Wednesday, 10 December 2014

My Essential Foods


I thought I'd share with you the essential contents of my fridge and pantry.  You know, those food items that you make sure you always have on hand, and you replace before you run out.  They form the basis of my easy and regular meals.

I'm not very brand oriented when I shop.  If a product meets the nutritional contents I'm after, I'll buy it.  Saying that, I do try to think about where the products are coming from.  I try to buy local or Australian produce, organic products, and free range / grass fed meats and eggs.  But ... as with most of us, we have to keep an eye on costs.

So here you go!


I have some really basic vegetables that I always have on hand: avocado, sweet potato, tomatoes, bok choy, garlic and onion.  I will also buy a variety of other greens, such as brussel sprouts (my favourite!), beans, asparagus and broccoli.  I might also have some fresh cos lettuce, cucumber, and corn on the cob (we had run out).  My vegie compartment in my fridge is always full and mostly green.

We do also have fruit in the house most of the time, although I don't eat too much of it.  Gareth loves taking apples and bananas to work, and I like adding stone fruits to my cereal, and snacking on grapes.  It is also the season for berries and melons - I usually buy fruit based on what is in season, and for specific purposes.


Next comes some proteins.  Eggs are essential in our house, but so is chicken and salmon.  We might then have a couple of other meats, such as kanga bangas (kangaroo sausages - yum and lean!), steak and mince (pork or beef usually).  I also have some chickpea burgers at the moment that I am subbing in on days I don't feel like meat.


I like a range of dairy, and these products are pretty constantly found in my fridge.  A plain natural yoghurt (Chobani is my favourite, but Jalna was on special this week), spreadable cream cheese, shredded cheese, and almond milk.  We always have light cows milk, although I don't drink too much of it.  I actually have full cream milk most of the time when I'm at work, especially on my cereal.  

Grains and Seeds

Sorry about the bad picture!  These ingredients are generally the basis for my more breakfast: rolled oats, quinoa flakes, amaranth flakes, linseed and chia seeds.  They are always in my pantry. 

Pantry staples

Some other pantry staples include cans of beans, corn and tomatoes - I always try to have the salt reduced versions if I can find them.  We have quinoa and microwaveable rice (this is a rice and quinoa mix), which are both quick and simple to cook to add to dinner.  Olive oil (preferably extra virgin) is also always somewhere to be found.  And our pantry is full of tuna cans.  I'm currently enjoying the olive oil blends, which add a bit of flavour to my salads - I drain most of the oil off, but leave a little bit to use as a dressing.

Pantry extras

A few other things that I use regularly and are always on hand include cranberries, goji berries (both for my cereal), cacao nibs, pine nuts and trail mix.  I make the trail mix myself - I just buy natural nuts and dried fruits (trying to avoid ones with added salt and sugar), and mix it together each week.  I always have a bag of trail mix in my handbag!


Last but not least, I'm really boring with what I drink at home.  Mineral water with a squirt of lemon juice is what you will find me drinking (if it's not wine or coffee :P ).  This is my substitute for not drinking enough plain water - I figure it's better than nothing, and doesn't have additives I don't want.

So there you go!  I also have some other basics such as herbs and spices, condiments and spreads.  Vegemite is a non-negotiable in my world - just to prove I'm Australian.  But we also have peanut butter of some kind (preferably organic and only made from peanuts), tomato sauce (with minimal salt and sugar added), soy sauce, vinegars etc. 

Actually, when I think about it, this means that there is a whole bunch of stuff in my pantry that I really don't use - it might be time for a clean out!

What are your food staples that you have to have on hand?

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