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18 Feb

Smart Ingredient Pasta

Posted in 70 meals one trip to the store, Smart Ingredients, Win at Dinner on 18.02.12 by Smart Ingredients

Pasta is a Smart Ingredient in the 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store cookbook. It’s also one of the top 10 Smart ingredients in my house.

It is a great example of how shopping Smart adds up to more dinner success. Shopping Smart for Smart Ingredients means buying more of what adds up to dinner and less ingredients that you will only use for one recipe. We call these items “ingredient clutter”.

Once you understand your family’s Smart Ingredients you will never again struggle with not having things on hand you can make for dinner.

So why is pasta so Smart? For my family, pasta is a favorite main course, and also in many variations, a favorite side dish to round out almost any meal.

It can be made fresh and vegetarian with eggs as a Frittata, hearty with meat for a Baked Pasta Bolognese or Chicken Parmesan, creamy as a Fettuccine, Cajun Shrimp Pasta or a Homemade Mac and Cheese. Other favorites include Chickpea Olive Pasta Salad or Spicy Peanut Satay Noodles. Find these and other pasta recipes on the recipes area of our website. 

Knowing this, pasta is one of the things I will always make sure I have on hand. Since I know I will use it, I will dedicate much of my cabinet space to this Smart ingredient. Prices for pasta in my area range from $0.88/pound to $2.00/pound. When it’s on sale for under $1, I buy 10 packages. It is a beautiful thing to have cabinets that flow through Smart Ingredients, rather than cabinets that gather ingredient clutter that doesn’t add up to dinner success.

Dinner inspiration does not always need to come from completely new ingredients. Much greater dinner success comes from expanding on your family’s favorites within their themes. If you’ve been to one of our classes, you’ve heard me say this… easily change up your dinner menu from 3 or 4 “go-to” dishes to 20-30 just by expanding on family favorites. Anything in a tortilla (such as soft-shell tacos or Chicken Caesar Wraps), pizza and baked tilapia are a few of my family’s other favorites for dinner. I make these dishes often, but with different fillings, and different toppings, respectively. WIth just the basic ingredients from the 70 Meals, One Trip to the Store shopping list, that I always have on hand, there are more than 7 ways I can make each item. Combine that with the 7 different pasta dishes that I mentioned, and that’s 28 “go-to” recipes that my family loves that I can turn to any night of the year. And that’s just a start.

It really can be easy to win at dinner, just by changing the way you shop. Pay attention, and discover what are your family’s Smart Ingredients. Buy more of those, and less clutter, and just try not to have more dinner success, spend less at the store, and reduce stress at dinnertime… our bets are on you!


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