Do you have a busy schedule that makes it difficult to find time to cook? You’re not alone. We all know the benefits of eating home cooked food compared to take-away options, but when time isn’t on our side, cooking can feel like a chore. This is where having a well-stocked pantry can save the day! These seven staple ingredients are great for putting together easy meals before, during or after your busy day.
Tinned beans are a great source of plant-based protein and fibre. They are also incredibly versatile as you can eat them straight from the tin or add them to your cooking. Beans can be added to salads or wraps for extra protein, mash them up with some breadcrumbs and an egg for a veggie burger patty, or use them to bulk up your Mexican-style mince.
Lebanese bread is inexpensive and can be used in a wide range of recipes.
Use it for wraps, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and other toppings and grill
for a quick and easy pizza, or tear into pieces and bake in the oven to create
crunchy ‘crackers’ to enjoy alongside your favourite dips.
Tomatoes are naturally rich in vitamins A and C and in a tin, they make the perfect, convenient and easy base for pasta sauces and soups. For a quick and easy red pasta sauce, add a dash of olive oil and 1 clove of crushed garlic to a fry pan. Once the garlic starts to sizzle, throw in a can of tinned (and diced) tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and any herbs of your choosing and simmer for 20 minutes. Easy!
A convenient source of protein that you can add to salads, sandwiches and pasta bakes. Being shelf-stable means you can carry a tin of fish with you to work or school to enjoy as part of your lunch. Tinned salmon is rich in calcium, while tinned sardines and mackerel are good sources of the essential omega-3 fatty acids.
5.Unsweetened Greek Yoghurt
Choosing unsweetened Greek yoghurt means it can be used in both sweet and savoury recipes. Yoghurt contains gut-loving bacteria and is also a source of protein to keep you feeling full. Enjoy it as a snack straight from the tub, pair it up with your favourite granola or cereal, use it to make tzatziki dip with cucumber and mint, and try using it as a marinade for chicken with fresh lemon and garlic.
6.Mixed Leafy Greens
You can buy mixed greens washed and ready-to-eat from your local supermarket – baby spinach, rocket and radicchio are some examples. Add them to wraps and sandwiches, or use them as a quick and easy salad base with some protein and other veggies you’ve got at home. Try adding a few handfuls of baby spinach to a fry pan with olive oil and garlic and cook until spinach wilts for a quick and delicious side dish.