When I plan ahead a little and maintain these kitchen staples in my freezer and pantry, saves me room in my shopping cart, it saves me money, and gives me the comfort of knowing exactly what is in the food I am eating and feeding to my family. I love the spice isle at the grocery store. I love the huge amount of packets we can add to meats and veggies and create huge flavor. I grew up on sloppy joe seasoning packets and taco packets. But trying to be healthy and looking out for my family I have noticed there are so many convenience types foods that we add to our recipes that have vague ingredients such as "spice", "spices" or "flavorings". Those ingredients make me nervous.
Some many think eliminating these processed foods from their diet means cooking all day in the kitchen, creating a long complicated substitute, or giving up recipes they have been cooking for years, but I assure you it doesn't. Start with one or two of these easy homemade staples, and you'll find yourself getting into the pattern of keeping them on hand because of the convenience of not needing to add them to a list. Saving a $5 bill here and there. Those pesky cans of cream of whatever add up. These homemade staples that we all use in our cooking can be safely stored for months or even up to a year in the pantry or freezer and ready for when you need them.
4 of my favorites homemade staples:
2.Flour Free, Sugar Free Easy Enchilada Sauce
3.Pizza Dough (freezable & customizable)
4.Flour-Free, Corn-Free, Sugar-Free Taco Seasoning Mix
Another staple is how to make homemade chicken broth. Chicken broth is easy and affordable. You can save yourself some sodium and cash at the grocery store by doing it yourself with a little planning. They both freeze beautifully for months! You can even make it in a crockpot!
In my chicken broth I use 3 vegetables (celery, carrot, onion), a whole chicken, a large pot of water, salt, pepper, and a lemon or lemon juice in a pinch. That's it. No mystery ingredients. Here let me show you:
|one whole chicken 3-4 lbs - I am removing the stuff in the cavity|
|I put the chicken in a very large pot of water with salt & pepper|
|2 stalks of celery in very large pieces|
|one whole lemon sliced in large chunks|
|one or two cloves garlic and one whole onion cut into 4 pieces|
|Chop up 2 carrots. Scrub them good and you don't even have to peel them. Put all the veggies into the pot and turn it on to boil - its like a hot tub party|
Meals you can make with the shredded chicken:
Chicken Soft Tacos
Chicken BBQ Sliders
Chicken & Cheese Quesadillas
You can add Chicken to Mac & Cheese
Making your own staples to use while cooking can save you money and is easy as pie. Most recipes just need 10-15 minutes of hands on attention.
From my January
"getting back on track" kitchen