Living in a new country for the last two years has taught me a lot of things. One thing I really learned well is to curate a shopping list which could be useful anywhere I go; a list of ingredients accessible almost everywhere, that are cheap and healthy. These items are always in my kitchen and have made my life much easier. Apart from your usual staples of milk, basic veggies like tomatoes and onions, oils, seasoning etc, these would be the foods to stock in your kitchen for a medley of dishes.
- Bell peppers: Coloured bell peppers go well in pizzas, kinds of pasta, curries, stir fry’s, raw, or in salads.
- Mushrooms: I like to call them a wonder ingredient. They are filling, low in calories and you can create so many dishes with it; sides to mains, everything!
- Marinara sauce/Pasta sauce: Invest well in this. Buy or make a good quality, nutritious sauce that can be the base for a lot of dishes. Try sauces with different herbs, garlic, veggies, meat etc.
- Cheese: Mozzarella, processed/string cheese, parmesan. Needless to say, makes a great topping for a lot of dishes.
- Eggs: Fry them, bake them, poach them, make a salad or simply boil them, if you like eggs, you can make any meal out of eggs!
- Baking powder: If you like desserts, this is the one item you MUST have in your kitchen. You can use wheat, oats, granola, cornflakes, all purpose flour along with sugar to make a variety of desserts.
- Beans/Legumes/Pulses: Black beans, chickpea, kidney beans etc. are a great source of protein and add a lot of volume to your dish and make it heavy and filling. Buying a can or a dry pack of beans is cheap and goes a long way.
- Carb source: Have your kitchen stocked with a high fibre, whole grain pasta, kind of bread,tortillas or rice at all times. Just a few toppings on these with a good sauce can produce a hearty meal.