Let’s Get Cooking: Pantry Essentails To Diversify Your Menu

Every great chef starts out with seasonal ingredients and a great pantry. I am going to help you build your pantry basics to help you diversify your menu and create healthier alternatives to prepackaged or processed foods. The key to making lifestyle changes is creating flavorful meals that are quick and easy to make. Here are some basics to add to your pantry with tips underneath each.

Spices: Fresh and dried these are critical to have on hand at all times. Staples are garlic cloves, fresh basil, rosemary, thyme, dried cayenne pepper, paprika, curry and fennel seeds.

  • Read labels and stay away from prepackaged and flavored sprinkles such as seasoning salt, bouillon cubes and other premixed flavors. You can create these yourself and avoid partially hydrogenated oils.

Oatmeal:This is a great source of fiber and can reduce cholesterol. It is a low calorie choice and helps sustain your energy. It can also be ground down into flour as well.

  • Choose only whole oats; avoid quick oats or instant oats. The fiber and nutrients are stripped away during the flattening process and the instant oats have added sugar, salt and artificial flavor.
  • Cynnie’s Best Oatmeal Recipe: Start with cold water. This is key to making your oats creamy not mushy! Bring one cup cold water to a boil, add 1/2 cup oats and stir to combine. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract for flavor; stir again. Bring oats to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes.  Add fresh organic berries, 100% pure maple syrup and sprinkle with walnut pieces. The fruit and maple syrup provide immediate energy and the oats and nuts sustain your energy for hours.

Polenta: Polenta is a great staple and can be added to any dish. It takes minutes to make and is rich and creamy. I also use it for my home-made pizza dough. Just sprinkle on the bottom of the pan before putting in the dough.

Rice: I love brown rice because it is heartier than white rice and has a nutty flavor to it that can enhance your dishes. Be sure to have plenty of white, brown, jasmine, wild and even green rice on hand to make salads, side dishes, soups and casseroles.

Noodles: Everyone loves noodles. You can add them to soups, salads, create side dishes or main dishes. I have only found one wheat noodle that I like and it is Trader Joe’s organic whole wheat pasta.

Baking Essentials: Always stock your baking essentials with the following: sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, yeast packets, cocoa and powdered sugar.

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, I found this article while googling for music lyrics, thoughtful comments and great points made.

    • Thank you! I am happy to hear that you found us and are enjoying the content. It changes each day but is applicable to everyday life and is always evolving. Visit us again!
      With Sugar,
      Cyn

  2. I love this! Have you tried Ronzoni’s Smart Taste? They have a wheat noodle (which is gross unless it is covered in something…) but their white pasta’s are full of fiber, calcium, and vitamin D. We eat them constantly…

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  4. Yummy!!

  5. I love this! Have you tried Ronzoni’s Smart Taste? They have a wheat noodle (which is gross unless it is covered in something…) but their white pasta’s are full of fiber, calcium, and vitamin D. We eat them constantly…

  6. Thank you! I am happy to hear that you found us and are enjoying the content. It changes each day but is applicable to everyday life and is always evolving. Visit us again!
    With Sugar,
    Cyn

  7. Thanks for sharing, I found this article while googling for music lyrics, thoughtful comments and great points made.

  8. Thanks for sharing, I found this article while googling for music lyrics, thoughtful comments and great points made.

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