One way I make it easy to come up with dinner out of my pantry is to have a couple of “choose your own adventure” type recipes. This means – versatile recipes where you can interchange proteins, vegetables and the grain or pasta. You have a sauce or cooking liquid as the base and then just cook whatever you have in the house with that sauce.
For example, I make an Asian inspired sauce/vinagrette that can be used to (a) marinate shrimp to be cooked with broccoli and steamed rice (b) toss with leftover chicken, rice noodles and edamame (c) stir fry with beef, peas and brown rice (d) marinate tofu and toss with noodles, carrots and corn, and many more.
1 part rice wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/2 part soy sauce OR 1/2 part lemon juice (I use lemon juice instead of soy for shrimp)
grated ginger (I keep it in the freezer and just grate what I need) to your taste
olive oil to your taste
sugar to your taste (Tablespoon or 2)
salt and pepper to your taste
Recently I used this with some kielbasa, frozen broccoli and brown rice with an egg to attempt fried rice. I had left over kielbasa + brown rice so thought it would be a great way to use it up, since last time I made fried rice I made it with newly made rice and it was mushy. I researched online about keeping rice from getting mushy and most sites said to use leftover rice. Still mushy, but tasty. Anyone with tips on how to keep the rice from getting mushy?