Make dinners from your well stocked pantry

Don't let a missed shopping trip mess up your whole week

This weekend, I went to New York City for a food photography and styling workshop.  While I had a blast visiting old friends and new restaurants (and learning to up my food photo game for you fine folks), I came home around 10pm last night.  I certainly maximized my travel time; however, there was no way I could get in my weekend grocery shopping trip, a step I've realized is so crucial to getting me to eat clean consistently.

So I thought I'd share with you what I do in this situation.  I've developed a couple of pantry recipes so I can pretty much make dinner from things I have around.  

You may have gotten my full pantry list from my Clean Eating Getting Started Guide, but here's a concentrated list of what's always in my pantry.

1. Some kind of legume, both canned and dried.  My favorites are chickpeas and french green lentils.

2. A canned or jarred tomato product like diced tomatoessun-dried tomatoes and even roasted red peppers.

3. Fresh but long-lasting foods like yellow onionsgarlic and lemons.

4. Nuts and seeds for crunch, protein and garnish.  I almost always have almondssesame seeds and hemp seeds.

5. Something green!  Ok this one definitely isn't in the pantry--and pretty hard to have around if you've been on vacation for like 2 weeks--but even just a little something green helps bring life to a pantry meal.  I usually have baby spinachkale or some kind of herb (usually cilantro or scallions).  Right now, I happen to have 2 zucchini leftover from last week.   

From just the items mentioned in this list, I'll be able to whip up one of my favorite comfort dishes: Chickpeas in Romesco Sauce (pictured above).  Onions, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and almonds make a textured, tangy sauce that coats the chickpeas.  Zucchini adds a little something fresh, but you could easily substitute any other green item like arugula or parsley or just leave it out.