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8 easy + tasty dinner recipes you can make out of canned goods

If all you have in your pantry is canned foods, we have you covered.

dinner recipes from canned goods

Canned goods get a bad reputation—but did you know eating canned foods can actually encourage you to eat more fruit and vegetables since they're so cost-effective for families? And now more than ever mamas are finding ways to cut back on food spending (and grocery shopping) while providing delicious meals for their family.

This entire process of social distancing and quarantine is hard, but we're here to help you rediscover the benefits and convenience of canned goods, mama.

Here are eight tasty recipes your entire family will love:

1. Tuna noodle casserole

Campbells

Serves: 4

Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms (or from the can)
  • 2 tbsp whole-wheat flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup mushroom broth
  • 3/4 cups lactose-free milk, such as Lactaid, plus more as needed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6- 8 oz egg noodles, cooked
  • 1 5 oz can tuna in water
  • 1/2 cup canned peas
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp breadcrumbs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in large frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir until well mixed. Add the broth and 1/2 cup of the milk and whisk continuously until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Put the cooked noodles, tuna, peas, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, remaining milk and mushroom sauce in a casserole dish. Mix well. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake uncovered in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste.

Recipe from TheDailyMeal.

2. Marinated beans with celery and ricotta salata

Serves: 8

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 15 oz cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, navy beans, and/or black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped thyme, plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 oz ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta), crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Toss beans, celery, oil, vinegar and 1 tbsp. thyme in a large bowl to combine. Season generously with salt.
  2. Just before serving, transfer beans to a shallow bowl and top with ricotta salata, pepper, and more thyme.
Recipe from Bonappetit.

3. White bean + spring vegetable stew

Serves: 8

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb dried large white beans (such as lima or gigante), soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 onion, trimmed, peeled, halved through core
  • 3 ribs celery, trimmed, halved
  • 1 oz dried shiitake mushrooms (about 10 large caps)
  • 8 sprigs parsley, plus ¾ cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • 1 head of garlic, halved, plus 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling, divided
  • 3/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 bunch medium-size asparagus (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 10 oz bag frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 thick slices country or sourdough bread
  • 1 4 inch piece fresh horseradish root, peeled
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°. Combine beans, onion, celery, mushrooms, parsley sprigs, halved head of garlic, 1 tbsp. salt, 3 tbsp. oil, and 2 quarts of water in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and transfer to the oven. Bake until beans are fully cooked, tender, and creamy through and through but as intact as humanly possible, about 1 hour, depending on the type, brand, and age of beans; start checking every 10 minutes after the first 45 minutes. (When checking beans for doneness, stir gently and taste at least 3 beans—it isn't finished until they're all tender!)
  2. Using tongs, fish out aromatics and discard. Season with salt.
  3. Under-seasoned beans are barely worth eating. Let sit on the stovetop, uncovered, until ready to serve.
  4. While beans are cooking, make your pistou and prep the vegetables and garnishes. Using your sharpest knife, finely chop mint and ¾ cup parsley leaves. (A dull knife will just mash your herbs and cause them to turn dark around the edges.) Transfer to a small bowl. Add 3/4 cup oil, grated garlic, and 1 tsp. salt and stir to combine; set pistou aside.
  5. Trim and wash radishes, then slice as thinly as possible into coins. Transfer radishes to a small bowl, cover with cold water, and chill until ready to use.
  6. Wash asparagus and trim woody stems by bending each spear near the cut end until you find the place where it wants to break naturally. Cut off tips, then cut each tip in half lengthwise. Slice now-tipless stalks crosswise into thin coins. Toss asparagus coins and tips and peas in a medium bowl; set aside.
  7. When you're almost ready to serve the stew, return beans to a gentle simmer over medium heat, taking care not to stir too much—you don't want to bust up those beans.
  8. Generously drizzle oil into a large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium until shimmering. Working in two batches, fry bread slices until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and transfer to a plate.
  9. When beans are simmering, add reserved asparagus and peas and cook, stirring gently, until asparagus coins are barely cooked but still bright green and crunchy, about 2 minutes.
  10. Drain reserved radishes. Place horseradish root on a plate with a microplane. Bring Dutch oven full of stew directly to the table. Serve with fried bread, pistou, radishes, lemon wedges, and horseradish alongside.

Recipe from Bonappetit.

4. Spam + pineapple skewers

Spam

Serves: 6

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the pineapple glaze:

  • 1 cup pineapple preserves
  • 2 tbspwhite wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

For the skewers:

  • 1 pineapple, peeled and cored, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 12 oz can of Spam, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Instructions:

For the pineapple glaze:

  1. To make the glaze, add all of the ingredients to a saucepan on medium until the mixture is warm; stirring occasionally.

For the skewers:

  1. Preheat your grill to medium heat.
  2. Add chunks of pineapple, Spam, and red onion to skewers, alternating until you get to the top of the skewer. Brush the finished skewers with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Grill the skewers for 10 minutes, brushing with pineapple glaze, making sure to turn occasionally so all sides can get grill marks.
Recipe from TheDailyMeal.

