When cooking, there are several ingredients that are must-haves in your kitchen.
- Nutritional Yeast – A great “cheese” alternative that’s perfect on top of pasta dishes, salads, or in a homemade cheese sauce. It is also packed with vitamins giving you flavor and nutrition!
- Turmeric – A key ingredient in tofu scramble. It adds the yellow “egg” color and a great earthy flavor.
- Garlic – Great for lowering cholesterol, but also great for adding flavor to dishes.
- Cashews – These aren’t just a nice snack, but they’re also an important ingredient in any cheese sauce recipe. Cashews also make for a great salad or curry topping. And an easy source of protein!
- Beans (Chickpeas and lentils) – Chickpeas are packed with protein and a perfect meat substitute in recipes such as stir fry’s or curry. Lentils are also a great source of protein and can be added to a spaghetti sauce or soups. You can even keep dried versions of these beans which is more affordable.
- Tofu – A meat alternative that can be used in a plethora of recipes ranging from curries to salads. Get creative!
- Vegetable Stock – A staple in numerous recipes. Make your own or buy some from the store.
- Ground flax seeds – Makes an easy egg substitute with water, which is primarily used in baking. They’re rich with fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maple Syrup – Used as a honey alternative or natural sweetener. It’s helpful with baking and can be used to make dressings.
- Milk alternatives – Find your favorite! – almond, rice, soy, oat or coconut! Different milks are better with different recipes. Experiment and see which you prefer. Used when baking and in some savory recipes. For newbies, try soy milk for baking and coconut milk for curries.
- Rolled Oats – A great breakfast alternative and these can also be used in energy bar recipes.
- Chia seeds – Nutritious and filled with Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Add them to your oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothie.
- Pasta – Easy to make and affordable. Have it be the star of a dish or add it into a stir fry, soup, or salad.
- Frozen Veggies – Toss them into a pasta dish or stir fry or season them and serve them as a side dish.
Hopefully this list will get you started or give you some ideas of what to add to your existing pantry.