Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the pantry...

I used to go to the grocery store like five times per week.  I am not kidding.  Sometimes daily.  I am not an organized person by any stretch, but this is one area I needed to get my act together in.  I don't think it happened 'til after my little one was born and I couldn't just "run in" - I had to carry a carseat, which was carrying a baby and then that baby became a toddler... you get the idea.

So I started to think about the basics - the things that should always be in my pantry or freezer or fridge so that I could cook dinner without running out to the store.  Now it's like second nature and I only go to the store once a week, sometimes twice if I really need to.  And I don't make lists!  Well, sometimes I do, but they usually get forgotten in the car.  I am going to share with you my essentials, things that make a healthy meal come together fairly quickly.

beans (black, kidney and cannelini)
canned tomatoes (diced, stewed, sauce, paste, etc.)
rice (jasmine, brown, wild)
whole wheat multigrain bread
tortillas (whole wheat and flour)
low sodium chicken broth
oil (olive and canola)
frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
frozen peas
frozen spinach
frozen fruit (mangoes + various berries)
lots of fruits and veggies

There are a million combos just from that little list.  Tacos, spaghetti, stir fry, fried rice, rice and beans, dirty rice (I love rice, okay?),  soup, smoothies, endless pasta dishes, and on and on... We have other stuff, too - crackers and sauces and everything you need to bake something tasty, but you get the idea.  

So what are your essentials?  The stuff your family can't get enough of?  What is always in your pantry?  Are you a grocery store junkie?  I want to know...


American in Norway said...

Perfect timeing! I will send you the info on my "other Blog" I am seriously trying to kick start my new "life style" trying to learn how to cook... or at least take the time to make healthy meals for myself & family... I will be back.. (I want to follow your blog but my laptop won't allow me... I will get you added later...)

L.B. said...

I go to the grocery store three times a week minimum. I went with the fam on Sunday and dropped about 150 on groceries, stocked up and all, and still had to go Monday and Tuesday.

My main problem is vegetables. I don't get to them fast enough so I'd buy tomatoes on Sunday, for instance, and then realize a week later that I hadn't used them. I got tired of throwing away unused veggies that I stopped buying them unless I was going to use them within a few days, baby spinach the exception.

Anyway, my pantry essentials:
boneless skinless chicken breasts
olive oil
canola/vegetable oil
sugar (white and brown)
canned tomatoes (diced, paste, sauce)
jalapenos (in a jar)
onions (brown and red)
baby spinach

Off the top of my head, that's the list. And yes, I confess, I really do enjoy going to the grocery store.

Pamela said...

Well, I'll be honest. I go to the grocery store an average of twiec a bad. That being said, w/ a family as large as mine and a variety of likes and many dislikes, finding something we all agree upon is tough. I do have a rule.."If I cook it you eat it". So they all know it's not a restaurant...but let's face it, there are times I don't want to hear the whining and give them something lacking total nutritional value. Thank goodness it doesn't happen often. ;) But, for the most part, my family eats healthy..which is all I can hope for. :)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Hey there. Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hello! Funny, I LOVE going to the grocery store & am there about 3-4 times a week but I don't look to change it. I hardly shop anywhere else so that's my "special place."

I cook by mood so I can't plan my meals too far in advance either. But I totally understand where you're coming from!!!!!!!!!!!

ChristineM said...

There are weeks I go to the grocery store almost every day - I live with a very indecisive man! Who am I kidding, I'm the same way! But we've been trying to stock up, plan meals so I'd say I "shop" once a week, but stop by to pick up a few items two or three times a week.

Anyway, here are my basic staples:

olive oil
an assortment of vinegars
potatoes (sweet potatoes for me!)
pasta (many, many varieties...)
rice (again, an assortment....)
cheese (slices American and shredded mozzarella)
boneless skinless chicken breasts
boneless skinless chicken thighs
ground turkey
canned tomatoes, sauce
canned tuna
chicken/vegetable stock
juice (for kiddo)
skim milk
a few packages of Steamfresh frozen veggies in the freezer

...and a fully stocked spice cabinet!

Who am I? said...

Yeah, can't live without the spices! LB, I might add those jalapenos to my list - I love them, husband doesn't, so I can always throw them in mine, at least :)