Not Mother Hubbard’s CupboardFriday, March 12, 2010 11:51 AM
Top 10 Foods to Stock in Your Pantry
Stock these 10 ingredients in your pantry and you’ll always be able to whip something up—for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack and for all of your picky eaters.
For some moms who need their cup of java to get going in the a.m., possibly the most essential item in the pantry. If you can, stock up on the good stuff—even the highest quality, freshly ground coffee is a bargain compared to a daily purchase at the corner coffee spot. Good quality tea works too.
Flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Combine with fridge basics, sugar and eggs to bake anything from savory biscuits to sugary cookies.
Good for a warm bowl for breakfast or a homemade cookie. The soluble fiber content is proven to lower cholesterol and the earthy flavor and chewy texture is a nod to some serious healthy home cooking. Pairs well with fresh fruit or honey.
Onions and Potatoes
Abundant, affordable and versatile, keep some of each in brown paper bags in a cool (not cold), dry place for use in an array of side dishes, entrees, soups, salads, and more.
Oil and Vinegar
Oil is an essential ingredient for almost any kind of cooking. Keep a bottle of vegetable or canola oil for sautéing and a bottle of good quality olive oil for salads. Vinegar, the ying to oil’s yang, adds a tasty acidic element to many recipes. Keep two in your pantry, red wine for a light touch and balsamic for a sweeter and more assertive flavor.
Fast, easy, no fuss and can pass as a kid’s meal with a little butter. For grownups and kids with more mature palates, let the pasta be the vehicle for all-day Sunday gravy or fresh clam sauce. Try whole grain pasta which is higher in protein and fiber.
You can make a whole meal around rice and with so many varieties, never get bored. Keep white long grain, brown and basmati on hand for variety with chicken, meat and fish dishes. For more savory rice, swap water for broth which will deepen the flavor as it cooks right in.
You can spend plenty of money on pasta sauce, but a can of good quality tomatoes is all you need. Add garlic and spices or fresh basil to make restaurant quality sauce at home to pour over pasta dishes and meat and poultry recipes or to use for homemade pizza (fun with the kids).
Tons of uses from homemade soup (add uncooked rice, simmer) to a base for sauce to extra flavor in steamed veggies and simmered rice. Bouillon works well too. Simply add it to water and use.
Canned Beans/Dried Beans
Good source of protein and fiber and a vegetarian alternative to meat. Dried beans generally taste better but require soaking, so if you’re in a hurry use canned.
PoshMom.com food blogger, Amy Currie, a mother of three and long-time chef, is the author of Memoirs of a Home Cook, Every Great Recipe Has a Story and her latest cookbook, Secrets of a Home Cook.