My Kitchen Must-Haves

Here is a list of ingredients I like to always have in my pantry/refrigerator.

  • Fresh lettuce (there's nothing better than a crunchy salad!)
  • Peanut butter. (one of my favorite foods, and packed with protein! Whether it's spread on crackers or eaten by the spoonful, it's a good filler and yummy too.)
  • Nuts. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pine nuts, whatever you like, they're a great snack and are filled with nutrients.
  • Eggs. They're used in many cooking and baking recipes, and are relatively low in calories. Just remember that the yolks are filled with cholesterol. So if you're making a 3 egg omelette, try using 2 egg whites and a yolk instead of 3 whole eggs. Or ditch the yolks altogether and fill your egg white omelette with spinach, a little cheese, and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  • Yogurt. It's used in a lot of baking recipes and it makes a great, calcium-filled breakfast topped with fruit, a squirt of honey, and some slivered almonds.
  • Oats. For oatmeal of course, and in baking! I love using oats in muffins, granola bars, pancakes...the list goes on!
  • Fresh fruit. For when you've got a sugar craving, nothing hits the spot like a crunchy apple or a sweet peach. Stick with fruits that are preferably organic, in season, and local. 
  • Fresh veggies. They're filling, they're good for you, and when served right, they're delicious! If you're not into raw veggies there are millions of healthy ways to cook 'em until you like 'em. Try sautéing green beans with a dash of sesame oil or cooking kale until crispy in the oven with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. 
  • Your choice of grain. Whether it's brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta, gluten-free crackers, it's always good to have a wholesome whole grain in your pantry to make a quick and filling meal.
  • A radio or your iPod dock. I know it's a weird thing, but there's nothing more fun than dancing around while cooking and singing along to music (at least, for me.) The most important part about cooking is that you're having fun while doing it!

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