These days when it comes to meals, my priorities are that they be:
- easy to prepare
- somewhat tasty (a foodie, I am not)
In light of these requirements, I have my grocery shopping and meal prep down to a pretty simple science. The majority of my weekly shopping consists of fresh produce but sometimes life gets in the way and you find yourself with an empty fridge.
In addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, here are some basic staples I keep in the pantry or freezer to make sure I can come up with a quick and nutritious meal anytime – even if I haven’t been able to grocery shop in a few days.
In the Freezer:
- Trader Joe’s Frozen Kale: TJ’s almost always runs out of the fresh stuff, which is a drag, but having a bag of frozen kale in the freezer means that I can make almost anything healthier and more nutrient dense. I add frozen kale to soup, omelets, smoothies, grain dishes etc.
- Ezekiel Bread: I keep a loaf in the freezer because, well, I like it. Since I am only one person it takes me forever to eat an entire loaf of bread and storing it in the freezer keeps it fresher, longer. This bread is great because it has protein and fiber; with some almond butter and a banana I have another great breakfast option.
In the Pantry:
- Three Sister’s Oatmeal: I love this brand for a quick or portable breakfast. In my opinion it is one of the better instant oatmeal mixes on the market – it contains oats, flaxseed, barley, quinoa, and rye. It has more fiber and less sugar than most brands.
- Soups: Pacific Natural Foods, Imagine Foods, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Brand: I like these soups for the high veggie content. Usually I add greens, a grain and/or a bean (depending on the existing ingredients) to increase bulk and satiety. They are also affordable and shelf stable.
- Quinoa: I probably sounds like a broken record with all this quinoa talk but I keep some in the pantry because if I have frozen kale, some soup and beans, I can make a high protein, high fiber, highly nutritious meal in a moment’s notice.
- Can of Beans: Good protein source to have on-hand, to add to salads or soups. And cheap! I bought these pinto beans for $0.89. Random choice but good deal!
- Trader Joe’s Chia Seeds: I sprinkle these in my oatmeal every morning for extra fiber and omega 3’s.
- Kind Nuts & Spice Bars: I love, love,love these new bars; they are lower in sugar, higher in fiber and taste so good. I eat one every day. I don’t leave home without one in my bag. In case I need a snack on the run, I know I have something healthy and filling with me. I eat them so often that I started buying the boxes in bulk – a great way to save $$!
I know these pictures aren’t that attractive but they are just to prove that I’m being totally honest and this is not just blog speak. If you came over right now you’d find all this stuff in my apartment. truth.
What are some of your kitchen staples?