 1 cup Tomato Sauce

– 1/2 cup Chicken Broth

– 3/4 cups frozen peas

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a pot over medium heat, toast rice for 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes.

In a skillet, sauté garlic. Add tomato sauce and chicken broth. Cook until slightly thickened. Stir in rice and frozen peas. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.


Spicy Lemon Garlic Linguini

– 1 lb. Linguini (Any pasta works)

– 4 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic

– Juice from 1 lemon

– 1/4 cup Chicken Broth

– 2 TBSP red pepper flakes

– Parsley, for garnish (Optional)

In a pot, bring water to boil. Season generously with salt. Add pasta, cook until al dente.

While pasta is cooking, add garlic and olive to a skillet over medium heat. Gently poach the garlic in the olive oil until just starting to turn brown. Add red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and chicken broth. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly. Add linguini directly to skillet to coat in the sauce. Garnish with parsley.


Rice Pudding

– 1.5 cups Whole Grain Rice, cooked

– 2 cups milk

– 1/2 cup sugar

– 1 tsp salt

– 1.5 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

– 3 TBSP butter

– 2/3 cup dried cranberries (raisins, or any other chopped dried fruit will work as well)

In a sauce pan, combine rice, milk, sugar, and salt. Over medium heat, cook until mixture becomes thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.  Stir in cinnamon, vanilla, butter, and cranberries. If mixture becomes dry, re-hydrate with additional milk.


Veggie Grain Bowl with Poached Egg

– 1 cup lentils (Also works well with rice, quinoa, whatever you have)

– 2 cups Chicken Broth

– 2 bay leaves

– 1 tsp dried basil

– 1 tsp dried oregano

– 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (Any frozen veggies work here)

– 1 TBSP lemon juice

– 1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

– 1 cup spinach, or any greens on hand

– 3 eggs, poached

In a pot, combine lentils, chicken broth, bay leaves, and spices. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for 35 minutes. Stir in frozen vegetables.

Toss together spinach, lemon juice, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine lentils and spinach in a serving bowl. Top with a poached egg.

*Photographed by Alli Shepherd