Meal Planning: Pantry Staples

Meal Planning: Pantry Staples

The importance of good pantry staples

     It’s always crucial to have good pantry staples on hand – this allows for quick and easy meal prep and ensures you have ingredients on hand for a last minute meal. Every time you go grocery shopping, take a quick inventory of your staples to see what you need to replenish. This also allows for quick and easy meals to be made last minute instead of having to eat out because ‘there’s nothing in the pantry/kitchen.’ You can customize your own list, here are just some suggestions based off of my own pantry and fridge:

Shelf-stable staples:

  • Whole grains:
    • Quinoa
    • Brown rice
    • Oats
    • Barley
    • Whole what pasta
    • Whole grain cereals
  • Good oils – olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, peanut oil
  • Nuts – pistachios, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, cashews
  • Legumes/beans – dried or canned – lentils, black beans, kidney beans, etc.
  • Canned/boxed tomatoes – diced, fire-roasted, whole, pureed
  • Canned tuna (chink light), canned salmon (wild-caught Alaskan – I prefer boneless/skinless)
  • Chicken broth/stock
  • Other ‘flavors’ – soy sauce, vinegars (balsamic, etc.),
  • Spices and herbs

Refrigerator staples:

  • Fresh fruits & veggies
  • Cheese – parmesan, feta, shredded cheeses, etc.
  • Greek yogurt – I like plain (& you can add your own flavors/fruits)
  • Milk/milk alternative (soy, almond, etc.)
  • Tofu/tempeh
  • Eggs
  • Meat (if plan to use in a couple of days)
  • Peanut/nut butters, tahini
  • Whole wheat tortillas, bread (I put my bread in the fridge because it lasts longer)
  • A 1lb box of prewashed salad greens, and a bag of shredded cabbage/cole-slaw mix are staples in my house for easy salads
  • Salad dressing – I prefer homemade vinaigrettes
  • Condiments

Freezer staples:

  • Frozen meats
  • Frozen fish (individually wrapped filets are quick to defrost and cook quickly)
  • Frozen ‘burgers’ – salmon burgers, turkey/beef burgers, veggie burgers, etc.
  • Whole wheat rolls – I put these in the freezer because we only use them occasionally
  • Frozen veggies
  • Frozen fruit/bananas – great for smoothies
  • Optional: I buy a big bottle of pesto from Costo if I don’t make it myself, and then freeze into 2-tablespoon size small containers for individual use. I also freeze leftover coconut milk if a recipe doesn’t use a whole can, and leftover chili peppers in adobo in freezer bags)

I recommend making a list (on a computer, app, etc.) that you can print off and keep in the kitchen – then every time you go to the grocery store you can double check to make sure you have all of the staples that you’ll need for the week!

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