Men, Stocking Your Kitchen Pantry with Healthy Food is not that Hard!
As a single hard-working guy you probably return home after a long day, throw open the cupboards and find… nothing! It’s just all too easy to pick up the phone and order a pizza from the good people around the corner, who you no doubt know by their first names! Take heart, there is a trick to developing some healthier eating habits that won’t use up your valuable relaxation time or break the bank. So what is it? Stocking your pantry, of course! If you learn how to stock your pantry properly you will always have a supply of easy-to-cook raw materials that will see you getting some good nutrition in record-breaking time. Below are some basic guidelines on how to stock you pantry for easy, great tasting meals.
Single men, here’s how to stock your pantry for quick and easy meal preparation:
1. Always keep a variety of oils and vinegars on hand. Olive oil and vinegar are the perfect solution to preparing marinades, salad dressings, sautes and bread dipping.
2. Make sure you stock your pantry with the following at all times:
Any other grain of your choosing
You can use onions and garlic in almost every dish or snack on a baked potato with sautéed onions, garlic and sour cream. Rice and pasta are great for quick meals and can be combined with easy to prepare fresh items like mushrooms, vegetables, cold meats and cheeses.
3. Keep a supply of canned soup or frozen stocks handy. This way you can prepare a tasty nourishing soup with some fresh bread or a salad prepared in a jiffy.
4. Stock your pantry (your freezer of course) with a good supply of meat and fish.
5. Buy a stash of frozen or canned vegetables. These are really quick to prepare and you’ll be getting all your vitamins too!
6. Keep some alcoholic beverages handy for surprise visits or to use in your favorite recipes. Cooking may seem more pleasant with a glass of wine to sip!
7. For a snappy weekend breakfast stock up on maple syrup and pancake mix. Always have a variety of cereals on hand for the rest of the week.
8. If you store canned artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and olives it will be no sweat to prepare a good antipasto or salad lickety split.
9. Freeze your cheese! A great protein source, you can use it for snacking, toppings, salads and to give a casserole pizzazz.
10. The shopping list. Before you head to the store, think about the meals you like to eat and choose appropriate supplies. Also include some stand-bys for when you really can’t face the stove!
11. When you stock your pantry, buy produce in bulk. If it won’t go bad within a two year period, pack it on your shelves!
Here is an example of a basic shopping list to help all you starving men to stock your pantry. Choose only the items you really enjoy eating and no, you don’t have to have all the items on the list. Just choose the kinds and quantities you know you are really going to use.
Stock Your Pantry with Dry Goods
* Baking powder, double acting
* Flour: all-purpose and cornmeal
* Beans, canned: cannelloni, kidney, chickpeas
* Soy sauce
* Beans, fresh: black, Great Northern or navy, lima, pintos, lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas
* Gelatin, powdered, unflavored
* Sugar: granulated, confectioners’, brown, superfine
* Canned low-sodium chicken and beef broth
* Syrups: corn (light and dark), maple, molasses
* Canned tomatoes: chopped, whole and pureed
* Instant espresso
* Tabasco sauce
* Chocolate: bittersweet, unsweetened, semisweet; cocoa powder
* Liquor: Cognac or brandy, Grand Marnier, port, Calvados, framboise
* Tea: black and herbal
* Cornstarch Oils: virgin and/or extra-virgin olive oil and safflower
* Vanilla extract
* Cream of tartar
* Vinegar: sherry, red, white and rice wine, cider, champagne, balsamic
* Dried fruits: apricots, raisins, currants, cranberries, cherries
* Pasta, dried: angel hair (capellini), spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, macaroni, penne and rigatoni
* Wines: dry sherry, Madeira, Marsala, dry Burgundy, dry Chardonnay
* Peanut butter
* Worcestershire sauce
* Polenta, dry Rice: arborio, basmati and wild
Stock Your Pantry with Herbs and Spices
* Allspice: ground or whole
* Cloves: ground and whole
* Paprika: sweet and hot
* Aniseed Cumin: seeds and ground
* Pepper: cayenne, red-pepper flakes
* Curry powder
* Poppy seeds
* Bay leaves
* Caraway seeds
* Salt: kosher and sea salt
* Ginger: ground and crystallized
* Sesame seeds
* Celery seeds
* Chili powder
* Mustard: seed and powdered
* Cinnamon: ground and sticks
* Nutmeg: whole and ground
* Whole peppercorns
Stock Your Refrigerator and Freezer
* Bread crumbs
* Chicken and/or beef broth
* Cheese: Parmesan, cream
* Mustard: Dijon and whole-grain coffee beans, whole
* Coffee, ground
* Preserves: jellies and jams, frozen blueberries, raspberries
* Sesame oil
* Nuts: almonds, pecans, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts
* Ketchup / Tomato paste tube
And there you have it, how to stock your pantry with tasty stand-by ingredients that are always available! That wasn’t so hard was it? Using the list above you will be prepared for both basic meals and more elaborate dishes suitable for entertaining. What next? Get out a pen and paper and start making a shopping list based on the foods you enjoy. Use the lists and guidelines to sort out your food problems once and for all.
Stock your pantry, eat well and best of all impress your mother!