I flew home early yesterday from a weekend camping trip (I had to work today, Jeff did not) and arrived home to a bare refrigerator, save for milk and condiments. It was blastedly hot (why, oh, why did I leave the pleasant high-60s of the Oregon Coast?) and I had zero intention of venturing out in search of sustenance.
Fortunately, I have a well-stocked pantry (and a tidy one, too, since about a month ago I had to remove and replace everything in order to ferret out the cause of a moth infestation…ick!). In a moment of inspiration, I grabbed:
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 can of chunked chicken breast
  • 1 can of white beans
I drained everything, rinsed the beans, chopped up the artichoke hearts and tossed them in a bowl like this:
Then I pulled a jar of pesto out of the fridge. I added some to the bowl mixed it around, tasted it and decided it needed a little bit of white wine vinegar for bite. And freshly ground pepper, of course. (I didn’t add salt, because the pesto was salty enough).
I piled some yet-to-bolt lettuce from the garden in a bowl, and tossed some of my concoction on top, along with a few kalamata olives from the fridge. And more black pepper.
Easy, no cooking required (I am still sans stove), and I have leftovers for probably two lunches! Other pantry ingredients I could have added include jarred roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes, but I decided to keep it simple. Tuna could easily substitute for the chicken. As a rule, I prefer fresh ingredients over canned/jarred, but coming home from a trip right before dinner in the middle of a heat wave is as good a reason as any to keep some shelf-stable ingredients at the ready!