234 emails, 11 text messages, 3 voice mails, 3 meetings, a doctor’s appointment tomorrow. Sounds about right for most people. People that are too tired to cook when they get home. Well, there is something you should do to stay motivated to cook. We always need to keep a “Smart Pantry” In today’s age where technology has taken over our lives and everything seems to be “smart”, it is convenient and easy to keep a list of essential items. These will help you to keep focused, prepared and ditching the stack of take out menus.
Lets start with the basics. The spice rack should always be stocked. Not the thousands of spices that exists but the go to ones.
These are a must! There is also coriander, oregano, onion powder, basil, but the above ones are indispensable!
Lets continue with another set of basics, items that your kitchen should not be without.
tomato paste or sauce, (whichever you prefer using)
mustard (dijon, honey mustard, yellow) vinegar, (apple cider, balsamic, rice)
bottle of white wine,
canned beans (variety)
Olive and/or cooking oil (vegetable, corn)
These will become the base of any meal….
Now, lets make sure the fridge has what it needs as well.
Fresh vegetables (think salad! )
Cheese (mozzarella, parmesan)
Lemons & Limes
So far, we can already prepare easy spaghetti, salad with dressing, to name just two.
Lets make it a “complete” meal by adding what always should be in the freezer.
Ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken
Chicken cutlets and/or whole
Fish variety (cod, tilapia, salmon)
Ice cream (nah this one is just for YOU )
If we were to put items from this list together, we would have endless possibilities. Too many to count but remember those spaghetti? Throw in there some meatballs and wualahhh, dinner is ready.
Last but not least, remember that its your kitchen. If when you cook you find yourself using some items over and over….those items have become pantry staples in your home. If you have not yet figured out what those are, here is a tip on how to spot them:
While you are grocery shopping, if you find yourself saying “I still have some ____ at home”. That is a “Smart Pantry” item.
One last test!
Chicken cutlets thinly sliced, sprinkle with salt and pepper, dip into a mixture of lemon, olive oil and ground garlic, followed by a coat of bread crumbs. Bake and serve over rice…rice with a little salt, and oil cooked for 20-25 minutes.
Yeap! You guessed it. Everything from our “smart pantry” list.
So, next time you say I have nothing at home to cook after work, think again. What do you have in your pantry/fridge/freezer? You might have more than what you think and all you have to do is make sure at least the above mentioned are always handy!