Stocking Your Pantry and Recipes Ideas During the Quarantine

Stocking Your Pantry and Recipes Ideas During the Quarantine

Since most people are cooking at home more, it’s comforting to know that you can open your cupboards at 5 pm and know that you have everything you need to put dinner on the table by 6 pm. Whether you are an experienced cook or starting to cook at home for the first time, this list will provide you with the guided map you need to make this possible. Stocking your pantry with each of these categories provides the basics for cooking delicious meals at any time. 

Grains

Stock up on rice, pasta, farro, barley, and/or quinoa. Try to get a wide variety of grains from rice to ancient grains to different shapes of pasta. Each whole grain has different nutrients– so switching things up helps you get a variety of nutrients.

Meal ideas:

 

Brands to Try:

  • Banza Pasta: This pasta is made from chickpeas, offering a high protein, reduced carbohydrate alternative to white pasta and grains. 
  • Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa: Quinoa is a great source of high quality protein and iron and is delicious in salads, soups, and as a base for grain bowls. 
  • Bob’s Red Mill Organic Farro: This ancient grain is hearty and chewy and stands up nicely in stews and casseroles. 

Photo by Gail Watson Photography

Canned and Dried Beans

Canned beans can be used to make dips like hummus or stews, chili, soup, mixed with whole grains, or in a salad. Beans are a great source of fiber and protein in addition to being cost effective.

Meal ideas:

  • Add dried beans to a big pot with an halved onion, halved head of garlic, spices, and enough water to cover 4 inches. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for a few hours for a tasty pot of beans!
  • Simple Hummus by Toby Amidor
  • Spaghetti Squash with Cannellini Beans by Triad To Wellness

 

Brands to Try:

  • Goya Dried Beans: Add to soups, stews, quesadillas, or even a morning egg and bean wrap.
  • Goya Low Sodium Canned Beans: Just give these a rinse before adding them to soups, stews, and dips .
  • Bob’s Red Mill  Dried Fava Beans: Use in salads, dips, and soups.

Canned vegetables

Canned vegetables are canned at their peak ripeness and are ready to eat all year round. They’re perfect to add to soups, stir fries, or even as an easy side on their own. Some of my favorites include canned artichokes, green beans, and tomatoes. Just give it a rinse to get rid of excess sodium. 

Meal ideas:

 

Brands to Try:

  • Cento Canned Artichokes in Brine: Artichokes are labor intensive to steam, peel, and remove the choke. Getting them canned makes the process much easier without sacrificing flavor and nutrition. 
  • Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes:Tomatoes are high in lycopene, and have been associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Use in soups, tomato-based sauces, and chili.
  • Del Monte Canned Green Beans : Tossed in a salad or heated up in a casserole, green beans are an easy way to add extra nutrients, including vitamin C and fiber, to your dish. 

Oils and Vinegars 

Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, balsamic vinegar, and red wine vinegar are some of the staples I keep in my pantry. Make sure to keep oils in a cool, dark place so they last longer. Do not store them near your stove, the heat will make oils spoil much faster.

Meal Ideas:

 

Brands to Try:

  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Olive oil is a must have ingredient in my cupboard. Whether I am making a dressing or roasting vegetables, it is always my go-to oil. 
  • Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinegar: I like the rich, sweet flavor of this vinegar which goes perfectly with most Mediterranean dishes. 
  • Pompeian Red Wine Vinegar: This vinegar is light enough for a salad dressing or as part of a sauce. 

Spices

Salt, black pepper, chili powder, dried herbs, cinnamon, granulated garlic, and cumin are some of my favorites. Just give your spices a smell check to make sure they are still potent before using. Stored in a cool, dry place, spices can be stored for up to 2 years.

Meal ideas:

 

Brands to Try:

  • Simply Organic Chili Powder: Chilli powder adds a smoky heat to chili, Mexican favorites, and casseroles.
  • McCormick Turmeric Powder: This spice has been associated with decreased inflammation and adds a bright, yellow color to curries and stews.
  • McCormick Ground Cumin: I use cumin in a wide variety of dishes, from Mexican to Indian to Mediterranean.

Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

I like to keep peas, corn, broccoli,cauliflower, strawberries, wild blueberries, and mango in the freezer so I can easily add them to pasta or as a side for dinner or make a quick and yummy smoothie in the morning. Fruits and vegetables are flash frozen at their peak ripeness, retaining vitamins and minerals for ultimate nutrition without the need for preservatives. 

Meal Ideas:

 

Brands to Try:

  • C&W Premium Quality Chopped Baby Spinach Frozen spinach yields much more than raw spinach, which is why I like using it in cooked dishes such as lasagna or spanikopita. 
  • Birds Eye Brussel Sprouts: Roast Brussel sprouts or other frozen vegetables directly in the oven, without defrosting before hand. Just toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Birds Eye Fresh Frozen Select Mixed Vegetables: I add these babies into everything from pasta dishes, soups, stews, and even serve it as a side.
  • Dole Frozen Mixed Berries: Frozen fruit is essential to making smoothies and are packed with vitamin C, fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals.

Packaged Foods

Soups, tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese– you don’t have to make everything from scratch! I like to use shortcuts like pre-packaged butternut squash soup, BBQ sauce, or tomato sauce from a jar and compliment them with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low fat or nonfat dairy, whole grains, or healthy fats. 

Meal Ideas:

 

Brands to Try:

Frozen Fish, Chicken, Beef

According to the FDA, frozen meats can last in the freezer up to one year. You can even put frozen fish directly in the oven and it will cook perfectly without defrosting beforehand! 

Meal Ideas:

Brands to Try:

  • Tyson Frozen Chicken Breasts: Frozen chicken breasts can be used for everything from stir fries to grilling.
  • Wholey Frozen Tilapia: Thin fish like tilapia can go from the freezer into the oven, without defrosting first. Just add olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and bake in the oven at 350-degrees Fahrenheit until cooked through (the internal temperature should reach 145-degrees Fahrenheit when it’s done).
  • Caulipower Chicken Tenders: These delicious chicken tenders and baked, not fried, and made with  a cauliflower coating.

Seeds, Nuts, and Nut Butters

Not only are nuts and nut butters good for snacking, but I also love using nut butters in savory peanut sauces or nuts in baked goods. Seeds also provide essential amino acids and are a great addition to baked goods and trail mix. 

Meals Ideas:

Brand to Try:

  • Bob’s Red Mill Flax Seeds Flax seeds contain ALA omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, dietary fiber and protein and can be used to top oatmeal or baked into muffins.
  • Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter: Perfect for snacking  with apples or pears or made into peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • Woodstock Walnuts: Add to baked goods like banana bread or brownies.

Baking Items 

Being at home (especially with kids) means that a lot of us are baking to stay distracted (hello, distracti-baking). Ensuring that you have these ingredients means you can whip up everything from cookies to cakes to muffins. Some ingredients I keep on hand include all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, white and brown sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, chocolate chips. 

Meals Ideas:

Brand to Try:

 

 

1 Comment
  • Albertina Geller
    Posted at 02:16h, 15 April Reply

    I am bookmarking this! So very helpful. So many amazing suggestions. I am going to try them all. Thank you so much! xx

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