Five Must-Haves for Your Food Pantry

Residential-pantryAs I fly from work meeting to activity to other obligation, it’s all I can do to avoid turning into the drive-thru, simply for the sake of time.

I have found though, that if I can think ahead, and make sure that my cupboards are strategically stocked with a little proactive shopping, I whip something up at home in no time. This saves money and is way (like way more) more nutritious.


Versatile and inexpensive, rice is a great-go –to item to have on hand. A quick, low-maintenance side dish- or the basis for main, rice is absorbent of many different flavours.

Try using broth instead of water for extra flavour. Add a variety of spices to liven the rice up. For more healthful options, use brown rice instead of converted rice, for extra fibre, vitamins and minerals.


Is there anything you can’t do with pasta? Put a pot to boil, and take some spaghetti sauce out of the freezer that you may have stocked up on.

Experiment with any veggies you have in the crisper. Chop and saute- and then toss with cooked pasta and olive oil. Top with grated parmesan, and you have a delicious, healthy meal.

Canned Tomatoes

Use them in soups, stews, chilis, casseroles or dozens of other dishes.

You can even throw a can on top of chicken breasts, top with some cheese, and put in the oven while you attend to other matters. Add a green salad and a loaf of crusty bread and dinner is ready.


Legumes are a frugal pantry powerhouse. They are cheap and stacked with nutritional value. Use chickpeas or lentils in place of your traditional protein in sauces.

In summer, they are particularly tasty as the base for a salad- which can be a yummy side dish or even a main. Chop up veggies and toss with a vinaigrette. Inexpensive and very healthy!