After a full day of work and kids activities, the dreaded question at 6 p.m. is “what’s for dinner?” Don’t run to the closest restaurant, save time and money by cooking at home instead. A well stocked pantry and a little technology can take the stress out of cooking.
Refer to our list of pantry, fridge and freezer staples to help you next time you are in a weeknight time crunch.
- Healthy oils – olive oil and vegetable oil
- Vinegars – red wine and balsamic
- Spices – basil, thyme, oregano, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, cinnamon and nutmeg
- Canned tuna in water
- Canned beans – black beans, great northern beans/cannellini, kidney beans
- Low sodium chicken broth
- Canned tomatoes
- Jarred marinara sauce
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat pasta
- All-purpose flour
- Fresh potatoes – both white and sweet
- Garlic and onions
- Peanut Butter
- Bread crumbs
- Jarred salsa
- Skim milk
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Parmesan cheese
- Dijon mustard
- Shredded cheese
- Fresh Greens – spinach, mixed greens, arugula
- Fresh salsa
- Frozen veggies – peas, spinach, broccoli, edamame
- Frozen fruit – strawberries, blueberries, bananas
- Whole wheat English muffins
- Meats – ground turkey, chicken
- Seafood – shrimp, fish
Any easy way to think up a quick dinner is to choose a protein – beans, chicken or ground turkey, choose a whole grain or starch – brown rice, whole wheat pasta or potatoes and then add some veggies. With a simple sauce or spice combination you are in business.
There are a lot of great websites and apps that take the ingredients you have on hand and create recipes for you.
One of my favorites is myrecipes.com.
They have a great search bar called “What’s in your Pantry?”
Simply type in your ingredients and presto – recipes galore.
For example, when I type in cannellini beans, whole wheat pasta and spinach, I find a recipe that will appeal to even the pickiest members of my family.
For more great meal ideas, sign up for a Healthy Kitchen class sponsored by FirstHealth Community Health Services.