Making a Meal From Nothing


What if you couldn't make it to the grocery store for 10 days? What would you make for dinner?
This happened to us last winter...the first nine days were easy enough. We ate the groceries we purchased and on the 8th and 9th day we ate obvious leftovers but the 10th day became more of a challenge. I really had to take stock of what was in our fridge, freezer and pantry and be a little creative.

What I had in the fridge
½ cup of marinara sauce
1 cup of taco sauce
2 green peppers
½ a bunch of celery

What I had in the freezer
¼ cup of tomato paste
½ a can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of pureed pumpkin
1 chicken breast
2 Italian sausages

What I had in my pantry
1 ½ cups of rice
Vegetable oil

My challenge is to make this into a delicious meal my family will love and hopefully I can pull it off without them knowing I have included pumpkin. Don’t get me wrong my family likes pumpkin – in the form of pumpkin pie or pumpkin muffins. I honestly don’t know what kind of response I would get if they knew about the mystery ingredient. 

While cooking the rice, I thinly sliced the sausage and diced the chicken breast. In a frying pan with 2 tsp of vegetable oil I sauteed the sausage and chicken until browned and reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Drained the fat and set aside.

I diced the peppers, sliced the celery and chopped one large onion. In a large frying pan or stock pot heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil and saute the vegetables until fragrant and soft, about 5-6 minutes.

I then added in the marinara sauce, taco sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, pumpkin, and the cooked chicken and sausage. I mixed it all together and simmered on a low-medium heat until it was heated through. Then I added the cooked rice. This dish turned out delicious! 


Shannon, RD