Pantry Essentials


The pantry—where the magic begins. Be sure to keep your pantry (and while you are at it, the fridge and freezer)stocked with these healthy items that can be incorporated quickly into a family-friendly meal.  Armed with these high quality ingredients, you’ve almost entirely solved the problem of what’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!


  • Quinoa, white rice, whole grain rice, couscous, dried pasta in assorted shapes
  • All purpose flour, gluten free flour blend, cornstarch, oats, panko or breadcrumbs
  • Granulated white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder
  • Beans that your family likes (for us that’s garbanzo, black beans, and lentils)
  • Tuna in olive oil
  • Almonds, walnuts, peanuts
  • Chocolate chips, rainbow sprinkles, (Tip: candles, I know they aren’t a food, but they’re good to have on hand for impromptu celebrations)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, sesame oil, cooking spray
  • Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce 
  • Ketchup, yellow mustard, dijon mustard, mayonnaise
  • Tomato paste 
  • Hot sauce to jazz up food (we’ve always got Frank’s hot sauce and Sriracha on hand)
  • White vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, mirin 
Spice rack:
  • Paprika, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chili flakes, sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper
Fresh on the counter
  • Bread
  • Seasonal fruit and vegetables (Tip: check out your local farmer’s market. The more variety —including colors, shapes, and sizes— the better!)
  • Non-seasonal (available year round):
    • lemons, limes, apples, carrots
    • onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh ginger root
    • fresh herbs, fresh green leaves: at least one of each (for us that’s cilantro, basil and chard, or kale)
Freezer or Fridge:
  • 2 protein choices
  • eggs
  • butter, milk (any kind), plain yogurt, parmesan cheese, cream cheese
  • veggie broth and chicken stock
  • frozen fruit and vegetables (berries, broccoli, spinach, corn, peas)

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