Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Search by Ingredient for Inspiration | Kitchen Economics

Do you ever have an odd ingredient that you're not sure what to do with? Do you have a kitchen full of ingredients and your not sure how to pull them together to make a meal? I found myself in that situation one Monday after my plans to head to the grocery store were disrupted by a sick child.

I had to regroup and figure out what we were going to eat for dinner that night. There was plenty of food in the refrigerator, freezer and pantry, but the items on my grocery list were things that I needed to pull my planned meals together. Ordering take-out crossed my mind, but instead I turned to the web for some ideas. I went to and typed in a few ingredients that I had on hand into the search box. When I typed sun-dried tomatoes, I found the recipe that inspired my Turkey Sausage, Arugula, and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta.

I didn't have the exact ingredients in the kitchen, but I was able to adapt the recipe and work with what I did have. The original recipe called for turkey cutlets, but I had turkey sausage on hand. It called for penne pasta, but I only had rigatoni. I did have the arugula on hand from our CSA, but spinach would have made a fine substitute. The dinner came together quickly even though I never made it to the grocery store. And that recipe has turned out to be one of our most favorite meals.

Next time you find yourself with ingredients and you're not sure what to do with them, head online and search by ingredient on sites like,, or even You just might find your family's new favorite meal and you'll be able to avoid calling for take-out.

Have you ever found yourself with a kitchen full of food, but no idea how to pull it all together? Where did you go for inspiration? Let us know in the comments.

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