33 "Meals" You Can Make Even When You Have No Food at Home

Accidentally delicious meals made out of total desperation.

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When you're hungry, it's basically death to stare into your fridge and find a barren wasteland there instead of the food you were hoping for. But starvation combined with limited resources can breed creativity — or at least make the hot sauce sitting in the corner suddenly seem very enticing. As long as you've got something, you can get out of this dire scenario alive.

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1. ...and an apple. Take slices of apple and dip them in nut butter.

2. ...and noodles and hot sauce. Toss cooked pasta with melted peanut butter. Top with some hot sauce and you've got easy peanut noodles.

3. ...and crackers. Spread nut butter on saltines (especially if you are a third-grader at heart).

4. ...and Greek yogurt. Have nut butter with Greek yogurt and you've got protein on protein, plus lots of creamy things coating the inside of your mouth.

5. ...and bread and cheese. Spread nut butter on a slice of bread, add a slice of cheese, top with another slice of bread, and you've got yourself some nut butter and grilled cheese goodness.

6. ...and a banana. Spread nut butter on slices of banana for a cute and easy snack.

7. ...and honey. Add honey to your nut butter and call it dessert.

8. ...and a spoon. Crack open a jar of Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Spread and get lost in a chocolaty, nutty dream.

9. ...and milk, a banana, and cinnamon. Blend nut butter with milk, a banana, and some cinnamon for a breakfast (or any meal of the day) smoothie.

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10. ...and chips. Grate some of that cheese over chips. Put it in the microwave, and hello, nachos.

11. ...and a tortilla. Put cheese on top of a tortilla, fold that in half, put it in the microwave, and what do you have? A quesadilla, my friend.

12. ...and bread. You have cheese and you have bread? What can't you do with cheese and bread? Make a grilled cheese sandwich, a regular cheese sandwich, cheesy bread. Go crazy.

13. ...and an apple. Cut that shit up nicely and pretend you're having hors d'oeuvres.

14. ...and an English muffin and tomato sauce. Top one half of an English muffin with tomato sauce and cheese. Pop it in the microwave for an English muffin pizza.

15. ...and an English muffin, salsa, and sour cream. Microwave cheese on top of an English muffin half, then add salsa and sour cream for a Mexican pizza.

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16. ...and cheese. Make cheesy scrambled eggs or a cheesy omelet.

17. ...and parmesan cheese and noodles. Mix a raw egg and tons of grated parmesan cheese into just-cooked spaghetti for a low-rent version of spaghetti carbonara.

18. ...and a tortilla and hot sauce. Add scrambled eggs to your tortilla, top with hot sauce, and enjoy your breakfast taco of champions.

19. ...and rice and soy sauce. Top cooked rice with a fried egg and soy sauce (add sesame oil if you have that too). Mix it up and eat!

20. ...and tomato sauce. Heat the sauce in a pan, add chopped garlic and onion if you have it, get it hot, crack two eggs into the pan, and cover. Meet your new favorite: shakshuka!

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21. ...and parmesan cheese and black pepper. Add grated parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper to cooked noodles for easy cacio e pepe.

22. ...and olive oil and garlic. Mix it up with pasta. Exclaim, "Aglio e olio!" as you eat it.

23. ...and butter. Whisk butter into some of your pasta water, add salt and pepper, and you've got a simple pasta sauce to go with your noodles.

24. ...and an egg and a tomato. It's fun to do this with a packet of instant noodles. Dice up your tomato and whisk your egg into the hot noodle broth.

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25. ...and pasta. Throw avocado in a blender with pasta water and olive oil, plus salt and pepper, for a super-quick pasta sauce.

26. ...and rice and an egg. Fry up that egg, slice your avocado, put it all on top of rice, and you've got a cool little bowl.

27. ...and bread. Avocado toast! Feel free to embellish with red pepper flakes, lemon or lime, salt, and olive oil if you have it.

28. ...and a tomato, bacon, and bread. Make yourself a badass sandwich.

29. ...and vinegar. Any kind of vinegar works!

30. ...and a spoon. An avocado all by itself is pretty much a perfect meal anyway.

31. ...and an egg. Fit an egg into an avocado hole and put that in a 425-degree oven for 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

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32. Spread mayonnaise and hot sauce on toast. Tastes better than it sounds.

33. Put half a cup of ranch, half a cup of Frank's RedHot, three heaping spoons of cream cheese, and lots of shredded cheese into a bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds for the most disgustingly delicious dip you've ever had.


Helin Jung is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. She was formerly the executive lifestyle editor of Cosmopolitan.com.