10 Ingredients you should always have in the kitchen

kitchenAfter writing the last post about things you need in the kitchen, I started thinking about ingredients which I always keep in my pantry and fridge so that I can make a meal.

  1. Flour.  Flour is amazing and wonderful.  Really it is.  Need to thicken soup?  Bake cookies?  Make pizza?  Bake a cake?  Make pie?
  2. Frozen Veggies.  Fresh vegetables and greens are great but they spoil quickly and we’re trying to eat more healthy foods so I buy the frozen veggies and keep them in the freezer all the time.  I add them to rice, meat and even make them on their own.  I also oven bake fries for a quick snack or instead of regular carbs like rice and pasta.  The secret is to bake them at low temperatures and on the middle rack in the oven so they crisp evenly without burning, just as yummy as deep fried ones but much less fat.
  3. Eggs.  Need to make a quick meal?  Don’t have time?   Make an omelet, add some diced tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, mushroom, whatever you like and presto, everyone is happy and full.
  4. Canned Beans. Red Kidney Beans are my favorite.  Another great healthy protein powered meal in a jiffy.  Throw in some bell peppers, add spices and some tomato paste and you’ve got a colorful, tasty and satisfying meal in minutes.
  5. Cocoa.  It’s cold, make some hot chocolate or make brownies.  I like to make sure my guests have something to eat when they come over for tea or coffee so I keep cocoa so I can whip something up.
  6. Spices.  I absolutely love spices;  cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cayenne pepper, curry, everything goes.  They add so much to food.
  7. Fresh and dried Herbs.  Fresh herbs are great but you need to use them quickly so dried ones work almost as well in most dishes.  Thyme, basil and mint are the basic three.
  8. Tomato Paste.  Yes, fresh tomatoes are better but again this way I can always have some stored.
  9. Garlic in a jar.  Do you really think I am going to buy fresh garlic and crush it?
  10. Olive Oil.  Great in salads and most middle eastern dishes.  I love Extra Virgin olive oil, the aroma and the taste.

There are of course so many other ingredients that rarely go missing in our home like milk,  yeast, yogurt, rice, pasta, sugar, salt and pepper but basically if you want to make homecooked meals you need to be prepared.  We used to eat out a lot and order in too but now we just go out and have a nice meal every week or two and cook everything else at home.  We feel great and are definitely healthier.  We try to buy fresh fruit as much as we can too because Lil Miss Bite Mommy likes bananas, apples and pears and we try to expose her to as much fruit and veggies as her little hands can hold and chew.

4 Comments

  • At 2008.12.23 11:14, chika said:

    1. http://chikapappi.com/2008/12/23/whats-in-your-makeup-bag/

    2. Hmm.. Yes, flour and milk – wheat pasta..hmm.. cocoa 😀 – what else!? Canned food especially mushrooms- eggs, diet cola YES and 7alawa bel chocolate 😉

    • At 2008.12.23 11:31, jessyz said:

      You can’t cook with diet coke! Actually I once saw chocolate cake made with regular coke though. Yes, saw the tag, I’ll get right to it chop chop.

      • At 2008.12.23 11:34, Summer said:

        great list.
        i would say go back to your mom’s pantry and see what stables she has in her kitchen…lots of grains and lugumes, flour and rice, olive oil, nabulsyyah cheese, pickles, jams and preserves with much more good stuff.
        Thank God for living in this day and age, and we have forzen/fresh veggies in your freezer section, i use it all the time to make a great meals.
        spices are essential and add or change any major meat, veggie or grain to a different cuisine!
        I always have frozen grated mozzarella cheese in my freezer for a very quick and healthy pizza on wheat pita bread, just broil in your oven and you are set…much healthier, better and tastier than the store bought ones and you control the toppings!
        Oh, make sure to have cans of chickpeas in your pantry ,or the dry ones would do with more work, they are healthy and tasty , they make great fattat and great dips…Tahini is a must too!
        Keep a bag of dry milk in your pantry, or the long life milk boxes..it is versatile too and in case you run out of fresh milk.

        i do not agree with you on garlic in the jar…it has no flavor! one fresh garlic clove goes a long way! but i keep lots of dry onion flakes and dry garlic chip, they are as close to the fresh ones as can be.

        • At 2008.12.23 12:02, jessyz said:

          You are right, I always keep mozzarella and lots of canned beans and stuff. Tahini too great on fish and as a side dish too. I don’t like dry milk though and I like the excuse of going out to get fresh milk :-) but my mom always keeps the dry milk for cooking and just in case. I always forget the chickpeas.
          You are right about the garlic but I just can’t bear the smell and no matter how little I buy they usually end up going bad anyway. I guess I could get the dry chips.
          Thanks Summer, you are the pro cook in this part of the blogsphere, I am just playing.