With life under lockdown ensuring that people don’t leave their homes unless for essential travel, trips to the supermarket have been getting less frequent for many households.
But having to rely on food items that last longer, like dried grains and tins of fruits and vegetables doesn’t mean settling for something that doesn’t taste good.
Here are five, healthy, meals you can make just using store cupboard ingredients to get you inspired.
Tuna and sundried tomato pasta bake
For this classic pasta bake recipe, you’re going to need dried pasta, a couple of cans of chopped tomatoes, a tin of sweetcorn, two cans of tuna, a jar of sundried tomatoes, cheese and some double cream.
The recipe is super simple. All you need to do is boil the pasta and in a separate pan simmer the tomatoes with the cream.
Drain off the pasta once it’s finished cooking and add to the pan with the tomatoes and cream. Add the rest of your ingredients apart from the cheese.
Mix it all together and then transfer to a baking dish - sprinkle with cheese and stick in the oven until it’s golden brown and melted.
This vegetarian chilli is so tasty and filling that you won’t find yourself missing the beef at all - and it uses almost entirely tinned and dried ingredients.
You’ll need a tin of kidney beans, a tin of baked beans, a tin of chopped tomatoes, a stock cube and an optional splash of red wine and a couple squares of dark chocolate.
For your spices, you’ll need powdered chilli, paprika and cumin.
The only fresh ingredient required is an onion, but you could also use chopped frozen onion instead if you have that to hand.
Start by rinsing off your beans and adding them to a pan. Cover them with water and bring to the boil.
Fry the onion with the spices, then add the wine, chopped tomatoes and stockcube and simmer together on a low heat.
Once the beans have softened, drain them off and add them to your sauce. Pop in your dark chocolate and stir until it’s melted and everything is mixed together.
You can serve this bean chilli by itself, or if you have some rice in the cupboard, you can serve it on top of that.
Saucy bean baked eggs
If you fancy a different fate for your tins of beans hiding in the store cupboard than the chilli, you should try out this baked eggs recipe instead.
You’ll need two tins of tomatoes, a can of mixed bean salad (or any other beans you’ve got to hand), some baby spinach, four eggs, some ham and some bread to serve (optional).
Start by adding the tomatoes and beans to an ovenproof frying pan, or a flameproof casserole dish.
Simmer for about ten minutes or until the sauce has reduced, at which point you can add your spinach. Cook for about five minutes until wilted.
Using the back of a spoon, make some shallow indentations in your mixture - these will act as wells for your eggs. Crack the eggs into your wells and then grill for four to five minutes, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.
Serve with bread.
Chickpea and coconut curry
If you’ve got a can of coconut milk hiding in your cupboard that you just don’t know what to do with, this is the perfect recipe.
You’ll also need a tin of chickpeas, a red onion, garlic and ginger (although powdered versions of both would work), garam masala, turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, a tin of tomatoes and lime juice.
While it’s not included in the recipe, this also presents the perfect opportunity to use up any vegetables in your fridge that might be on the verge of going bad.
Fry off your red onion (and any additional vegetables) and then throw in all of your spices before adding your tin of tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes or until the tomatoes start to break down a bit, then add the coconut milk and chickpeas.
Simmer your curry for about ten minutes, or until the sauce has reduced.
Add your lime juice and the curry is good to go - serve with some rice if you have it, or perhaps those naan breads you’ve got in the freezer.
Honey and soy chicken noodles
The base of the recipe is super simple - all you need are some dried noodles, soy sauce, honey, chicken and Chinese five spice.
From there, you can add whatever you like - if you have any other meat or vegetables needing used up, this is the perfect recipe.
In a small bowl mix together the honey, soy sauce and five spice. Add the chicken to your sauce mixture and let it marinate for 30 minutes if you have the time. Boil your noodles according to the package instructions.
Add the chicken (and any other vegetables you might be using) to a frying pan and cook, and then add the noodles once they’ve finished cooking.