Cook anything…when you keep these things handy

I really envy people who consistently make plans and stick to them. These are the people who plan a menu out on Sunday, then make sure to get the things they need to cook it. I’m especially envious of those people who actually take the time to prep their meals ahead! Wow, it’s just so not me – even if I try it never lasts long. I live by the proverbial seat of my pants everyday…which keeps things interesting for my planner husband!

All this confession is to tell you that it’s possible for anyone to prepare healthy, fresh meals with real food after a long day without a lot of prep time and hassle. Just because you don’t have a meal planned tonight, you do not have to drive-thru somewhere or order pizza. Really! Even if you are a planner, these tips will work for you too!

  1. Keep your pantry stocked with certain “Essentials”
  2. Google recipes containing fresh produce you have on hand. For example, google “Spinach and Sweet Potato recipesI just found 10 recipes! I try to mix up my produce by combining warm & cool colors
  3. Have down a few basic go-to cooking techniques – cutting, roasting, soups. Keep your knife sharp!

Today I’m going to just cover Tip 1 ~ Essential Pantry Items. You can break them up by 3 categories: Fresh, Pantry & Spices

Keep lemons and limes for water, salad dressing, marinades & soups!

Fresh On Hand: Onion, Garlic, Lemons (Limes, if available), Oranges, Celery, Carrots, Spinach or Spring Greens, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, Potatoes, Avocados, Almonds

Chocolate chip cookies are the only thing that smells better in the over than garlic & onions!

Spices On Hand: Garlic Seasoning (Toomey’s Seasoning), Turmeric, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Cayenne, Ginger, Curry, Italian Seasoning

Pantry On Hand: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Balsamic, Rice Vinegar, Tamari Sauce, Tahini, Dijon Mustard, Organic Broth (Chicken or Veggie), Coconut Milk, Honey, Maple Syrup

Tools On Hand: A sharp knife, cutting board, garlic press, grater, colander, whisk, spatula, high speed blender, soup pot, saute pan, non-stick griddle (that can go on the stove & in the oven)

With these items on hand you can always make just about anything. For example, make a salad and your own salad dressing: Whisk together equal parts lemon juice & oil, honey, minced garlic, salt & pepper in the bottom of your salad bowl first, then add salad on top, toss together

This coming week, the boxes will have Butternut Squash (soup recipe here), Black Kale (Kale & Butternut Squash Quesadillas), Spinach, Sweet Potatoes (Roasted Sweet Potato & Spinach Hash)

Life is an adventure and food is a huge part of it. Enjoy the ride!

If you try any of these recipes, or find a new one with a google search, please let me know how it worked out for you!

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