Set yourself up for success by having a well-stocked pantry.
Let’s face it — life is hectic. With a family’s busy schedule, it’s crucial to keep key ingredients on hand for quick, healthy meals. A little prep up front can save time, money and calories. Set yourself up for success by having a well-stocked pantry. Here are the basics to keep on hand so it’s easy to make a healthy meal any time.
- Oils and condiments: Make sure to have staple cooking oils, particularly olive oil, coconut oil and condiments such as low-sodium soy sauce, honey, ketchup and mustard.
- Seasonings: Ever cut a corner on seasonings and it ruins the recipe? Always keep stocked with these and it won’t happen again:
- Salt and pepper
- Minced garlic
- Dried herbs: bay leaves, dill, sage, thyme, oregano, tarragon, Italian seasoning blend
- Spices: allspice, chili powder, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, ginger, dry mustard, nutmeg, paprika, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, turmeric
- Lemon and lime juice
- A seafood, chicken and beef rub
- Low-sodium taco seasoning
- Canned and dried goods: There’s nothing easier than throwing a few cans of this and a few cans of that in the crockpot with some chicken for an easy, yummy meal. Always have:
- Tomatoes (diced, crushed, etc.) and tomato paste
- Reduced sodium chicken, beef and vegetable broth
- Canned or dried beans and lentils
- Canned tuna, salmon and crab
- Grains: Whole wheat flour assorted whole wheat pastas, brown rice, quinoa, barley, rolled oats, whole wheat couscous, whole wheat tortillas and bread, plain dry breadcrumbs and/or panko bread crumbs (Store opened packages of flour and bread/tortillas in the refrigerator or freezer to prolong their freshness.)
- Nuts and dried fruit: There are many to choose from. Keep them around to add pizazz to salads, snacks, breakfast cereals and muffin recipes.
Now, add in your weekly produce, eggs, meat/seafood and dairy purchases, and there’s no meal you can’t do!