Oh what to keep in the pantry. I can have a fridge and pantry full of food only to hear my 3 teenagers complain that there is no food in the house. What they really mean is that no one is currently preparing food for them. You gotta read between the lines!
This is true to some extent, and it is good to keep easy to eat foods around. I have always been a scratch cook with very few “prepared foods” in the house. I love to cook, and have always expected my children to cook as well. And they do to some extent. But we all have our “low energy” moments when we just feel like pulling and eating with very minimal effort. For times like this I keep staples in the house to whip up something quick. Like what though?
One thing that is easy to whip up with little effort is a quesadilla. I keep tortillas, fat free refried beans, and black beans on hand, as well as fresh salsa and cheese to whip one up. Easy, delicious, and minimal effort to prepare. And it can have loads of flavor and some good plant protein. But what else is there?
An omelet is easy to make quickly, and can also be flavor packed. When I make something like creamed spinach for a dinner vegetable, I use leftovers to fill an omelet. That can really be a nutritious colorful quick meal entree. Omelets are great for tossing in whatever you have a taste for. But what if the sweet tooth is rearing its ugly head?
A bowl of cereal is great when a little sweet nibbler is desired. But if that just won’t cut it, I turn to smoothies. For something sweet, yet still healthy I think this is a great and easy option. And super simple to make. Toss together some frozen fruit, an ripe banana, fresh orange juice, some yogurt and ice. Get that blender fired up and enjoy!
Simple things can also be put together with a few common items. Slice up an apple and spread a little peanut butter on it. Put some yogurt in a bowl, and toss on some fresh berries. Grab some saltines and slice up a little cheese to make a cheese and cracker sandwich. If something more complex is desired and to be able to whip something else up, however, means that you need to have some staples in the kitchen from which to create.
I keep lots of things on hand, my staples if you will. These items are on my regular grocery list that I try to always have on hand. This includes:
- a variety of cheeses
- cut up fruits and vegetables
- cans of vegetables, fruits and beans
- breakfast cereal
- a garden salad with cut up lettuce
- fresh juices
- peanut butter
- a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table (bananas, peaches, apples)