Imagine the scenario. You have just arrived home from a long day at work. You are tired and starving, and you are ready to whip up a quick meal for dinner.
You open the cupboard to see what ingredients you have to work with and realize that they are completely empty. What do you do now?
The last thing you want to do after work is drive all the way to grocery store to pick up some ingredients. Maybe you end up ordering a takeaway or you skip dinner all together and a graze on snacks all evening.
Keeping your cupboards well stocked at all times will ensure you never have one of these nights ever again. You will always have a supply of ingredients, ready to combine into a delicious and nutritious meal.
But what are the cupboard essentials that you should always have to hand?
Here are five food staples that everybody should have in their cupboards:
Cheese can transform a boring dish into a flavoursome meal.
Traditional hard cheese has a long use-by date, but once the packet has been opened, it is prone to mold growth. If you do not eat cheese very often, you might end up having to throw most of the block away.
To solve this problem, you can switch to canned cheese. Buy a few cans to keep in your cupboard, ready to stir into your meals or add on top of your favorite dishes when you’re in need of an extra cheesy flavor.
Canned cheese has a much longer use-by date than regular cheese, so you will always have a supply of cheesy goodness in your cupboard.
Herbs, Spices, and Seasoning
You might not always be able to keep your fridge stocked up with fresh herbs. When this is the case, dried herbs are the perfect alternative.
Alongside your spice jars, dried herbs add an immense amount of flavor to every dish that you create. You can spice up (literally) a pasta dish or create a herby marinade for your meats.
You do not need to go over the top buying every single one of the herbs and spices on the shelves of your local grocery store. Pick a few of your favorites to keep in the cupboard.
Some popular spices include chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, curry powder, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon. For the herbs, stock up on dried oregano, cilantro, and basil. And, of course, you cannot forget about the salt and pepper!
If there is one thing that you will use in pretty much every dish you create, it is olive oil.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest types of oil that you can use. It is full of healthy unsaturated fats, such as omega-3s and omega-6s, which have been shown to protect your heart and boost cognitive function.
Aside from its health benefits, olive oil adds lots of great flavor to your dishes. You can use it to fry your ingredients in a wok or roast your veggies in the oven. It can also be added to your salads as a dressing.
Canned tomatoes are perfect for any pasta dish. They can also be stirred into soups or used as a pizza topping.
There are a few different kinds of chopped tomatoes, including diced or chopped tomatoes, whole tomatoes, or tomato paste.
Some cans also have a mixture of herbs and spices that are pre-mixed into the tomatoes, which saves you from having to add them yourself.
Rice, pasta, and other grains, such as quinoa, barley, and buckwheat, are some of the most important cupboard staples. Get yourself a range of different pastas, including white and wholemeal, tagliatelle and linguini, bowie and conchiglie. This will give you a nice variety to choose from when creating your dinners.
They can be used to form the basis of most of your main meals and you can stir in whatever other ingredients you like. If you have leftover meat or seafood from the night before, they will go perfectly with your cooked grains.
The options are endless when you use rice or pasta as the base of your dish. If you are creating a pasta dish, you can use some chopped tomatoes and canned cheese. If you have some wholegrain rice, stir in some soy sauce, a squeeze of lemon, and some herbs and spices.
For those of you who are celiac or on a gluten-free diet, make sure to buy suitable grains, such as quinoa or gluten-free oats.