Spectacular Food Staples

Spectacular Food Staples

You can transform staples such as rice, potatoes, pasta and beans into amazing dishes. There are many recipes that utilize these wonderful staple foods that are inexpensive but are ideal food stretchers for family meals.


Rice is a wonderful food and can be used in endless dishes. Try adding rice to chicken burrito for an authentic taste.

Easy Tomato Spicy Rice

One of my favorite ways to spice up long-grain rice is to add a can of basil, garlic and oregano flavored diced tomatoes. I pour the can into the cooking rice and let the flavors merge with the rice as it cooks. This is a great addition to a baked chicken dinner or a nice change for a roast or steak dinner.

Stock up with several different types of spiced diced tomatoes to create your own amazing rice dishes, such as: 

  • Top rotel diced tomatoes and green chilies rice with cheese and sour cream and serve with roast pork.
  • Chili style diced tomatoes are great with beef or pork.
  • Green pepper and onion diced tomatoes pair nicely with sliced steak for a tasty salad or loaded potato.

Add Touch of Sauté

Another great way to spice up rice is to mix it with sautéed mushrooms, peppers, garlic and onions. A little beef broth or chicken broth makes it tastier for a chicken or beef meal. 


Potatoes are a reliable staple in modern times. This cheap tubular is very versatile. It can be roasted, fried, mashed, baked, or boiled. Potato skins are popular appetizers, potato salad and potato soup is a great comfort food. 

Roasted Potatoes

The deliciousness of roasted potatoes is a classic. You can add whatever spices you like. Cut potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) into cubes.

  • Place in a bowl and sprinkle with powdered rosemary, garlic, onion, and salt and pepper. If you enjoy a little heat to your food, add some red pepper flakes.
  • Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and mix well.
  • Pour bowl contents into a baking dish and cook at 350° for 30 minutes or until potatoes are browned.

Fried Potatoes

Making your own French fries is cheaper than buying frozen ones. You can control the size and shape. 

If you despise peeling potatoes, cut your fries with the skins on them into wedge sizes and once fried, sprinkle with a mixture of spices, such as a Cajun spice or Greek seasoning.

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are considered to be a comfort food. There are many ways you can dress-up this classic potato. These include:

  • Mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and topped with a dollop of sour cream are to die for! 
  • Once cooked, remove from range, add cream cheese and whole cream. Return to range and cook, until right consistency.
  • Mash boiled potatoes, add cream, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper and cook over range to mix thoroughly.

Twice Baked or Loaded Potatoes


Whether you prefer to bake potatoes in the microwave, oven or grill, you can load this popular way of cooking potatoes with all kinds of goodies. Either a twice baked or loaded baked potatoes will make any meal spectacular!

  • Load the baked potato with steamed broccoli, onion, cheddar cheese, chives and bacon. Top with sour cream for a classic take on a loaded potato.

Potato Soup

Potatoes (Russet are good choice), onions, carrots, chicken broth, butter, milk, salt and pepper. Garnishments include bacon, cheese and spring onions. Cooking Classy has one of the best potato soup recipes.

Potato Skins

The little potato continues to amaze with its seemingly limitless versatility. Potato skin appetizers are typically filled with melted cheese and topped with sour cream, bacon and green onions. 


Pasta is cheap and can be turned into any kind of amazing tasty dish. For example, Macaroni (elbow pasta) can become a cold salad with mayonnaise salad dressing, mustard, chopped onions, garden peas, chopped celery, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Spaghetti with pesto is easy peasy and delicious.

Dry Beans

Dry beans are cheap and healthy. Pinto beans cooked with smoked ham or ham hocks, onions and garlic can even be made into a soup. Add cornbread and you have a perfect rustic meal. If you don’t want ham hocks, you can substitute other smoked pork for a similar taste. Other dry beans such as navy, kidney, lima, etc are very cheap and have a long shelf life.

Versatile Staple Foods 

These staple foods are extremely versatile and can be used in combination or as side dishes with other foods. Be sure your pantry contains these and other staples to complement your family meals.

Photos: pexelswww.homejobsbymom.comalanagkelly, jeffereyw


AuthorSally Painter

"Everyone can have a beautiful home decor. It just takes a little creativity," says author and freelance writer Sally Painter. This former commercial and residential designer is also a Feng Shui practitioner and believes that, "Everything you choose to put in your home should resonate with you emotionally. If it doesn't - get rid of it!"