The fridge was almost completely empty yesterday when I looked into it to figure out what to pack for lunch. It’s actually kind of insane how much food Matt and I go through in one weekend of eating every meal at home! At first, I was tempted to buy lunch at school. But then I reminded myself: be creative! How to pack lunch when the fridge is almost empty? Why, use the pantry of course 🙂 (and random odds and ends from the fridge!)
One of my very favorite pantry creations is super simple, nutritious, and delicious: beans and rice!
I started with a serving of whole grain 90 second microwave rice. Best invention ever.
Then, I topped it with a serving of canned black beans (drained and rinsed):
And a hefty pour of marinara sauce, plus a little grated gouda cheese that was hiding in the fridge. Yum!
Sorry for the blur — apparently I was excited.
To go on the side, I made a makeshift salad with the only produce left in the fridge — baby spinach and raw broccoli, topped with a little more grated smoked gouda 🙂
(Speaking of Gouda, Matt wants me to make a fANNEtastic t-shirt that says “Gouda makes it Greata” to counter my “Feta Makes It Betta” shirt, lol.)
Plus a little baggie of Newman’s Own organic balsamic vinaigrette!
I always like ending my meals with fruit for something sweet and refreshing — but my fruit bowl was sad and empty. I improvised with another pantry find — some unsweetened applesauce!
For an afternoon snack, I grabbed another item hiding in the pantry — a random Kashi crunchy granola bar. Love the pumpkin spice flavor 🙂
All ready to go!
(I remembered to pack a fork for the salad/rice & beans, but not a spoon for the applesauce. Fail.)
I also brought along my travel mug with a packet of tea, which I’ve been doing almost every day this semester! Just add (free) hot water 🙂 This is my #1 tip for saving money — travel with your own coffee or tea!
The only time this won’t work is when it starts getting warmer out and I want iced tea instead 😉
I’m off to school — have a wonderful day!
p.s. Check out my guest post over on the Attune Foods blog! This month’s theme was writing about what the phrase “What Matters Most is What’s Inside” means to us. It took me a long time to decide what to write about, so please go see I came up with 🙂
p.p.s. Look at the super cute grab button my awesome graphic designer Bailey made for me!! I’m adding it to my sidebar as a fun thing for you guys to “grab” to put on your own blogs if you want 🙂 Hehe. If any of you grab it it will make my day — please let me know if you do! All you have to do is copy the html in the box below and paste it into one of your sidebar html widgets.
Okay, now I’m really off to class. Have a good one!