healthy eating

The well stocked pantry

pantry

A well stocked pantry can mean the difference between pulling together a last minute dinner or having to dine out. Cooking most of our meals from scratch for the last four years or so has taught me what I need to keep on hand. My pantry is always stocked with these 20 staples…

  1. Tomato sauce on hand can mean dinner in minutes. Turn a loaf of bread into pizza bread. Or the obvious pasta dinner. It delivers serious flavor to a pot of chili or some soups.
  2. Pasta. See above. Pasta is my backup for those night when I just can’t come up with another dinner plan.
  3. Dried beans go a long way and make frequent appearances in our house. They last a long time and can be turned into a main feature for dinner with a few simple ingredients.
  4. Tomato paste packs a punch of flavor. I like to use it in soups, bean ragout, and anything else where I’m looking for that concentrated tomato taste. I usually keep 2 in my pantry.
  5. Olive oil is used daily in our house so our pantry always has a backup bottle. I buy high quality olive oil because of it’s health benefits and Bariani https://www.barianioliveoil.com is one of our favorites.
  6. Vinegar is a staple we can’t live without. Our pantry has a variety including apple cider vinegar, aged balsamic, white balsamic, and rice vinegar. Who needs store bought salad dressing when you have oil and vinegar?
  7. Mustard goes beyond sandwiches and hot dogs. A good dijon jazzes up dressing or makes a nice accompaniment on a cheese plate. We usually have yellow, dijon and whole grain in our pantry.
  8. Coconut oil has been touted for its health benefits lately so its popularity is increasing. We use it in hot cereal, fried rice, and smoothies, to name a few favorites.
  9. Smoked paprika is my current favorite spice. I only discovered it a few years ago. It’s so good in slow cooked black beans or my favorite rice casserole.
  10. Cumin is my second favorite spice, especially for beans and the Mexican meals we tend to make weekly.
  11. Rice can turn a a bunch of veggies and a protein into a quick weeknight dinner. I keep wild rice and short grain brown rice stocked. Leftover rice makes a great savory breakfast.
  12. Potatoes love cool, dark places so the pantry is where ours live. Both yukon and sweet potatoes are in stock in our house.
  13. Onions can give any dish more flavor so we’ve always got 3 or 4 in back stock here.
  14. Garlic is a can’t live without staple for us. Our garden supplies us for most of the year and the pantry is stocked from the store when we run out.
  15. Coconut milk turns our usual fried rice into something a little more interesting and it’s delicious in smoothies. I keep a couple cans of the full fat variety on hand.
  16. Curry powder is a great partner for the coconut milk in our fried rice. While you could mix your own curry, I buy a premixed powder that works just as well.
  17. Soy sauce brings life to rice, eggs, soups, you name it. I hate to run out of soy sauce.
  18. Vegetable or chicken stock for those days when you can’t make your own. Soups come together in no time and taste better the next day as leftovers.
  19. Salt & pepper. No explanation needed.
  20. All purpose flour turns milk and cheese into a white sauce for pasta, soup, or an awesome dip.

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