As schools, businesses, and events are shutting down across the nation and quarantines are becoming more and more common, it may be time to take an inventory of pantries, freezers, and refrigerators. Within the last few days, I have been asked about what kind of items would I stock and for some quick meal ideas. There are many people who are being faced with having to cook at home rather than dining out. For me and most, an easy and enjoyable feat, for others, a dreaded and perhaps scary adventure. I hope this list and easy ideas will help ease some worry.
Stocking enough food for everyone in the family to have two meals a day for two weeks is the current recommendation. Might I add, when doing so please don’t forget about your medications and your pets, too.
For staple supplies, I refer to my go-to supply list. A list of supplies that can be used to make quick meals and also magically help transform leftovers. These are my preferences, so of course, adjust to you and your family’s likes and dislikes. I like to stock supplies that can have a double duty, for instance pita bread and tortillas. Both pita bread and tortillas can be used for sandwiches and used to make chips.
Just like everyday in the fight against food waste, make your freezer your BFF and it will help you get through!
- Assorted Rice-flavored microwave ones are good in a pinch, but watch for some sodium levels
- Stocks or Broths-chicken, beef, vegetable-for soups and sauces
- Assorted Pasta-hot meals and cold pasta salads, sides
- Canned Tomatoes/Tomato Sauce/Baked Beans-soups, sauces, pasta
- Canned Corn-soups, casseroles
- Dried and Canned Beans-beans and rice, soups, burritos, and bean burgers
- Salmon and/or tuna pouches-add to hot or cold pasta, to mashed potatoes, omelettes, or fritters
- Grits/Polenta-breakfast and used as base for tomatoes, vegetables, or leftovers
- Mashed Potatoes-use in soups, base for leftovers or base/topping of a savory pie
- Cornbread Mix-casseroles, like tamale pie, sides, or muffins, fritters, pancakes
- Organic canned chicken
- Nuts-as a snack, but also to use as coating for fish or chicken
- Coconut Milk-for curry and ice cream
- Peanut Butter
- Honey-never goes bad!
- Frozen Vegetables
- Frozen Seasonings
- Frozen Fruit
- Bread and Rolls
- IQF (Individually Quick Frozen) shrimp
- Frozen Burgers or Veggie Burgers
- Pork Chops, Chicken, and/or Fish
Refrigerator List*: (I only stock with items that can be frozen to prevent any food waste)
- Tortillas and/or pita bread-quesadillas, burritos, wraps, sandwiches, chips
- Cured Meats
- Wonton Wrappers-ravioli, potstickers, fried wontons, wonton soup
- Roll Out Pizza Dough-calzones, pizza, pinwheels
With these supplies along with basic pantry supplies it will be easy to create quick meals. For instance, one of our favorites is a bag of frozen creamed spinach, pasta, and shrimp. I add a little of the pasta water to the spinach and voila an instant sauce and meal.
If you find yourself having trouble putting on your TO COOK is TO CREATE thinking cap, remember I am always here for any leftover or quick meal help you may need.
FOOD FUN: Find a recipe you have been wanting to try and add the ingredients to your stock up list. Maybe you have a favorite meal or cake you only make on special occasions. Call this a special occasion and treat yourself and your family. Time spent with loved ones is always a gift worth celebrating.
Stay Healthy and Safe!