Campus Life
5 meals you can make with random pantry finds
by Sulvey Polanco | April 3, 2020

Revamp those cans.

While in quarantine, chances are you aren’t hopping to the grocery store as much as you used to, and amid this pandemic, it’s important to be mindful while grocery shopping. Across the nation, people are buying and buying and buying, leaving empty shelves behind for those who need it most.

Unfortunately, not all people have the luxury of bulk-buying. Single parents and the elderly are now having trouble finding the basic necessities they need because of greedy shoppers. Before buying, ask yourself: Do I really need 12 bags of pasta? I have 10 cans of tuna at home, do I really need 5 more?

I get it, the situation is scary, but we still need to be mindful and courteous of others before we shop.

If you’re unsure of what to cook with the items you have at home, Supercook is here to help. Supercook is an app where you can input all the ingredients you have and it’ll provide you with tons of cool recipes to choose from.

Need more inspo to give your pantry items a pick-me-up? Check out these easy recipes you’d never think were made from canned goods:

1. Chrissy Teigen’s Tuna Casserole

Chrissy Teigens tuna casserole
Image and recipe courtesy of All Roads Lead To The Kitchen

This comfort-food classic from the Twitter queen herself is drool-worthy. If you’re looking to get rid of that can of cream of mushroom soup at the back of your pantry, then this is the recipe for you.  This recipe is made using primarily canned and non-perishable items to make a dish that’s sure to satisfy your whole family.

Here’s what you need:

For the casserole:

  • 1 pound corkscrew (cavatappi) pasta
  • 3 (10.5 oz) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup (I recommend Campbell’s Healthy Request) or equivalent homemade
  • 3 (5 oz) cans water-packed tuna (solid or chunk), drained
  • 3 cups finely shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups of milk of choice
  • 1 cup peas, thawed if frozen
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeños
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt + more for pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the topping:

  • 3 cups jalapeño flavoured kettle chips or potato chips
  • 1 cup finely shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

2. Southwestern quinoa salad

Southwestern quinoa salad
Image and recipe courtesy of Tasty

Quinoa is a great pseudo-grain to keep in your pantry. Not only is it good for you and filled with protein, but it keeps really well in your pantry! Plus, quinoa is the perfect vessel for whatever flavours you know and love. This southwestern salad is tasty, filling, and easy to make. You likely already have most ingredients in your pantry (other than the fresh veggies) so there’s no excuse not to make it.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 15 oz  black beans (425 g)
  • 15 oz  corn (425 g)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa (170 g), rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (480 mL)
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • fresh cilantro, to garnish

3. Spicy tuna roll bowl

spicy tuna bowl
Image and recipe courtesy of Show Me The Yummy

This recipe looks so much fancier than it actually is. Give your regular, old tuna salad a pick-me-up with this Japanese-inspired tuna bowl. Since the quarantine started, chances are you haven’t gotten a sushi fix in a while―this recipe should do the trick. I’m almost 100% sure everyone has tuna cans lying around waiting to be used. This recipe is super customizable and can be used as a bowl with some rice and greens or even as a sandwich!

Here’s what you need:

Spicy Mayo Dressing

  • 1/4 cup olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Spicy Tuna Roll Bowl

  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 (5 oz) can of tuna
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Shredded carrots
  • Sliced avocado

Other Optional Toppings

  • Sesame seeds
  • Pickled ginger
  • Jalapeños
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • A drizzle of sesame oil

4. Cream of mushroom scalloped potatoes

Cheesy scalloped potatoes
Image and recipe courtesy of Spend With Pennies

Let’s be real, who doesn’t love potatoes? As we don’t have the luxury of going to the grocery store as often as we’re used to, potatoes are a great thing to stock up on. Creamed soups are something we all have, know, and love, but little did you know they can be used for much more than your average bowl? This recipe is perfect to give those cans a new life and use up potatoes that aren’t at their peak. To top it all off, it’s super easy.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 lbs yellow potatoes
  • 1 can cream of mushroom, chicken or celery soup
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

5. Black bean and corn quesadilla

Bean and corn quesadilla
Image and recipe courtesy of Tastes Better From Scratch

Who doesn’t love a good quesadilla? This easy quesadilla is the perfect addition to your recipe book. Despite being home, we’re still busy either working from home or attending online lectures. Luckily, this recipe can be made in no more than 10 minutes and uses up those can veggies that have been lingering in your pantry. Plus, it’s totally customizable so you can change the ingredients depending on what you have on hand!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 red bell pepper (or orange), chopped
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 heaping cup corn (canned or frozen-thawed)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (Monterrey jack, Colby jack, or cheddar)
  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • sour cream, for serving

Looking for more meals to make while self-isolating? Try out these 5 easy soup recipes!

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