Incredible Store Cupboard Recipes – Mecca Blog

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We’ve all been there – you need to head to the shops but can’t
be bothered/ it’s too late/ it’s a Sunday and everything’s closed/ other very
important reasons for not going out. And before you know it, it’s dinner time
and a gaggle of hungry children and an increasingly hangry spouse are all
looking in your direction for nurturance and nourishment.

Well, don’t panic! Because we’ve come up with some utterly
delicious recipes you can put together using only the most common cupboard
staples.

For more invaluable information on feeding the hungry
household masses at a moment’s notice, read on.

1). Tuna Pasta Bake

Difficulty: Easy Peasy

Arguably the easiest and most satisfying-for-your-belly recipe in our list. Tuna pasta bake is a staple dish that can be thrown together with minimal time and effort required. And if you don’t already have these ingredients in your cupboards, then we’d suggested adding them to your next weekly shop, just as a favour to your future self!

Ingredients:

  • 500g rigatoni (or basically any kind of pasta)
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml double cream
  • 280g of sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 198g can of sweetcorn, drained
  • 3 x 120g cans of tuna, drained
  • Cheddar, parmesan or whatever you’ve got to
    grate!

Method:

To get started, heat your
hob on its highest setting and put a large saucepan of salted water on to boil.
Throw in your pasta and cook for about a minute less than recommended on the
packet.

While that takes care of
itself, start putting your sauce together. Simmer the tinned tomatoes in a pan
with some seasoning for about 5 minutes. Then pour in the cream, give it a stir
and simmer on a mid-heat for another 5ish minutes.

Once you’re happy with
the bite on your pasta, drain the water – but reserve a small amount for your sauce.
Done? Now pour your creamy tomato sauce over your pasta. Then throw in the
sundried toms if you’ve got ‘em, tuna and sweetcorn and give it a quick mix.

Then, just grab a large
baking dish and evenly distribute the delicious pasta mix. Spread whatever
cheese you’ve got in the fridge over the top and grill it for about 5 minutes,
or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

Quick, easy, delicious. We
love it and think you will too!

2). Spaghetti Puttanesca

Difficulty: Standard skills

This is a dish that really ticks all the boxes for us! It’s pasta-based – there’s a slight theme starting here – it’s delicious and it’s great if you’re on a budget or low on stock in your cupboards. Give this classic Italian dish a go. Here’s everything you’ll need:

 Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 5 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 120g pitted black olives
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 300g spaghetti
  • Small pinch of parsley chopped

Method:

To kick things off, start to heat your oil in a decent-size pan
over a medium heat. Whack in your diced onion along with a generous pinch of
salt and cook off for 10 minutes until they’re nice and soft. Add in the garlic,
maybe some chilli flakes in you’re feeling fiery, and cook for a further
minute.

This might be the most gratifying part of the process – it’s
guaranteed to make your kitchen smell sensational! Stir in the tomatoes, anchovies,
olives and capers with the onion, then bring it all to a gentle simmer and cook
for about 15 minutes. Remember to add a little seasoning to your own taste.

While you crack on with all that, bring a large pan of
salted water to the boil and throw in your spaghetti. Once it’s cooked to your
own preference on the al dente scale, drain and toss with the sauce and
parsley.

And bada bing! You’re ready to serve. This is a real family
favourite which can be ready in no time at all. Want our advice? Don’t skimp
out on some parmesan to top it all off!  

3). Beef & Broccoli Noodles  

Difficulty: Easy Peasy

This might be the ultimate mid-week meal! It’s quick, easy and can be made with some basic cupboard essentials. It really ticks all the boxes and could well become a regular favourite in your weekly dinner plans. Check out this awesome Asian-inspired dish:

Ingredients:

  • Egg noodles
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 400g beef cut into strips
  • Chopped spring onion

For the sauce:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb-sized knob ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Method

To say this is an easy dish might actually be an overstatement! We almost added a new difficulty to our ‘Mecca meals levels of difficulty’ – you could do this one blindfolded! (But obviously we’d advise you don’t). It will smell good and look amazing – like a dish way more complicated than it actually is!

First up is your sauce. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients listed above. Easy peasy!

Then, boil your noodles. No need to get fancy, just follow
the instructions on the packet. About a minute before you think they’ll be
ready, tip in your little broccoli florets.

To finish up, heat the oil in a wok or large pan on a high
heat. Then stir-fry the beef for 2-3 minutes until it’s well browned and
smelling good. Tip in your sauce, give it a little mix together and let it
simmer for a couple of minutes. Then turn off the heat.

Drain your noodles and then throw them in with your beef and
sauce. Make sure all the noodles get a fair scattering of sauce and other
goodness in the pan. Serve immediately! And you can top it off by chopping some
spring onion or even fresh chillies on top.

Bosh! Done.

4). Frozen Fruity Yoghurt

Difficulty: Easy Peasy  

Always got leftover fruit in the bowl and not sure what to
do with it? We’ve got a cunning solution to your bad banana woes! This fruity
little number is nutritious and delicious and is great for feeding hungry kids.
Get ready to give this simple and sensational recipe a whirl!

Ingredients:

  • 2 mugs Greek yoghurt
  • ½ banana
  • Loads of chopped soft fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – whatever you’ve got!)

Method:

This is a super simple recipe,
and whilst it doesn’t constitute a whole meal, it can be handy to throw
together to get rid of fruit on the turn or to keep your kids quiet (if only for
a brief moment)!

To start off, put the
yoghurt and banana into a blender and whiz them together until the mixture is
smooth. Grab yourself something like a rectangular baking tray and cover with
clingfilm. Then spread the mix into the dish, making sure you get even
coverage. Scatter your berries or any fruity odds and ends you want to include.
Press some into the mix and leave some on the surface for a bit of depth.

Then simply place it in
the freezer for at least 2 hours. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to use the
clingfilm you placed at the bottom of your tray to lift out your fruity frozen
mix.

To eat, just smash up
into shards in a bowl and enjoy!

5). Moroccan Chickpea Cakes

Difficulty: Standard skills

Chickpeas are often an unloved shelf staple, so if you’ve got a few jars gathering dust at the back of your cupboard, dig ‘em out and give this great recipe a go! It can take a little patience and time to perfect, but it’s one well worth putting some effort into.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400g can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 spring onions, chopped
  • 4tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 4tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • ½tsp ground cumin
  • ½tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3tbsp polenta

Method:

We’ve broken down this
awesome north-African dish into 3 simple steps. Time to show chickpeas some love!

Start by frying your
onion in oil for about 5 minutes until it’s softened. Throw in your garlic and
fry for a further minute. Then, in a food processor, whip together chickpeas
(drained and rinsed), spring onions, breadcrumbs, coriander, cumin, paprika and
a little salt and pepper for good measure. After a good whizz, it should turn
into a coarse paste.

Divide the mixture into about
16 portions. Make them into little balls, then flatten them out to make cakes.
Dip your uncooked chickpea cakes in 2tbsp polenta to coat them.

Heat the oil in a large
pan on a medium/ high heat. Once the pan is roasting hot, fry your cakes for
2-3 minutes per side. You might need to do a couple of batches.

And you’re done! To
serve, we’d recommend a bit of minty yoghurt – just made with mint sauce and
some Greek yoghurt if you’ve got any knocking around!

So, are you ready to give
some of these creative cupboard recipes a go? If you’ve got a family favourite
you love to throw together, let us know on Facebook, Instagram, or drop us a
comment below. The more pictures included the better! Happy eating.

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