People do themselves such a disservice by not being prepared with ingredients that are flexible and convenient to just keep on hand. These items will save you on your Wednesday night lull or when friends decide to pop over (of course around supper time) Here is a list of things I always have on hand!
1. Oils- Have an olive oil for everything, a sesame oil for the asian inspired and a coconut oil for baking and hair mask and a really fabulous sexual lubricant if you aren’t using condoms!
2. Pasta- Whole wheat, gluten free I do not care. But to make faster food than takeout you need some!
3. Frozen Seafood- I know it is shunned against but making it to your local fish market after work on Tuesday night probably is not going to happen. It thaws fast, is healthy and most importantly cooks fast. Frozen Shrimp, Salmon and Cod are usually what I keep on hand.
4. Quinoa, Rice, Couscous- So I will admit I usually have them all! Whether you go the stir fry direction, mexican or middle east, all of these can work as a great base.
5. Flour- I am not here to tell you to use spelt or whole wheat just have a flour you like because at some point you might have to thicken a stew, sauce, or make pizza dough. Have some. I like to have a few. Great tip is buy small quantities you would be surprised how quickly it goes bad!
6. Honey, maple syrup, or agave- Once again I have them all but yes you should have at least one! From sweetening up a smoothie or making candied bacon to making marinades and salad dressings, no baby you are not always sweet enough.
7. Fresh herbs.- They are cheap to buy and easy to grow. Food taste better with a hit of freshness and certain dishes just simply will not work without them. My go too herbs all year round? Parsley and Cilantro.
8. Lemon and Limes- Just have them. Almost every dish needs a hit of acid. From pasta sauces, seafood and chicken to dips like hummus and guacamole, you need them, bad!
9. Dried Herbs- Unlike fresh herbs that elevate your dish at the end of the cooking process, dry herbs help develop layers of flavours in the actual cooking process. My tip, add them at the beginning when you are sautéing the garlic and onions. The direct heat from the pan will really wake up the oils in the herbs really making them sing. My selection? Cumin, oregano, chili powder, turmeric and paprika. Sometimes a store bought mix is good and easy to have. A good cajun is a must!
10. Onions and garlic- You can not do anything without them and should be arrested if you do not have them!
Bonus 1- Dijon mustard, you have no idea how useful it is my friends!
Bonus 2- Hot sauces, all different kinds. Kinda not a bonus, kinda a must!