By Sarah Lawson, PRO Medical Registered Dietitian
The key to building a healthy pantry is having items that are nutrient dense and can be used in multiple different preparations. Aim to have foods on-hand that are easily adaptable to different flavor profiles as well. For instance, an ordinary can of tuna can be used to create different styles of tuna salad such as a Tuscan Tuna Salad made of white beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and capers or take an Asian inspired twist by make a dressing of peanut butter, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
Alternatively, keep meals interesting by having favorite condiments that are multi-purpose. Take jarred pesto as an example – a small amount go can a long way to provide a lot of flavor. Some methods of preparation include folded into an egg scramble, sautéed into a vegetable side dish, or can be used to garnish a soup. These are some examples of how to keep basic foods interesting and varied.
Don’t forget to utilize healthy freezer foods. If going long periods of time between grocery trips, frozen produce and proteins can come into handy as quick meal alternatives. For instance using pre-cooked chicken breast strips with stir-fry vegetables as an easy 10 minute meal that is high satiety works great in a pinch. You can also batch cook soups and stews that are high protein/high fiber and freeze for later use.
This can also be a good opportunity to help you grow as a cook! Experiment with finding slight more advanced recipes than what you’re used to making as an extra challenge and learn new techniques. You never know what you like until you try something new!
‘Quarantine’ Grocery Shopping List
Peanut or almond butter
Whole wheat (or bean) pasta
Canned organic beans (garbanzo, red kidney, black beans)
Canned diced tomatoes
Low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
Thai curry paste
Coconut milk (regular or light)
Ground meats (beef, chicken, turkey)
Plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
Spinach or mixed greens
Spaghetti squash or zucchini
Vegetables (stir-fry mix, riced cauliflower, broccoli florets)
Cooked grilled chicken breast strips
Burger Patties (beef, chicken, turkey or vegetarian)
Other Dry Goods
High-Fiber tortilla wraps
Ready to Drink protein shakes – 20/20 LifeStyles has great options!
PRO Medical’s Registered Dietitians provide personalized meal plans and education to support you in making realistic lifestyle changes and in achieving your individual goals. We have experts in a variety of areas and provide support for adults, pediatrics and families.
Check out healthy recipes here.