Pantry Staples




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. 

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