[tabs slidertype=”left tabs” auto=”no”] [tabcontainer] [tabtext] Video & Audio [/tabtext] [tabtext] Step-by-Step Guide [/tabtext] [tabtext] Virtual Tour [/tabtext] [tabtext] Stocking Your Pantry [/tabtext] [tabtext] 13 Ways [/tabtext] [tabtext] 4 Common Mistakes [/tabtext] [tabtext] Your Action Steps [/tabtext][/tabcontainer] [tabcontent]
Module 3 Video
Module 3 Audio
You thought I was going to say something like ‘set aside some time to clean out your pantry’ didn’t you?
Well the good news is, for your pantry to really help you it just needs to do two things:
1. Supply enough of the right ingredients to make a particular meal.
2. Help you remember you have said ingredients when you’re feeling tired & hungry.
And all it takes for this to happen is for you to choose just 2 recipes that you want to have as your backup.
Then it’s up to step 2…
STEP 2. Buy the ingredients for those recipes.
It doesn’t matter how you look at it, unless you have actual ingredients in the house, you won’t be able to cook.
So make sure you buy some ingredients that you know will actually go together to make something delicious and quick. Then move onto step 3.
STEP 3. Relax.
Pat yourself on the back and remember that next time you need a quick, emergency meal, instead of resorting to pizza, just head home and have some fun whipping up one of your delicious pantry dinners.
It’s that simple.
STEP 4. Set aside some time for a pantry ‘spring cleaning’ session.
It’s up to you to choose the format. Sometimes I take on the whole pantry at once, but mostly I just clean one shelf at a time. Here’s how I do it….
1. Remove everything from the shelf.
2. Throw out anything that smells funny, is well past the ‘best before’ date, you have no idea what you’d use it in OR anything you don’t really like.
3. Wipe down the shelf.
4. Put the ‘keepers’ back in some sort of order.
I try and keep ‘like’ items together so I have the bottle together with things like vinegars and sauces and oils, spices live in my ‘spice box’ the canned goods live together and so on. You’ll see what I mean when you watch the ‘virtual tour video’ on the next tab.[/tab]
A Virtual Pantry Tour
How to Stock Your Pantry
SUPER IMPORTANT! Please don’t feel like you need to rush out and buy everything on this list. It’s designed to give you ideas. If you feel like it, you’re welcome to choose one or two items from each category, but you could also just let your pantry grow organically by choosing 2 or more pantry recipes below and making sure you stock those ingredients.
good quality extra virgin olive oil – for salads and drizzling
§ cheaper extra virgin olive oil – for cooking (I buy in bulk)
rice bran oil or macadamia oil – for frying and where you need a neutral flavoured oil.
sherry or rice (wine) vinegar – my favourites. Red wine vinegar would also be OK.
balsamic – because sometimes you want a little more sweetness.
lemons – not technically vinegar, but they do the same thing.
tomatoes – preferably whole peeled
chickpeas – my all time favourite pantry ingredient
beans – butter beans, cannellini, red kidney
fish – tuna in oil (with chilli), sardines
chicken – I preferred smoked chicken
coconut milk – especially for Asian cooks and vegan / dairy free fans.
curry paste – red Thai or Indian
tomato – paste, puree or pasta sauce (marinara sauce)
tahini – ground sesame seeds
vegetables – roast red peppers, grilled eggplant (aubergines)
vegemite – not for everyone
peanut butter – for people who don’t like vegemite
sweeteners – honey, rice malt syrup, maple syrup
sauces & condiments
mustard – I always have both dijon & wholegrain
soy sauce – wonderfully versatile
mayonnaise – I’ve gotten into making my own, but that’s not for everyone
ketchup – that’s tomato sauce for the Aussies out there
oyster and/or fish sauce – for Asian cooks
potatoes, garlic, onions
salt – sea salt flakes like Maldon, cheaper fine sea salt or kosher salt for salting water.
black peppercorns – best quality you can afford
spices, dried chilli flakes or chilli powder
, curry powder
, ground cumin
, ground coriander
, garam masala
(Indian spice blend), smoked paprika [/one_half]
baking – [not for everyone]
flour – plain flour, bread flour, rice flour (or gluten free flour), almond meal
sugar – white sugar, brown sugar, stevia
other – cocoa powder, baking powder, dried yeast
chocolate – 70% cocoa solids
lentils – red, puy or french-style green lentils
carbs – pasta / noodles / couscous / basmati rice (definitely not essential!)
other – rolled oats, quinoa, chia seeds, oat bran, chia seed bran
[not necessarily all at once]
, hazelnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, cashews
cheese – parmesan, ricotta
, goats cheese, halloumi, cottage cheese, other hard cheeses
other dairy – butter, yoghurt
– mayonnaise, aioli, pesto, miso paste, pickled veg, mustard, sauerkraut, kimchee, capers, olives, harissa, wasabi.
long life vegetables (fridge) – cabbage, cauliflower, celery, carrots, beets (although the leaves will wilt), parsnip, celeriac (celery root), kohlrabi, sweet potato, green onions (scallions), ginger, pumpkin (winter squash), swedes & rutabagas
protein – packaged smoked fish, eggs, cured meats (prosciutto, salami), dried chorizo, packaged tofu, cryovacced meat (only keeps for about 2 weeks)
vegetables – frozen peas, broad beans, spinach
fruit – berries, bananas, mango
protein – meat, sausages, fish, poultry
herbs – rosemary, kaffir lime leaves, curry leaves, thyme,
spices – fresh turmeric, ginger
other – puff pastry, bread [/one_half_last] [/tab]
13 Ways To Help Your Pantry Come to the Rescue
Without some sort of pantry backup, life can be much harder than it needs to be.
