Running low on food? Bloggers divulge their best improvised meals
We’ve all experienced it: That terrible combination of a growling stomach and a near-empty fridge.
We asked four New York City food bloggers about their favorite and most creative thrown-together meals. They also told us what to stock the pantry and fridge with, so you’re never entirely out of options.
1. Deb Perelman, smittenkitchen.com. Perelman’s blog features recipes (and food porn-worthy photos) which she perfects in her tiny New York City kitchen.
Kitchen staples: Canned or dry beans; cartons of broth (or a decent bouillon concentrate); a bunch of grains, pastas and rice; onions; garlic; canned tomatoes; a bag of spinach, bacon and bread in the freezer (Perelman recommends Balthazar's whole wheat sourdough miche); eggs and butter.
Endless possibilities: With these ingredients, Perelman suggests making such dishes as risotto with a poached egg on top, pasta baked in tomato sauce with spinach, or a caramelized onion omelet.
“But, if I were to tell you that these are the things I make when I'm in a jam, I'd be completely lying. I make peanut butter and jelly. And I enjoy it, too,” Perelman said.
2. Cathy Erway, NotEatingOutInNY.com. Her blog is about her quest to eat almost entirely at home.
Kitchen staples: Rice or quinoa, oats, bulgur, lentils, spices such as cumin and coriander (they can replace the need for fresh garlic), eggs, canned tomato sauce.
Success stories: “Just the other day I had some lentils in the pantry that I’d forgotten about. I made a quick dal, using spices I had,” Erway said. “It was so delicious.”
Erway suggests taking whole coriander and cumin seeds and toasting and crushing them. She cooked the lentils like risotto, and served them on leftover whole-grain rolls.
“I usually have some leftover rice too, so I make fried rice,” Erway said. Just add soy sauce, an egg, some frozen peas, or some winter cabbage to the rice.
3. Josh Greenfield, YIEatN.com. Greenfield uses his blog to showcase how he, a musician and personal chef, lives on catering gig leftovers.
Kitchen staples: White vinegar, balsamic vinegar, oatmeal, dried fruit, chipotles in adobo in the pantry and tortillas and bread in the freezer.
The joys of sauce: “With leftovers, or pantry staples all it takes is a nice sauce to make them really good,” Greenfield said. “You can use whatever herbs you have left.”
Greenfield said that if he has an avocado that’ll go bad, he’ll make it into an avocado vinaigrette. He’s also mixed canned chipotle in adobo with yogurt and drizzled it on beans in a tortilla to make a burrito. He also suggested mixing vinegar with salt, pepper and sour cream to make a sauce for gyros.
4. Kenji Lopez-Alt, managing editor of seriouseats.com a food blog and community that offers tips, recipes and much more.
Kitchen staples: Either frozen homemade chicken stock or low- sodium boxed chicken stock, canellini beans, chickpeas, and a block of a long-lasting cheese, such as parmesan.
Healthy options: Lopez-Alt suggest making a bean-based soup using chicken stock, canned beans, and carrots, onions and celery (those vegetables last a long time). At-home chefs can also add canned tomato and parmesan rind.
A kale and canned bean salad is also easy to make and lasts a long time, Lopez-Alt said. Marinate the kale in olive oil and a little bit of vinegar to make it softer but still crunchy.