Lose Weight and Get Fit – VOL 4
Lose Weight and Get Fit – VOL 4
Staples for the Pantry, Fridge and Freezer
For our series on Lose Weight and Get Fit – VOL 4, we discuss the importance of planning and organizing your kitchen. Having the basics of staples for the pantry, fridge and freezer on hand at all times will insure that you can whip up nourishing meals at any time without stress. I find that most people aren’t prepared and eat out or get take out for the following reasons.
- Don’t know how to cook
- Don’t know what to cook
- Bored with typical meal plans
- Feel time poor
- Quick convenience
- Don’t have the basics in their kitchens
Whether you are single, a couple or a family there will be times that the thought of what to cook is a bigger challenge than actually making it. Weekly meal planning helps reduce that stress. Then again, being human, we change our minds with our moods. Now that is not bad, it is important to be flexible with meals. When you are working towards a healthier food balance it helps to maintain the basics at home for ease of cooking without yielding to fast foods, take out or dining out as often.
Another great help is having a few “good” cookbooks at hand. I don’t mean the kind of “restaurant” or “gourmet” specialty cookbooks that will rarely be opened. Select cookbooks that you are likely to use and use regularly. Quick and easy recipes for those times when you are time poor and choice challenged and cookbooks that offer course suggestions; and cookbooks with your favourite foods are best chosen to start with. The My Kitchen Rules Chefs’ always say “it is more important to learn how to cook each food properly and simply and not worry about being pretentious”.
Maintaining foods for your pantry, fridge and freezer will keep you on track and reduce costs. Keep an ongoing shopping list on your fridge so when you use something it is quicker to note it needs replacing than it is to go through your entire pantry, fridge and freezer!
The following oils and vinegar will let you create and cook everything from salad dressings, to basic sautés and stir fry’s.
Oils and Vinegars:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Spray Low-sodium soy sauce
Virgin Coconut Oil and Spray Rice vinegar
Walnut Oil Balsamic vinegar
Sesame Oil Red wine vinegar
White and Cider vinegars
These are the most common spices called for in most recipes I use. I’ve also included everything you need to make your own taco seasoning!
Garlic Powder Dried Rosemary
Onion Powder Dried Sage
Garlic Salt Dried Marjoram
Cayenne Pepper Poultry Seasoning
Chilli Powder Steak Seasoning
Dried Oregano Dried Basil
Dried Thyme Onion Flakes
Dried Parsley Nutmeg
Grill Seasoning All Spice
Red Chilli Pepper Flakes Salt
You should be able to make any basic cookie or cake recipe with the following items on hand.
Baking Soda Brown Sugar
Baking Powder Powdered Sugar
Semi-sweet chocolate chips Raw Sugar
Plain Flour Castor Sugar
All Purpose Flour Yeast
Cocoa Powder Corn Starch
Dried Fruit/nuts Almond Meal / Flour
Old Fashioned Oats Gelatine – sugar free
Shelf Stable Items:
These items are great for making soups, stews, pastas, crock pot meals, and casseroles.
Chicken Broth Chicken, Beef and Vegetable Stock
Marinara Sauce Bread Crumbs
Tomato Sauce Honey
Tomato Paste Maple Syrup
Diced Tomatoes Jasmine Rice
Black Beans Wild Rice Blend
Baked Beans Brown Basmati Rice
Coconut Milk Spaghetti and Cut Pastas
Salsa Peanut Butter
Asparagus – canned Cereals
Any fruits and vegetables not requiring refrigeration should be on your counter. You are more apt to use and eat them when seen.
Sweet Potato Bananas
Oranges Any veggie or fruit of your choice
Mark your calendar for every two months to check use by dates.
Jam Ginger Paste
Cheddar cheese Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan cheese Ricotta Cheese
Bacon Sour Cream
Dijon mustard Garlic Paste
Hot sauce BBQ Sauce
Worcestershire sauce Chilli Sauce
Buffalo sauce Tomato Sauce (Ketchup)
Mushrooms Fresh veggies (requiring refrigeration)
Stock up on fruits and veggies to make smoothies and stir-fry’s on the fly. Buy frozen meat and fish on sale then thaw in the fridge for 24 hours before you want to use. Reheat bagels and breads for 20 seconds in the microwave, wrapped in a paper towel, then toast like normal.
Frozen Carrots, Peas, Beans, Broccoli, Corn, etc.
Mince options: Beef, Turkey, Chicken or Turkey, etc.
Fish and Seafood options
Bagels / English Muffins
Chicken, Beef, Lamb and Pork cuts or roasts
Now that you have the “foundation” for a handy and supportive kitchen you can develop fantastic dishes for you, your family and friends. Get out a cookbook and have a quick peruse for a dish that interests you or starts your mouth watering. The point of this exercise is to have you prepared for making tasty meals and reducing the number of dine outs, fast foods and take away.
The more you practice, the more competent and self assured you will become. You may just find yourself the Master Chef of your kitchen if you aren’t already.
Here’s hoping you’re the “HOT STUFF” in the kitchen!
Volume 1 – The Mental Aspect
Volume 2 – The Preparation to Success
Volume 3 – Planning and Preparing Your Kitchen