We know it’s an incredibly challenging time. We know you’re sick of being at home, tired of living in germaphobic fear, and fed up with having to distance yourself from the things and people you love. Oh, and you’ve just about had it with washing your hands. We’re right there with you.

Our outlet? You guessed it: food. At La Española, we believe that food brings people together - through thick, thin and everything in between. We’ve managed to find peace in taking this extra time at home to cook, get creative in the kitchen, challenge ourselves with the ingredients we have, and share it with our loved ones. Even if sharing means through a screen.

So, our #stayathomewithlaespanola challenge to you is to do just that: we challenge you to use the pantry items in your house to create something amazing. Share it with your loved ones, whether they’re in the house with you, or on your FaceTime screen. 

To get you inspired for your next real or virtual dinner, here are some of our favorite pantry-friendly recipes, using ingredients you most likely already have at home.

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1. Vegetarian Chili

The beauty of this flavor-packed and hearty chili is that its ingredients are incredibly versatile. Feel free to use substitutions, or get inspired with your own rendition! In a big pot, saute some onions and garlic in olive oil. Then, cut and add whatever veggies you have handy, like peppers, potatoes and/or mushrooms. Add two cups of vegetable stock, and two to three cans of different varieties of beans (black, pinto, cannellini and garbanzo all work great). Next, add in a can of tomatoes (if you have it, fire roasted), and tomato paste. Then, spice it up with cumin, chili flakes, paprika, salt and pepper. Finally, squeeze in some lime to brighten the flavors.

Pro tip: to deepen the flavor of your chili, add one or a couple of our secret ingredients: dark chocolate, coffee and/or beer. 

This is a La Española original recipe.

2. Israeli Shakshuka

All you need to make this dish extraordinary is canned tomatoes, pepper, onion, garlic and eggs. Really, that’s it! In a large pan, just saute onions and pepper in La Española Classic Olive Oil , add in the garlic, and then toss in the canned tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and crack in your eggs. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about six minutes. Season with smoked paprika, cumin and salt to taste. Again, feel free to substitute the pepper out for any vegetable you might have handy. 

See full recipe at Downshiftology

3. Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, pasta and parmesan? Check, check and check. This dish couldn’t be simpler, yet more delicious. With such basic pantry staples as the shining ingredients, this is the perfect meal to share over a virtual dinner! This recipe is all about adding your simple ingredients at the right time. First, cook your pasta. Meanwhile, heat up the extra virgin olive oil  and infuse it with pepper. And in some cooked pasta water, stire, and add in your pasta to the sauce. Stir, add parmesan, stir, salt, and voila! Call up your loved ones and tell them that dinner is served. 

See full recipe at Gimme Some Oven

4. Healing Chicken and Rice Soup

In times like these, we all need a little bit of healing chicken soup. But this ain’t your grandma’s soup - with turmeric and ginger, it’s got a kick that will boost your immune system and leave you and your loved ones ready for anything (...as long as it’s at home). This pantry-friendly soup calls for rice, chicken stock, soy sauce, shallot or onion, ginger and turmeric (ground is fine), chicken, and last but not least, lime (if you don’t have fresh, bottled will suffice). 

See full recipe at Pinch of Yum

These are weird, unprecedented times. But we’ll get through it, and together. To join in on the #stayathomewithlaespanola community effort to keep ourselves thriving at home, post your pantry-inspired dish on Instagram with the hashtag #stayathomewithlaespanola.

We can’t wait to see what you’re cooking at home! What’s your favorite pantry-friendly recipe?