Being the planner I am, I like to keep a few food options stocked for later in the week when my fresh ingredients are limited. Lately I have been trying to limit my shopping trips to once per week or every one and a half weeks.
My usual strategy is planning meals that require more fresh ingredients for earlier in the week right after grocery shopping, and meals that call for more frozen, canned, or pantry items later in the week.
Some pantry items I always have stocked are:
- Minute brown rice
- Spaghetti sauce
- Oatmeal or plain oats
- Nuts, peanut butter
- Chicken stock or low sodium canned soup
- Tortillas – La Tortilla Factory
- Rice cakes
- Avocados purchased when not yet ripe
Frozen or refrigerated:
- Frozen vegetables in steamer bags; frozen sweet potato fries
- Pickles or olives
- Yogurt dressing for veggie dip or salads
- Frozen chicken or other protein option(s)
- Items like carrots, apples, oranges, melons, etc. that have a longer shelf life
This is not an all-inclusive list, but you get the gist! Keeping quick options on hand make life a little simpler.
One pantry recipe that my family loves is a Taco Bake recipe! (*Note: this isn't a 100% healthy recipe, but a better option than going out to eat!)
- 1 box Jiffy Cornbread mix
- 1 can cream corn, or corn
- 1 lb taco meat (cooked)
- 1 can black beans
- Salsa or diced tomatoes
- Any other taco toppings you like – cheese, black olives, onions, jalapenos etc.
(Calories will vary based on ingredients)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook taco meat, and make jiffy cornbread mix as listed on the box. Add cream corn or corn to cornbread mix.
- Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Layer half the cornbread mix on the bottom of the pan, then taco meat and all other ingredients, then the other half of the cornbread mix on the top.
- Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 min, or until cornbread cooked through (toothpick comes out clean)