Although social distancing and COVID-19 have certainly come with their share of difficulties, many are using the time productively to pick up new hobbies and connect with friends and family. Many have turned to cooking and baking as a way to pass time in a productive way, but what about when you don’t have time to make that 5-course meal and clean up all those dishes?
Experienced or novice, every cook needs some quick pantry snacks to whip up when hunger pangs kick in and time is at a premium. Simple ingredients, easy preparation, and minimal effort—the following quick bites will make sure you can always easily enjoy a tasty morsel without the hassles of shopping and a lot of cleaning.
Ants on a Log
This classic favorite requires just three ingredients, a sharp knife for cutting celery, and a butter knife for spreading peanut butter. Wash and cut your celery into strips about one inch long. Spread some peanut butter down the groove in the center, and place a few raisins on top of the peanut butter, spaced evenly down the celery. For a twist, try using dried cranberries or blueberries, instead.
Slow-Cooker Spiced & Candied Nuts
Although they take two hours to cook, you can set them in a slow-cooker and forget about them after only 10–15 minutes of prep time. Outside your nuts of choice, the ingredients you might need are quite minimal, such as an egg, a little butter, spices, and sugar. Mixing and matching your favorite spices will help you mix it up and find your favorite variety.
You do not need many ingredients or much time to get started on this delectable delight. All you will need other than a bag of plain or salt-only popcorn is additional salt, ground black pepper, any spices you would like, and ½ cup of either olive oil or melted butter. The spice combinations and flavor profiles you can achieve are nearly endless, but for some tried-and-true favorites, try using rosemary, garlic powder and parmesan cheese, powdered ranch dipping sauce mix or cinnamon and sugar.
Bean salad is a simple staple that takes just 10-15 minutes, a few cans of beans, vegetables of choice, a handful of other pantry staples. Beans, onions, tomatoes, corn, green beans, and celery make for a great base. You can mix and match different vegetables with the beans, or try chopping some fresh parsley, cilantro or fennel and adding it to the mix. The dressing is equally simple—just toss together some oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. You can even add different spices or try different vinegars and oils to achieve your desired flavor.
If you’re looking for an easy bean salad recipe to get started, try this delicious three-bean salad.
Because we do not always have the time or energy for a full-scale production, it is very useful to have some simple recipes on-hand that use ingredients you likely already have. When it comes to food, sometimes simple is simply the best!