Stock cupboard staples

04.07.24

Pantry Favourites

I don’t know about you, but in my house there are always plenty of ingredients knocking around in the cupboards. I’m going to share some of my all time favourite ingredients that I keep buying, I’m sick of gatekeeping them. Have a look through my website for dishes using tins like my fish, butterbean and chorizo stew, or mini bakewell tarts that use up that tin of cherry pie filling your nan once gave you and you shoved in the back of the pantry because you didn’t know what to do with it.

Fridge fillers

A lot of the ingredients that I use can be kept ambient or in the fridge – generally they just last a little bit longer in the fridge where it’s cool! I have an entire shelf in my fridge dedicated to sauces, so there’s basically everything you could ever want shoved up there.

Dishes can always be elevated with a sauce or dip, one of my favourites to whip up is always a buffalo sauce. Slather it over chicken or potatoes, and it’s also incredible to dip some crispy potato wedges in. The only fresh ingredient you need is butter! Whisk together 100ml hot sauce, 75g butter, 1 tsp garlic granules and 2 tbsp honey. Whisk over a low heat until fully combined and glossy.

Stock cupboards

There’s always going to be your classic pantry classics like rice and pasta but I’m a big fan of a lentil. Red lentils are my go to for a delicious midweek dhal. I even sometimes make it into a slightly thinner dhal soup with extra coconut milk and chopped fresh tomatoes for a filling lunch. Butter beans are an amazing ingredient, they come in tins so last for ages and add texture and protein to stews and veg dishes. If you aren’t a big bean lover then blitz them up with garlic, tahini, lemon zest and juice and a drizzle of olive oil to make a butter bean hummus which is perfect for dipping toasted pitta breads.

Tropical tins

Tinned fruit is not just that thing that you’d get given for pudding in the 90’s by your mom when she was stuck for what to give you. You can get some incredible tropical fruits that are harder to find in the UK like Alphonso or Kesar mangos, which have a really intense tropical flavour and make the most delicious sorbets and ice creams. Just blitz up a tin of mango pieces with all of the juice, and pop into an ice cream machine to churn and become thick and smooth. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, add in a splash of sugar syrup (1:1 ratio of caster sugar and water, bring to the boil for 2 minutes and leave to cool) and freeze in a tub. It will be a perfect scoopable consistency after freezing for around 6-8 hours. The sugar syrup stops the sorbet from forming too many large ice crystals, so it keeps it smooth!

Frozen heroes

A lot of people can be scared by frozen foods! Here’s a little secret – some foods can actually be ‘fresher’ when they’ve been frozen than what you get in the fridge. Fish and seafood products are often frozen at sea, which means that they are frozen and packaged much faster. Fish in the refrigerated aisles which sometimes could have been caught 3 days before it is on the supermarket shelf. Frozen fish can also be more cost effective to buy than fresh, and also produces much less food waste as it has a longer life. Peas are also another great frozen option, which are flash frozen when they’re picked and stay so much sweeter and more delicious.

Whenever I go back into my healthy girl era, frozen berries and tropical fruits are my saviours for breakfast smoothies. Just whack some frozen mixed berries, banana slices, spinach blocks, mango chunks, whatever you fancy into a high powered blender and whizz it up with a good splash of almond or coconut milk for a creamy smoothie. If you want to be fancy keep it thicker and make an Instagramable smoothie bowl. You can also use some other store cupboard ingredients to add extra texture to your bowl, like oaty granola, or I usually chuck on some almonds and hazelnuts for extra protein and crunch.