During this lock down time we are encouraged to only venture out to the shops when we need to. This means we need to plan and have a well stocked pantry with store cupboard essentials that will last for a while. Making a meal plan and a shopping list is a good way to ensure we buy the food we need and don’t over cater or forget any items. There are several store cupboard essentials that are always on my list as I like to be fully stocked up to feed my family. 

Here are my top 10 store cupboard essentials

  1. Tinned Tomatoes: For me these are my base for all sorts of sauces, stews and curries. Without a tin in the cupboard I feel I have no food in the house! My favourite are chopped tomatoes, just open and poor into your cooking. 
  2. Oats: For making porridge for breakfast or essential flapjack. They are full of soluble fibre, which is good for your heart.
  3. Tinned beans: I like a good selection of different types of beans in my cupboard to make a bean chilli and of course a few tins for baked beans for a quick lunch – beans on toast, jacket potato and beans. My husband makes a great bean salad from tinned beans and sweetcorn!
  4. Dried lentils: I ate lots of lentil soup as a child, my mum trying to fill us up! It is now my favourite soup to make for my kids as well! They are a good go to when I have nothing fresh left in the fridge. They are very versatile and I might make a lentil pasta sauce, lentil Bolognese or lentil lasagne. I have recently enjoyed cooking red and green dried lentils together. Boil and simmer for 30 minutes or in the pressure cooker for just 15 minutes with veggies and tinned tomatoes, the red lentils dissolves into a nice mush and the green hold their shape. They are high in fibre, low in fat and full of protein. 
  5. Dried pasta: Another staple in the cupboard. Mix with a tin of tomatoes and beans and a perfect store cupboard meal! My youngest daughter is a pasta fiend and would not let us be without pasta!
  6. Dried rice: Similar to pasta, is another cupboard filler. To go with a lovey curry or stew.
  7. Herbs and spices: I have a whole rack of different herbs and spices to add in different combinations to meals. They can make all the difference. 
  8. Tinned sweetcorn (or any veg): Tinned sweetcorn is one of my emergency veg (along with frozen peas) for when the fresh veg has run out! Added to stews and pasta dishes or a bit of tuna sweetcorn on a jacket spud.
  9. Custard Powder: I have a sweet tooth, I do like to have a pudding every now and then. Custard is one of my favourite. Of course it is even better if you have it with a crumble or a bread and butter pudding!
  10. Peanut butter: Especially on hot toast when it melts in. Peanut butter sandwich for a snack. Can be used to make a satay sauce as well. 

Take a peak at what is actually in a dietitian’s store cupboard!

Budget recipes from store cupboard items

I am loving Jamie Oliver’s Keep Cooking and Carry on series with meals that can be made from foods we have in our store cupboards. There are some great budget recipes on the BBC Food website as well including recipes from Jack Monroe who specialises in budget recipes.

What are your store cupboard essentials?

These are my favourite store cupboard items, but every one is different, so let me know what your favourites are. Let me know in the comments or on social media. Or tell me what your favourite meal is made from your store cupboard ingredients!

Keep safe team,

Love Louise x

A Pinterest pin image showing a dietitian holding a big bag of pasta looking in her store cupboard.

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