Tip: pre-rinsing canned vegetables will reduce the sodium content by 30% or more.Canned salmon is great added to salads; I like to make salmon croquettes. The soft bones can be smashed into the mix for tons of calcium in addition to the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Canned sardines provide the same nutrients and you just can’t have Ceasar dressing without them. Canned tuna packed in water can usually be found on my shelves. I make tuna salad and tuna casserole with it. A few facts to consider: Together, beans and rice make a complete protein, meaning they provide all 9 essential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be obtained from eating foods that contain them. Stock up on dried and canned beans like chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto, and white beans. I mix black beans in a skillet with olive oil, garlic and 1 Tbsp of Italian seasoning. I spoon the seasoned beans over pre-cooked Basmati rice and have a very tasty, cheap, and healthy dinner! Try a vegetarian taco soup with loads of beans, tomatoes, herbs, and seasonings! Top with avocado slices, cilantro, low-fat sour cream or queso and you’ll be sure to please your quarantined crowd! Here’s an excerpt from one of my favorite books; it will give you a desire for beans you’ve never experienced before! How to Live Well Pistachios have recently joined the list of complete protein foods, making these crunchy nuts a popular replacement for meat. I roughly chop pistachios and sprinkle over pasta dishes. Sometimes I use pistachios in my pesto. Click this link for a great pistachio dressing. Nuts and seeds provide high-value plant protein. The combination of protein and fat can help control blood glucose. Peanut butter and other nut butters are another good protein source. Try almond butter on apple slices for potassium, magnesium, and healthy fats with complex carbs. PB sandwiches are often a win for picky eaters. Try almond butter and apples in a pita pocket! Extra points if the pita is whole grain! A good supply of whole grains like brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa, barley, whole grain breads, and crackers is a must! Whole grains provide fiber and complex carbohydrates for energy. Put oats on your staple list. Add them to smoothies and pancakes for iron and B vitamins. Canned tomatoes can be added to soups, used for salsa, and homemade pizzas for a boost of vitamin C and lycopene. Low-sodium stocks and sauces are always in my pantry. I add them to soups, rice, and pasta for added flavor. Popcorn kernels or “light” microwavable popcorn is always a crowd pleaser! Don’t ruin it by telling them that it’s a whole grain. I like to add a bit of nutritional yeast to mine for a cheesy flavor. Leave a comment letting me know what your pantry looks like since COVID-19 became a pandemic. Have you done anything differently to keep your family healthy?