Buy the highest quality food available for the amount you have to spend, and cook less expensive items such as whole grains and vegetables just once. Then eat two or three times from what has been cooked. Buy mostly local small-farmed animal products free of pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics and other drugs. This does cost much more, but it is easier on the conscience and the body. By cooking more rice and vegetables at one time and having favorite pantry items on hand, you can easily create delicious lunches and dinners throughout the week.
Fridge and pantry items to have on hand when putting together inexpensive yet tasty and easy meals:
Wheat and gluten free bread
Multigrain oat bread
Jerusalem artichoke pasta
Butter or ghee
Extra virgin olive oil
Varieties of rice
Raw apple cider vinegar
Lemons and limes
Varieties of canned beans
Fresh or canned artichoke hearts
Quinoa and buckwheat flour
Fresh and dried herbs and spices
Fresh fruit and berries
Fresh or canned tomatoes
Red and white wine
Homemade or bought stock
Here are a few ways to use these staple fridge & pantry items:
Combine the sweet flavor of dried cranberries, goji or prunes with saltiness of olives or capers. Then combine the crunchy texture of pine nuts or walnuts with the savory flavor of dried or fresh herbs. Add these combinations to diced tomatoes,garlic and onion sautéed in olive oil and wine. This makes a great base for meat, eggs, veggies, rice or pasta.
Give zest to leftover rice and vegetables with juice from a lemon along with fresh or dried oregano, kelp and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and serve over fresh greens.
Play around, be creative & don’t be afraid to use condiments you haven’t tried before. Trial and error and having fun are the keys.