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Thread: Food staples in your kitchen or pantry

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Food staples in your kitchen or pantry

    Yesterday, my wife and I joined e-meals because it has a clean eating program. e-meals is an online site that will put together a full week of meals including sides, and give you the recipes on how to make them and a full shopping list of everything that you might need to complete that week's meals. My wife never knows what she wants for dinner, so this will take a lot of the guess work of “what’s for dinner” out of the discussion.

    It also lists ‘staples’ that apparently every person should have already in their house. These seem to be things like olive oil, eggs, and mustard. However, this week’s recipes call for 3 different kinds of vinegar. I need to do some shopping.

    What staples do you have in your house? Is there something that you always seem to have in stock?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Yesterday, my wife and I joined e-meals because it has a clean eating program. e-meals is an online site that will put together a full week of meals including sides, and give you the recipes on how to make them and a full shopping list of everything that you might need to complete that week's meals. My wife never knows what she wants for dinner, so this will take a lot of the guess work of “what’s for dinner” out of the discussion.

    It also lists ‘staples’ that apparently every person should have already in their house. These seem to be things like olive oil, eggs, and mustard. However, this week’s recipes call for 3 different kinds of vinegar. I need to do some shopping.

    What staples do you have in your house? Is there something that you always seem to have in stock?
    I stay away from the meal planning sites, I often think that their recipes are devised by people who don't have real lives and family demands. For me the key to successful meal planning is shopping around what's on sale and what produce is in season. If something doesn't have multiple uses, it's generally not worth it to buy. Sit down before you go grocery shopping with the ad, see what's on sale, and then plan your menu around it for the upcoming week. It's also good to just have something on hand that can be easily pulled together if your schedule goes off course.

    That said here's my list....

    Freezer:
    Corn tortillas
    Flour tortillas
    Sandwich rolls
    Sliced bread
    Frozen vegetables-green beans, corn, california mix, pea/carrots type mix
    Frozen hashbrowns

    Meat:
    Boneless chicken breast halves-buy a big pack and divide into meal size portions and seal in a ziploc, or buy a bag of individually quick frozen pieces
    Boneless chicken breast tenders-same as above
    Bone in, skin on-chicken thighs-on sale you can buy a big pack for under $2/pound fresh. Freeze 4-6 pieces in a ziploc bag.
    Lean ground beef-buy in bulk, divide into 1lb chunks
    Meatballs-I make my own and freeze them individually on a tray then put them in a bag
    Cube steak
    Thin sliced sandwich steak
    Pork chops
    We're not big seafood eaters, but a bag of frozen deveined UNCOOKED shrimp and fish fillets are good to keep on hand too.

    Fridge:
    Milk
    Eggs
    Butter-I buy it in bulk at Costco, one box goes in the fridge the others stay in the freezer
    Sour Cream
    Shredded mexican cheese blend
    Parmesan or Reggiano cheese
    Mayo
    Ketchup
    BBQ sauce
    Creamy salad dressings (we make our own vinaigrette)
    Mustard-yellow and brown
    Vinegar-cider and rice wine
    Bottled lime juice
    Bitter orange juice (it's a Dominican thing but makes a great marinade)
    Red wine, white wine, beer
    Sriracha
    Tabasco
    Soy sauce (there are soy free alternatives)

    Veggies/Fruits:
    Cilantro
    Italian Parsley
    Celery
    Bell peppers
    Some type of lettuce or greens mix
    Tomatoes
    Onion-red and white/yellow
    Potatoes-Russets are the most versatile to work with
    Garlic
    Whatever other fruit and veggies are in season

    Spices/Seasonings:
    Regular salt
    Sea Salt
    Black pepper in a grinder
    Seasoned salt like Lawry's
    Lemon pepper
    Garlic powder (not salt)
    Onion powder
    Oregano
    Basil
    Thyme
    Smoked paprika
    Regular paprika
    Mustard powder
    Cinnamon sticks, powder
    Whole nutmeg
    Whole cloves
    Cumin
    Chicken bouillon cubes/powder
    Chili powder
    Chili flakes
    Vanilla extract

    Oils:
    Safflower oil (really any vegetable oil will do)
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Pantry:
    All purpose flour
    Wondra flour (key to lump free gravies and sauces!)
    Corn starch
    Cornmeal
    Oatmeal
    Pasta-whatever long type you like and shells/macaroni/penne
    White sugar
    Brown sugar
    Canned crushed tomatoes
    Canned diced tomatoes
    Cream of mushroom soup
    Cream of chicken soup
    Canned red beans and white beans

