Sometimes I wonder if it is possible to actually use everything in our pantry. The last 2 weeks we’ve been in Texas has been difficult as far as meals go. We’ve been working around what ingredients we have leftover to try and use up as much as possible. We had extra pasta, polenta, frozen peas, chicken stock, bread, eggs, etc. I think we’ve done a great job of actually using most of what we buy. A lot of that is thanks to Jay and his great butchering skills. We have saved a lot by always buying a whole chicken and using all of the parts, including the bones. But it’s a little more difficult when you buy ingredients for your pantry like rice vinegar and use it only for one recipe. Needless to say, we don’t know what else to use rice vinegar for, and it will be making the long trek back to Columbus with us.
Even more frustrating than trying to use less than one serving of leftover oats or spaghetti noodles is going shopping and planning for meals using ingredients that won’t put anything extra back into your pantry. It’s things like an 8 pack of hot dogs when buns only come in packs of 12 that are so annoying when we’re at the store (so you either have to eat a few hot dogs sans bun or make some PB&J hot dog buns). This recipe is funny to us, because when people find out Jay’s culinary background, they often ask me if he cooks for me every night or think that we’re making 5-course dinners and eating filet mignon seven days a week. We love good food. And we like ‘fancy’ food. But we aren’t above a quick-fix meal. Above all, we like simple foods and recipes. We like to be in the kitchen more than a lot of people, but some days we want something easy. We’ve opted for REALLY easy fixes this week like mac & cheese with tuna and left-over peas, and Jay’s childhood favorite “Ready Spaghetti” where you cook ground beef, add in some canned tomato sauce, an italian spice packet, and then cook the pasta in the tomato sauce (we added some leftover red wine and the last of our left-over peas, too).
My family’s go-to quick meal was often Seafood Nachos. We had Seafood Nachos on the day she had planned to have leftovers, but somehow there weren’t any and there wasn’t another meal lined up for that day. Seafood Nachos are an in-expensive, salty, and delicious meal. It is also fun because like make-your-own-tacos you can add whatever you like on top. I’m not sure where the idea came from, but we had this often growing up and we still do. My sister and I always lurked around the table snacking on the imitation crab before dinner-time, and I still love that stuff.
For this recipe you will need:
Cheese (any grated cheese will do, I like the ‘mexican blend’ but not the one that has mexican seasonings in the package)
Imitation Crab Meat, chopped
Plus any other toppings you like. We use:
Green Onions, chopped
Sour Cream, chopped
Layer Tortilla Chips, Cheese, and Seafood on a plate and microwave to melt cheese (or fill a cookie sheet and put under a broiler for a few minutes). Add any toppings you like and enjoy!