I hear one excuse over and over again from clients. They say ‘I come home and open the cupboards to make my meal and there is nothing to eat’. It is so important to keep your cupboards regularly stocked and full so that you always have options and variety. So where do you start?
Firstly, I always advice clients to have some of the key basic ingredients at hand and you can build up from here. Your store cupboard is there to supplement your fresh ingredients or if you run out of fresh ingredients, can act as a backup! Some great basics are an extra virgin olive oil, one or two vinegars, a variety of spices and dried herbs, a good sea salt and pepper, tinned fish, dried pastas and rice, a few tins of beans or lentils and any other condiments you like such as mustard, pesto’s and jams. Don’t rush out to buy all these at one time – each time you go shopping, buy something new.
One my website, I tend to use the same ingredients over and over again, so that once you buy an ingredient, you’ll keep using it. Spices such as turmeric, cumin and coriander can be used in winter for soups and stews and in the summer for curries and dressings. Dried herbs are a great back up to fresh ones, which can be expensive in the winter.
Once you start stocking up the cupboards with these basics, you’ll always have some options. Here I have made a meal from mostly stock cupboard items and thrown in some fresh vegetables to complete the meal.
- 1 cup of whole wheat or spelt pasta – your choice
- 1 tin of red kidney beans – washed and drained
- 3 medium tomatoes – diced into ½ inch pieces
- 2 spring onions
- 1 yellow pepper - diced into ½ inch pieces
- 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 10 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 garlic clove – crushed
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Mix dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
- Boil a saucepan of water and cook the pasta for around 10 minutes till it is cooked al dente (slightly undercooked!)
- Drain and allow to cool slightly.
- Mix together with the rest of the salad ingredients and stir in dressing.
- Serve immediately.
- Dairy free, sugar free