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Pantry Suprises!

You have a place in your house that presents endless possibilities. This place houses all kinds of cans and boxes and packages and they are just waiting for your creativity. With a little imagination and faith you can prepare anything you want with anything that you have. The main ingredient in anything that you prepare for your family is love so with a few more ingredients you can't go wrong. What is the first thing you see in your pantry? A can of beans perhaps? Here are ideas for a can of beans. BLACK BEAN SOUP Make this soup with the ingredients you have. If you don't have quinoa, use rice or veggie. No veggie broth? Use water. Use anything that will that will spice it up.

1 tbsp olive oil 1 14 oz black beans drained and rinsed 8 oz frozen organic corn 2 jalapeños de-seeded and chopped 1.5 cups cooked quinoa 2 tsp cumin 1 tsp chipotle spice powder 40 oz vegetable broth Juice of 3 limes 1/3 cup chopped green onion 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 avocado pitted and cut into small pieces Salt to taste

Begin by heating a large pot to medium high heat. Add olive oil, corn, black beans, and jalapeño. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, until corn is completely thawed and peppers are soft. Add cumin and chipotle spice. Toss in quinoa and cover entire mixture with broth. Allow the soup to come to a soft boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add fresh lime juice and pour into individual bowls. Top with green onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and avocado. CUBAN STYLE BLACK BEANS This quick dish is great over rice, quinoa, amaranth or cauliflower rice.

2 tsp olive oil 1/2 onion 2 cloves garlic 2 scallions 2 tbsp red bell pepper 3 tbsp cilantro 15 oz can black beans, do not drain (I prefer Goya) 1/2 cup water, or more if needed 1 bay leaf few pinches cumin, to taste pinch oregano 1 tsp red wine vinegar salt and black pepper to taste Chop onion, garlic, scallions, red pepper, and cilantro in a mini chopper of food processor. Add oil to a medium-sized pot on medium heat. Add vegetables to the pot and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add beans, water, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, red wine vinegar, salt and black pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover, simmer about 15 minutes stirring occasionally (adjust water as needed). Taste for salt and serve. RED SUN SALAD This salad has bright color and high nutrition. It is important to continue to eat healthy.

2 cans kidney beans, drained (or a mix of beans) 1 large bunch specialty greens 12 ounces Applegate bacon (optional) 2/3 cup roasted sunflower kernel 1 medium apple 1 small mild onion 1 tablespoon fresh or 2 teaspoons dried chives 3 tablespoons avocado oil 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste Rinse the kidney beans with cold water and drain. Wash lettuce and break into small pieces. Dice bacon very finely and fry in small frying pan. Quarter, core, and slice apple. Dice onion very finely. Wash chives and snip into 1/8 inch pieces. Prepare the salad dressing with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and chives. Place the lettuce in a large bowl, distribute kidney beans, onion, and apple pieces over the lettuce and sprinkle with sunflower kernels and bacon. Add salad dressing shortly before serving. PASTA SAUCE Do you have pasta sauce in your pantry? Did you know that you can use that sauce for more things than noodles?

ZESTY DIP - Mix equal parts sour cream (or greek yogurt) with marinara. MIx in parmesan cheese, oregano and pepper. Serve hot or cold. use ALFREDO sauce on potatoes or other veggies COCKTAIL SAUCE - marinara, horseradish and hot sauce TOMATO BUTTER - mix 1 stick of butter with 1/4 cup pasta sauce in food processor and add parsley. Then roll and refrigerate. CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP - Mix 1 jar pasta sauce, 2 cups water, 1/2 cup heavy cream to herbs sauteed in butter and add a pinch of nutmeg; simmer for 5 minutes. EGGS - heat 1 cup of pasta sauce, add 2 eggs and top with parmesan FISH - do the same things as above except add fish to poach MEATLOAF - use pasta sauce for your tomato base BAKED BEANS - add to your favorite beans along with 1/4 cup honey mustard and extra honey to taste BLOODY MARY - use pasta sauce plus 1/2 cup of water instead of tomato juice & then the rest of your favorites (6 tablespoons lime juice and 1 tablespoon horseradish in a pitcher; season with celery salt, Worcestershire and hot sauce - oh and vodka if you wish). SLOPPY JOES - used pasta sauce for the tomato component CHICKPEA NAAN Running low on bread? Make your own.

2 cups chickpea flour or any gluten free flour (see note if using besan) 1 tbsp flaxseed meal, optional 1 tbsp arrowroot 3/4 tsp salt 1 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1/2 tsp garlic paste 1/3 cup non-dairy plain yogurt blended with 1 tsp lemon juice 2 tsp avocado oil 3/4 to 1/2 cup water oil for brushing Nigella seeds or sesame seeds, minced garlic and cilantro for garnish Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 C). Line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut out another parchment sheet that fits the baking sheet and set aside. In a bowl, add chickpea flour, flaxmeal, starch, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, baking soda and baking powder and whisk well. Add the yogurt, oil, and 3/4 cup water. Mix well to combine. Add more water if needed to get a thick smooth batter (slightly thicker than pancake batter). Let sit for 5 minutes. (You will need more water with chickpea flour and less water with besan, start with 1/2 cup water for besan and add more)* Drop a ladlefull of the batter on parchment lined sheet. Spread into an oval (7-8 inch)with the ladle. Repeat to make 2 or more Naan to fit the sheet. Sprinkle Nigella seeds or sesame seeds or other seeds of choice. Add garlic and cilantro. Spray oil on top. Cover the Naans lightly with another parchment that covers the entire baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes (depends on size of naans and how many being baked together) Remove top parchment, Brush melted vegan butter or spray oil. Let cool for 2 minutes before removing from parchment. Repeat for the next set. The batter can thicken as it sits. Mix in a few tsps of water if needed before the next batch. Serve hot with curries, dips, soups. Keep covered with a kitchen towel on the counter for the day. Refrigerate for up to 4 days, freeze for up to a month. Reheat by grilling or microwave. Cook on Stove top: Heat a Cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, spread some oil. Add ladleful of the batter and spread. Top with seeds, garlic, cilantro. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 mins. Flip to cook for a minute if needed. Notes *Keep the batter thick and spread the batter thick for fluffy fat bread. Fat Naan will be more cakey and crumbly. Keep batter thinner and spread thinner for more pliable and less cakey Naan. Besan: Chickpea flour is a flour of white chickpeas, while besan is a flour of skinned brown chickpeas. Besan is also more finely ground than chickpea flour. Because of these differences, chickpea flour needs more water to make a batter and also has a better volume when you need airy baked result. If using besan, use less water to keep a thicker batter. Look at all of the things you can make with a few cans and jars. Expand your normal recipe rotation and try to use what you have. With a few ideas you can make anything. Take a look in your pantry today and let us know what you created. I bet it will be delicious. Here's to your health! Happy Cooking! Be strong, safe, and well.



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