Ingredients You Should Always Have On-Hand
Meet our real-life friends Dave and Sarah, the creators of an extremely fun and helpful food blog called 1 cup Awesome. I may be biased, but I think they might even be 2 cups awesome! It gives me hope for our future dinners considering they ate Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and frozen pizzas for the first year of their marriage. Sounds like Eric and I need to go grocery shopping, though!
Since we started our blog, 1 cup Awesome, we've heard friends talk about how they would love to cook or bake but just don't know where to begin or what items to keep on hand. We know how overwhelming it can feel to look at a recipe and realize that you do not have a single ingredient on the list. The natural reaction is to just give in and order take out or have cereal for dinner. Friends, we won't stand for this!
At our house, we make dinner (and breakfast and lunch) probably 6 out of 7 days of the week, but that doesn't mean we spend hours upon hours in the kitchen. We try to use simple recipes and keep a well-stocked kitchen. That way, when we pick our meals for the week, our grocery list is much shorter and more manageable.
We've put together a list of basic items that we always have on hand. These are the things that we will replace as soon as they run out. We could make tons of meals, dishes and desserts from items on this list alone, which is very handy when we've run out of everything else! A great example of this is one of our favorite meals, Chickpea Pasta. Every ingredient in the dish can be found in our kitchen at anytime.
Here Is Our Well-Stocked Kitchen:
Herbs and Spices Kosher salt (cooking) Table salt (baking) Coarsely ground black pepper Crushed red pepper Ground cumin Ground coriander Ground cinnamon Cinnamon sticks Ground mustard Nutmeg Smoked paprika Poppyseeds Chili powder Bay leaf Italian seasoning Cayenne pepper Ground ginger
Pantry Basics All-purpose flour Whole wheat flour Sugar Brown sugar Powdered sugar Cornstarch Baking powder Baking soda Unsweetened cocoa powder Panko Pure vanilla extract Almond extract
Pasta and Grains Short cut pasta (such as penne) Long cut pasta (such as spaghetti) Brown rice Quinoa Old-fashioned rolled oats Whole wheat bread
Canned or Jarred Goods Chicken stock Crushed tomatoes Tomato paste Fire roasted tomatoes Marinara sauce Pesto Chickpeas Black beans
Condiments, Etc. Extra virgin olive oil Canola Oil White wine vinegar Red wine vinegar Balsamic vinegar Honey Agave nectar Maple syrup Hot sauce Dijon mustard Yellow mustard Whole grain mustard Ketchup Mayonnaise Salsa Soy sauce Worcestershire sauce Barbecue sauce Ranch Peanut butter Strawberry preserves
Produce Garlic Onions Fresh parsley Carrots Potatoes Baby spinach Lemons Apples Bananas Berries
Freezer Basics Frozen corn Frozen peas Frozen berries Nuts Chocolate chips ICE CREAM!
Refrigerator Basics Eggs Milk Half and half Unsalted butter Plain Greek yogurt Parmesan cheese Cheddar cheese Mozzarella cheese Feta cheese
There are lots of items on this list that can be found in most kitchens across the country. Then there are some that might not be widely accepted as staples. But these are the things that work for our family, and that is the key thing to keep in mind here. Your list may look slightly different from ours, and that's OK. Hopefully this list at least gives you a place to start so that you can have a well-stocked kitchen!
We promise, cooking is much easier and more enjoyable when your kitchen is stocked!