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Creative Pantry Staples

If you’re like me, being at home for the past month has meant cooking more than usual—but it has also meant utilizing what I have on hand. I prepared all of this month’s recipes with ingredients I already had in my refrigerator, freezer or pantry.

Creative Pantry Staples

Southwest Pork and Rice Bake

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Serves 8 to 10
Southwest Pork and Rice Bake

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups cooked rice (1 1/2 cups dry rice)
16 ounces processed cheese spread, such as Velveeta
2 10-ounce cans cream of mushroom soup, or 1 family-size can
2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, such as Rotel, drained
12-ounces frozen corn, or 1 can, drained
4 cups cooked, shredded pork (such as pork shoulder)*
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Tortilla chips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread cooked rice evenly in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cut the Velveeta into 1-inch cubes and place them into a large, microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Stir in the soup, the tomatoes, the corn and the pork. Spread the pork mixture over the rice. Top with shredded cheese. Crush a few handfuls of tortilla chips and sprinkle over top of the casserole. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly. *Note: I had previously cooked a whole pork shoulder, shredded it, and frozen it in portions sized for my family’s needs. Feel free to substitute shredded chicken.

 




Peggy's Orange Creamsicle Pie (reduced sugar)

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Serves 8
Peggy's Orange Creamsicle Pie (reduced sugar)

Ingredients

3-ounce box sugar free orange gelatin
1 to 1.5-ounce box sugar free vanilla instant pudding
8-ounce container sugar free whipped topping
9 to 10-inch prepared graham cracker crust
Sugar free mandarin oranges, for garnish

Directions

In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, boil 1 cup of water. Add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves. Stir in 1/2 cup of cold water. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Stir in the (unprepared) powdered pudding mix. Fold in the cool whip and mix gently until combined. Transfer filling to the graham cracker crust. Chill until serving. If desired, garnish with mandarin oranges.

 




BBQ Chicken-Bacon Biscuit Casserole

Serves 6 to 8
BBQ Chicken-Bacon Biscuit Casserole

Ingredients

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup barbecue sauce
8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup bacon crumbles
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (about 1 large breast)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 can refrigerated biscuit dough*
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to brown. Reduce heat and continue cooking until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the caramelized onions to a medium bowl. Stir in the barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, bacon, chicken, oregano and garlic powder. Open the biscuits and cut them into approximately 1/2-inch pieces (a pizza cutter works great for this). Place the biscuit pieces into the prepared baking dish. Spread the sauce mixture over the biscuits. Top with the cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot. This dish is best the first day. *Note: Feel free to substitute homemade biscuit dough; roll it out into a rectangle and use a pizza cutter to cut it into small pieces.




Creamy Cracker Chicken

Serves 4 to 6
Creamy Cracker Chicken

Ingredients

4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (about 2 breasts)
10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup butter
3 cups cracker crumbs (about 2 sleeves Ritz crackers)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, soup, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder and 2 teaspoons of the parsley; mix well. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Stir in the cracker crumbs, parmesan cheese and the remaining teaspoon of parsley and mix well. Transfer the chicken mixture to a 9-inch-round baking dish or an 8-by-8-inch square dish. Sprinkle the crackers evenly over top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.




Chili Cornbread Skillet

Serves 6 to 8
Chili Cornbread Skillet

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
28 ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes
15-ounce can pinto beans (or 3/4 cup dry beans, cooked)
2 8-ounce boxes cornbread mix, such as Jiffy
Milk and eggs for the cornbread mix
2 jalapeño peppers, cut into rounds

Directions

In a large pot, cook the ground beef with the onion, green pepper, jalapeño, salt and pepper over medium to medium-high heat until browned; drain excess grease. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic powder. Cook 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and beans. Fill the 28-ounce can with water and add it to the pot; mix. Bring chili to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer while preparing the cornbread mix according to package instructions. Transfer chili to a large, deep skillet or baking dish. Spoon cornbread mix on top of chili and spread to cover the chili completely. Place jalapeño rounds on top of cornbread, arranging them evenly across the top. Bake in a 400°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Serve with cheese and sour cream.