Not much in the pantry, fridge or freezer? Keep these five recipes on hand for when you need dinner ideas and can’t get to the shops.
Sensational stir fry
Using vegetables, lean meat or alternatives, and a splash of sauce, a stir fry is easy, nutritious, and a great way to use whatever you have available.
Stir frying is very versatile as you can use all sorts of vegetables (even vegies that are a bit tired or wilted within the dish and it will still taste great.
Vegetables ideal for stir-frying include capsicum, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, onions, spring onions, snow peas, cabbage, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, and leafy Asian greens. You can also use frozen vegetables or canned vegetables like bamboo shoots, baby corn and water chestnuts.
Add in some lean meat or chicken or extra firm tofu for protein. If you’d prefer to skip meat and tofu, simply add more vegetables.
Splash in small amounts of sauces like soy, oyster or teriyaki. Try to use salt reduced varieties.
Add flavour and crunch with a sprinkle of sesame seeds or nuts like walnuts halves, whole peanuts or cashews, or slivered or sliced almonds.
If you have some rice in the cupboard, a few vegies in the vegie bin and some eggs in the fridge – you have yourself a delicious fried rice meal you can make in no time!
Firstly, you need cold rice so try to cook the rice early and spread out on a large tray and pop it into the fridge to cool fast. Alternative you can use left over rice from the night before (make sure any leftovers are stored in the fridge), or use precooked packaged rice if time is an issue.
Choose any combination of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables like carrot, onion, spring onion, garlic, peas, corn kernels, capsicum, cabbage, broccoli, zucchini and bean shoots.
Use a small amount of salt reduced soy sauce, sesame oil and sprinkle with nuts if you want to add some crunch.
Vegetable fritters are so versatile (and delicious) they can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Our vegetable fritter recipe only needs eggs, vegies, flour and oil and are perfect for using up leftover vegetables.
You can serve these by themselves or add toppings to make a more substantial meal such as adding slices of avocado and some sweet chilli sauce served with a side salad.
Always a family favourite, a bolognaise sauce can be adapted to include what you have available.
If you only have a small amount of mince, or no mince at all – pad out the recipe with extra vegetables, green or red lentils or a tin of kidney beans.
Don’t have tinned tomatoes in the panty? Don’t worry you can substitute with T tomato paste, a tomato based simmer sauce or tomato sugo.
Pump up with vegie serves by adding whatever vegies you can find such as onion, mushrooms, celery, capsicum, carrot and zucchini and add flavour with dried herbs such as oregano, marjoram, basil or thyme.
Sprinkle with any combination of vegetables – onion, capsicum, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, sliced tomato, spinach, zucchini, cooked broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin and sweet potato. Flavour with rosemary, basil, parsley or thyme.
Top with grated or slice mozzarella cheese, baby bocconcini or even ricotta cheese.
Once cooked throw over some baby spinach or rocket if you have some.