5. Chickpea curry with rice


Serves: 6

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 to 2 tbsp sriracha sauce
  • Naan bread, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook the basmati rice according to the package instructions.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are dark brown and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir to scrape up all the brown bits in the pan. Add the chickpeas, coconut milk, honey and a squirt of sriracha. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Warm the naan in the microwave. Serve the curry over the rice with the warmed naan. Garnish with the cilantro.

Recipe from FoodNetwork.

6. Quick + easy vegetable pot pie


Serves: 6

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) lentils, drained
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp quatre epices (French four spice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add vegetables and lentils; cook and stir until heated through, 3-5 minutes. Stir in flour until blended; gradually whisk in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Stir in mustard, French four spice and salt.
  2. Transfer to a greased 9 inch pie plate. Place pie crust over filling. Trim and cut slits on top. Brush with oil; sprinkle with parmesan.
  3. Bake until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe from TasteofHome.

7. Cream of turkey + wild rice soup


Serves: 6

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package long grain and wild rice mix
  • 2 cups diced cooked turkey
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Minced fresh parsley

Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion and mushrooms in butter until onion is tender. Add water, broth and rice mix with seasoning; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.
  2. Stir in turkey and cream and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe from TasteofHome.

8. Penne with spicy vodka tomato cream sauce


Serves: 8

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound uncooked penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 links sweet Italian sausage

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over moderate heat. Remove casing from sausage and add to skillet. Cook, breaking up the meat, until brown. Add garlic and red pepper and cook, stirring until garlic is golden brown.
  3. Add tomatoes and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add vodka and cream and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and add pasta, toss for 1 minute. Stir in fresh parsley and serve!
Recipe from AllRecipes.
From Your Site Articles

Why right now is the best time for a drivable getaway

Flexible schedules mean more vacation options. 🙌

Looking back now, last winter feels like a lifetime ago. At the time, my husband and I were eagerly planning our summer vacation just as we've done in years past. You know how the next part goes: COVID-19 came into the picture and changed our plans not only for vacationing, but for so much else in life.

In the time since then, we've gained a truly valuable new perspective on what matters—and realized we don't have to look so far to make beautiful memories with our kids. By exploring getaways within driving distance of our home, we've developed a new appreciation for the ability to "pack up the car and go."

Of course, that isn't to say that travel is the carefree adventure it once was. With COVID-19 still a very big part of the equation, we've become much more diligent about planning trips that allow for social distancing and exceed cleanliness standards. That's why we've exclusively turned to Vrbo, which helps us find nearby accommodations that meet our new criteria. Better yet?

Thanks to the money we've saved by skipping air travel and our remote-friendly work schedules, we're able to continue with the trips throughout the fall.

Here are a few more reasons we believe it's a great time for drivable getaways.

Flexible schedules allow us to mix work + play.

After months of lockdown, my family was definitely itching for a change of scenery as the summer began. By looking at drivable destinations with a fresh set of eyes—and some helpful accommodation-finding filters on Vrbo—we were able to find private houses that meet our needs. (Like comfortably fitting our family of five without anyone having to sleep on a pull-out couch!)

With space to spread out and feel like a home away from home, we quickly realized that we didn't need to limit our getaways to the weekends—instead we could take a "Flexcation," a trip that allows us to mix work and play. Thanks to the ability to work remotely and our kids' distance-learning schedule for the fall, we're planning a mid-week trip next month that will allow us to explore a new destination after clocking out for the day.

We’re embracing off-season deals.

With Labor Day no longer marking the end of our vacationing season, we're able to take advantage of nearby getaways that mark down their rates during the off season. For us in the Mountain West, that means visiting ski-town destinations when the leaves are falling rather than the snow. By saving money on that front, we're able to splurge a bit with our accommodations—so you can bet I search for houses that include a private hot tub for soaking in while enjoying the mountain views!

Vacationing is a way to give back.

If we've learned one thing this year, it's that life can change pretty quickly. That's given us a new appreciation for generous cancellation policies and transparent cleaning guidelines when booking trips. By seeing both of these things front and center in Vrbo listings along with reviews from fellow travelers, I feel confident when I hit the "book now" button.

Beyond that, I know that booking a trip through Vrbo isn't only a gift to my family. On the other side of the transaction, there are vacation home owners and property managers who appreciate the income during these uncertain times. What's more, taking getaways allows us to support our local economy—even if it's just by ordering new takeout food to enjoy from our home away from home.

While "looking ahead" doesn't feel as easy as it once did, I am confident that there will be a lot of drivable getaways in our future.

This article was sponsored by Vrbo. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

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Mama, all I see is you

A love letter from your baby.

Mama,

I can't see past you right now, I'm so small and everything's a little blurry.

All I see is you.

When you feel alone, like the walls are closing in, remember I'm here too. I know your world has changed and the days feel a little lonely. But they aren't lonely for me.

You are my everything.

When you feel like you don't know what you're doing, you're making it look easy to me. Even though we're still getting to know each other, you know me better than anyone.

I trust you.

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