I think we can all agree that a well-stocked pantry is a blessing. There is a lot of security in knowing that no matter what happens, you can at least feed your family. When it comes to versatility, you can’t beat rice, beans and lentils as pantry staples. These long-lasting foods can be prepared in countless ways and provide nourishment at a very low cost.
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I knew I had quite a few recipes using rice, beans or lentils as main ingredients and thought it would be helpful for me to put them all together in one post for easy access. I had no idea I had so many, though!
Keep a good stock of rice (white, brown, arborio), beans (black, red, pinto, etc.) and lentils in your pantry. Maintain a varied collection of herbs and spices. Stock a few things such as canned tomatoes, chicken or vegetable broth, salsa, canned or frozen veggies, onions and garlic and you are well on your way to making dozens of tasty meals.
Most of these recipes are vegetarian or use small amounts of meat for additional flavor. This is a huge help when money is tight or meat is in short supply. One little trick I sometimes use is to add a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke in place of meat.
Any dish is improved with adequate seasoning. Everyone’s tastes are different but in general you can’t go wrong with generous dashes of garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and my favorite – Tony’s Creole Seasoning. Taste often while cooking and keep adjusting the seasoning until it tastes just right to you.
Some of these recipes were on my old blog – Dee’s Kitchen – and really need to be updated. I’m going to start working through them, making the instructions clearer and adding better photos. But I went ahead and included them anyway because these are difficult times and we can all use some help in the kitchen. If you have any questions about these older recipes or need some clarification, feel free to email me or leave a comment. I’ll do my best to help.
Two Dozen Rice, Bean and Lentil Recipes
Several of these recipes call for tortillas. If you don’t have or can’t get them, they are pretty easy to make.
Other options include Indian flatbread. Here is the recipe I use:
Or bake a pan of cornbread:
True story about cornbread –
My dad was born in 1938 and grew up in rural Oklahoma. As young as 6 or 7 years old, he helped his family pick cotton. He was allowed to quit a little early each day so he could go inside and make the cornbread. Keep in mind, this was on a wood stove. Stories like that help keep things in perspective for me.