What Everyone Needs in Their Kitchen!
Everyone eats to live but not a lot of people cook to eat. Having these essential items in your kitchen will keep your walet and your stomach happy.
These items are all cheap and versatile, perfect for any struggling college student!
Rice. Brown rice, white rice, wild rice/ Long grain, short grain, it doesn't matter!
Rice can be eaten with just about anything, gravy, meat, soup, eggs, etc. The best part being, it's CHEAP! Rice is a great filler for recipes and can be versatile with just about anything. Rice can also be cooked in bulk and frozen for future meals!
Frozen Veggies are cheap and they never go bad! The vegetables are frozen at the peak of their nutrional value so you know you are getting all the good stuff. It's great to steam for a snack, great with fried rice, stews, or for any side dish to a meal.
Whether it's spinach, carrots, corn, or mixed. Frozen veggies are quick, cheap and always healthy.
I always have eggs at my house. It's amazing how many recipes you can create with eggs! Along with the basics like omelettes and scrambled eggs, you can make quiche or breakfast burritos. Eggs can be hard or soft boiled and thrown on a piece of toast. Eggs are cheap and you can buy them in bulk. It takes a long time for eggs to go bad and they keep well in room temperature.
Frozen Chicken Thighs
Take your frozen boneless, skinless chicken breast and throw it out. All of it. Let me introduce you to a world of taste.
The bone adds flavor to whatever it is that you are cooking. A boring chicken thigh can be lightly oiled, tossed with salt and pepper, and thrown in the oven for 30 minutes. Suddenly, that boring thigh becomes juicy heaven in your mouth! Try doing that with a boneless breast, you'll find it dry and meaningless.
Don't have time in the day? Throw some thighs in a crockpot with soy sauce and vinegar, an onion and plenty of garlic for a tasty adobo dish!
Any Dairy Product
Craving something heavy and sweet? Something to turn your soup into a rich delight of fat? Having any dairy product in your kitchen turns your food into creamy morsels.
Having butter or heavy whipping cream will come in handy with mashed potatoes. Half and half is great for a quiche custard. Milk is great for homemade mac-n-cheese and buttermilk can help make the perfect pancakes.
Homemade Chicken Stock
This is a big one. You have no idea about the joys of making/tasting a homemade chicken stock until you've tried it yourself!
A simple stock can be made with an onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, and leftover chicken bones (hopefully from the thighs I mentioned earlier!) simmered for a few hours and refridgerated overnight. After the fat is skimmed, it can be frozen for months at a time. I add a cup or two of chicken stock into most of my dinners whether it's a sauce, gravy, or soup!
Rice is the most important thing you can have in your kitchen, it can always be made a different way.
All in all, this list can hopefully be used as a guideline in a student's next shopping trip. These items are used in everyday cooking and can be bought for cheap (except for maybe the dairy products but we can splurge a little)
A healthy kitchen is a happy kitchen which leads to a happy you!