With supermarkets shelves feeling shorter of options at the moment, and the government advising us to go to the shops less often, making use of those long-lasting ingredients you’ve got tucked away in your kitchen cupboards is more important than ever before. The good news is that lots of healthy, versatile store-cupboard staples are budget-friendly and great for healthy eating too, so you can still enjoy a variety of delicious dishes – and protect your weight loss.
If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve put together a rundown of our favourite store-cupboard superstars, with some easy recipes for you to try, too.
Yes we can!
- chopped tomatoes
- beans (baked, kidney, black beans)
- tuna (in spring water or brine)
Stocking up on canned vegetables, beans, and pulses like chickpeas and lentils is an easy (and cheap!) way to bulk out your meals – and most are ready to put straight into the pan once opened, so there’s minimal fuss required! They work perfectly in a beef and bean chilli, for example. You’re not limited to veggies either. There are lots of fish options, such as tuna, crab and sardines, and, if you pick ones that are canned in water, brine or tomato sauce, they’re completely Free!
- mixed herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme in one little pot!)
- garlic granules
Break out your trusty spice rack to give any meal a brilliant boost in a flash. Most herbs and spices are Free at Slimming World, so there’s no limit to the flavours you can create to spice up your mealtimes. Paprika is perfect for paellas, for example, while turmeric is tasty in a vegetable dhal. Keep your herbs and spices sealed in a tight container and away from direct sunlight to make them last even longer.
The sauce awakens
- soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Tobasco sauce
- Marmite (it’s Free, so we love it!)
As well as dried ingredients, there are plenty of saucy options that’ll add a hit of flavour to your dinners. Vinegar, while maybe not technically a sauce, is a great Free option, and perfect sprinkled over Slimming World chips – while a trusty bottle of soy sauce never fails to shake up our super-speedy noodle stir-fry recipe.
Dried and tested
While pasta might be in short supply for some of us, if you’ve got a packet of dried rice, noodles or couscous in your cupboard there’s a host of meal opportunities that can be thrown together with only a few ingredients. Even better, all of the above are Free to enjoy on the Slimming World plan. Lighten up your lunches with leftover chicken in a quinoa salad, and feed the family with a quick and easy tuna pasta bake (dried pasta, frozen sweetcorn and canned tuna make this the ultimate store cupboard-stash recipe!).
Our fantastic member Aleighcia Scott lost 2st 11lbs while still enjoying her favourite pasta and rice recipes. She says: “It never occured to me to make my own healthy pasta and rice recipes before I joined Slimming World. Now, I enjoy a tasty pasta dish for dinner, like spaghetti bolognese made with lean beef mince, or fill up on a jacket potato with baked beans if I’m in a hurry.”
Don’t forget your freezer!
- mixed vegetables
- mixed berries
- wholemeal bread
Your kitchen cupboards aren’t the only place to keep long-lasting ingredients that make mealtimes easy. Most of your favourite veggies can be bought frozen, including peas, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, and popped straight into the pan when cooking – while defrosted frozen fruits are a tasty, healthy topping for your morning porridge. Plus, the freezer is a great way to make your bread and milk last longer, as well as storing any leftovers from your batch-cooking sessions.
Our Slimming World Online member Gail is making brilliant use of her stock of frozen meals. She says: “My action plan this week is to make my way through all the home-cooked meal portions that I have stored in my freezer: this is a turkey curry from Christmas. It’s good for three months in the freezer and tastes delicious.”
If we’ve inspired you to get creative with what’s in your store cupboard, we’d love to share your slimming-friendly makes, bakes and ideas on the blog or on social (#theSlimmingWorldblog).