Build a Better Pantry

Getting any meal ready at my house hinges on one premise—a well-stocked pantry. When building your pantry, think beyond the dry goods—your fridge and freezer are also valuable storage areas that can hold ingredients to turn around a homemade meal in no time.

Instead of relying more expensive store-bought staples, here are some homemade versions you can make, allowing to control the overall quality, and in many cases saving a lot of money in the long run. As I continue to build this site, I will add recipes that I consider pantry staples, so check back often.

Homemade Bouillon

I’ve yet to find a good-tasting prepackaged vegetable broth in the supermarket. One batch of this also saves over $200 a year at the check-out.

Marinara (tomato-basil) Sauce

Most pre-made sauces use high fructose corn syrup, a cheap processed sweetener, to balance the acidity of tomatoes. Good-quality sauces, made with only the best minimal ingredients can cost upwards of $7 a jar. Now you can make your own at home for a fraction of the cost.

Corn Tortillas

Tortillas are for more than just taco night. You can make homemade chips with them and use as a bread substitute to beat lunchtime boredom.

Prepared Lentils

Unlike many dry beans, lentils do not require a pre-soak and are very quick cooking. Put a pot up on the weekend, and you’ll be ready to make homemade veggie burgers, lentil ricotta meatballs or a simple lentil salad.

Homemade Creamy Ricotta

The store-bought ricotta I grew up on can’t hold a candle to the homemade stuff. And while there are some very good quality artisan cheesemakers, those hand-crafted containers carry a steep price tag. Is there any wonder I make one or two batches of it in the comfort of my own kitchen?

Warm from the strainer, it’s delicious slathered on toast and makes an easy appetizer for parties drizzled with honey. I also use it in my vegetarian “meat”balls, for making waffles and much more.

2 Comments to “Build a Better Pantry”

  1. I have just taken a look at your website and you have such amazing recipies! So looking forward to trying many of them. Thanks for blogging your hardwork, means a lot to a stay at home mom as myself who is always trying to feed her kids the best of the best.

  2. I LOVE your ideas! The veggie bouillon, lentils, ricotta, marinara sauce, and lentil ricotta meatballs are all staples in my kitchen now. Thanks so much for the recipes.

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