December 28, 2018

Cooking Using Ingredients Already in Your Kitchen

Have you ever gotten home after a trip to the grocery store only to realize you are missing a crucial ingredient for dinner that night? Most can relate to the experience of the ever-growing shopping list and the problems it creates when even just one item ends up forgotten or missing in your kitchen. However, there are many simple dishes that can be created with common household food items. The following recipes can be modified based on your meat and veggie preferences and whatever is available in your pantry and fridge!



Whatever you add to rice, it’s going to soak up flavor and serves as a great base and starting place for any dish you serve. It can be made into a stir-fry, added to a soup, or eaten alone as a side dish. If you want to make your rice into a main course meal, all you need to do is pick your spices, add some butter or olive oil, add a meat of your choice and add your favorite vegetables.


Chicken Fried Rice

This dish is a simple classic, and can be modified to include more vegetables and meat. The choice is yours!



  • Chicken
  • Chicken broth
  • Olive oil
  • Brown or white rice
  • Onion
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt



Cook your rice in a rice cooker or pot using chicken broth instead of water for added richness. Dice and saute your onions in a pan with some olive oil. Chop up some chicken and begin to saute with your onions as you add your garlic powder and salt. Once your chicken is cooked, add your rice. The result is delicious and easily personalizable.



Pasta is one of the easiest types of food to personalize with whatever you have in your kitchen. There are many types of pasta to choose from. From spaghetti to macaroni, the choice is yours. Like rice, pasta is wonderful for absorbing flavor and is famous for pairing well with your favorite sauce.


Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo is known for its creamy sauce. It’s a nice break from the typical tomato-based sauce that is typically served with spaghetti noodles.



  • Your favorite pasta. Fettucini is typically used, but you can also use whatever pasta you have on hand.
  • Mushrooms
  • Mixed vegetables- your choice
  • Chicken
  • Milk
  • Alfredo sauce (can be substituted for a different sauce)



Boil your pasta al-dente with some salt for taste. Then, add your cubed chicken, mushrooms, veggies, sauce and milk to a saucepan and stir continuously until your chicken is cooked. Serve while warm over a plate of pasta.



Potatoes are known to be one of the most versatile foods available. We owe french fries, potato chips, mashed potatoes and hash browns to this wonderful food. If you prefer something healthier or sweeter, try sweet potatoes as a substitute. The best thing about potatoes is that they can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. For the purpose of simplicity, an easy dish has been chosen, but there are many routes that you can take potatoes!


Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Whatever level of cooking skill you may have, this last dish is something that anybody can make and it is a crowd-pleaser. This dish can be as simple as you want it to be, with just four ingredients if you don’t want to add anything else to it. Mashed potatoes can be used as an ingredient in other dishes such as shepherd's pie, so don’t worry if you have left-overs!



  • Your choice of potato
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt



  • Peel and boil your potatoes (some may prefer to leave the skin on, which is a good source of fiber)
  • With a masher or mixer, begin to mash your potatoes that have been softened from boiling.
  • As you mash, add your butter, milk and salt. Serve warm.


Simple and Efficient

Who says that simplicity isn’t delicious? Remember that you are the chef! If you don’t have an ingredient, you can most likely substitute it for something else, or even leave it out if it is something you feel you can go without. You may even end up making the dish taste even better. Lastly, when cooking with ingredients already in your kitchen, remember to keep your ingredients simple, your food fresh, and your mind open!

Having an open and inviting kitchen is important to the cooking process. Visit Britton Homes to see a selection of homes with elegant kitchen spaces.