I’ve always been one to have an easy meal on hand to just throw together when I hadn’t really planned anything else. I considered this to be a well-stocked kitchen. Actually, my “well-stocked kitchen” consisted of a box of spaghetti and a jar of pasta sauce and a few spices.
Now that we’ve been eating only real, unprocessed food, I have really become more conscious of what it means to have a well-stocked kitchen. All of the items on my list are ingredients that I want to make sure I always have on hand so I can throw together a delicious, healthy meal in a matter of minutes.
And to be completely honest, I was shocked at how much better our food tasted than the standard pre-packaged convenience meal AND it took the same amount of time to prepare AND cost about the same.
So I thought I would share with you my list of staple pantry/refrigerator/spice rack items that I always keep on hand to make my life easier and healthier (and to avoid the temptation to just have a pizza delivered or go out).
Here is what you would find in my house:
- Pasta – various whole-grain, soba and rice noodles (be sure to read the ingredients….you don’t want anything enriched)
- Rice – basmati, arbori, sushi, wild, texmati (Amazon has some great deals if you buy in quantity)
- Quinoa, oats, millet
- Lentils and dried, ready-to-eat bean mixes (great for slow cooker meals)
- Canned beans – black beans, chick peas, kidney beans, cannelloni beans, red beans (again, read the label to make sure they don’t contain anything you don’t want)
- Sun-dried tomatoes, canned whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste
- Sea salt or kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Dried spices – cumin, chili powder, coriander, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, saffron, ginger, paprika, turmeric, curry blend
- Dried herbs – basil, mint, dill, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage
Oils, Condiments, Flavorings
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Vinegars – balsamic, apple cider, red wine, rice wine, exotic flavors
- Naturally brewed soy sauce
- Coconut milk
- Teriyaki sauce
- Salsa (all natural)
- Real maple syrup
- Chicken or vegetable broth
- Marinara and other all-natural pasta sauces (another reminder to read the label)
- Canned wild-caught salmon
- Bags of various frozen vegetables – corn, green beans, broccoli (for times when the fresh produce doesn’t look that great)
- Whole wheat bread crumbs
- Frozen all-natural chicken breasts
- Frozen all-natural grass-fed beef
- Frozen fruits (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – when fresh is not available)
- Almond milk
- Dark chocolate bars
- Wine (I should say it’s for cooking but you can do what you want with it :))
Having these basic ingredients on hand allows me to whip up a quick and easy meal while still providing a healthy, budget-friendly meal for my family.
What other items do you consider to be staples of a well-stocked kitchen?