Knowing what to make for dinner or even lunches can get pretty annoying to figure out. We are always researching healthy options for dinners and figuring out whether or not we can afford the ingredients needed.
Believe it or not, just because a meal is complicated to make doesn’t always mean it’s going to taste better than a simple meal you’re used to.
I wanted to put together a list of some food staples you should always try to get when you’re out shopping. These foods will be all over the place, but they’re great for so many different meals and can easily be swapped out for different flavours. Knowing how to cook them with flavour will always be key! That’s why you should check out my blog post “Ways To Stop Eating Bland Food” to know how to make your meals pop with flavour.
Brown rice, white rice, sushi rice, any rice. I don’t believe in eliminating any type of carbs no matter what your goals are. I love my basmati and jasmine rice. It’s always a good idea to keep extra carbs on hand. Buy a big bag of rice and it will last you forever! Not only will buying a big bag save you some money in the long run , but it’s great to have for dinners and you can cook it differently to change up the flavours. Cook it with coconut milk or even chicken broth! It will keep thr carb part of your meal satisfying. Jamie and I basically eat rice every single day.
White potatoes and sweet potatoes are a great carb source! I always have a bag of potatoes in the pantry. It’s so easy to put together dinners when you have a great carb source like potatoes. Some evenings you may want to make homemade fries and some nights you may want to make garlic mashed potatoes. They have great nutritional value and easy to prepare dinner with! Winning!
Eggs / Egg Whites
You can never go wrong with eggs and egg whites. They add a sh*t ton of extra protein to your breakfast and if you’re like me and enjoy having breakfast for dinner, you can be proud that you just packed on so many good calories and macros for the day, just by having eggs. Just because the meal may be easy, doesn’t mean you can’t put together the best meal ever. There are so many delicious omelettes you can prepare. “Tasteful Healthy Breakfast Ideas“. You can also add eggs into your baking etc, so it’s nice to always have on hand. I’ll also add egg whites to my shakes, smoothies, and oatmeal. Yes, it’s raw, but there is no harm! It doesn’t even taste like anything and when you add other stuff to your shakes you won’t even notice.
Ah, chicken. I’m honestly not a crazy fan of chicken anymore due to having it a lot when I was prepping for my bikini competition and afterwards. I would just get it down because of how much protein it has. I do still have it, but the recipe needs to be delicious! Chicken is great to stock up on and have plenty in the freezer for a grab and cook dinner.
I love having crockpot shredded chicken on rice, or in a taco. I made a spicy peanut soba noodle dish with small chunks of chicken and that was amazing! With chicken, you just need to be creative and make sure you spice the sh*it out of it! 😉
Make sure to stock up when you see deals because chicken breasts can be pretty expensive.
Extra Lean Ground Beef
Red meat is what I enjoy! You can never go wrong with stocking up on ground beef. There are always amazing deals at our grocery store, so we end up buying pounds and pounds of it and just keep it in the freezer. Not buying meat every grocery haul is a refreshing thing. Meat prices can add up quickly so when there are deals, take advantage of it!
Always having a couple different meat options in the freezer also helps with figuring out dinner options for the entire week or two. There are so many dinner menus you can come up with that involve ground beef that are very different.
Ground Chicken Or Turkey
These packages are very inexpensive at our stores in Canada so I love stocking up on this as well. Ground chicken or turkey comes in handy to just throw ingredients together and make a meal that way. I love making burgers, taco bowls, and chilli’s with these.
I used to never be a fish person. I never liked it and nor did I eat sushi. Now I love my fish and sushi! It’s not fishy tasting at all and the flavours are amazing. Salmon is great to have and stock up on since stores can have great deals on them.
Salmon is light, but really filling and it’s an overall good protein to have when you want to switch up your meats.
I feel like I love tilapia a lot more lately than salmon. It’s just an overall delicious type of fish and not to mention it has a ton of protein in it with barely any calories. This fish is perfect when you’re trying to lean out a bit. I love pan frying my fish with just a tad bit of olive oil to help it get a nice crust. I then have it with a side rice and a veggies. Sometimes I’ll just add some lemon on top but lately I’ve been making a delicious sauce. Mix plain greek yogurt with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice (and zest if you want), salt, pepper and fresh dill! So good!
I will continue to rave about flank steak! Flank steak is one of the leanest and tastiest red meats out there and it has ZERO fatty pieces, hence why it’s my favourite. It’s so easy to rip apart and chew. Very flavourful and makes up for an amazing meal. Check out the butcher at the grocery store, they should have it! I never get my steaks from the packaged section as they don’t taste as good.
Flank steak, garlic mashed potatoes and homemade kale chips or roasted broccoli? YUM!
