Building a Kitchen: Pantry Staples

I don’t know if anyone else feels stuck at home, but I personally have been leaning on my non-perishables. I feel like it’s the first thing people buy when they move into a place. Here are some things I think you always need to have. I am only including non-pershibles or with an expiration date of a year + (no produce). 

  1. Flour (All-Purpose) – I think flour is just a great thing to have on hand, whether you are baking, breading, or thickening
  2. Granulated Sugar – I use possibly too much sugar everyday sweetening my coffee but also for baking and general cooking. 
  3. Neutral Oil – One thing I learned pretty quickly is that you need some sort of cooking oil to saute, fry, roast, etc. but you have to be careful about the type of oil. Some like avocado oil have their own flavor that they add to the food. Get neutral oil like canola or vegetable. 
  4. Vinegar – There are a thousand and one types of vinegar but you really should have at least one in your kitchen. Vinegar is essential for cooking things like meat or making salad dressings and other sauces. Also good for cleaning. I, personally, prefer apple cider vinegar for cooking and white vinegar just for cleaning. 
  5. Soy Sauce – This might just be cause I like salt and rice dishes. It’s also has a lovely depth of flavor and savor that just salt does have. 
  6. Lemon Juice – Essential for cooking, baking, and mixing drinks. It is a great add-in to sauces or to top off dishes like salad and pasta. 
  7. Tomato Paste – This is a really condensed flavor of tomato in a smooth paste. It is a great base for stew, sauces, curries, etc. It’s a great way to start building flavor up, even to add to a basic rice or pasta dish. 
  8. Pasta – For pasta. I personally really like the farfalle (like bowtie) and my partner really like linguine which is really easy to cook. 
  9. Rice – Obviously. I don’t really have anything else to say for this. 
  10. Baking Soda – Good for baking yes. But also cleaning, clearing unpleasant scents, and for helping with pain when it comes to bee stings and bug bites. 

Quick and Easy Meals ft. Non-perishables

So, we like many in our area and country and world are stuck at home. We are only going food shopping every couple weeks and ordering what we can. Because of this we are relying a lot on non-perishables throwing in some other things when we can. I thought that I would throw-up some quick and easy recipes that we have been using to avoid just ramen noodles.

  • Sausage Gravy Noodles
    • This meal idea comes from my partner’s mom. All you need for this recipe is some sausage to brown or cook, vegetables (onions, bell pepper, whatever you have on hand) to saute, noodles, and a condensed soup like mushroom or cream of chicken.
    • To assemble: cook noodles like normal; saute vegetables together with sausage if you want; when noodles are being drained cook condensed soup like a gravy or sauce (DO NOT add water); then combine ingredients. Season to preference.
  • Loaded Nachos
    • A lot of this just depends on what you have on hand besides tortilla chips and a cheese that melts well. Add beans. salsa, corn, cilantro, ground meat, shredded chicken, etc.
    • To assemble: make nachos add ingredients.
  •  Tuna Salad
    • What you need: canned tuna, mayo, pickle juice, salt and pepper. Optional ingredient: chopped pickles, celery, red onion.
    • To assemble: mix ingredients, add to bread or eat with crackers.
    • IF YOU HAVE THE CHEESE: make a tuna melt please for those of us who do not.
  • Rice-based anything
    • Yes, there are a million rice dishes from fried rice to risotto. For this I am also throwing in rice cakes, rice pudding, and rice crispy treats.

What are some of your favorite pantry meals?

Stay safe and healthy.