Race To The Table With These Quick Staples

To make those instant dinners less of an emergency, keep these lists of staples on the refrigerator door. Note when you are running low on supplies and make a point of replenishing them on your next grocery store run. Of course, make sure you always have a steady supply of flavorings and condiments such as olive oil, mustard and herbs.

Quick Basics

  • Canned beans ( kidney and garbanzo beans are a great additions to salads or chili.)
  • Pita Bread (It’s fun to make your own with the kids. I’ll share a recipe later)
  • Whole Wheat Tortillas or Regular Tortillas
  • Couscous ( simmer with vegetable bouillon or tomato juice instead of water, top with chickpeas and quickly sauteed vegetables)
  • Olive Oil
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Salsa (Of course you can make your own)
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Vegetarian bouillon
  • Chicken or Beef stock (I like to have a little of both on hand in the freezer.)
  • Marinated artichoke hearts ( I learned how to make my own by reading an article from Bobby Flay. I’ll share the recipe later.)
  • Roasted red peppers (Fresh roasted is always good and a yummy addition to flavoring a pumpkin or tomato soup.)

Convenience Foods

  • Canned chili (Homemade chili is good too. Make a big batch and freeze.)
  • Canned Soup (Same as the chili. Soups freeze well.)
  • Canned refried beans, pintos, and black beans ( I think it’s a lot cheaper to buy beans in the bag, soak overnight, then toss in the crock pot and freeze in portions.)
  • Nonfried ramen noodles (They are inexpensive and are not just for soup. You can create a wonderful, flavorful meal for your family by adding spices, chopped vegetables and even some type of meat.)
  • Boxed macaroni and cheese (Shhh, did I say boxed? If you’re in a pinch and don’t have more than 15 minutes to prepare dinner, it’s okay to pull out the box of macaroni and cheese. Serve with a vegetable or a salad.)
  • Frozen peas or other vegetables (Frozen vegetables have the same amount of nutrients as fresh and they last longer and cook quickly.)
  • Bagged salad mixes (Dispurse into individual containers for the whole week. The salad will stay fresher longer. I do this a lot with Romaine lettuce.)
  • Bottled salad dressing (If you can make your own salad dressing, even better.)

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