Are you on board with cooking less? Is your kitchen equipped for make-ahead cooking? Great! Now let’s talk pantry. Allrecipes.com has a nice list of good items to keep on hand in your pantry. If you routinely keep your kitchen stocked with their recommendations, you can feel quite confident of your ability to make a wide range of recipes from your cupboards any given night. Here are a few tweaks we’d recommend to cut down the time you spent in the kitchen.
All the Alliums
Onions and garlic, which both belong to a family of plants called alliums, are essential flavor bases for, oh, just about every world cuisine. Ever. Seriously. Neither one is much fun to work with. They make your eyes water and your hands stink, but the flavor they impart is more than worth it, so we suggest buying a good amount when they’re on sale. Mince them up and freeze in a little water or olive oil. Ice cube trays and silicon baking cups making conveniently sized flavor cubes you can toss into any meal…without the tears.
Canned beans are convenient, true, but they often come packaged with a lot of salt in the brine. Dried beans are cheap and can be found in bulk as well, so if you bring in reusable bags, you can often cut the packaging out of the picture while saving money. Everyone wins. Once again, the freezer is our friend. Cook a massive batch of beans, let them drip-dry, and freeze flat on parchment paper before storing in freezer bags for later use.
Stock up on boneless, skinless breasts when they go on sale. That’s an obvious money-saver. Chicken is a great meat to add to many recipes. Don’t stop there, though. Bake those beauties up with some salt and pepper, let them rest, them cut into chunks for addition to soups, stews, salads and a host of easy possibilities throughout the week.