Welcome to kitchen 101 by Dancing Through Sunday. This is a new series which gives you everything you need to have a fully functioning grown up kitchen (or pretend to have one anyway, like I do..). I aim to delve into my kitchen and get back to basics, sharing what I have learnt on my delicious foodie loving journey.
I never really learnt how to stock a pantry for the first time so my pantry had 2 tins of diced tomatoes, 4 soy sauces and an old empty packet of rice and two minutes noodles. Hopefully after this series, we can put the two minute noodles to rest and do away with sad looking fridges and pantries forever! Just kidding noodles, I could never give you up.
This first post is about the basic items needed to stock a pantry. With these ingredients, you have the base for a huge variety of different meals – just add your fresh ingredients and a few bits and pieces.
Before I start, all of these products are my personal favourites and this isn’t a product review. Without further adieu..
1. Things in jars:
Coconut oil: For those times you want to bake healthy
Tahini: Because hommus + salad dressings
Peanut butter: For toast, stirfry, baking, basically making my life great.. especially that peanut butter, oreo and pretzel slice.
Jam: Toast, scones, cheese and jam toasties. Yes.
Rice malt syrup: A neat alternative to white sugar/sweetner
3. Freezer land:
Frozen things are good. They keep for a long time and are great for back ups/easy additions to meals. Pick some of your favourite stuff then freeze it. Frozen peas, frozen rasberries and frozen broccoli are the only things always in stock in my freezer. Peas because they are so easy to whip up into salads (Pea and Haloumi salad), stirfries, fried rice or alongside some mash. Rasberries because they are the yummiest snack ever and perfect with muesli. Broccoli because whenever I am sick I crave frozen broccoli, it’s my thing. Whatever makes you feel better, stock it in your freezer!
Make sure you have a flour on hand so you can make simple and delicious things such as wholemeal gnocchi, wholemeal pizza dough, or wholemeal gingerbread men. Muffins, brownies, bread.. I could go on forever. I like to have a GF flour on hand incase you have to make a recipe for someone gluten intolerant.
6. Oils, vinegars and sauces:
Always having a range of oils, vinegars and sauces means you’re able to whip up dressings and flavour stirfries whenever, whereever. Don’t stinge on olive oil but also have a cooking oil on hand. I use coconut oil or olive oil but have a fancy extra virgin olive oil for dressings and drizzling.
Not only is it cheaper to buy these things in bulk, but the jars look pretty and it helps inspire me wih dinner options some times because I can actually see what I have got. How’s all those benefits?!
Having an array of grains, nuts and seeds on hand is useful for a few reasons. I love to have a few almonds and chia seeds with my muesli or sprinkle some nuts on a salad. I also love using LSA meal in baking and quinoa for many a things (kale and quinoa patties)
Spices can be daunting but they can really take meals to the next level. Above are the spices I use the most, being turmeric, chili, ground cumin, dried rosemary and paprika. Most of my recipes use these spices above and I think they are a great place to start – experimenting with them is the easiest way to get to know each spice.