Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Lost Arts: The Stocked Pantry

It's been a hot summer, hasn't it? Most days, it was too hot to even think about cooking in the kitchen. Consequently, the daily diet got a little off course.

I picked up this book on clearance at Barnes and Noble this week to help me get back on track. Back in 2009, the Eat This Not That books spurred me on to healthy eating, and I lost nearly twenty-five pounds. I've let some of that weight creep back on, and I'm not happy about it. Seriously, seven pounds can mean the difference between fitting into those old blue jeans or giving up and putting the yoga pants on.

I've often felt that the key to healthy eating is a well-stocked pantry. But the truth is, I don't enjoy grocery shopping, so I put it off until the cupboard is nearly bare. Not a good plan!

The secret for me has always been getting enough fruits, veggies, fiber and lean protein. Snacking? Absolutely, especially if it combines a fiber and protein. Apple slices and peanut butter. Part skim milk mozzarella cheese stick and Triscuits. Hummus and carrots.

I made my own hummus today. This is a special blend that uses a little flavoring from kalamata olives. It got me thinking about the staples in my fridge and pantry. Here are some of my must haves:

marinated artichoke hearts
kalamata olives
diced canned tomatoes
chick peas, black beans, great northern beans
Barilla Plus pastas with extra fiber and protein
couscous and Uncle Ben's quick brown rice
Ghiradelli dark chocolate
olive oil
Gevalia espresso ground coffee
Triscuit or Wheat Thins type crackers

skim milk
feta and parmesan cheese
Tahini for hummus
Lowfat balsamic vinaigrette dressing
lemons, berries
peppers, garlic, onions
cheese sticks

Here's a quick and easy recipe using some pantry staples that made me look like a gourmet chef last week.

Mediterranean Tilapia

Four tilapia filets
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 T. capers
kalamata olives
lemon slices
freshly ground pepper and kosher salt
olive oil

Place filets on cookie sheet. Top with ingredients, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until fish is flaky. Serve on top of Uncle Ben's brown rice and enjoy!

1 comment: