by Ellen Wilson
How many times have you opened the refrigerator and declared that there
is absolutely nothing to eat in the house? Probably far too often. MIX!
has created a list of items to keep on hand that provide the basics for
most recipes. However, before you head to the store, make sure to take
into account your own tastes; stock up on the items that you eat
regularly and not just our favorites. For each item, be sure to date it
before storing and then restock when you're running low.
Grains are a part of almost every meal and keep for along time.
However, since they can go rancid, it's a good idea to store your grains
in Mason jars or some other sort of tight container. Good grains are
various types of rice, pasta and beans. Try whole-wheat pasta and wild
or brown rice for healthier, heartier options. A great breakfast staple
to keep on hand is oatmeal, which can also be used in baking.
At the top of our list is onions, preferably yellow onions. Onions add
flavor to any dish and can be used in stir-fries, fajitas, on sandwiches
and with pasta. Add potatoes (especially sweet potatoes) to your list
for an easy meal of baked potatoes. Just be sure to store them in a
cool, dark place and use before they sprout. Canned vegetables are easy
additions to meals, so stock up on the vegetables you prefer, such as
tomatoes, black beans, artichoke hearts and corn.
Fresh fruit is your best choice but always try to have some canned or
dried fruit as well for when you can't make it to the store. Get fruits
canned in water or juice to lower the sugar additives. We stock up on
pineapple, pears, peaches, mandarin oranges and applesauce.
Oils and Sauces:
Olive oil. "Always have olive oil," could be our kitchen mantra. Use it
for cooking, baking, frying and drizzling over salad or pasta. Other
liquids frequently used in recipes are vegetable oil and vinegar (white
or balsamic). For added flavors, have other sauces like an Asian sauce,
pasta sauce or a marinating sauce.
If you're not much of a baker, don't overstock these items. However, if
you have these on hand, you'll always be ready for baking: flour, sugar
(white and brown), baking soda, baking powder, chocolate chips, and
Herbs and spices:
The must-haves, of course, are salt and pepper. We strongly suggest
fresh ground pepper and either sea salt or kosher salt. Your typical
table salt is great for baking, but for added flavor, try a coarser
salt. Other basic herbs and spices that are good to have around are
cinnamon, basil, rosemary, paprika, chili powder, oregano, red pepper
flakes, and any others that you frequently use in your own cooking.
Add other quick and easy-to-use items like soup, peanut butter, and any
item that you consume frequently. Keep your pantry filled and you'll
have no reason to say, "There's nothing to eat!"