Last night I forgot to take the meat out of the freezer to defrost, and I didn’t want to take the kids down to the store as it was pouring with rain today, so I was kinda stumped as to what i was going to cook for dinner. Inspired by a number of people on some of the message boards I am part of, I decided to shop my pantry and create a meal from the ingredients I had on hand. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the wonderful (if I do say so myself!) meal that I came up with. Not only was it delicious, but it was very healthy, and was a vegetarian meal that my DH actually enjoyed, which is no easy task given that he is a born carnivore.
Vegetarian Chili with Rice Pilaf
Saute 2 finely chopped brown onions and 6 cloves of garlic over medium heat in a non stick pan until translucent (about 3 minutes). Remove half of the onion and place in a medium saucepan and set aside. Add three tins of chopped tomatoes, 1 jar of salsa and 2 teaspoons of Mexican seasoning (or to taste). Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
Add 2 cans of beans (I used 1 can of red kidney beans, and 1 can of cannelini beans) as well as two roughly chopped green capsicums/peppers and half a bag of frozen corn kernels. Simmer for about 30 minutes until thickened.
Meanwhile, place saucepan with reserved onion over medium high heat and when starting to sizzle again, stir through 1 cup arborio rice. Cook for one minute. Add in half a cup of white wine and 4 cups of chicken stock/broth as well as two bay leaves, a teaspoon of tumeric and 1/2 teaspoon of Mexican seasoning. Simmer over very low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is cooked.
I served these with a dollop of lite sour cream, a sprinkling of grated cheese and some avocado salsa made from 1 chopped avocado, 1 chopped tomato (seeds removed), the juice of half a lime and a good shake of Tabasco sauce.
What great meals have you made from your pantry? I would love to hear all of your ideas!