You can have avocados for breakfast, lunch dinner and snacks… Sounds like a pretty good thing to stock up on. Avocados come in handy for any dish. They’re great on toast with some freshly squeezed lime juice, for those amazing taco bowls you could substitute sour cream for this amazing rich healthy fat or just eat plain because why not. #avolover
Onions / Green Onions
If you don’t like onions, that may be why your meals are boring and just utterly plain… Onions are a huge staple in our household and carry out delicious flavours for all of our meals. Breakfast omelettes, that green onion crunch on top of your taco, or even caramelized sweet onions on your burger.
Cilantro, parsley, basil and others are great to always have on hand. The main key to making your meals taste good is knowing how to spice them up and that my friend is a ton of spices and herbs! Don’t just stick with dried spices, but use real thing when you can as the flavour has way more impact on your dish. I’m obsessed with cilantro and it makes a huge difference in my tacos or Asian dishes.
Veggies should be a huge staple in your household. I get it, sometimes we don’t want vegetables with every meal, but at least have 3-4 different veggies in the fridge that you can pull out and prepare. I love sautéing and roasting my vegetables. We do not boil them, that’s the plain Jane way. In order to enjoy veggies you need to cook and flavour them. I love roasting broccoli, cauliflower, carrots etc. It brings out their natural flavour and having a little bit of burnt pieces make it taste so much better.
Just like vegetables, we need to stock up on some fruit as well. Fruits like strawberries and raspberries can go back quickly, so I do recommend having at least 2-3 different fruits in the house to choose from. It’s great changing things up, so having options is key.
We usually go for bananas, apples, and mix up berry sources every week. We ALWAYS have lemons and limes on hand as well, since they’re amazing to cook with and we use the zest and juice for more of a “pop” to our dishes.
Natural sugar is the way to go. Skip the dried fruit and stick with natural fresh ones.
Yogurt is one of those easy grab and go snacks that make life so much better. Getting plain greek yogurt may sound boring but adding some honey, Splenda, and fruits help with sweetening things up a bit. If you’re someone who does the flavoured ones, I suggest you mix the flavoured one with some plain yogurt that way you cut the sugar in half. The sugar content is insane with the flavoured yogurts.
You can also use it in dinners like salmon and make a delicious dill yogurt sauce or use it in your baking to substitute unhealthy oils! There’s plenty of ways to use yogurt in your every day life.
Check out my lemon blueberry loaf recipe to see how I swapped out oil for yogurt! Guilt Free Lemon Blueberry Loaf
Oatmeal is the king of foods. Warm oats, cold overnight oats, blended oats in your protein shake and oats to make as oat flour for your baking; there are so many unique ways to use this! Oatmeal is a huge staple in our daily life. The carbs are great, inexpensive to buy and it’s a slow digesting carb, which means you will be full for longer.
I’m obsessed with coconut oil or anything coconut for that matter. Coconut oil contains healthy fats which makes it great to have in your life. I love having coconut oil on my toast instead of butter. It also gives my eggs a great flavour. The coconut flavour isn’t overpowering but just enough to give some simpler dishes some excitement.
Yes, salsa!! Believe it or not, but you can make a delicious dish with just this! This is great to use because it has low calories and it’s filled with flavour. I use this for my famous taco rice bowls and mix this in with ground beef to make it juicer and I love adding this to my slow cooker shredded chicken.
There are so many ways to add salsa into your dishes with other spices and herbs for all the flavour in the world. Salsa is a huge staple in our daily lives and we make sure to always grab the big container because putting stuff together with salsa as a base is great for easy peasy dinners!
Throwing stuff together like chilli, soups and stews; beans is a great to stock up on since they’re so cheap and it doesn’t take up a lot of space in your cabinets. Always buy a couple different kinds that way you have different ones to throw into a pot and make it more interesting.
Peanut Butter (The real stuff)
You can bake with it, have it for breakfast, snacks, add it to your protein shakes for more flavour and healthier fat consumption and even top it on your frozen yogurt for a treat! (the crunchy kind is the best).
PB is a huge staple for us as well. You just can’t go wrong because it takes delicious and it’s not bad for you. #winning!
Protein powder is so important to my daily life. Although it’s best to get protein from whole foods, having a protein shake after a workout is key!
Protein powders are all fun to try. You have the normal flavoured ones, then you have the amazing flavoured ones like “Chips Ahoy” from Ghost. They made their flavours fun and even add little crunchy pieces in them to keep it from getting boring.
You can do so much with protein powder. You can bake with it, add it to your yogurt, add it to your oatmeal, make big mass gainer shakes and I’ve even heard of people adding it to their coffee. I’ve never tried that one!
It’s great to always have protein powder in your kitchen for those days you want something quick and filling.
I hope you enjoyed this post! What’s one main staple that you can’t go a week without? 🙂 I didn’t put any treats on there, however Jamie and I don’t really stock up on sweets. We usually have to go out and get it the day of if we want to treat ourselves that evening. Out of sight out of mind is a totally an amazing thing.
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