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Pantry as Back-up Provider

February 27, 2014
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Moroccan White-Bean Sliders

Don’t have time to go grocery shopping? No problem. Here are some easy, delicious family meals that incorporate staples you already have in your pantry.

Amazing meals don’t have to be complicated or expensive. And as long as your cupboard is full of nutritious staples like rice, beans and canned tomatoes, you can easily throw together a healthy meal.

Quick Pizza Margherita
Pantry ingredients: vinegar, oil, cheese, garlic and herbs.
1 (10 oz.) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
cooking spray
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, halved
5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3⁄4 lb.)
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1⁄2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1⁄8 tsp. salt
1⁄8 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Unroll crust dough onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 13x11-inch rectangle. Bake at 400˚ for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven, and brush with 1⁄2 teaspoon oil. Rub crust with cut sides of garlic.

Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400˚ for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

Combine 1⁄2 teaspoon oil and vinegar, stirring with a whisk.

Sprinkle pizza evenly with sliced basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the pizza.

Moroccan White-Bean Sliders
(Pareve)
From Redbook. Pantry ingredients: white beans, panko and pita bread
1⁄2 red bell pepper, quartered
3 scallions, quartered
1⁄2 cup cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1⁄2 tsp. harissa
1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1 can (15 oz.) white beans (cannellini), drained and rinsed
3⁄4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
3 Tbsps. olive oil
8 small (4-inch) pita breads
1⁄2 cup light mayonnaise, mixed with 1 tablespoon harissa
lettuce leaves and tomato slices

In a food processor, pulse red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro, garlic, coriander, cumin, harissa and salt until vegetables are very finely chopped. Add beans; pulse until beans are coarsely mashed.

Transfer mixture to a bowl; add breadcrumbs and egg. Mix with your hands until well-combined. Shape into 8 (1⁄4-cup) bur­gers. Place on a waxed-paper-lined plate and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sliders and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

Cut 1 inch off the tops of pitas. Spread insides with harissa mayonnaise, then line each with a lettuce leaf, a tomato slice and a slider.

Makes 8 sliders.

White Bean Tuna Salad
(Pareve)
Pantry ingredients: tuna, white beans, capers and vinegar
2 (6 oz.) cans dark meat tuna, packed in olive oil
2 (15 oz.) cans cannelini white beans, drained and rinsed
1⁄3 cup small capers, nonpareil in brine, drained and rinsed
6 Tbsps. red wine vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 and 1⁄2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 cups fresh arugula
6 fresh basil leaves

In a large bowl, add the tuna, reserving the olive oil in a separate small bowl. Break tuna into bite-size pieces with a large fork. Add the beans and capers.

Into the bowl of olive oil, add the red wine vinegar. You should have 1 part vinegar to 2 parts oil — add more extra-virgin olive oil if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour dressing on the tuna, bean and caper mixture and allow the flavors to infuse while slicing the vegetables. Add the onion and tomatoes to tuna mixture and toss gently.

Place the arugula on a large decorative platter and top with tuna mixture. Tear fresh basil leaves over the top and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Toasted Barley and Chicken Pilaf
(Meat)
From Good Housekeeping. Pan­try ingredients: barley, chicken broth, carrot and onion
1 and 1⁄2 cups pearl barley
3 tsps. olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 lb.), cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 package (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms
1 can (14 to 14.5 oz.) chicken broth
2 cups water
1⁄2 tsp. dried thyme
1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
salt and ground black pepper
parsley leaves, for garnish

Heat a deep nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add barley and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Transfer barley to large bowl.

In same skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes or just until it loses its pink color on the outside, stir­­ring occasionally. Transfer chicken to bowl with barley.

In same skillet, add remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Cook carrots, celery and onion over medium heat 7 to 8 minutes or until tender-crisp. Stir in mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes longer or until most of liquid evaporates and vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

Return chicken and barley to skillet; stir in broth, water, thyme, nutmeg, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until barley is tender and chicken is no longer pink in center. Serve pilaf garnished with pars­ley leaves.

Serves 4.

Spaghetti With Tuna and Chickpeas
(Pareve)
From Food & Wine. Pantry ingredients: spaghetti, canned tuna, crushed tomatoes and chickpeas
2 Tbsps. cooking oil
1 small onion, cut into thin slices
3⁄4 tsps. fennel seeds
grated zest from 1⁄2 orange
1 and 1⁄2 tsps. salt
1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 can (7 oz.) tuna, packed in oil
1 can (15 oz.) drained chickpeas, rinsed
3⁄4 lb. spaghetti
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the fennel seeds, the orange zest, and the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Add the tuna and its oil and the chickpeas, cover, and remove the pan from the heat.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 6 minutes. Reserve about 1⁄2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, 1⁄4 cup of the reserved pasta water, and the parsley. If the sauce seems too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water.

Serves 4. 

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