Having a fully stocked pantry means you’re able to make meals on the fly when you think you don’t have any food around. It also cuts down on grocery budgets (and the time you spend at the store). Below is a list of things I try to keep around at all times.
In case you’re curious, I like to store a lot of my grains and baking ingredients in Lock and Lock containers.
The Base for 90% of the Recipes in This Blog:
Onions (typically, I use yellow)
Extra virgin olive oil
Canola oil (neutral, and healthier than vegetable oil)
Toasted sesame oil (not great for cooking, but excellent for drizzling on the end of Asian dishes)
A misto/sprayer for oil comes in very handy, too.
Rice (short grain, medium or long grain, brown, and any other variety you like)
Couscous (I opt for whole wheat)
Whole wheat pasta in short and long shapes (brand rec: Bionaturae)
Enriched pasta (hey, sometimes you just want to indulge)
Barley and/or Farro
Quinoa and/or Bulgur
Rolled oats (you can always pulse them to make them “quick” oats)
Cornmeal (I typically use yellow)
Panko and/or plain breadcrumbs (you can always add seasoning to breadcrumbs, but you can’t remove it, which is why I buy plain)
Tomatoes (crushed, diced, paste, sauce)
Broth (chicken, beef, vegetable)
Beans (black, kidney, cannelini, garbanzo)
Lentils and/or split peas
Raisins, figs, or other dried fruits
Chipotles in adobo
Salsa (because sometimes, it’s easier)
Salad dressing (because sometimes, it’s easier)
Pure maple syrup
Unsweetened applesauce (great for healthifying baked goods when used in place of oil or butter)
Dijon mustard (great for salad dressings and marinades)
Sriracha and/or chili paste
Nuts and Nut Butters
I use/eat almonds and cashews relatively quickly. The rest get stored in the freezer.
Tahini (sesame seed paste)
Peanut butter (I use natural)
Too many to list, but choose a variety. Some examples:
Mediterranean/Middle Eastern: oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, allspice
Mexican: cumin, chili powder(s), cayenne
Asian: five spice, crushed red pepper
Baking: cinnamon, ginger, cloves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper make a big difference, in my opinion, too!
I like purchasing my spices locally at The Spice House, but you can purchase them online from there!
Whole wheat flour (keep it in the freezer)
Sugar (granulated, brown, confectioners)
Unsweetened cocoa powder
Chocolate bars and/or chips
Peeled/Deveined Raw Shrimp
Tortillas (corn, flour)
Ginger root (just peel and grate as you use it, and store the rest)
Wine (freeze it in small containers or a covered ice cube tray when you open a bottle and don’t use it all!)
Pesto (make a batch and freeze it in an ice cube tray before popping out the cubes and throwing them in a freezer bag)