Simple Tips to Take Takeout Off The Menu

Are you the kind of person who enjoys eating at high-end restaurants and trying new food trends, yet resorts to the same old frozen meals or worse, fattening and expensive takeout for dinner? Well, who could blame you?

When you come home hungry after a long, stressful day only to face a kitchen full of “nothing to eat,” who wouldn’t make that phone call? Hello, pizza delivery!

Still, you deserve a better dinner so I want to share some tips about what to keep stocked in your fridge and pantry so you can pull together an amazing, healthy and happy meal in a snap, without worrying about wasting money on food that doesn’t get used.

Easy-to-use sources of protein in small packages:

  • Single portion cartons of cottage cheese &/or Greek yogurt
  • Smoked salmon (offers tons of flavor and boosts Omega 3’s)
  • Eggs and egg whites (delicious any time of day)
  • Fully cooked chicken sausage a variety of flavors (this can be frozen)
  • Canned beans, tuna and pink salmon in water

Pungent, long-lasting cheeses that pack a tasty punch:

  • Good quality parmesan or pecorino cheese is great grated on a variety of dishes
  • Light crumbled feta
  • Reduced fat cream cheese

Fruits and veggies that have holding power:

  • Clamshells of baby spinach (for salads or quick sautés)
  • Cucumbers
  • Baby carrots
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Lemons and limes (use zest and/or juice to punch up dishes and drinks)

Flavorful condiments that last a long while:

  • Jars of roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, and olives
  • Mustards in different varieties
  • Pre-minced ginger and garlic (I like the ones in the tubes best)

Pack the pantry with:

  • Onions or shallots. I like shallots because they’re milder than onions and can be used up in one recipe.
  • Staples such as whole wheat pasta, couscous and rice
  • Canned diced tomatoes (fire roasted ones add a bit of heat)

Stash In the Freezer:

  • Fruits and veggies such as broccoli, corn, peas, sliced peppers, berries and mango
  • A bag of peeled, deveined shrimp (they defrost in minutes!)
  • Pre-marinated chicken breasts in individual baggies ready to defrost and cook

With these items on hand, it will be super easy for you to throw together a quick, tasty and healthy meal instead of dialing for delivery.

For recipe ideas, click here. Let me know what you come up with!