Strategic Pantry Stocking
How often have we faced our pantries at the end of a day
wondering how we can transform the random ingredients we have on
hand into a satisfying family meal? With our busy lives, it’s often
hard to think or plan
ahead. Statistics show that most people don’t think
about what to have for dinner until after 4 pm that day. And when
day is done, what we want is to find comfort in our personal time,
not the frustration of what to cook or the disappointment of a
There are many ingredients, when always kept on hand, that can
help make any meal more delicious and special. The following list
of pantry (and freezer) items will ease your mind and rejuvenate
your evening. These are not your pantry staples like flour and
spaghetti, but a few versatile extras that can add flavor and
* Chicken or vegetable stock or bouillon. Instead of boiling
vegetables or cooking rice in water, add a bouillon cube to add
flavor. It also eliminates the need to season with salt or add
* Salad dressing mixes. A few of these in the pantry means
you’re never out of dressing and also lets you switch gears and
serve a new salad taste. These dressings also make great marinade
spices, can help season sauces and casseroles or mixed with
mayonnaise or sour cream to make dips.
* Frozen peas. Frozen peas are a great addition to almost any
side dish. Mix some into pasta, rice or couscous to bring it to
* Caponata. A jar of caponata can be added to pasta, or served
as a side to fish or chicken. Use it to flavor dips or serve it on
crackers when guests arrive unexpectedly.
* Chickpeas. Add to salads, soups, and for bean dips and
* Canned tomatoes. Great for quickly throwing together a pasta
sauce. Dice and add to soups, vegetables, chicken breasts and
* Dried Mushrooms. Add them to roasts, soups and casseroles.
Great for a quick gravy or stir-fry.
* Frozen piecrust & frozen fruit. Whip up a delicious pie
for dessert or company in no time at all.
* Baking Mix. From chicken potpie, fried chicken and pizza
to luscious desserts – not to mention breakfast, this
versatile pantry essential has so many uses. Make your
own baking mix from scratch using whole wheat (or half whole wheat)