The truth is that if I had all the time in the world, I’d love to shop daily for fresh ingredients. But who’s got time for that? No one I know…
However, I have learned that it’s still possible to cook a home-made meal. The secret is a well-stocked pantry. By stocking your kitchen with certain staples, you will always have the ability to cook up delicious meals.
Furthermore, when you do choose to stop at the store, you’ll be able to quickly pick up just one or two ingredients (i.e. a protein such as beef, chicken or fish and/or a fresh vegetable) and make a full dinner because your pantry will already have all the other ingredients you’ll need to pull off any number of recipes.
Below is a list of some of my pantry essentials. Note that many have very long shelf lives so it’s easy to buy ahead and keep them around for a long time.
Using just these ingredients, here are some of the dishes I can prepare:
• Spaghetti Carbonara
• Vegetarian Chili
• Mushroom Soup
• Nicoise Salad
• Spaghetti Pomodoro
• Rice Pilaf
• Tomato Soup
Please share: what else would you make with these ingredients?
Beans (I keep a variety of dried and canned)
Rice (and any other grains like Quinoa)
Pasta (I keep a variety)
Red wine vinegar
Whole black pepper for grinding
Dried Spices: my favorites include: Cayenne, Cumin, Oregano, Coriander, Paprika, Crushed Red Pepper
Bacon (store in the freezer)
Nuts (store in the freezer)
Fresh items that I use almost daily: