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6 Ingredients Every Kitchen Needs for Easy Meal Prep

By MyDailyMoment.com Editorial Team

How many nights have you found yourself wondering what to make for dinner, while you wander aimlessly around the kitchen? With no time to race to the grocery store, you’re left to make do with the ingredients on hand to whip up a gourmet meal. That would be fine if you were a contestant on Food Network’s cooking competition Chopped, but you’re not.

The good news is that this is one stressor in your life you can simply contend with by keeping these six great ingredients on hand.

Chicken Broth or Bouillon
We can’t say enough about chicken broth or bouillon. This ingredient is the base for any number of meals. Plow through your pantry and fridge, and you can create a soup or stew using other ingredients that are available. Chicken broth can also be used to add some moistness and flavor to a baked chicken dish. You may want to substitute chicken broth for water to add flavor when cooking rice or steaming vegetables.

Pasta
When it comes to preparing a hot, delicious meal, use your noodle. Pasta is a versatile staple that’s plenty capable of pleasing just about any palate, young or old. It may be as quick and simple as buttery noodles, adding your favorite pasta sauce or creating a baked pasta with sauce, veggies and cheese. Even better, pasta works with just about any type of protein you have in your freezer: chicken, ground beef, soy crumbles, turkey, Italian sausage, or even seafood like shrimp or scallops. The possibilities are almost endless.

Chicken
There are a thousand different ways to prepare chicken, and plenty of them are a recipe for success. You can broil it, roast it, sauté it with vegetables, bake it, fry it, use it in a stir-fry or make burritos for enchiladas – the choices go on and on. Chicken is a great lean protein that goes with so many different flavors and cuisines. Just having a few skinless, boneless chicken breasts in your fridge or freezer is a perfect start to a delicious meal.

Potatoes
Potatoes are great as they can easily figure into a wide variety of cuisines and are super easy to prepare using an oven, stovetop or microwave. Potatoes are ideal ingredients for soups and stews and are yummy shredded for hash browns or potato latkes. And who can resist the tempting lure of a bowl of mashed potatoes?

Frozen or Canned Mixed Vegetables
Frozen or canned mixed vegetables can be a lifesaver when it comes to whipping up a quick meal. They can be easily warmed up in a skillet and sautéed with a little olive oil and spices. If you have broth on hand you can also combine these two must-have ingredients to put together a soup or stew. Throw in some chicken or pan-fried tofu and you have a hearty and healthy offering.

Eggs
Believe it or not – eggs really are all they’re cracked up to be. Keep in mind that eggs aren’t just for breakfast. You can create some hearty egg dishes for lunch or dinner, too.

July 1st, 2011

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