Author: Abbey Collins
Welcome back to our Ultimate Everyday Aldi Grocery List series, in which I share some of my top Aldi-shopping tips and staples for healthy eating and shopping! Our first installment was on produce, and the second was all about dairy. Today, we’re digging into the pantry.
This section is large. If you’re willing to do a little work and prep, keeping the following items in your pantry will save you from “What’s for dinner???” panic when everyone is STARVING. I keep a few back-pocket recipes that everyone loves that I can pull together from these staples. Try these Healing Bowls, or these meatballs, or this eggs-in-purgatory recipe (just trust me on this one).
Canned tuna/tuna pouches: Eat it straight out of the pouch or make a quick tuna salad for lunch.
Canned tomatoes: All different kinds. I add these to so many soups, stews, and chili. You can make a simple three-ingredient (four if you count Kosher salt) pasta sauce for meatballs and zoodles. Heat 1T olive oil over medium heat, add two cloves of minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Add one 28-oz. can of crushed tomatoes. Season with Kosher salt. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Voila!
Oatmeal: Steel-cut oats are so quick in the Instant Pot. Do you have one? It’s a life-changer! Old-fashioned oats are also a great breakfast to fill your belly and warm your bones on a cold Cleveland morning. Have you tried my egg white oatmeal yet?
Nuts and seeds: So many great options to have on hand to add a little bit of salty crunch (and protein and fat) to oatmeal, yogurt, salad, or snacks.
Almond butter: I love to dip apple slices in a spoonful of almond butter for an afternoon snack that really hits the spot.
Beans: Of course, you can add them to chili. But they are also great in a sausage, beans and greens stew. You can even make your own hummus!
Coffee: My husband and I really like the Fair Trade Organic Peru whole-bean coffee from Barissimo. They have several kinds of whole bean, ground, and K-cups. Choose your favorite … now you’re ready to take on the day!
Olive or avocado oil: Spend some time looking over all the different options for cooking and dressings.
Vinegar: A staple to make your own dressing for salads without all the unwanted ingredients from bottled dressing. Shake this one from Ina Garten up in a mason jar: 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ red wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp ground pepper. Adding a little acid to your dishes takes them to the next level. Don’t cook boring food; embrace your Top Chef.
Brown rice: a dinnertime staple. Cooking rice is not difficult; just follow the directions on the bag.
Quinoa: If this grain is new to you, use it as an alternative to rice, or search for a fun recipe on Pinterest.
Hot sauce: Another way to add some heat and another layer of flavor.
Dark chocolate: I’m a busy mama of three; do I really need to explain this one?
Stock-in-a-box: Such a good staple to have on hand for the base of a quick, veggie-filled soup.
Flavored sparkling water: Sometimes you just need a change from all that water you’re drinking, or maybe you’re trying to cut back on the Coke … enter La Croix.
Dried spices: If you’re going to start cooking more at home, you need a well-stocked spice rack. Start with garlic, onion, oregano, chili powder, cumin, rosemary, thyme, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and whole bay leaves.
What’s your go-to healthy pantry item?