4 Items to Always Have in the Kitchen

Putting together a meal can be a struggle when you’re caught in the fast pace of our busy lives. To be sure I’m never without the the basics for a healthy meal no matter the time of day, here are four essentials I always have on hand:

oatmeal to the rescue

oatmeal to the rescue

1. Oatmeal: Instant or old-fashioned oats are perfect for breakfast, or even lunch and dinner when you’re really in a pinch. Oats are ideal for busy mornings because all you need to cook them inĀ is water. You can dress up your oatmeal with whatever you have on hand; berries, dried fruits, nuts, or seeds. Full of protein and fiber, oatmeal is your best bet when you’ve got just a minute to get out the door.
2. Frozen vegetables: Some days you come home and all you see in your vegetable compartment is a wilting bunch of green onions. Keep a bag of frozen spinach, broccoli or mixed vegetables in your freezer so that you always have a vegetable on hand.
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3. Beans: Beans combined with a frozen vegetable from above come together to create a healthy, filling meal when dinner is the last thing on your mind. I like to have both canned and dry on hand, but canned beans are especially nice to have when all you can think about is satisfying your growling tummy after 10 hours in the office.
4. Grains: My favorite grain is quinoa because it’s filling and tastes yummy all on its own. White or brown rice is an excellent substitute if you prefer. Grains are a blank slate to serve up with some spices, a can of soup, or a side of sweet potatoes.
A final bonus is that you can stock up on each of these items when they’re on sale.
There you have my four essentials for plant-based living. Which items are you sure to have in your kitchen each day?

An Indulgent Morning

This Friday morning, I woke up craving something sweet for breakfast. Something a little more sophisticated than the cloying Cocoa Puffs I usually reserve for dessert. I was hungry and knew that a bowl of cereal would’t satisfy my growling stomach.

Rummaging around the cupboards, I saw a box of oats. Then it dawned on me–chocolatey oatmeal. Grabbing the dark chocolate I always have on hand, I quickly went to work. It was surely a rich breakfast, and one that I’d easily whip up again for a leisurely morning.

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Serves 2

Ingredients

One cup of oats (steel-cut or old-fashioned, whichever you prefer)

Two cups water

a few squares of your favorite chocolate

Mix-ins like chopped fruit or nuts

Directions

Bring two cups of water to a boil

Add in oats and cook until soft

Break chocolate into small pieces and place into bowl

Serve cooked oatmeal in bowls while still warm but not hot

Swirl chocolate and oatmeal together

Top with your favorite fruit and/or nuts

Indulge and Enjoy!

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What’s your favorite breakfast meal? Do you save it for special days or make it frequently?

P.S. A huge thank you to my readers who took the time to comment on last week’s post. I’ve been thinking a lot about your insightful responses.