When I open my kitchen food cupboards I often wonder why they are full of stuff yet I never seem to have anything to eat or to make an impromptu meal for unexpected guests or even just to tart something up a bit. If I made sure I always had these kitchen cupboard staples, I might make things easier on myself.
1. Canned Tuna Fish
Not only economical but this has got to be one of the most versatile kitchen cupboard staples. Sandwiches, pasta, salads, omelettes, fish cakes, jacket potato topping, with a can of tuna the list is seemingly endless. Make sure it’s dolphin-friendly though.
Pasta is easy to cook and can be eaten with just about anything really. Add a knob of butter and replace potatoes or rice, add a sauce, or even just add olive oil and some grated cheese.
3. Olive Oil
Your kitchen cupboard staple oil should be olive. It’s healthy and tastes good too. It’s perfect for frying, any Mediterranean dish and mixed with vinegar and vinegar it makes the simplest of salad dressing. It’s an excellent flavor carrier so if you want to infuse flavour just add some herbs or garlic or some chillies, etc.
This grain is filling and if you have budget constraints is a really economical basis of a hearty meal for the family. Have long grain for general use, short grain for simple rice puddings and brown for when you want to feel fuller for longer – the brown variety has a lower Gi index.
5. Canned Tomatoes
Unless you have an aversion to tomatoes they have to be one of the best canned foods. Mush them up to use on homemade pizzas, make a whole range of vegetarian and meat sauces for pasta and rice and use in soups and stews. If you’ve got cans of tuna and tomatoes in you stock of kitchen cupboard staples you should never be stuck about something to make for dinner.
6. Dried Milk Powder
This may seem like a strange inclusion on a list of kitchen cupboard staples but if you’ve got some dried milk powder you’ve always got whitener for tea and coffee and it’s great in white and cheese sauces.
7. Dried Herbs and Spices
Having a range of dried herbs and spices gives you options to add flavour to an otherwise boring meal. Combine with olive oil to make delicious marinades or add to other ingredients to make salsas or to pep up salads and stir fries. Remember though, they might be dried but they do deteriorate over time. If you’ve only got 2 year old basil, you might as well use pencil shavings.
8. Soy Sauce
This dark, salty sauce is a kitchen cupboard staple in every Asian home. Adding it to a simple mix of stir fried vegetables immediately lifts the dish from being ordinary. It can act as a tasty seasoning for meat (and some fish) and can also add flavour to cooked rice.
With these kitchen cupboard staples you should never be stuck for ideas and if you get snowed in or unable to go out to get groceries, you will not starve.
What’s your favourite kitchen cupboard staple you’d never want to run out of?
Top Photo Credit: kroets