12 meals from the whole foods pantry

When you have a well-stocked pantry, the hardest part of a meal is often just coming up with recipe ideas.

Whether you are looking for vegetarian dinners, hearty meat main dishes, or even just a healthy lunch idea, these 12 recipes will put your whole foods pantry to good use.

If you are still looking for guidance on stocking your 2014 pantry, check out these posts to get started:

Now here are 12 meals to prepare and enjoy using those ingredients. Grab a pen and paper and make a menu plan for the week!

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Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup

I love the stretch of days between Christmas and the New Year. The holidays slow down again and there is a lot more time for relaxing and enjoying the family at home.

There is also a lot of time for eating and snacking . . . perhaps a little too much time! If you’ve already eaten as many candy canes and sweet rolls as I have this holiday season, this Creamy Broccoli Spinach Soup will help get you back on track.

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Coconut-Pecan Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes

This time of year we eat a lot of sweet potatoes at our house. Since the weather turned and the leaves started falling, we’ve been enjoying Sweet Potato Quinoa Tacos, Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili, and even a few Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes here and there.

We also normally include a Sweet Potato dish in our Thanksgiving meal line-up. We don’t, however, have a favorite family recipe that we rely on every year.

Thinking back on recent holidays, I’m noticing the tradition that is evolving is one that includes trying a new sweet potato recipe every year. Over the past few years we’ve tried everything from the classic casserole to sweet potato tamales.

coconut pecan sweet potatoes 2This year’s Thanksgiving menu is definitely going to include these Coconut-Pecan Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes. Not only are they delicious, they are also incredibly easy.

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Zucchini Apple Mini Muffins

This year has been the first year that I have been able to grow a really successful garden. I’ve tried many summers before, but the disappointingly meager results didn’t ever seem to justify all the time and effort spent on the garden.

This summer, I finally met with some garden success. My monster of a zucchini plant alone makes all the weeding and watering feel like time well spent. We are pulling one or two good sized zucchinis off the plant almost every single day. It is incredible!

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Mint and Melon Agua Fresca

I am learning a lot of things from the Brady Bunch re-enactment happening at my house this summer, but one thing I now know for certain is that blending drinks is surely easier than blending families. Both, however, make a hot summer day a lot more interesting.

The challenge for me this summer has been learning how to be a parent to kids that already have parents. It is as tricky as it sounds.

Parenting my own three girls along with my husband’s three kids is an intricate dance that requires a lot of fancy footwork to figure out when to compromise, when to give in, and when to hold true to what I think is best as a parent.

My new kids like sugar cereals and potato chips and boxed macaroni & cheese, but I like to shop at the farmer’s market. I now have two video game loving boys, though I haven’t owned a television (on purpose) for more than six years. Even my idea of a good time requires negotiation: Libraries vs. Movie Theaters.

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