Stock your pantry and refrigerator with some basic staples and you’re on your way to creating healthful, tasty and economical meals.
Whole grains rich in fiber, protein and minerals.
- Sprouted whole-wheat grains: sandwich bread, English muffins, mini-bagels or tortillas. You can also store them in the freezer.
How to cook dry whole grains (stove top, you can freeze after cooking):
- Amaranth: Combine amaranth grain and water in a nonstick saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring mixture to a boil; cover pan and lower heat to a simmer. Cook until grains absorb the water and bind together (about 25 minutes).
- Barley: Use about 3 C broth or water to 1 C of dry barley (pearled or hull-less). Bring the barley-water mixture a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until tender (about 60 minutes).
- Brown rice: Combine 1 cup dry rice, 2¼ C liquid, ½ tsp salt (optional), and 2 tsp avocado oil (optional) in 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Bring to boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the saucepan and cook for about 45 minutes (rice should be tender and water is absorbed).
- Buckwheat groats: Combine 1 C groats with 2 C of water in a large saucepan. Cook 10-12 minutes over medium heat, then let stand for 5 minutes.
- Bulgur, Millet or Quinoa: Use 2 C of water or broth for every 1 C of dry bulgur. Bring to boil in a medium saucepan, then lower heat to simmer. Cover saucepan; cook about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- Instant Oatmeal: in a medium microwave-safe bowl combine 1 C water, ½ C of oats plus. Microwave for 1½ to 2 minutes. Stir before serving.
Canned beans are rich in fiber; good source of protein. Black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, pinto beans, refried beans (fat free), white beans.
Canned tomato products rich in lycopene and beta-carotene. Low-sodium tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.
Pastas “with a plus” contain fiber, less refined carbs and more protein. Red lentil, edamame, quinoa or brown rice pasta.
Healthful cooking fats contain monounsaturated fatty acids. Olive oil, avocado oil and oil spray.
Canned fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna (rinse and drain to reduce sodium content).
Nuts & seeds spreads are good sources of fiber, healthy fats and protein. Try natural peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower seeds or hazelnut butter. Seeds and nuts (including chia, flax & hemp) should be stored in the freezer.
Condiments and Seasonings
- Reduced sodium soy sauce (MSG-free), reduced sodium teriyaki sauce, Mrs. Dash seasonings, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, fresh limes & lemon, mustard, red pepper flakes.
Fridge and Freezer Essentials
Soy and Meat alternatives: Extra firm tofu, veggie burgers (MorningStar Grillers, Foodies Gourmet Griller, Boca)
Poultry: Thin sliced chicken breast, chicken tenders, canned chunk chicken (rinse and drain), ground turkey breast.
Eggs: Hard boiled eggs, whole eggs, egg whites.
Cheese: Part-skim or low-fat cheese or dairy-alternatives such as almond or cashew-based cheese.
Fish: You can safely eat up to 12 oz. weekly (salmon, anchovies, herring, sardines, trout, Atlantic or Pacific mackerel, shrimp, catfish). LIMIT to no more than 6 oz. tuna, shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish per week due to mercury poisoning.
Lean Meat: Limit red meat and cold cuts to 18 ounces a week. Red meat, choose “round” and “loin”, such as tenderloin, sirloin, eye of the round, and top round. Purchase “select” (lowest fat) as first choice, “choice” as second choice, “prime” as third choice.
Frozen Veggies: Select your favorite cooked & frozen veggies, plain and without added sauce or condiments. Such as: grilled artichokes, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, riced cauliflower, sweet potatoes, green beans, zucchini, edamame, etc.
Frozen Fruit: Great add-ons for breakfast and snack items and you don’t have to worry about them going bad.
5 MINUTE MEALS
- Frozen veggies sautéed with chicken strips.
- Scrambled eggs with frozen veggies, cook for 3-5 minutes in the microwave.
- Sautéed pre-cooked cauliflower rice mixed with your favorite lean protein, flavored with soy sauce.
- Tuna salad with sprouted wheat-bread.
- Sprouted wheat veggie quesadillas, filled with cheese, roasted red bell peppers and diced tomatoes.
- Quinoa pasta with tomato sauce, mixed veggies and lean protein.
- Cooked quinoa mixed with chickpeas, fat-free feta cheese and roasted bell peppers.
- Cooked bulgur with spinach and chicken strips.
- Oatmeal with dried fruit, hemp seeds and nuts.
- Smoothie with frozen fruit, hemp seeds, nut butter and mixed with liquid of your preference (click here for more smoothie ideas).
- Veggie burger over and English muffin and mixed veggies.