Between the hustle and bustle of holiday parties and shopping, busy work days and everything in between, who has time to think about complicated holiday recipes for every event and 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 using things you already have. Below are some basic items to get you started. When you decide what works for your family, stock up on 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 meals, appetizers, desserts and snacks for you to take to all of your holiday festivities, simple and easy.
From the Grocery Aisles:
- Organic wheat pasta and your favorite jarred pasta sauce (This makes for an easy dinner!)
- Tortilla shells for soft tacos, wraps, roll-ups and 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 for spreading on whole grain bread, tortillas, waffles or used in your holiday recipes
- Natural fruit preserves and spreads
- Chicken broth and stock
- Granola and trail mixes
- Nuts, seeds and dried fruits (Perfect for an impromptu cheese board.)
- Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, Chocolate Chips and vanilla extract (All important for holiday baking.)
- Pretzels, tortilla chips and pita chips (Good to have on hand for dips and appetizers.)
From the Freezers:
- Organic frozen fruit for quick smoothies
- 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, plus they are necessary for holiday baking.
- Heluva Good!® French Onion Dip
From the Deli:
These items make for a quick dip or spread!
- Salsa and Heinen’s Pico de Gallo
- Heinen’s Ready-to-Eat Cheese Dips
Other Make-Ahead Meal Ideas:
- 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 sealed storage containers or freezer bags and store in the fridge for up to four days, or the freezer for four months. These are great additions to salads, wraps and stir-fries. Try reheating them with milk, then add a pinch of cinnamon, maple syrup and fresh fruit for a quick breakfast.
- Veggie roll-ups – In a whole wheat tortilla lightly spread herb cream cheese or ranch dressing and top with veggies from the salad bar like shredded carrot, julienne onions, broccoli florets and sliced olives. Simply roll-up and enjoy!
- English muffin snacks – These are great for a quick mini pizza, tuna melts or for spreading fresh ground nut-butter.