When you have a family meal-planning can feel like a mammoth task. Simply getting to the supermarket once a week can pose a lot of stress. Having some cupboard staples can help to make it easier.
When you have a family, meal-planning can feel like a mammoth task. Simply getting to the supermarket once a week can pose a lot of stress.
In our experience having these items makes recipe planning and last-minute meal inspiration a lot easier.
A lot of family-friendly recipes include these items and it’s better to be looking at them, not for them, right? Here are our must-have cupboard staples.
- Stockpots. Having a packet of beef, chicken and vegetable stock to hand makes a number of recipes possible. Throwing a beef one into a home-made spaghetti bolognese or stew adds tonnes of flavour. The chicken and vegetable varieties work a treat for soups, curries and risotto. They are little pots of flavour and while they do have a high salt content they won’t pose any danger when spread across a family recipe for several people.
- Chopped Tomatoes. These are extremely inexpensive and work brilliantly for a quick pasta dish, a home-made tomato soup or a sausage casserole (a family favourite here).
- Pesto. So many people are afraid to try Pesto but it’s literally just a mixture of cheese, herbs and oil. Stirring it through pasta makes for a quick and delicious dinner. It also works really well with chicken and with cheese on toast for a fancy toastie supper. You’ll get a jar for as little as one euro and a little goes a long way. I often freeze the rest of the jar and it is a lifesaver when you are stuck for a quick dinner.
- Wraps. I buy a packet of wraps and keep them in the freezer for a rainy day. We use them to make home-made pizza, quesadillas & even home-made nachos. Going for the wholemeal variety will introduce more fibre into your children’s diets too.
- Tins of tuna. Inexpensive and they have a long shelf life. Tuna pasta bake is a quick and easy dinner. Tuna melts are another life-saver. Simply mix tuna with mayonnaise and sweetcorn and add to toasted pitta bread. You can then add your cheese of choice and melt it in the oven. This is fabulous drizzled with sweet chilli sauce for adults or children who don’t mind a bit of spice.
- Soy Sauce. Have you tried marinating chicken fillets in soy sauce, honey and garlic granules? Simply pan fry and you’ll have a light sticky chicken dish which children love. It works brilliantly with rice or noodles.
- Corn on the cob. OK so it’s not in the cupboard but this is brilliant for a rainy day or quick dinner. It’s cooked in five minutes and when served with some butter, salt and pepper it’s totally delicious.
- Natural Yoghurt. Simply add to curries or dishes that have a bit of spice in them. It also works great for healthy pancake and overnight oats recipes. It’s inexpensive and can be sweetened with honey for a snack.
- Sausages that are more than 75% Pork. They’ll have fewer ingredients and the flavour and quality are simply better. These work great for casseroles, pasta bakes and comfort classics like bangers and mash.
- Cornflour. Whether it’s a quick white sauce to serve with ham or salmon or an addition to curries and stir-fries for a thicker sauce, this makes all the difference.
What are you cupboard staples?