Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Peek Inside My Pantry

I don't have a recipe to post tonight because I didn't make dinner. I went out with some friends. However, I thought I would write a quick post about some of the staple items I always have in my pantry. With these items and a quick stop at the market, I can prepare a quick weeknight meal.
  • Pasta - a variety of shapes and sizes: orzo, spaghetti, penne, ditalini
  • Rice - brown, white, wild, and arborio for risotto
  • Couscous
  • Barley and lentils (Don't have these two now, but I plan to start cooking with them more.
  • Breadcrumbs - Panko (japanese-style) and Italian seasoned
  • Flour - all-purpose and whole wheat
  • Vinegars - red wine, balsamic, white wine; I even have a white balsamic that is delicious
  • Oils - extra-virgin olive, vegetable
  • Nonstick cooking spray (a regular one and one with flour for baking)
  • Beans - a variety of your favorites: I usually have garbanzo, white, kidney and/or black
  • Kalamata olives
  • Diced tomatoes - no salt added
  • Tomato paste, sauce, crushed tomatoes
  • Tahini pasta - an essential ingredient for making hummus
  • Sundried tomatoes - love these!
  • Capers
  • Peppers - roasted red and banana
  • Dried fruit - apricots, raisins, craisins
  • Nuts - walnuts, cashews, almonds (You can make great trail mixes with nuts and dried fruits. Throw some sunflower seeds in there, too. Trail mix makes for a great snack.)
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Tuna, clams (These last forever and when used with fresh ingredients like lemon juice and parsley, they really freshen up.)

I know this sounds like a lot, but accumulate the items over time, plus a lot of these you probably already have. Remember they last forever, so it's not like they'll go bad.

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