Essential Store Cupboard Recipes for Self-isolation
Whether it’s because of illness, lack of transport, adverse weather conditions or needing to self-isolate, being stuck at home and unable to get to the shop can be really frustrating.
It can be especially difficult if you’re following a diet plan, but the truth is that there are loads of slimming friendly meals that you can make with just a few food cupboard (and fridge!) essentials!
We’ve put together a list of key ingredients that we like to make sure that we have on hand at all times, alongside some recipes that you can create with them!
(Psst! All of the recipes in this post either use store cupboard ingredients/longer life fridge items only, or can be adapted!)
The most important thing to remember is that it’s crucial to have a meal plan – especially if you know that you’re not going to be able to get out of the house in the near future.
This is essential for making sure that any fresh food with shorter shelf lives is used before it goes out of date.
A lot of different foods will actually last longer than you might expect and, remember, you can always freeze anything that’s approaching the end of its life!
In our opinion, the most important items in any food cupboard are the herbs and spices!
We have such a wide variety of these that there’s no way that we could possibly list them all, but some of our most used ones are: paprika, curry powder, turmeric, chilli powder and ground cumin.
We also like to have dried versions of oregano, coriander and garlic on hand, just in case!
It goes without saying that salt and pepper and low calorie cooking spray are also essential, as are things like white wine and balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce – anything that can add an extra flavour punch!
Another thing that we always make sure that we have plenty of is stock cubes and stock pots. We use these in so many of our dishes, including our Smoky Ham and Pasta Soup.
Next up in our food cupboard essentials is tinned and canned food.
We used chopped tomatoes in such a wide variety of dishes, and our Creamy Tomato Vodka Pasta is a great example of a recipe that can be made with store cupboard ingredients (if you can resist drinking all of the vodka first, that is!).
Other tinned essentials include chickpeas, lentils, beans, sweetcorn and – hear us out! – baked beans and mushy peas.
Those last two items may seem like strange additions, but trust us when we say that you can make the most delicious Mushy Pea Curry and Baked Bean Bolognese!
Now, admittedly those last two recipes do use beef mince and chicken, but this is where your meal planning comes into play!
Raw meat obviously won’t last as long in the fridge as some items and so it’s important that you either adapt these recipes to not include meat, place them at the start of your meal plan or freeze your meat in portions ready to defrost and use later on.
A great store cupboard replacement for minced meat is tinned lentils, a veggie friendly, long life item that is filling and slimming friendly.
Dried pasta, rice, granulated sweetener and flour are also all super essential (what’s the point in being stuck at home if we can’t indulge in some Chocolate Lava Mug Cakes?!), as are tomato puree, passata and oats.
Tomato puree and passata will help you to create a nice, rice and smooth tomato sauce and we love using oats to make recipes like our Bakewell Baked Oats for breakfast!
Whether you’re a lover or a hater, you can’t deny that our Marmite Pasta is super quick and easy to put together using just a few staple ingredients!
It’s absolutely perfect if you’re stuck at home, as is our Corned Beef Hash which takes just 4 – yes really! – ingredients to make, but tastes sooo good!
Finally, root veg. Root vegetables are absolutely perfect for this scenario as they can last for quite a while!
Potatoes, for example, will last for up to 2 weeks if you keep them in a cool, dark cupboard in your kitchen and both onions and garlic will last for a couple of months if stored in the same way.
There’s no end to the amount of slimming friendly meals that you can make with a few potatoes and some onions!
Our Bacon, Potato and Onion Bake is a true fan favourite, while our Patatas Bravas is like a Spanish hug in a bowl.
Now, although most root veg should be stored in a cool, dark place, carrots, beetroot and parsnips should all be kept in the fridge.
This will help to keep your parsnips and beetroots good for up to 2 weeks and your carrots good for 3 – 4 weeks.
We have so many tasty, root veg soup recipes that you’ll be spoiled for choice! Our Carrot and Coriander Soup is one of our absolute favourites, but our Carrot and Butter Bean Soup is a close second!
If you’re not a fan of carrot soup, then why not give our Curried Parsnip Soup or our Roasted Garlic and Beetroot Soup a go?
Although they aren’t root vegetables, peppers, mushrooms and spring onions are also great staples to have on hand.
Store them in the fridge and your mushrooms will last for up to 10 days, while peppers and spring onions will be good for up to 2 weeks!
You can use these in so many amazing dishes like our Garlic Mushroom Risotto or our Nando’s Spicy Rice.
We’ve touched on these briefly already (bacon, gammon and corned beef), but cured meats are fantastic to have on hand in your fridge.
Things like salami, pepperoni, pancetta and prosciutto all fall into this category, as does chorizo (Top tip: some sliced chorizo is delish when mixed into our Patatas Bravas!).
They last much longer than uncured meats which makes them perfect if you’re stuck in the house!
In terms of dairy, yoghurt, cheese and quark are all essential in our opinion. Quark will last for around 10 days, while cheese can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months depending on the type!
We use quark in sooo many of our recipes including our Spaghetti Carbonara and the same is also true of cheese!
In our opinion, too much cheese doesn’t exist and there’s nothing better than one of our Breakfast Bakes in the morning!
Last, but by no means least: Eggs! If stored in the fridge, eggs can last for between 3 – 5 weeks and we think that they’re essential to have on hand if you’re stuck at home.
They’re so versatile and they can be used to whip up our Crustless Quiche Lorraine, or – if you’re in the mood for a bit of a treat – our Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The freezer is your friend!
Don’t be afraid to use frozen fruit, vegetables or even fish! These are a great option if you’re going to be stuck at home and we use frozen veg regularly in lots of our recipes like our Lentil Curry.
Don’t forget that you can also freeze raw meat, bread and even butter to use at a later date, so make sure that you make the most of it!
Many of our recipes can also be frozen which means that if you have time to plan ahead and batch cook, you can ensure that your freezer is full of delicious, ready made meals!
Our Bolognese Risotto, Pea and Ham Soup and Chilli Pasta Bake all freeze really well!
If you know that you’re going to be stuck at home at some point in the future, then remember that the key is not to panic.
As you can see, there are plenty of delicious, slimming friendly recipes that you can make using essential ingredients from your food cupboard, fridge and freezer!
Need a little more help and support? Come over and join us on our Facebook Group! Our community is full of fantastic people who will all help to support you on your slimming journey – whether you’re stuck at home or not!