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How to Spruce Up Pantry Items into Restaurant-Worthy Meals


Pantry items are relevant now more than ever. With sheltering in place and social distancing being a part of our new normal, we are left to get creative in our kitchens with many of our shelf stable items. Here are some tips to spruce up your pantry staples to feel like a restaurant-worthy meal!

Canned fish is your friend!

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With so many different canned fish options, it is likely that you have some in your pantry right now. Canned fish is great for meals because it is so versatile that it can be used across a wide variety of meals – such as salads, pastas and savory cakes!

Here is an easy recipe that is so delicious that you can make with whatever canned fish you have on hand!

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Tuna Cakes – Makes 6


10 oz Canned fish of your choice – drained

1/4 cup Green onions – thinly sliced

1 Large egg

2 tbsp Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs or almond flour

1 tbsp Italian Seasoning

1/4 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

Drain the fish. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix together by hand or with a fork. Once combined, form patties the size of your palm. Set you formed patties aside. Heat a large skillet with olive oil or avocado oil, swirling to coat the entire pan. Once the oil starts to bubble, lay your patties into the skillet. Cook until browned – about 3 minutes – and flip, cooking for an additional 3 minutes until the opposite side is browned.

Drizzle the cooked cakes with your choice of sauce and serve with your choice of side!

When in doubt, draw inspiration from your favorite food bloggers!

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Now more than ever, the food blogging community is helping to inspire your inner chef with a variety of delicious food options that include recipes for pantry staples. Check out The Defined Dish or Primal Gourmet for some great recipes that are easy to make and packed with flavor!

Presentation, Presentation, Presentation!

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Good Wine Good Food

Most chefs will say that presentation is just as vital an ingredient as the actual ingredients themselves. A way you can easily kick up an at-home meal is through investing a little more time into your presentation. Make the meal look like a meal you would want to post on your Facebook and Instagram. Draw inspiration from your favorite restaurants and plate away!

Presentation also matters in your table setting, attire and ambiance. Check out our article on 5 Tips to Make Dinner at Home Feel Special for ideas!

Grab a Bottle of Wine

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A restaurant-worthy pantry meal would not be complete without a beautiful bottle of wine! Get out some stemmed glasses and open a bottle. Try Morning Fog Chardonnay with our tuna cake recipe above or Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon with some spaghetti and meat sauce!