The thing is, having some sort of pantry doesn’t need to be difficult or scary. Or require some sort of super human organisation.
1. Automate your shopping list.
A pantry is only as helpful as the ingredients it stocks. By developing the habit of having an ongoing list for pantry and other household items, you’ll find that you ‘automatically’ replenish pantry stock on a regular basis.
2. Organise your pantry into groups of similar items.
Now I’m not suggesting that you alphebetize your spices, but having some sort of structure or order to your pantry can make a massive difference. If like items are grouped together it can save you time trying to find what you need. And you’ll also be able to tell at a glance which types of items you’re getting low on.
3. Avoid the trap of deep shelves
There’s a saying of of sight out of mind for a reason. If you’re ever lucky enough to be designing a pantry, make sure your shelves aren’t too deep so you have maximum visibility. If a complete pantry redesign isn’t possible, consider investing in a few boxes so you can easily slide them out and have full view of all the contents.
4. Develop the habit of actually looking in your pantry on a regular basis
You know when you’re deciding what to wear and it feels like you have nothing suitable. And then you look in your wardrobe and find heaps of things you’d forgotten about. It’s the same with food and pantries. Don’t rely on your memory. Use your eyes and you’ll find possibilities opening up.
5. When shopping choose some ‘long shelf life’ vegetables
I’ve had celery and cabbages which have lasted up to a month in the fridge. Making sure some of your veg will last into the next week or longer, takes the pressure off getting the amount of food you buy exactly ‘right’.
6. Develop the habit of actually looking in your fridge and freezer on a regular basis.
There can be a whole world of options in both these locations. But you need to know about them to take advantage of them. I’m guilty of only opening the freezer when I want to get something out. And I’m always surprised at whats in there.
7. Explore options for stocking your ‘fridge’ pantry
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your pantry is only about the store cupboard ingredients stored at room temperature. The marvel of modern refrigeration makes ‘pantry’ staples out of many different foods. Think cheeses (especially halloumi), tofu, yoghurt, other dairy products, eggs, smoked fish, salami and other cured meats.
8. Find a butcher who will cryovac for you.
Meat will keep for up to a month in the fridge, ready to use when vacuum packed or ‘cryovacced’. We’ve started buying our meat direct from the farmer and he packs everything up in cryovac. So some goes into the freezer but much of it just sits in the fridge until needed.
9. Rotate produce in your fridge on a regular basis
Lets face it, things can easily hide at the back of the fridge and get forgotten. I have a large and a smaller space in my veg drawer. Since I adopted the policy of transferring all the older veg to the small drawer before putting new purchases away. AND remembering to look in the smaller drawer first. I’ve made a massive difference to the amount of veg I throw away.
10. Freeze in small, easily accessible packages.
We’ll cover freezing and defrosting in greater detail soon. But for now remember, taking the time to divide food into small packets before freezing makes it much quicker and easier to defrost as you need.
11. Explore the world of frozen veg & fruit.
Frozen produce can be just as good, and in the case of frozen peas even better than ‘fresh’ produce from the supermarket. Think beyond frozen peas and berries. Soy beans (edamame), broad beans, mango, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower can all be wonderful from the freezer.
12. Have a spring clean from time to time.
A clean pantry can be a thing of joy. It’s also helpful to identify what you aren’t using to stop repeat purchase mistakes. Or inspire you to
13. Have a ‘use up the pantry’ project every now and then.
If you’re feeling a little broke. Or you know you’re going away for a while. It can be fun and economical to try eating from the pantry to have a little clear out.
4 Most Common Pantry Mistakes (How to Avoid)
Mistake 1. Running out of essential ingredients.
I’ve said it before, a pantry is only useful if it contains actual ingredients you can use for actual dishes or recipes you love to cook and eat.
Think about your shopping habits. Decide on the best frequency for you to have a dedicated ‘pantry’ shop – it could only be once a month where you write a list and do a big stockup. Or it might be something you do once a week.
Another solution is to decide whether it would be helpful to have a list that you create ‘as you go’ near the pantry or on the fridge. (I don’t but my Mum used to live by her list)
Mistake 2. Suffering from ‘pantry chaos’
An overflowing pantry with things stuffed in willy-nilly, can be just as useless as an empty pantry. And a lot more daunting. Chaos is also unlikely to inspire you when you’re feeling tired and hungry.
Think about it, isn’t the thought of a chaotic pantry enough to make you want to avoid your scary pantry all together and just pick up the phone and order some delivery?
Overcoming pantry chaos isn’t as difficult as you’d think. Develop some sort of order to your pantry that works for you. I find keeping like ingredients together helps.
3. Letting items go past their use-by date.
Even long-living items eventually go bad, but the good new is this is really easy to avoid. When you put your shopping away, remember to rotate. Add newly purchased items to the back of the stack or row and use front items first. Too easy.
4. Allowing infestation to strike.
This used to be a big problem when I was living in Sydney. Between the cockroaches and Indian meal moths, there was a lot of waste in my pantry. That was until I invested in a set of glass canisters from Ikea that look great and weren’t very expensive.
I can’t recommend this enough. Get a system for sealing open packets – preferably glass canisters but at the least use zip-lock bags – open packets are an invitation to insects and moths.
Remember insight without action is worthless. So take action now while all of this is fresh in your mind.
1. Complete Step 3. for developing your habits from Module 1. (STEP 3. Develop a plan for developing your new habit / kicking your old habit.)
2. Choose 2 pantry recipes below.
3. Write a shopping list and buy the ingredients you need. And next time you need a quick dinner, cook one of your pantry meals.
4. Report Back! Share your experience with your pantry meal. Either leave a comment on the recipe page OR take it up a notch and share a pic of your creation on Facebook or Instagram.
Module 3 PANTRY Recipes
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Quick Veg Curry