You stuck to your Sunday meal planning goal and have your week of dinners planned out like the champ you are; awesome! Wednesday your spouse has a meeting and won’t be home for dinner, which is fine because you have leftovers from Monday. But he takes them for lunch and the meeting is cancelled, leaving you both at home without a plan. This happens in my house – as I’m sure it does yours – fairly regularly.

Luckily, I paid attention over the years and began stocking up at the grocery when I was out of base recipe ingredients and now have a (nearly memorized by now) go-to shopping list. A kitchen stocked with versatile and healthy items makes nights that go awry not so daunting. I can throw something healthy together rather quickly without needing to scour my cookbooks for recipes or make an additional trip to the store.

grocery

Here is a list of not only what I prefer, but a wide variety of healthy items that are helpful to have on hand. This is not a comprehensive list as you know yourself and your family best, so as you read it I suggest making your own list of what fits your preferences. Do be adventurous and add a few new items you haven’t tried, you never know what your new favorite food will be!

Freezer

Vegetables (mixed, broccoli, spinach, chopped peppers, corn, peas)
Fruits (mixed, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
Chicken – Boneless skinless breasts, thighs, tenderloin
Ground beef, turkey and pork (opt for 94% lean if available)
Salmon and/or Tilapia

Fridge

Dairy
Low-fat plain yogurt
Full or low-fat cottage cheese (do not get non-fat…just trust me on this)
String cheese (perfect snack!)
1%, Skim or Almond milk
Low-fat ricotta cheese
Butter

Produce
Tomatoes
Red/green/romaine leaf lettuce
Spinach
Arugula
Cucumber
Red peppers
Carrots
Cauliflower
Squash/zucchini
Mushrooms
Asparagus
Celery
Broccoli
Avocado
Kiwi
Apples
Oranges
Grapes
Cherries
Grapefruit
Clementines
Pears

Other
Deli meat – low sodium
Eggs (I typically have two 18-count cartons!)
Balsamic/olive oil based salad dressing
Minced garlic

Pantry

Sweet/Idaho/Red potatoes
Bananas
Oats (1-minute quick oats are great for oatmeal)
Onions
Whole wheat pasta
Quinoa
Brown Rice
Boxed/canned soup – low sodium
Black/pinto beans
Chickpeas
Whole wheat bread – Get extra and freeze
Whole wheat English muffins – Get extra and freeze
Whole wheat tortillas
Canned diced tomatoes
Chicken/vegetable broth
Pasta sauce – check sugar content for 6g or less per serving (unfortunately it’s harder than you’d think)
Tomato sauce
Panko breadcrumbs
Natural nut butter – Look at the ingredients to ensure there is no added sugar
Almonds/walnuts/pistachios
Flaxseed
Apple cider vinegar
Olive oil

Baking

Whole wheat/white whole wheat flour
Baking soda
Baking powder
Sugar
Brown sugar
Yeast
Cocoa powder
Vanilla extract

Spices/Condiments
Ginger
Oregano
Cumin
Basil
Cinnamon
Nutmeg
Parsley
Tarragon
Garlic powder
Chili powder
Paprika
Salt/pepper
Worcestershire sauce
Mustard
Ketchup – no added sugar
Hot sauce
Honey
Agave or pure maple syrup

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Kitchen Staples

Published by Samantha Kellgren

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