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Healthy Staples for Emergency Meals

January 27, 2016

Everyone should have the right staples in the pantry and fridge so that when you don’t have a lot of time to cook and haven’t been to the market for fresh food , you can find a quick and healthy meal. These pantry and fridge staples are the healthiest choices and the best emergency backups that beat takeaway every time on cost, health and taste. Keep them on your shopping list so you always have them handy.

 

Wholemeal Plain and Self Raising Flour Use wholemeal self raising and wholemeal plain flour in baking and egg washing fish and chicken. It boosts the amount of wholegrains in your diet to protect you from heart disease and diabetes. You can always whip up a pancake or crepe for dinner with these or a healthy muffin!

Rolled Oats can be used in baking or for breakfast everyday and a bag of these is cheap as chips. Breakfast for dinner anyone? Just add seeds and coconut water or milk with cinnamon and you have a delicious yummy breakfast in 1 minute for $1

 

Quinoa The superfood that is high in protein and a meat free Tuesday meal. Just boil and add to salads or use as a base where you would normally have pasta, cous cous, polenta or rice. Gluten free and very filling. A dieters dream! You can even use it to make porridge. Quinoa Flakes are also great to buy as you can use them to crumb fish and chicken for a healthy schnitzel!

 

Bottled Lemon Juice can be used for everything from marinades to baking and is a far more cost effective than buying lemons. Having this in the fridge makes it perfect for fish nights and on top of crepes.

 

Canned chickpeas, bean mixes and lentils. Super cheap and super healthy. Always be sure to rinse them thoroughly then use them in salads, soups and sauces. Reduce the amount of meat you consume and replace red meat with these protein bombs for mexican and spaghetti bolognaise. You really can’t tell the difference! And don’t forget the trusty baked beans (salt reduced) for a baked bean toasted sandwich on wholemeal or sourdough for a great backup lunch or dinner.

 

Eggs One egg contains six grams of belly-filling protein for only 70 calories. Hard boil a bunch at the beginning of the week for an on-the-go breakfast or snack with a piece of cheese and fruit, Make an easy frittata or throw a fried egg on top of a rice-and-veggie bowl or a salad for an extra dose of protein or you can even have poached eggs on sourdough or an omelette for an easy dinner. The options are endless with eggs!

 

Canned and Frozen Fish Eat more Omega 3’s by buying canned salmon and tuna for salads, sandwiches, casseroles and pastas. A toasted sandwich with Tuna and home made mayo or red salmon with balsamic vinegar are yummy. You can also buy frozen fish fillets of barramundi, hoki and salmon which can be even cooked in the microwave in steam bags for dinner. Just stay away from the crumbed varieties that have loads of fillers and additives.

 

Microwave brown rice and wholemeal or spelt pasta. You can buy microwave brown rice pouches that have added chia seeds for protein to use in stir frys, mexican and as sides. Swap out your white pasta for wholemeal or spelt pasta which have 3 times more fibre and less simple carbohydrates so you won’t feel bloated and add canned fish or keep it neopolitan with canned tomatoes as your sauce.

 

Canned Tomatoes you can use for everything from pasta sauces to casseroles and soups. They are a staple in so many dishes and you can never have too many in the pantry for an emergency mexican chilli bean with rice or Bolognaise Recipes

 

Frozen Berries For a boost of Vitamin C buy frozen berries for smoothies, breakfast toppers and yoghurt snacks which will always be on hand and have a longer shelf life than fresh berries and are usually alot cheaper! Look for Australian varieties and use them in healthy muffins.

 

Frozen Vegies For antioxidants and a quick meal fix buy frozen stir fry vegetables for emergency dinners from the freezer. They are snap frozen so you don’t lose out on nutrients and you can always keep a bag of frozen baby peas to add to brown rice and bacon and egg for a home cooked healthy fried rice!

 

Balsamic Vinegar For salads and marinades you can’t beat Balsamic Vinegar which has less calories per serve than any other dressing and its acidity helps slow digestion and is low GI. Use with olive oil for salad or marinade chicken or red meat or brush over vegetables before roasting.

 

Fetta Cheese For creamy flavour and protein and calcium use Fetta Cheese which can be used crumbled over salads or in cous cous, quiche and pasta dishes and has a long shelf life in the fridge.

 

Greek Yoghurt makes a great low-cal and low-fat substitute in recipes for mayo and sour cream and is packed with protein and calcium and should be dolloped on your brekky every day!

 

Canned Olives have a long shelf life, can be thrown into a pasta, salad or try snacking on them. You can eat 10 for about 50 calories. They’re perfect when you’re craving something salty, but it’s more satisfying than crackers and healthier than salty chips!

 

Dried Herbs Packed with a surprising number of antioxidants, they add wonderful flavours to any dish. Forget buying fresh which last only a few days. Dried herbs will last for at least a year and give new life to leftovers or simple dishes like omelettes and pasta sauces.

 

Chicken and Turkey Mince Buying lean turkey or chicken breast mince saves on saturated fat compared to beef mince. Stash in your freezer and leave in your fridge to defrost for the next day.  Use either in stir-fries, meat sauces, enchiladas or rice bowls.

 

Edamame (soy bean) is low in calories, high in fibre, and packed with protein and iron. These little pods can be kept in the freezer and microwaved for a healthy snack or side vegie to any meal. Add a little sea salt and you’re done!

Hope this helps you whip up something quick inexpensive healthy and easy for the whole family!

 

Hope this helps

Suzanne

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