For the next few weeks, Lodawg Kitchen’s Loic Savrimoutou will be sharing knowledge nuggets that you can add to your cooking toolbelt. First up: level up your kitchen cupboards!

There’s nothing worse than being peckish and not being able to throw a meal together quickly. Have a look at my pantry essentials, and never get caught out again (..and paying $50 for a burrito on Uber Eats).

  1. Canned, crushed tomatoes – tomatoes form the base for so many dishes – ragu/pasta sauces, shakshouka (eggs baked in spicy tomato sauce), soups, minced meat just to name a few.
  2. Eggs – a cheap, easily prepared protein which can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, baked eggs, omelettes, frittatas and quiches. They’re also an essential baking ingredient, so make sure you have some eggs on hand if you’re into whipping up cakes. Consider buying the expensive organic eggs, in order to support more sustainable, natural and ethical farming practices. I recommend Mulloon Creek eggs, available at Harris Farm. Info: https://www.mcnf.com.au/
  3. Peanut butter – a great source of protein and fat. I enjoy it with honey on toast as a snack and fuel for a solid bike ride. It can also go in muffins, on ice cream, in baked slices/flapjacks or on porridge. If there are any ingredients besides peanuts and salt – don’t buy it, because it ain’t real peanut butter. I recommend Ridiculously Delicious Peanut Butter, available at Harris Farm.
  4. Dried spices/herbs – an easy way to add flavour to your cooking, without worrying about them going off quickly. Some personal favourites: thyme, sweet paprika (smokey is too strong for my liking), cumin, coriander and chilli flakes.
  5. Tuna – similar to eggs, in that they’re an easy protein option. They can go into anything with rice, pasta, on a sandwich, in a salad etc. Go for the chunky style tuna, and always ALWAYS go for the tuna in oil. Tuna in water is cat food. Sandwich tuna is mushy, and is also cat food. I recommend Sirena Italian style tuna in oil, the tastiest and most easily attained option.
  6. Chickpeas – see point 5, just in vegetarian form.
  7. Coffee – in order to sustain life itself, enough said. Can also help add flavour to desserts.
  8. Pasta – an easy option for carbs that keeps in the pantry forever. I could put rice here, but pasta is easier to prepare with exact cooking times on the packaging. All you need is a base (use a jarred sauce if you need), some mince meat and away you go! But why stop there? Pasta is but a blank canvas where you can chop and change as you like.
  9. Honey – I find myself going to honey to go with my tea, pancakes and toast. Though I can live without it, life is more comfortable knowing I have some on hand.

This article was originally published on Lodawg.com on 17 March 2019. Image credit: Lodawg Kitchen.
Follow Loic Savrimoutou on Lodawg.com and on his Youtube channel

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Loic Savrimoutou