Whether you have your own food pantry stocked with canned goods and grains, or you’ve had to visit a local food bank, you may be interested in finding quick, simple meals to make for your family that are nutritious. These recipes are recession recipes inspired by the types of foods commonly distributed by food banks, but they can be used by anyone who needs culinary help, or by families who simply need to save money on their food bill.
Pasta With Tuna and Peas
Elbow macaroni (whole grain is best)
1 can peas
1 can tuna fish
1 table spoon olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
For this money saving (and time saving) meal, all you need to do is cook the pasta, drain it, then put it back in the pot. Add the peas and tuna fish and warm it over a medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and salt to taste. Stir it well, serve it, and enjoy.
Canned Beef Stew Over Rice
1 8 oz can beef with juices
1 can peas
1 can sliced carrots
1/4 cup flour
2 cups rice
2 tablespoons butter
This recession inspired meal will require a little more preparation than some very simple meals, but it is relatively easy. First, cook the rice and set it aside.
Prepare the beef with juices to make a gravy by draining the juice from the beef and putting the beef aside. Keep the juice in a sauce pan and add the flour. Set the heat to medium high, whisking the flour and beef juice until it heats. Start to add the butter, all while whisking. You can slowly add a little flour to thicken the gravy.
When the gravy is done, add the beef, peas and carrots. Serve the meal over your cooked rice and enjoy.
Canned Pork and Dried Bean Stew
12 oz dried kidney beans
1 oz can pork with juices
1 red onion
1 green pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Begin this food pantry recipe by preparing the beans according to the package, then draining them and replacing them into the pot. Add about eight cups of water and boil them for over an hour or until they are tender. Drain them and set them aside.
In another frying pan, add the canned pork with juices, sliced red onion and sliced green pepper. When the vegetables are done cooking, add the mixture to the pot of beans, including the pork juices. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook them for another 10-15 minutes, bringing to a simmer.
Extra Tips for Food Bank Foods
1. Add a little spice to dry milk mixtures by adding a dab of vanilla to the mixture.
2. Add some fresh produce to canned mixtures, such as beef stew or soup to increase nutritional value (and taste).
3. Experiment with sauces, beans, and rices. Rice and beans is a nutritious, easy meal.
4. Use whole grain pastas as meal bases to increase nutritional value.
5. Replace hamburger meat with tuna in some pasta dishes.