Paleo and Banting-friendly (duh).

Gone are the days of fully-stocked kitchen pantries. Budgets are tighter, groceries are more expensive and homes are smaller. But all this doesn’t eliminate the need to have enough items to throw a quick meal together.

These are my go-to ingredients to keep stocked in the cupboard or fridge to stop me from eating two-minute noodles flavoured with leftover cereal crumbs or whatever the hell else people eat in emergencies. (That took a weird turn, I’ll see myself out.)

  1. Coconut Oil

This stuff is seriously amazing and you can use it in so many ways around the house, not just in the kitchen. It has a higher cooking temperature than olive oil (which turns toxic when over-heated), it’s way healthier than canola oils, and it’s dairy-free if you’re paleo and can’t have butter. It also makes a great ingredient in so many recipes such as these delicious no-bake paleo chocolate brownies. It’s known to help with energy levels.

img1401825064734.jpgPlus, if you feel like an impromptu pampering, you can put this stuff in your hair or on your skin as an enriching mask. It’s apparently naturally SPF 4. It can even be used in place of shaving cream.

Still not convinced? Check out more reasons on this post about 101 Uses for Coconut Oil.

  1. Eggs

I have doubts that cooking would even exist without eggs. They are insanely versatile, have a relatively long shelf-life and they’re super good for you.

My two main uses for eggs are:

To throw a quick meal together (I would have said breakfast, but I’m a firm fan of breakfast for dinner.) If you’re in a rush, try this recipe for microwave poached eggs. It takes less than a minute, literally.


To add protein to other meals, like in this super simple egg-fried cauli rice.

  1. Tinned Tomato

Chopped, peeled or whole is totally your call. Just check the back of the tin for any added sugars in cheaper brands. Usually tinned food is a no-no because of all the additives but if it’s just good old tomatoes, it’s perfect. The bonus is that tomatoes are also high in cancer-fighting lycopene and have especially proven themselves in reducing risk of testicular cancer, so eat up, boys.

Cook them down slowly with some herbs to make a great sauce or throw them into a curry. I’m not even going to post a recipe for you that uses tinned tomatoes because basically all of them do. Use your imagination.

  1. Fresh Herbs

I myself am guilty of always buying new herbs when I cook because I haven’t yet planted my own herbs. (I have the seeds and soil and everything, busy girl problems.) Having some fresh herbs on hand always makes a big difference. My two favourite herbs are basil, which I used in this delicious basil, garlic and tomato soup and coriander, which is great sprinkled fresh over anything Mexican.

IMG_7301 2


  1. Garlic

I can’t remember when last I cooked something without garlic. Fresh cut garlic cloves are the bomb in soups and curries, garlic flakes and powder are also a great addition to any seasoning (try sprinkling some garlic powder over some sweet potato chips before you roast them – delicious!)

  1. Ginger

Use that fresh, spicy taste of ginger to liven up curries and soups. No Thai curry is complete without it. It also makes a great addition to green tea.

  1. Coconut milk

If you’re eating paleo, you’re probably super accustomed to coconut milk. I always have a tin in the cupboard for a quick Thai green curry, or add to coffee in place of regular milk for a rich, creamy and dairy-free indulgence.

  1. Olives

I used to be really freaked out by olives, but over time, I’ve grown to LOVE calamata olives, especially when cooked through to relieve some of that bitterness. Olives form one of my staples in a quick thrown together pasta sauce with bacon and tomato.

  1. Bacon

Do I really need to explain this one? Nope. Didn’t think so.