    This about covers what's in my kitchen all the time. I can turn out about 200 different meals from the above items.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  3. #3
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    As an avid chef, I seem to have more oddities in my kitchen, but when I go to other homes, I always find it odd that people don't have the following:

    - Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
    - Seasoned Salt
    - Cumin
    - Chili Powder
    - Brown Sugar
    - Balsamic Vinegar
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Below is a typical list of items in my house. These are items we almost always have around, though details may vary. We ebb and flow as far as planning menus out for the week. When we can get it together (assessing what we have and what we want) the dinners go much more smoothly. I like to cook, but when I am getting home at 6 or later and still don’t have an idea of what to make, we end up eating late. But if I know what I need to do, I can get right down to business and whip up something in no time.

    Tonight my wife has the first meeting of her guitar class, so I am on for cooking. What I will make, I do not know. The good news is the CSA that delivers vegetables and fruit every two weeks comes today, so there will be lots of options.

    Pantry
    Rice (brown and white)
    Lentils (French and orange)
    Popcorn (kernels)
    Tortillas (corn and flour)
    Canned Beans
    Dried Beans
    Potatoes
    Nuts
    Raisins
    Flour and other baking items
    Your basic oils, vinegars, salt, sugar, etc.
    Canned tomatoes
    All manner of spices (and yes, I have everything Hink listed...)

    Fridge
    Tortillas (corn and flour)
    Cheese
    Salsa
    Milk
    Soy or Almond Milk
    Yogurt
    Veggies (we belong to a CSA and so get a big cooler of vegetables every other week. We use whatever is included to plan the meals. You can go online in advance and see what items will be coming as well)

    Freezer
    Meat (chicken or beef mainly, but also sometimes brats or Italian sausage)
    Frozen Fruit
    Frozen Bananas (for smoothies)
    Veggie burger patties
    Buns
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    As an avid chef, I seem to have more oddities in my kitchen, but when I go to other homes, I always find it odd that people don't have the following:

    - Olive Oil (Extra Virgin)
    - Seasoned Salt
    - Cumin
    - Chili Powder
    - Brown Sugar
    - Balsamic Vinegar
    My wife does a lot of cooking so we have some of the same things. You need the vinegar and oil to mix up a good dressing and you better have a well stocked spice cabinet. We tend to keep some extras:

    - Flour (we make our own pizza, naan, and whatever)
    - Yeast (need it for the baking)
    - Rice
    - The usual base veggies like onions, peppers, celery, etc.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I dated a girl for a while who's mother told her that the most important staples one should have in a kitchen is a bottle of red and a bottle of white. Her mother was absolutely serious too.

    The more I think about this subject the more I think it could be turned into a sociology study. After all, factors like culture, ethnic background, location, demographics, economics, and even time of the year all can play a role in what people keep as staples.

    For example, a 21 year old college student with limited funding might have hot sauce and beer. And if money gets tight, the hot sauce might not get restocked. Whereas a 30 year old woman in an apartment in downtown NY, might have two different types of ice cream, a high end coffee maker, and 10 containers of left overs from take outs, but no flower or olive oil.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    a 21 year old college student with limited funding might have hot sauce and beer. And if money gets tight, the hot sauce might not get restocked.
    Close enough....

    I pretty much don't cook.

    In the kitchen I always have: bananas, yogurt, milk, granola, protein powder, cheese, brown bread and instant oatmeal. These are the things I eat every. single. day.

    Outside of these items I don't have much food-creativity. I stick to routines. I may buy chicken and potatoes to make a cooked meal a couple times a month. I keep cans of soup and tuna on hand for those times when I feel I need a little more food and don't want to eat the usual or spend money on take-out.



    Quote Originally posted by kjel View post
    This about covers what's in my kitchen all the time. I can turn out about 200 different meals from the above items.
    Are you feeding a family of 40!? How do you eat all that meat before it goes freezer burned!? And all those veggies!? Veggies only last like a week!

  8. #8
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    I always have quinoa, instant potatoes (should I admit that?), and potatoes. Then I rotate what protein is on sale and what veggies are in season... and that's pretty much what we eat 80% of the time.

    And eggs. Eggs for breakfast almost every day.
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Staples in our house: eggs, milk, Tony Chachere's seasoning, bacon, Pioneer pancake mix, cane syrup, brocolli, rice, black-eyes peas, honey, and cheese. And meat (pork, beef and chicken). Without those things life is just not worth living.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

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