I like to keep cooked brown rice and beans on hand for busy weeknight meals. A quick sauté with onion and or garlic, some herbs and spices, and some fresh spinach, chard, or other vegetable, and I can usually have dinner on the table in about 15 minutes.
Last night my easy go-to meal took a different turn. I had planned to make brown rice with white beans and roasted asparagus. I no sooner got the oven preheating and the asparagus prepped for roasting when I realized I was out of cooked rice. It was then I remembered that I had some shelf-stable gnocchi in the pantry that my supermarket just started carrying. In addition to coming in a package that needs no refrigeration, the gnocchi is vegan and cooks up in about 3 minutes — (an ideal inclusion for my Vegan Unplugged pantry!)
Since pairing white beans with the white gnocchi would look too much like a hailstorm, I opted for slicing up two vegan sausage links instead. While the asparagus roasted, I boiled the gnocchi and sautéed the sausage in olive oil with loads of minced garlic and red pepper flakes. After draining the gnocchi and taking the asparagus out of the oven, I combined it all in the skillet with the sausage and garlic, tossing gently to combine. It was a fabulous meal that was on the table in about 18 minutes. Best of all, I now have a new favorite pantry ingredient to keep on hand.