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Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Food For Thought"- What are your Refrigerator/Pantry staples?

Everyone has their own Refrigerator/Pantry staples.Things you cannot think you can cook without or stay without.It all depends on your cooking style,your preference and ofcourse your convenience. By 'staples' I mean.... things which reflect your unique cooking or just your choice to have them.Some of the things can be common in everyones household ..but some may surprise you...

Some examples from people I know....and their kitchen would be-
Like for me:
In my Refrigerator you will always find Carrots, Green pepper,tomatoes and broccoli. All the other veggies will come and go on rotation.But these are so versatile for me....I can add these to curries, soups, noodles, pastas etc etc.They go well in 'any' cuisine.
My freezer is always stocked with Frozen green peas,mix veggie and frozen corn.I love to add these to many dishes I make....for nutrition as well as for the 'burst' of color they offer.
Other things I cannot cook without are onions and garlic.....I have to have these all the time!
In the Pantry..I have a stock of some kind of Pasta, crushed tomatoes (to make soups, marinara sauce for pastas,to add to curries etc) and some kind of beans (Garbanzo, kidney or blac beans) for adding to soups/salads or a quick curry.
My mom:
Apart from the 'usual' veggies, my mom always has couple 'boiled potatoes' in the refrigerator.She says they are pretty handy and she can make quick snacks, chaats, parathas,curries whenever needed and not wait for potatoes to boil 10-20 mins before she can actually make the dish.
I do that sometimes myself....but I don't have them as 'Staple' all the time.I will boil couple potaoes in the pressure cooker if there is 'extra' space in the cooker and use them in something in next 2-3 days.
My friends:
My freind 'P' said she always has 'Frozen Spinach' in her freezer.She doesn't let go any chance to add spinach if she can add it to her cooking.So it is convenient and nutritious at the sametime.I had never purchased 'frozen' spinach before.I always used to buy the fresh bagged one..which I used up within 2-3 days after grocery shopping,otherwise it goes bad.But then, if I had to cook something which 'can' have Spinach later in the week, I couldn't add it. Couple weeks ago,I did try the frozen one as 'P' mentioned...and I love it! I can use it in so many different things! I have made fillings for Phyllo Cups, Puff pastry Pinwheels etc.
Other thing 'P' buys often is "Rotisserie Chicken".She says once you buy it..you find ways and dishes to use it up! I haven't tried that one yet.
My friend 'V' once mentioned to me that most of the grocery money goes in buying 'tomatoes'! I know that was 'exaggeration'...but I am sure 'tomatoes' are the 'Staple' of her kitchen.She actually buys them from farm in bulk whenever possible.That's a smart coice!
My friend "A" is a 'heathy' eater...all about soups and salads.I guess her staples are 'lots of veggies' and 'beans'.
How about you? Would you like to share your favorite staples and some ideas to use those...

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