Happy New Years my friends!!! Its the new year, and everyone usually starts their year off with big plans to get healthier. Benjamin Franklin once said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” So how are you preparing to crush your resolutions in the new year?
One easy way to prepare to be healthier in the new year is to make a goal to eat at home more. Eating at home allows you to control the quality of food you eat, and control what goes into the meals you cook. Also, you can plan your meals based around the goals you have. Having a well stocked pantry is the first step into whipping up easy, healthy meals. So let’s break down pantry staples!! Many of you might have these staples on hand already, and we will just fill in the gaps. Also, don’t worry. I won’t leave you hanging. As we go through the year, I will give you healthy recipes to use all of these ingredients.
Spices – If you are trying to cut out fat, but not lose flavor, spices are going to be a lifesaver! Plus you get added health benefits when adding more spices to your food. And don’t be afraid! I usually add 2x’s the amount than the recipe calls for. Here is just a short list of my favorites!
- Kosher salt
- Peppercorns – for fresh cracked pepper
- Smoked Paprika
- Herb de Provence
- Dry Mustard
- Dry Herbs – all of them; basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano,dill, etc
- Chili Powder
There are so many more that I have on hand. Also, buy spices in bulk on the internet. So much cheaper!
Oils and Condiments
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – I usually only use Olive Oil for raw sauces or to top a dish. Olive oil has a very low smoke point, so if you cook with it, you have to cook at low temps or else it will burn. Since I don’t cook with it, I usually only use EVOO becase its more flavorful.
- Avocado Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Vinegar – Basalmic, Rice, Red wine, ets. Another great way to add flavor. Also easy to whip up salad dressing in a pinch
- Cooking Spray – Coconut or Olive Oil
- Sriracha and Chalula
- Mustard – all the mustard. Yellow, Dijon, Stone Ground. Another great way to add flavor
- Broth – Chicken, Beef, Seafood, ets. I use a base called “Better than Bouillion” So much more flavor, and a bigger bang for your buck.
- Tomato paste
- Curry Paste
- Fish Sauce – Trust me. Don’t smell it, Just use it in marinades and sauces. You will thank me.
- Coconut Aminos or Soy Sauce
- Canned Beans – black and garbonzo are my favorite.
- Tomato sauce or Marinara sauce
- Crushed and diced tomatoes
- Canned veggies for when you are in a pinch
- Canned Tuna
- Protein Pasta – A new staple, but if you are looking to boast your protein, this is an easy add to your diet, and it tastes just like regular pasta
- All Purpose and Whole Wheat flour
- Almond Flour
- Nut Butters
- Healthy Protein Bars – for when you are in a pinch. Look for granola bars made with WHOLE ingredients. Not candy bars disguised as a protein bar
- Mixed Nuts
- Milk – Whatever kind you prefer
- Plain Greek Yogurt – Do yourself a favor and do not buy flavored yougurt anymore. Too much sugar, and the probiotics are more likely to die with the added ingredients. Buy plain yogurt and add your own mix ins. Plus plain greek yogurt is more versatile.
- Egg Whites
- Whole Wheat Tortillas
- Parm Cheese – the real stuff. Great way to add flavor without a lot of added fat. And you can use the rind to make the most amazing parmesan broth.
- Frozen Vegetables
- 90/10 Ground Beef
- Ground chicken or turkey
- Fish and/or Shrimp
- Frozen Fruit
- Precooked turkey or chicken sausage
- Ginger – I put this on here because its a forgot way to add tons of flavor to food. But you do not need a lot. It stays good in the freezer in a ziplock bag. Just take it out, microplane when needed, then store.
I try to eat vegetables as they come in season, but I always have this stuff on hand
- Potatoes – Sweet and White
- Mushrooms – store in a brown bag in the fridge and they will last longer
- Spaghetti Squash
So there you go friends!!! Hopefully this helps. And do not worry. I will share recipes soon that use more of the unusual staples! Hope this helps you get organized for the New Year.
Share with me some staples you use all the time!