I often have people jokingly ask if I would go grocery shopping for them! So I thought I would come up with a list of items that are always in my pantry that help make my life a little bit easier.
1. Olive oil - Use extra virgin for salad dressings and regular olive oil for cooking/sautéing. I like using a mister and spray the olive oil rather than pouring directly from bottle; you will use less and help cut on calories and fat.
2. Balsamic Vinegar - A great way to add flavor without adding fat and calories. It is also very versatile, you can use on meats, veggies, even dessert!
3. Whole grain pasta - This can be used for a quick week night meal with marinara sauce or toss with some sautéed vegetables.
4. Oatmeal - Oats are one of the healthiest options for breakfast since it is a good source of protein and fiber. It is also inexpensive! Feel free to dress it up with bananas or berries or even a tablespoon of nut butter.
5. Brown rice or Quinoa - These 2 side dishes are versatile and work with virtually any meal. Also, think out of the box a bit and try quinoa for breakfast too!
6. Whole grain bread - This is great to have for toast in the morning for breakfast or a sandwich at lunch.
7. Nut butters - Peanut butter is a concentrated source of protein and heart healthy monounsaturated fat. Of course it is also concentrated in calories so be sure to limit to 2 Tbsp. Opt for natural nut butters that don't have added sugars and other additives.
8. Canned beans/lentils - Beans and lentils are packed with protein and also economical and convenient. They are also loaded with fiber and filling. This is a great way to incorporate a vegetarian meal into weekly dinners.
9. Canned/pouch salmon- Get your dose of Omega 3 fatty acids without breaking the band. Canned wild salmon is a much more budget friendly way to get your weekly fish intake in and it also lasts a while.