I bang on about my pantry all the time, but then show lots of pictures of things packed with vegetables, so I thought I'd share a few of my pantry-based favourites*. Obviously having some fresh onions or other fruit and veg for some of the recipes would be delightful, but it is possible to make use of items from the pantry alone to make something tasty should the need arise.
Bread Obviously, need I say more? In my world there's really no time that bread isn't a good choice. Sweet, savoury, morning, evening, as a snack or as part of a main meal, bread is brilliant. And all that's to make bread is flour, yeast, salt and water** (and oil? I don't know, it's Dan's department). Magic.
Houmous It may be unadventurous but it's a staple in our house, easy to tweak the basic recipe with whatever flavours we fancy. All we need is tahini, chickpeas, oil (I use hemp), water, lemon juice, garlic plus any extras - cumin, paprika, sundried tomatoes, grilled peppers etc.
Chana Masala This is one of the many great recipes from Aine Carlin, this dish is from Keep It Vegan, I've mentioned it before (the book is usually available at The Works for a fiver, well worth it). From the pantry we need chickpeas, coconut milk***, tinned tomatoes, sugar, garlic, ginger and some spices. It freezes well and is just delicious. Great served with rice, or another good thing from the pantry socca - equal parts chickpea flour and water, a glug of oil and some salt, cooked in a frying pan like a pancake. Or even sweetcorn fritters - tinned sweetcorn, a splash of water, some flour, baking powder and salt.
Dhal Sticking with a curry theme, dhal is the easiest, cheapest thing to make, better with a few onions in the mix but fine without too - red lentils, water, some herbs and spices and a squirt of tomato puree. Great as a thick soup, or with flatbread, some spicy chutney, topped with toasted seeds or flavoured roast chickpeas, or even made into a pasty with some pastry made with oil.
Pasta Sauce I love to make this with onions, carrots and evil celery but have made it many times with no fresh veg at all and it's still fine, especially if made the day before and left in the fridge overnight. I use a mixture of red and green lentils (more green than red), puy are great too, tinned tomatoes, a squeeze of tomato puree, stock, some mixed herbs, paprika, dried mushrooms, grilled peppers from a jar if I have any, Dan tops his with some olives. Great served with pasta or garlic bread - bread brushed with oil and sprinked with garlic of whatever kind is available, I like this.
They're the first things that spring to mind, but I know there are more, including plenty of snacks. What are your storecupboard favourites?
*and water, but no-one is going to tell me off for including water are they?
** I know gluten free bread needs extra ingredients but we have never made that.
*** I tend to buy the coconut block, it costs about 80p and I get three lots from that.