On Cooking Through Your Pantry: Using Up Odds and Ends

It's getting to be that time of the year where I feel uninspired in the kitchen. Short a bright and tasty clementine here and there, my freezer and pantry are pretty dull. But then, in an effort to do some early spring cleaning, I started on a project to cook through all the half bags of couscous, sun-dried tomatoes, and cans of beans. And, you know what? It's pretty fun!

Last night I pulled together a dinner of Trader Joe's Giant White Beans and couscous. The night before I dug a frozen chicken breast out of the freezer and baked it with a honey mustard glaze, served alongside rice made with a fragrant spice mix from the back of my spice drawer.

Limiting myself to what's strictly in my pantry and freezer sounded awful at first. But looking through a few impulse buys (fig balsamic vinegar, Thai ginger salt, etc) made me realize I have a lot to work with.

How do you handle cooking from the pantry?

Related: Tips: How To Stop Wasting Food

(Images: Stephanie Barlow)