So guys, you’ve been asking– what’s REALLY in my pantry? Like how do I keep it well stocked for meals and snacks that are ready to go for those busy weeks, when a full meal plan just isn’t in the cards? SIMPLE. It’s one of my rituals and non-negotiables: that at least once a month I do a little re-stock.
Because having a stocked pantry can legitimately SAVE your life. And your energy. And your health. Especially if life is beautifully full and fast and busy.
(Um, hi. Same.)
So to save you some time, I’ve got an AMAZING little present for you later this week that I’ll be releasing: FIRST: a real peek inside my own fridge these days (unedited of course)….. AND a little checklist of ALL the things I like to keep in stock over here at all times — we’re talking the basic everyday pantry foods, staples for baking, my go-to spices, weekly produce and fridge recs, and freezer items I love having on hand. So you can print it and keep it in your kitchen or a screenshot on your phone when you hit the store.
Be sure to come back here later this week so you can grab a copy for yourself (yup, it’s free! You guys have been asking me for this for YEARS, and I’ve got you covered. It will be insanely helpful, no matter where you shop!).
I talk a lot about this STAPLE BUYING process– not only what to get, but what to DO with the staples to turn them into quick and delicious meals in my new cookbook, Simply Real Eating, that comes out this month!. So for even more ideas, specific, and yup— the RECIPES you’ll want to make some magic, go grab a copy here. It has over 150 new & easy recipes you’ll ever need to throw healthy meals together ASAP.
But for now… I’ll leave you with my TOP 5 staples I always make sure I have on hand. They’re the things I always need to have around: in case a certain snack or meal mood strikes. Or in case I’ve been going at it all day and haven’t had a second to think about what to make for dinner…. until it’s 15 minutes away. Or if I just want to keep things simple and get back to the basics— for my mind and body.
These are things that last a long time in the pantry and can easily turn into real-food meals that hit the spot everytime (and can save you so much money on take-out). Add them to your next grocery list and see how much easier life gets!
Let’s get into it, shall we?
My Top 5 Pantry Staples
BEANS / LENTILS
All the yes to beans and lentils, a variety of them, canned, dried, you name it. These can add quick protein to a meal without needing to run to the store for fresh meat or having to use all the time it takes to cook meat. I love adding both beans and lentils to soups, rice bowls, lettuce wraps, eggs, or organic corn tortillas for an extra boost of healthy protein.
CANNED TOMATOES / TOMATO PASTE / TOMATO SAUCE / SUN-DRIED TOMATOES
Tomatoes in all their preserved varieties are SO good in so many dishes. Make an easy chickpea or lentil pasta with a homemade sauce using tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, garlic, and basil, or add tomato paste to a rice or roasted veggie dish to thicken it up. And sun-dried tomatoes are just pure heaven. On salads, on roasted chicken or fish, on their own… just so, so good. Double check those labels to make sure you’re not getting a brand that puts weird stuff in it (canola oil, sugar, preservatives, etc).
NUT BUTTER / NUTS / SEEDS
To make granola, amp up the nutrition content in your smooothies/apple/pear/banana slices, make your own nut butters, top smoothie bowls, or to grab a quick handful when you’re out the door– there is nothing more versatile than a collection of nuts. Keep them organic and raw if you can, and once opened keep in the fridge to keep the oils fresh.
Same goes for hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds & flax seeds .And if nuts are out for you, try sunflower butter or tahini for a great substitution in recipes.
RICE / QUINOA / POLENTA / LENTIL NOODLES
Get those (healthy) grains in, girlfriend (see my post about why here, and how I finally healed my case of SIBO by adopting more of them into my life). I love having a large variety of gluten-free grains in my pantry at all times to switch up what I’m using in different meals based on what I’m in the mood for. Make a quinoa and veggie casserole or a roasted chicken and rice bowl. You can use polenta for a heartier grain or brown rice/lentil/chickpea pasta noodles if you’re in the mood for pasta. I love giving myself plenty of options and having a little bit of everything– especially since they store for a while so well.
I feel like this one’s obvious, right? If your pantry isn’t consistently stocked with a little dark chocolate, I hate to break it to ya but you’re missing out. Big time. I love to use it chopped up into chunks for baking, or for a bite of something sweet when I need it (most nights after din if it’s early enough, duh). And we all need a little chocolate sometimes. I love the mini chips for my energy ball bites, cookies, etc.
Love this recipe? You’d love the cookbook then too. My second book, Simply Real Eating is coming out November 19th, so make sure you’ve pre-ordered it here. And be sure to check out the seasonal meal plans (or the new Easiest DINNER ONLY Plan)! It’s what we literally eat for dinner every week.