How to Stock A Kitchen: Must-Haves For Today's Pantry
How can you save time, money AND produce healthy meals for your family? Oline wellness community, InnerRewards, released a list of the must-haves for a healthy and budget-friendly pantry. The list was put together by culinary instructor Emily Dellas of San Francisco's First Class Cooking.
Must Haves For The Cupboard:
Canned beans -- Fast and easy vegetarian protein. Drain and rinse before serving. Use in soups, pasta, salads, or eat them on their own.
Canned tuna, canned salmon, sardines -- Provide a good source of protein and beneficial fats.
Lentils, split peas, barley, farro, wheatberries, and quinoa -- These protein-rich items cook quickly, do not require any advanced preparation, and serve as a neutral backdrop to a wide array of flavors.
Rolled oats -- Full of fiber, oats cook extremely quickly (about 5 minutes).
Pasta -- Stock both semolina Italian pastas and Asian rice noodles.
Canned tomatoes -- Ideal for making sauces.
Chicken or vegetable stock.
Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce -- A great way to add a smoky heat to dishes.
Nuts and raisins -- Store them in the freezer to extend their shelf life.
Bread crumbs -- Make your own by grinding leftover, dried bread in a food processor or blender.
Must Haves For The Fridge:
Capers, olives, anchovies -- These have a long shelf-life and deliver a delicious briny flavor to dishes.
Mustards, chutneys, horseradish -- Mix into salads or transition them into marinades and dressings.
Eggs -- This inexpensive, easy-to-cook, lean protein has a shelf life of about three weeks.
Fresh ginger -- Store this unpeeled in the fridge for up to four weeks.
Parmesan cheese -- This will last three months and can be grated as needed.
Must Haves For The Cabinet:
Onions, garlic, shallots -- Store in a cool dark place and they will last four to six weeks.
Potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash.
Must Haves For The Freezer:
Vegetables -- Flash-frozen vegetables are frozen right when they are picked, so they maintain much of their nutrients.
Must Have Sauces:
Oils -- Buy a cheap olive oil for sautéing and a bolder-tasting one for finishing, such as garlic infused olive oil. Also, buy a cooking oil with a high-smoke point. This includes canola, vegetable, grapeseed, or peanut oils.
Balsamic vinegar -- It's versatile and can be used in a wide array of dishes.
Light and white vinegars -- Keep a white wine, rice wine, or champagne vinegar on hand for when you wish to use a less-intense vinegar.
Sherry vinegar -- Bold enough to stand in dressings, but does not dominate a dish. Apple Cider vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar are also worth stocking.
Soy sauce -- Don't cook Asian food? Soy can cross cuisines as a wonderful flavoring.
Fish sauce, Siracha, curry paste, tamari, sesame oil.
Honey, molasses, maple syrup.
Must Have Spices:
A good starting point includes: chile pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry powder, garam masala, thyme, marjoram, paprika, Herbes de Provence and dried mustard.
Must Have Fresh Produce:
Fresh lemons, limes, oranges.
Fresh parsley or cilantro.
Broccoli or cauliflower.
Green beans or sugar snap peas.
Sweet-Tart apples, such as Pink Lady or Fuji, add perk to salads and can be cooked in savory dishes.
"The motto, 'Be prepared,' isn't just for Boy Scouts--it is a mantra for cooks who want to prepare nutritious and delicious meals at home. If you have the right foods in your kitchen, you are halfway there." - Emily Dellas, private chef, First Class Cooking.
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