This is a list provided by my foodie, naturally talented in the kitchen, chef extraodinaire cousin, Megan:
1.Frozen chicken: buy on sale, in bulk, from your local farm and freeze in the individual sizes you need for quick thaw and prep (ie enough for 1 serving, that would be me; enough for 2, for a family of 4 etc)
2. Frozen spinach: quick sautee of spinach, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper finished with lemon juice and fresh parm cheese. Quick, easy, healthy.
3. Quinoa: rich in protein, cooks in minutes flat and you can leave it to do its thing while you do whatever else you need to do. Toss with some olive oil and lemon or pesto sauce for quick flavor.
4. Fresh Lemons: adds great fresh flavor to anything and keep for weeks in the frig.
5. Fresh garlic: not the pre-minced stuff, has a bunch of preservatives in them, no bueno.
6. Spices, spices, spices: tons of flavor, none of the bad stuff. Nantucket Off Shore spices and rubs, 4.99-6.99 a tin, are the most amazing spices ever, I haven’t had one from them I don’t like. Google to find where to purchase. Their Italian blend, Renaissance Rub, is spicy and oh so good on anything and everything especially potatoes roasted in the oven with some olive oil and parm cheese
7. Parmesan cheese: the good stuff, in a block. Used in moderation on whatever.
8. Sweet potatoes: keep for weeks in the frig. Bake them, slice them, dice them, mash them. Whatever. They’re a super food but hold the cinnamon sugar butter, their much better with ground mustard, salt and pepper in my opinion. Roasted sweet potato chips? Yes, please.
Feel free to add to the list of must haves to avoid the ol’ excuse “we didn’t have anything in the house and I didn’t have time to go to the store so just went through the drive thru…”