Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I Keep in My Pantry

I have always enjoyed cooking. Now that I am married with Children, I LOVE to cook. It is my way of relaxing. If I am stressed out, avoiding something, whatever, cooking will get me back on track. I enjoy coming up with new ways of using foods, and I hardly ever ever use recipes. It drives my husband of some of my friends who later ask how I made something, crazy.

As a busy mom, I need to always make sure that my pantry and fridge are fully stocked so that I am always prepared. There are quite a few things that I almost always have on hand. This way, if I am in a rush, I can quickly throw something Yummy together. My children have never eaten frozen nuggets, or canned soup, or frozen pizza for dinner. I am a stickler for "fresh" food.

One important thing to note with regard to how I cook is that I am not a stickler for always using the ingredients that are listed in the recipe. If I don't have one or two of the ingredients, I may try to substitute something else. I will add a bit, try it, repeat, etc. If you are making it, you need to enjoy it, so add a bit of what you enjoy!! I will continue this subject in another blog post...
Below is just a start on this blog post. I will try to add to it whenever I can. I hope this helps!!

What I keep in My Pantry:

Can Food, (I am not a huge fan of canned food..but I am also a mom that sometimes has time to cook, and sometimes I just do I would rather my family eat a homemade meal made from a can as opposed to going out and eating something unhealthy. Always frozen veggies and fruits! They say that they are sometimes healthier for you! 

Fresh produce like eggs, yogurt, and milk are great to always have on hand. And then this year, my family bought a portion of a cow. It is grass fed and free of hormones and antibiotics. Check out this great website for more info: Eatwild  I also buy the 10lb bag of chicken from Halls Market   when it is on sale, (usually $17.90). I portion it into frozen zip lock bags, (about 10 small bags), and lasts for quite awhile. Their chicken is also hormone free.

                tuna salad sandwich/ tuna melt
                tuna casserole  

Buy what you like. I prefer Black, Kidney, Cannelli and Garbanzo.
Black beans are great for Black Bean Dip,
Chick Peas can be thrown in salads or blended and then stuffed into zucchini or summer squash halves sprinkled with a bit of cheese
Kidney Beans are always great in any kind of chili
Cannelli Beans can be wonderful in Pasta's.
Diced Tomatoes, Pureed Tomatoes, great for so many recipes...sauce ,etc

I love to make an easy sauce:
Sauté Garlic, Onions, (and shredded carrots) until soft
Add Diced or Pureed Tomatoes
Mix in aprox 1.5 tbsp of ketchup
Add in whatever spices you prefer, (salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, parmesan cheese etc)
If you have a few hours, throw in one or two bone in pork for some delicious flavor

Dried Foods:
Rice, (brown and Jasmine)
Oatmeal, (great for breakfast or can be pureed and added to muffins,
All kinds of Pasta
Flour/Cornstarch, (great thickeners)
All kinds of nuts
Olive Oil
Veggie Oil
Coconut Oil
Red Wine and Apple Cider Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Maple Syrup
Soy Sauce
Apple Sauce
Peanut Butter

Miso  Can be used instead of salt! 

I have a great Bone in Pork Slow Cooker Recipe that Calls for Miso and it is Super Easy!
Throw a Few Pieces of Pork in the Slow Cooker. Then Mix Together, 1 Tbsp of Miso, 2 Tbsp of Orange Juice, (or an orange if you have that on hand), a squirt of Sriracha, 1 tbsp of sweetener like maple syrup and then pour over Pork. Cook for 4-6 hours. Yum!!


Sweet Potatoes
All Kinds of Fruit
Frozen Food:
Veggies: Broccoli, Corn, Peas, Green Beans, Peppers, Spinach
Fruits: Strawberries, Blue Berries, (great for baking muffins, cookies, or adding to pancakes)
Butter, (freezes well) I buy it when it is on sale
Shredded Cheese, (freezes well) I buy it when it is on sale
Naan Bread, (freezes well) and make wonderful pizza!!

Jet's Naan Bread Pizza
Drizzle Olive Oil and some Sea Salt over Bread
Spread Whatever Sauce you Prefer, (red sauce, Basil sauce, Pea Sauce)
Decorate with whatever toppings you have in the freezer and/or fridge
Add Cheese if you like
Bake on 350 until cheese melts and Bread starts to brown a bit on the edges, (aprox 15-20 min)

Favorite Cooking Tool:
Small Food Processor  ( I find the large ones to be too much work)
I honestly blend so many things!! And for kids, it can help to mask a lot of flavors!! I have started adding lots of veggies to a ton of things, (carrots and peas and/or  frozen butter nut squash to meatballs, carrots to tomato sauce), or pureed tofu instead of ricotta cheese in lasagna, (no one noticed!!)

I hope this helps! I am going to put together some recipes to add to this soon!

Please Leave Comments!!


Fritzie said...

This is so fantastic! THANK YOU! This is going to be my go-to list for keeping my pantry and freezer stocked. Thank you for including budget-friendly ingredients as good substitutes. Looking forward to trying many of these recipes!

Kristen Fritz said...

This is so fantastic! THANK YOU! This is going to be my go-to list for keeping my pantry and freezer stocked. Thank you for including budget-friendly ingredients as good substitutes. Looking forward to trying many of these recipes!

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