Like many of you, I have gone out to prepare my fridge and pantry for COVID-19. That does not mean I have hoarded food but instead, I chose to shop in a more wise, and practical way in case there is a quarantine. I roughly shopped for enough food to feed my family for 2 weeks.
While going to the grocery store during these uncertain times, it’s prevalent to see many people who are hoarding food. It is important to me that I shop responsibly not only for me, but also for my community. I definitely want to take the precautionary measures to ensure that my family of 4 is prepared; however, I also want to keep in mind the impact of potential illness for those within my community. I also want to be mindful of my privilege and think of those with disabilities, who are homeless, unemployed or underemployed, without childcare, and so many other scenarios. While we all practice social distancing, let’s be mindful of the not so fortunate members of our community so they are not further marginalized. One of the best things for you to do during this time is to donate to your local food bank or No Kid Hungry.
I share this list with you not to make you panic–but just to provide some ideas about how you can prepare your family. BY NO MEANS does it mean you need to buy everything I have listed below. These are just all good options for you while you prepare.
A WELL STOCKED PANTRY
The pantry can be your biggest, secret weapon when it comes to making delicious food but it also is the most practical in challenging times as the food is not perishable.
I typically tend to limit my intake on legumes and grains, but given the current state of affairs I will be incorporating more dried goods like legumes, rice, and pastas. These are great because they are typically inexpensive, also. I also love to keep things in my pantry to making food taste great: a great collection of spices goes a long way + sauces can make dinner come together quickly and super flavorful.
You can also make homemade baked goods by having a well stocked baking section filled with flours, sugars, and baking powders– which are also listed below!
- favorite dried legumes: lentils, black beans, pinto, split peas
- Canned Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, refried beans
- I love long-grain white jasmine or basmati rice best. Wild rice is also great for soups.
- If you are Gluten-Free, my favorite brand is Jovial Brown Rice Pasta
- I always have Olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil on hand
- White Wine, Red Wine, and Champagne are my go-tos
- Salsas + Hot sauces
- Sauces for flavoring:
- Great ideas: Enchilada Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, Buffalo Sauce
- Canned Tomato Products:
- Tomato Paste, Diced tomatoes, Tomato Sauce
- Jarred Marinara (Rao’s is my favorite)
- Coconut Milk
- Canned fish
- Canned Tuna, Canned Salmon, and even canned chopped clams
- Other canned goods:
- green beans, artichoke hearts, asparagus, mushrooms, corn
- Nut Butters
- Broths (beef, chicken and vegetable)
- I always keep all purpose, arrowroot, tapioca, almond and cassava on hand. But if in a bind, I’d just stick with all-purpose or all-purpose gluten free flour
- Baking essentials:
- sugar and/or coconut sugar, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda
- My Go-To’s– Cumin, Chili Powder, Kosher Salt, Black Pepper, Adobo seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs (like oregano, parsley, and rosemary) and Cayenne. The more the merrier.
- Bread (you can also keep this in the freezer!)
A WELL STOCKED FREEZER
As far as the freezer goes, having frozen vegetables, proteins, and even some starches/grains. I always have a ton of protein in my freezer, mainly because I am subscribed to ButcherBox (read more about their services here) + Fish Fixe for seafood, but here are some of my favorites based on their versatility and ability to freeze well.
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- whole chicken
- ground chicken thigh
- Chuck roast
- Beef brisket
- ground beef
- sausages (kielbasa, andouille, Italian, chorizo and/or breakfast links)
- hot dogs
- frozen peas, green beans, okra, corn, edamame, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach
- Cauliflower Gnocchi from Trader Joes
- Frozen mixed berries
- Hashbrowns and/or Hashbrown cakes (I love the hashbrown cakes from Trader Joes)
- Pizza crusts
A WELL STOCKED FRIDGE
As far as perishables go, a lot of things can be in your fridge that last for 1-2 weeks that are great to keep on hand.
- Dairy Products (most of these are available dairy-free if needed):
- butter, milk, yogurts, and cheese
- orange juice
- fresh fruit
- ketchup, ranch, mustard, mayo
- lots of eggs
- Fresh herbs
- I store my cilantro and parsley in a jar filled with a little water at the bottom (kind of like a flower bouquet), it helps them last for 2 weeks at least!
- other herbs the keep for awhile– rosemary, thyme, oregano
- beer (if you like beer, I love Moretti)
A WELL STOCKED COUNTER
Here are a few things that don’t need to be stored in the fridge or freezer, but will last quite some time and are great to have on hand.
- I get a ton of onions for cooking– shallots, red, white and yellow
- when they start to go brown, either cut them into smaller chunks and freeze them for smoothies, or make homemade banana bread and freeze the loaf!!
- oranges (I love Halos brand)
- red wine, just saying…
Pantry Staple Meals:
Next, I’ll be sharing a round-up of my favorite pantry-staple dinners. Stay tuned!! In the meantime, please comment below and share any of your favorite pantry/freezer/fridge staples I may have missed.