Between picking up and dropping kids off for school, after school activities and sports, busy work days and everything in between, who has time to think about complicated recipes every day of the week?
The good news is, that with a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer, you can create satisfying meals and quick snacks by using the things you already have. Below are some basic items to get you started; once you decide what works for your family, stock up the items that make the most sense for you!
A simple way to keep the pantry, fridge and freezer stocked is to make a list of the items your family uses the most and note the items that are low or missing right before each trip to the grocery store. This will help to ensure that you’ve got what you need to make meal time simple and easy.
From the Aisles:
- Organic wheat pasta
- Your favorite jarred pasta sauce and pizza sauce
- Tortilla shells for soft tacos, wraps, roll ups, quesadillas
- Canned tuna for quick tuna melts on English muffins
- Microwavable brown rice cups for quick rice bowls, salads and wraps
- Nut and/or seed butters use for spreading on whole grain bread, tortillas, waffles or a spread on fruit such as apples or pears
- Natural fruit preserves and spreads
- Chicken broth and stock
- 100% juice boxes
- Jello and pudding cups
- Granola and trail mixes
- Nuts, seeds and dried fruits
From the Freezers:
- Organic frozen fruit for quick smoothies
- Chicken fries
- Frozen waffles for a quick breakfast
- English muffins
- Frozen pizza crust
- Vegetable medley
From the Dairy Department:
- String cheese and shredded cheese
- Greek yogurt cups
- Eggs, hard boiled eggs make for an easy breakfast bite
- Low-fat milk
From the Deli:
- Hummus for a quick dip or spread
- Cooked Pulled pork for quick tostadas, pair with Guacomole, salasa and corn tortillas
Other meal ideas to make ahead:
- Meatloaf muffins — Make them ahead and freeze for a quick meal later.
- Breakfast frittata – Bake in a muffin tin and freeze. Great for an easy filling breakfast.
- Pre-cook healthy grains like millet, bulgar, quinoa, wild rice or wheatberries — Once cooked and cooled transfer to tightly sealing storage containers or freezer bags and store in the fridge for up to 4 days or the freezer for 4 months.
- These are great for adding to salads, wraps and stir fries.
- Try reheating them with milk or milk alternative then add in a pinch of cinnamon, maple syrup and fresh fruit for a quick breakfast.
- Pizza roll-ups – Using refrigerated crescent dough and spread on pizza sauce and shredded cheese then bake until golden.
- Veggie roll-ups – In a whole wheat tortilla lightly spread herb cream cheese or ranch dressing and top with veggies from the salad bar: shredded carrot, julienne onions, broccoli florets, sliced olives. Roll-up and enjoy!
- English muffin snacks – These are great for a quick mini pizza, tuna melts or for spreading fresh ground nut-butter.