This is How a Cookbook Author Stocks Her Pantry

how to stock your pantry -

Design: Emily Henderson Design, Photo: Sara Tramp

Even if you love to cook, the thought of stocking your pantry and fridge for the next few weeks in the midst of a pandemic can seem daunting. How many eggs will you really go through? How long does hard cheese last in the fridge? Will I get tired of pasta on day three of self-quarantining?

We're right there with you. That's why we chatted with renowned food blogger and author behind Half Baked Harvest, Tieghan Gerard, about how best to prepare in times like these.

"I stock my pantry with the items I use most often, lots of Asian sauces, spices, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, etc," Gerard tells MyDomaine. "It’s important to have ingredients that you use most often always on hand."

Whether you put hot sauce on everything or always top your pasta with ricotta, buying the foods you'll most likely eat will save you stress in the long run.

"If your pantry is stocked, you can make an incredible pasta dish, soups, and even a good cookie bar for dessert," Gerard says. "Some of my favorite meals are composed of pantry staples."

Here's what Gerard recommends keeping in your pantry, fridge, and freezer at all times, but especially during the next few weeks. Plus, she shares a few of her favorite go-to recipes below.

What to Store in the Pantry

Dry Goods

  • Pastas (like spaghetti, penne, rigatoni, orzo, etc.)
  • Grains (like basmati rice, wild rice, quinoa, etc.)
  • Nuts/seeds (like raw cashews, almonds, pine nuts, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, etc.)
  • Assorted crackers

Cooking Essentials

  • Oils (extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil)
  • Vinegars (apple cider, rice champagne, red wine, and balsamic)
  • Broth
  • Garlic, shallots, onions
  • Potatoes, winter squash

Canned Goods

  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Canned tomatoes (fired roasted, crushed, whole, and tomato paste)
  • Canned chipotle peppers in adobo
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Tuna
  • Canned coconut milk

Condiments

  • Honey
  • Low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • Fish sauce
  • Your favorite hot sauces
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Dijon or grainy mustard
  • Assorted jams/preserves
  • Nut butters

Baking Supplies

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Sugars (granulated and brown)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Chocolate

What to Keep in Your Fridge

Assorted Cheese

  • Gerard recommends parmesan, feta, cheddar, cream cheese, mascarpone, and ricotta.

Dry cheese like parmesan can last weeks in the fridge. Be sure to save those rinds for a flavorful sauce or soup.

Eggs

  • They can keep up to four or five weeks.

Other Dairy

  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Salted butter

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Fresh greens: Gerard recommends keeping spinach, arugula or Tuscan kale on hand for a quick salad.
  • Avocado: once they are ripe, avocados can stay fresh in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  • Carrots
  • Lemons/limes
  • Fresh ginger

What to Keep in Your Freezer

Meat

  • Ground chicken/beef
  • Chicken breasts or thighs
  • Shrimp/seafood

Frozen Fruits/Veggies

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Berries

Sweets

  • Ice cream
  • Puff pastry

Gerard's "Pantry Staple" Recipes

Now that you know what to keep on hand, what should you make for dinner? While the standard pasta and canned marinara sauce will get you through, Gerard has some go-to recipes for keeping meals interesting.

Garlic Naan Grilled Cheese

garlic naan grilled cheese
Half Baked Harvest

This sandwich is garlicky on the outside, filled with sharp cheddar and Havarti cheese, and only takes 15 minutes to prepare.

Eggs in Purgatory

eggs in purgatory
Half Baked Harvest

This Turkish-inspired dish is full of pantry staples like canned fire roasted tomatoes and crushed red pepper flakes. Serve with crusty bread for a filling and comforting dinner or breakfast.

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole

broccoli cheddar and rice casserole
Half Baked Harvest

While this dish is the ultimate comfort food, it also freezes for up to three months. Plus you only need one pot, a casserole dish, and about an hour to make it. What more do you need?

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