Recipes Using Food Pantry Foods and Commodities



These recipes have been written with the intention of being able to cook them on foods obtained through food assistance programs. While not all of the ingredients may be obtained through various food programs the bulk of the ingredients will.

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All Day Stew

A tomato-based liquid (tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato juice, or V-8, etc.) / meat or meat broth (pork, chicken, or beef) / a starch (potatoes, rice or pasta) / vegetables (green beans, corn, peas, onions, carrots) / and seasoning (salt and pepper)

Directions: In a tall stock pot add the tomato based liquid, the meat or broth, all the vegetables, and the seasoning. If using potatoes or rice as your starch you should add them at this time as well. (If using pasta, see note below.) Heat on medium heat.  Simmer for several hours. (If using pasta, add dry pasta to simmering stew about 20 minutes before serving.) You can always experiment with stews. It is nice to use fresh vegetables but if you have canned vegetables on hand add the whole can with the liquid. This vegetable broth will add additional flavor to your stew. Fresh celery is also a nice addition to a stew. Fresh or dry herbs and spices of your preferences will also enhance the flavor and add a bit of variety. Think of other ingredients you may prefer and try those as well. You can't go wrong with a stew!

Chicken Or Beef Rice

 Butter / Dry rice / broth (chicken or beef) / seasoning preference (salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, etc.) / optional vegetables (corn, carrots, peas, etc.)

Directions: Measure the number of servings of rice you will need to feed your family and set aside. If using vegetables, drain the vegetable liquid and add the liquid to the meat broth and set aside. In a heavy skillet melt enough butter to coat the dry rice and then stir in the rice. Add more butter if needed. Add seasoning. Continue stirring on medium heat until rice is slightly browned. Add vegetables, if desired. Then add the broth mixture plus enough water to equal twice the volume of rice used. (For example, if you used 2 cups of rice, add 4 cups of the broth-water mixture.) Cover with a lid and continue cooking over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. You may occasionally remove the lid to stir and check if rice is tender. Note: If using brown whole rice the cooking time will almost double.

Mary Harris’ Easy Casserole             

1 lb. ground beef or turkey / 1 small onion, chopped (optional) / 1 tsp. minced garlic or tsp. garlic powder / Salt and pepper to taste / 1- 16 oz. can red kidney beans / 2 cups cooked white or brown rice / 1 small bunch fresh parsley leaves, chopped / 1 small bunch spring onions, chopped (just the green parts)

Directions: Brown the meat, onion, and garlic.  Drain the fat when the meat has cooked.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil a 2.5L Pyrex bowl.  Spoon the 2 cups of cooked rice into the bowl, then layer beans on top of rice, meat on top of beans.  Top with the chopped parsley and onions. Cover with foil and cook 20-30 minutes.  Serve with Tabasco sauce or salsa.

Mary Harris is a longtime hunger activist and RAIN Team volunteer.  She recommends this recipe because it is simple, tasty, and fast, and all of the ingredients are available with WIC coupons.