Because let’s face it, the key to an organised kitchen is all about being well stocked on dry ingredients!
How organised is your kitchen? Is it simple enough to cook up a storm without popping out to the shops?
Fear not, I’ve got you covered with my all secrets revealed guide to organising and using your larder.
We’ve all been there before. Spending hours looking for meal inspiration, finding the perfect recipe then casting our eyes down the long list of ingredients only to find we need to pop to the shops for that one ingredient. And let’s face it, if you struggle with food intolerances like me, cooking is never far from simple.
Aaargh! Before you I know it you’re tapping away on your phone and ordering a Deliveroo (which you know will make you feel rubbish the next day) and promise yourself that you’ll be more organised next time!
But it really doesn’t take much to be organised, stocking up on the ingredients you know you will use a lot.Just half an hour prep time et voila, your shopping list is done and you’re good to go. Trust me, these aren’t ingredients you’re going to use once and once only, if you do this right you will be using them time and time again!
What to know how? I’ve put together my top 5 tips to getting you and your dry ingredients cupboard working best for you!
1. Define Your Taste
Let’s face it, we all have different tastes, and that’s certainly true when it comes to eating. Do you tend to crave fragrant food from the East? If so you can bet your bottom dollar ingredients like rice noodles, tamarind paste, tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and chilli flakes appear. Or maybe you veer more towards Mediterranean flavours in which case a good extra virgin olive oil along with a different variety of grains and pulses, tins of tomatoes and a good stash of dried herbs will be your best friend. My advice, do your research, find a few key recipes that float your boat and find the common ingredients to add to your dry store. I suggest sticking with two different flavour profiles to begin with and once you get confident in your usage, explore some new ones.
2. Don’t forget to Meal Plan
It’s all well and good getting your dry ingredients stocked up, but now you’ve got to remember to use it all! Meal planning in my mind is massively underestimated! We’re all so busy juggling work and family life, without planning we’ll quite probably fall apart at the seams. So if you’re not yet in the habit, put aside some time to work out your meals for the week. I like to sit down on a Sunday with my family to design our weekly meal planner – not only does it get everyone’s buy in (which equals less fuss or rejection!), I know exactly what ingredients I need. Trust me, the last thing you want is to get caught out without that one integral ingredient. It usually happens when I’m at my most tired part of the day meaning all good intentions go out the window!
3. Discover Refill Stores
Remember the old fashioned sweet shops where penny sweets were all the rage? These are just like that only for grown ups who love good food! You can quite literally buy as much or as little as you want, making it the perfect inexpensive option for getting started. And lets face it, there’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you’re doing your bit to save the planet! If you find that you’re constantly sticking with the same old pasta dish, use this as an opportunity to diversify and try different grains with a similar consistency like millet, or giant couscous. Simply take your list (and your empty bottles if its liquids you want to refill) and get refilling. Before you know it you’ll be placing an order for fancy looking jars ready to line your insta worthy shelves with your dry store goods!
4. Batch Cook Dressings and Sauces
Now’s the time to get clever! Good food doesn’t mean you have to be a slave to your kitchen. Use your fridge and freezer wisely, that way, when you’re reaching mid week burnout you still have a stash of delicious nutritious food at your fingertips. Without exception I make a weekly jar of pesto, super veg powered tomato sauce and some kind of Asian inspired dressing (generally tahini and miso based!). Your fresh sauce will always taste far more superior to anything you can buy in a jar in the supermarket!
5. Diversify Ingredients
This is the beauty of cooking from scratch, you get the freedom to diversify the ingredients in your dishes, whilst your microbes happily feast away. Perhaps it means switching out pine nuts for brain loving walnuts in this weeks batch of pesto trying my Walnut Pesto recipe here, or maybe its whizzing up a quick and easy plant based cheeze sauce with immune supporting sunflower seeds using my recipe here. Trust me, once you get the hang of the switcheroo, you’ll be switching things up all over the place!
Now you’re best friends with your store cupboard, it’s time to get cooking. Maybe you’d enjoy my moorish Truffle Polenta Chips here, or why not try out my Spiced Miso Aubergines here.
If you like this blog post and think it might be useful to others, please do click and share. Each and every one of your shares helps spread my content to people who also love keeping guts and minds happy – I appreciate your support! And as I practically live on Instagram, feel free to tag me in your new dry store pics so I can see them and share on my IG stories! xx