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The Well-Stocked Pantry

 

“When you’re surrounded by good, usable ingredients that you can easily mix and match, you’re more likely to make healthy meals “ says dietician Jenny Friedman.  If you add some protein like chicken, fish or lean red meat you’ll have lots of meal options. Here are some delicious and versatile winners!

 

OLIVE OIL—Extra virgin is great for cooking and salad dressings.

 

CANNED AND DRIED BEAN —Chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed beans. Black beans and pinto beans are high in fiber and protein and low in calories. Toss them in hummus, soups and dips or use for taco night and meatless Monday.

 

CANNED TOMATOES—Whole, peeled, pureed, chopped or even roasted, they’re rich in lycopene which may reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. Use in pasta or soup.

 

QUICK COOKING WHOLE GRAINS—Brown rice, barley, farro, quinoa and oatmeal have lots of fiber and other nutrients and they’re a tasty side dish or breakfast when you’re on the go!

 

FROZEN VEGGIES—Cauliflower rice is trendy these days and can be a quick alternative to traditional rice.

 

FRUITS AND VEGGIES—Roasted squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli or carrots make good side dishes. Or grab an apple on the way out the door or blend up a smoothie with frozen or fresh berries.

 

SALAD GREENS—Hearty greens like kale, chard and collards can be cooked or form the base of a salad. Simplify your life and opt for prewashed, bagged or boxed.

 

NUTS and SEEDS—Packed with healthy fats and protein, they’re great toasted, in salads or as snacks.