Library Recipe Exchange

Pantry Purge contributed by Julie

Here’s something I make with mostly stuff I always have on hand – pantry purge.  I don’t know what to call it.  It’s kind of a vegetarian stew, I guess.

It’s mainly beans, tomatoes, corn, and sweet potatoes, but I use different combinations depending on what I have.

Last time I made it, this is what I used:

Plus 2 bags of frozen corn and 2 or 3 sweet potatoes cut into bite-size pieces.  I rinsed the beans to reduce the sodium a bit.  The fat-free refried beans are to add thickness.  You could use another can or two of beans and mash them up well before adding, if you prefer.  You could use squash instead of sweet potatoes.

You throw everything into a big pot, heat it up, and add whatever spices you like.  I used a bunch of cumin, and something spicy, probably chili powder.  If I had had medium enchilada sauce I could have used less of the chili powder.  Or if I didn’t have any I could have just used more tomatoes and more spice.  Very flexible.

The one thing I would do next time is to roast the sweet potato pieces first as they take forever to soften, whereas everything else just needs to heat up.

I had about 6 quarts when I was done.  I froze it in 1 1/2 cup portions.

When you heat it up, you can add all sorts of things if you like.  I always keep a bag of Trader Joe’s Grilled Chicken Strips in the freezer, so I add a few pieces of that if I want more protein.  I also like to add some cheese – Monterey Jack or cheddar, some fresh or dried cilantro, some crumbled tortilla chips, and maybe some salsa.