Having some staple non-perishables (and long lasting fridge items) really makes cooking a lot easier. I’m a big fan of stir fries and meals I can bake. Oils, vinegars, sauces, and spices are my friends. Meal planning is something I aim for, but in reality, it NEVER happens. (Meal planning tips are welcomed!!) I have my go to staple combinations, and that system works much better for me. I’ve become pretty good at creating something from nothing. So what are these staples I keep referring to? Here’s a peek inside my fridge and my pantry cabinet:
Some of my go to long term fridge items are organic chopped garlic in a jar, rice vinegar, and low sodium tamari sauce. They sound fancy, but you can find them at most grocery stores. The organic chopped garlic shown here is from Shoprite. The rice vinegar and low sodium tamari sauce are from Thrivemarket.com, but you can also get them at most grocery stores. Why these specifically? I like the chopped garlic because peeling and chopping garlic myself is annoying. I don’t use this in raw dishes, but it’s fine in cooked dishes. I like the organic one because the only ingredients are garlic, water, and citric acid. The conventional chopped garlic has chemically sounding preservatives that I’m not a fan of. I’m not picky about my rice vinegar. This one happens to be organic because there wasn’t much of a price difference between organic and conventional. If you’ve never heard of tamari sauce, it’s gluten-free soy sauce. I’m not gluten-free, but this just feels like a healthier option. I buy the low-sodium tamari sauce whenever possible because the regular is SO salty. I try not to eat too much salt, plus I think the low-sodium version tastes better. This one is from Thrive Market, but again, most stores have it. If low-sodium tamari sauce isn’t available, then low-sodium soy sauce is my go to. Not pictured, ketchup is always in my fridge.
Next up is the oil and vinegar shelf. I have a lot of oils and vinegars for someone who does not consider herself a cook. I’m sharing the ones I use most often. Oils first because I have a nice variety. Olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, and sesame oil are the oils I use most frequently. There are others, but those are my staples. I also always try to have balsamic vinegar and white cooking wine on hand. Olive oil and canola oil are good for cooking at higher heat like stiry fries and baking, and extra virgin olive oil is perfect for dressings. Sesame oil is in most of my stir fries and is super tasty. White wine and balsamic vinegar are great ingredients for marinades. All of these oils and vinegars are really versatile which is what makes them staples.
Now onto the baking ingredients shelf. I’m a fan of whole wheat flour, buckwheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, turbinado sugar, and whole wheat bread crumbs. Most of these things are pretty common ingredients that don’t really need an explanation. I try to use whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread crumbs, and turbinado sugar because they are less processed than their white counterparts. Buckwheat flour gets added in almost any time I use regular flour because buckwheat is very nutritious.
Next post will be about my commonly used herbs and spices. They are pretty basic, but with a few wild cards.
Any questions about my staples? What are your staples?
I’m Rachel, an art teacher by day and a freelance artist and pretend chef by night. You can find my art locally and online, and my cooking adventures in my blog and on Facebook.