Thursday, 06 May 2010 01:11

Stocking Your Pantry for Quick Meals

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PantryI have created a list of food items that I keep on hand in my pantry, refrigerator, freezer, etc.  I did this for a friend of mine about a year ago when she asked me what I eat to stay healthy.  She also asked me how I always seem to have to have the ability to have a dinner ready in a pinch – even if I didn’t just step out of the grocery store.

While these may not be staples in your house, this list can give you a good idea of what you can try to keep on hand so you can make flavorful, homemade recipes ALL the time.  The key here is to stay relatively stocked up, make things you can freeze (like the turkey chili, spaghetti sauce, and even the turkey burger patties – recipes in “Pantry Meals” article), and have plenty of variety to keep things interesting, available and yummy!

Pantry Items


Brown Rice
Whole Wheat Pasta - your choice
Low Sodium Chicken Broth
Canned Diced Tomatoes
Canned Tomato Sauce
Canned Tomato Paste
Seasoned Breadcrumbs
Reduced or Low Fat Refried Beans
Kosher Salt
Canellini Beans
Red Kidney Beans
Enchilada Sauce
Fresh Ground Pepper

Oils for cooking:

Olive Oil
Canola Oil
Sesame Oil

Condiments for cooking:

Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Hoisen Sauce
Oyster Sauce
Rice Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Cooking Spray (Pam)
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Garlic Salt
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Red Pepper Flakes

Baking Items:

Whole Wheat Flour
All Purpose Flour
White Sugar
Brown Sugar
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Table Salt
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder


Dried Mango
Tortilla Chips – Baked are better, but I get the real tortilla chips
Lightly Salted Dry Roasted Almonds
Reduced Fat Microwave Popcorn

Refrigerator Items


I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray
Butter or Spread
Almond Butter
Sugar Free or Low Sugar Strawberry Jam
Jarred Jalapeños
Jarred Roasted Red Peppers
Wheat Germ
Low Fat or Fat Free Dressing


Reduced Fat Milk
Sugar Free Coffee Creamer
Medium Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Low Fat Yogurt


Corn Tortillas
Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
Whole Wheat Bread
Sourdough – optional
Whole Wheat Buns


Green Bell Peppers
Red Bell Peppers
Romaine Lettuce
Jarred Jalapeños
Green Onion
Yellow Onion


Anything Seasonal

Freezer Items


Bag of FROZEN Mixed Veggies
Bag of FROZEN Berries
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (if you get these at Costco – one breast for 2 people – pound it!)
Halibut – when on sale
Ground Turkey (portioned out in ½ pound increments)
Sirloin – trimmed of excess fat and portioned out

Last modified on Friday, 29 April 2011 20:36
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