Sure, you could spend the next month eating beans and mac-n-cheese, but if you aren’t going to leave the house, might as well learn how to cook. The following list are some of the most versitile ingredients you can use in many different dishes. We’ll use most of these in the recipes to come. So stock up and stay tuned!
- Rice: The king of versatility. A ton of deserts, meals, and sides can all be made with rice as their base. I recommend basmati, it usually is fluffier and tastier, but whatever you can get will work.
- Garlic: Add salt and garlic to just about anything, and it’ll taste great! If you can get fresh cloves, that’s great. But a jar of minced garlic, or even dried garlic are great too.
- Tomato Paste: A great base for soups, stews, sauces. You can even add some to a pan before you fry your eggs for a gourmet kick. Get the stuff in the tube, it’s easier to work with.
- Soy Sauce: Adds depth to just about anything. You don’t need to get low sodium unless your doctor has told you to.
- Pasta: Another staple. If you get plain spaghetti noodles, you can use them for Asian dishes, too. Try and keep a few different types around and experiment with your favorites.
- Eggs: Another king of versatility. Cookies, cakes, ramen, pasta, breakfast, they all start with eggs!
- Honey: The only food that doesn’t go bad. Seriously. Try it. Great for coffee, sticky rice, and stir-fry.
- Hot Sauce: A great hot sauce can add depth and complexity to anything. If you don’t like heat, then start small and add a little. You won’t be floored by the spice, I promise. (P.S, check out my ode to hot sauce!)
- Canned goods: Canned garbanzo beans can be used for hummus, curries, or oven-roasted as a snack. Canned tomatoes can be used for sauces and stews. Canned veggies can be cooked in tons of ways. (P.S, check out my post on canned goods for more insight!)
- Bacon: A rash of bacon makes me feel like I’m exploring the Canadian wilderness. Great meat addition for many dishes, like pastas.
- Cheeses: Monterey Jack and Parmesan are both great cheeses with different applications. Shoot for a soft cheese for things like quesadillas, and a hard cheese for toppings. Add to just about anything.
- Frozen Meats: Buy some beef and some chicken and freeze. Should be good for 2 months, and you can make tons of dishes with just some simple additions.
- Pancake Mix: Otherwise known as all-purpose baking mix. Everything from scones to pizza dough – start with pancake mix. (P.S, check out my post on pancake mix for easy baking!)
- Oil and butter: Olive oil is good for low-heat cooking, like building a sauce, or roasting. Butter is, of course, great on everything.
That’s all for right now! Stay safe, stay healthy, stock up on these essentials, and soon we’ll get cooking. Until next time!