Pantry Staples… Stuff I always Have Part I

Good morning ~ longest day of the year!

As I’m waking up in the morning, my brain kicks into gear… I start thinking.

About my grocery list.

About cooking.

About lunches.

And then I just have to get up!

One of the first things on my mind today was pantry basics… after having taught an awesome Singles Cooking Class last week.

Sara, Sarah, Sarah, Jessica, Mary Irene and Josh had some great questions- but most importantly, what pantry essentials should a single cook have on hand?

Here’s my take on the Essentials that I make sure are in my cupboard, by grocery aisle!  I’ll cover the first half of the store today- stay tuned for Part II!

PRODUCE – I always have one or two of each of these:

Fresh Garlic and Onions.  “Aromatics” that I include in spreads, sauces, stir fry, in grilling… almost everything!

Lemons and Limes.  Keep in the fridge to add to salad dressing, in spreads, marinades, and even a pitcher of water in the summer.

Potatoes.  For hashbrowns on the weekend, a quick mashed potato in the microwave, for grilling, addition to soups/stews/roasts.

BULK FOODS AISLE – I always keep two or three cups of these grains, and 1/2 to one cup of these nuts:

Steel Cut Oats.  For a healthy breakfast, additions to muffins or bread.  Yum!

CousCous.  Great to have on hand as a quick side dish.

Rice.  I like brown rice (and I love my rice maker!)

Nuts.  Depending on your taste, choose two or more varieties.  I like pine nuts, walnuts, almonds, and spanish peanuts- toast them for salad toppings, make peanut or other nut butter (instead of buying a big container), use them in breads and desserts.

DAIRY

Milk/Soymilk.  I buy a couple of the foil-lined ‘Aspetic’ cartons so they won’t go bad.  I also keep dry milk on hand for baking, in case I run out of milk.

Parmesan cheese.  Great for salads, spaghetti, mashed potatoes…

Plain, Nonfat yogurt.  Lasts practically forever and is great as a filler in things that typically require sour cream.  Also a great base for Indian, Greek, Mideastern sauces.

Eggs and Butter.  ‘Nuff said!

Stay tuned for the Frozen and Grocery aisles in Part II!

Happy shopping!

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