Foods that make my life a little easier

I love to cook from scratch, but there are a few things I like to have in the cupboards to make life a little easier. Actually – what does cooking from scratch even mean? I should probably Google it.

Our freezer is filled with fish, chicken, fresh herbs (such a good tip from a friend), frozen berries, rye bread and meals I’ve put there. I love that moment when you haven’t prepared anything for dinner, and then remember you have something stashed in the freezer. Pure joy.

Here are a few other things that bring me joy in the kitchen:

Lazy garlic, chilli and ginger – I use these almost every day. I first bought them because I was fed up of my hands smelling of garlic even after I’d washed them over and over again. Chilli and contact lenses are also not a good combination!

Chopped tomatoes – I never let myself run out of chopped tomatoes, passata and tomato purée, because they an be used in just about everything – from chilli and curries, to pizzas and pasta.

Ready to eat pulses by Merchant Gourmet – My mum introduced these to me and I use them when I am in need of a quick lunch, or want to add a bit of depth to a main meal. My two favourites are the puy lentils (amazing in vegetarian chilli) and the red & white quinoa (great for a quick salad). They are on the expensive side, but I like to have a couple stashed in the cupboard for culinary emergencies.

Frozen berries – Purely for smoothies and to make porridge taste beautiful. We seem to be able to make a punnet of frozen berries last way longer than fresh ones, as we usually scoff fresh ones on the way home from the shop. Lidl do some great ones, as do other supermarkets.

Tinned beans and pulses – my favourites are black beans, chick peas and kidney beans. I find black beans so versatile, and all three are brilliant for bulking out meals.

Tilda brown rice, wild rice and quinoa – Brown rice takes a lot longer to cook than brown rice, so I always have a few of these in the cupboard just in case I get caught out. Tilda also do a brown and wild rice mix, and a brown rice and quinoa mix – these make a good base for lunches. I only buy them when they are £1 and one will last three lunches.

Nut butters – I’ve tried a few times to make my own nut butter, but I can never seem to get it perfect. My mum uses cashew nut butter in soups instead of cream to make them taste delicious and creamy. Almond butter and cashew butter are my favourites, and I use them every morning in smoothies.

Any others I should know about? What do you find handy to have in your cupboards?

tilda rice

E xx

This is not a sponsored post. 

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8 Comments

  1. 12th May 2016 / 7:25 pm

    You seem like you have such a great balance for what you’re eating. I’m always looking for motivation for what to cook and meal planning/ storing if what I need to work in as at the end of some days I’m left wondering what to cook and feel defeated. Chopped toms are so versatile aren’t they? I want to try out more foods especially the whole foods healthy kind!

    • Esther
      13th May 2016 / 9:23 pm

      You are so right Nat. The motivation can sometimes be so hard to find. I don’t mind the cooking so much…usually it’s the thinking of what to cook that I can’t face! Chopped tomatoes are amazing!!! xx

  2. 12th May 2016 / 8:34 pm

    I love this post. I swear by the Lazy products and always have about a dozen tins of tomatoes in the cupboard! I’ve never seen those ready to eat pulses before, will keep a look out as they look fab! x

    • Esther
      13th May 2016 / 9:25 pm

      I am with you on the chopped tomatoes – they seem to be able to fix everything and go with everything! With you on the Lazy products – brilliant and no weird things in xx

  3. 12th May 2016 / 10:44 pm

    Great post! I’m really trying to make more home cooked meals and these little heats and tricks are so useful when you’re over run with little ones. Most of my dinners are passata based if I’m honest!

    • Esther
      13th May 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Hurrah for passata! It’s brilliant! xx

  4. 15th May 2016 / 8:08 am

    Some great staples there! I’m not organised enough to have much stocked but I do use virtually all of those things when I have them. I was pleased to see meridian nut butter. I try to avoid palm oil because of the environmental impact and meridian are palm oil free. They taste lovely as well don’t they?
    Nat.x

    • Esther
      17th May 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Yes – they really do taste great and they taste even better when they’re more environmentally friendly too! xx

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