Pantry Staples

Do you often have food in the pantry but nothing for dinner? If so, you may need to rethink your pantry staples.

Buying the same food overy week makes shopping easy, but it's not very helpful if these foods aren't healthy with a variety of uses.

Relying on simmer sauces, meal bases and flavour sachets can make meal times seem easier, but they're expensive, often unhealthy and don't offer the variety required to keep dinner time intersting.

To start your own list of pantry staples, think about the meals you make regularly and the ingredients required. If you use a lot or jars and packets, read the ingredients list to see which herbs, spices and vegetables you need to create the same meal.

For example, this is the ingredients list from a popular brand of taco seasoning. In bold are the ingredients to buy to make this at home.

Sugar, Flour, Salt, Garlic (8%), Paprika, Cumin (6.5%), Tomato (6%), Onion, Food Acid (330), Oregano, Chili and  Anti-Caking Agent (551).

These ingredients can also be used to make other meals and different cuisines.

Here's our list of foods that should in your pantry, freezer and fridge so there is always something healthy for dinner.

Ingredient Uses
Canned Tomatoes Base for pasta sauce, curry, stew and soup
(Kidney beans, Chickpeas, Lentils)

Add to soups and stews
Add to meat dishes (and reduce the meat)
Mashed white beans instead of potato
Spiced baked chickpeas as a snack
Hummus dip made from chickpeas

Pepper, Curry Powder, Cumin, Corriander, Paprika

Curries: Curry Powder, or cumin and corriander
Mexican: Paprika, cumin, corriander
Adding flavour without salt
Dried Herbs
Oregano, Mixed italian
Adding flavour without salt
Salt-reduced soy sauce  
Salt-reduced stock cubes or powder  
Salt-reduced Tomato Paste  
Rolled Oats

Bircher Muesli or homemade muesli
Fruit Crumble
Thicken stews and soups
Muesli Bars

Bread Toast
Quiche Base
Crumbing meat (eg: Chicken Schniztel)
Natural or Greek Yoghurt As a snack with fruit (stewed, canned, fresh)
Instead of cream in dessert (eg: pavlova)
Insread of sour cream in Mexican dishes and soups
Instead of cream in savoury cooked meals, like pasta and curries (add at the last minute so it doesn't split).

Frozen Vegetables
Peas, corn, green beans

As a side dish
Defrosted in salads
In any cooked dishes (add during the last 5 minutes)

Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Garlic

Long lasting to reduce food waste
Carrot sticks make a great snack with some dip.
Onion and garlic cooked slowly add flavour to cooked meals.
Baked potatoes
Roast Vegetables




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