A few months back, one of my favorite bloggers, Emily from Cupcakes & Cashmere, did a post about what she always keeps stocked in her fridge and why. I find glimpsing into other people's routines interesting, whether it be a skincare regimen, makeup process or running grocery list, and always get inspired to try new products, many of which become ones I can't live without.
Having a well stocked fridge is so crucial for making my week run smoothly since it ensures I always have something on hand to whip up a quick and healthy meal or snack, and can avoid ordering out or running to one of the little, very expensive convenience stores near my apartment. I make it a point to replenish this list of items during my weekly trip to either Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or both.
Basil. I'm a big fan of pestos, so even if I don't have a specific recipe I need it for, I always end up using it throughout the week. My favorite pesto is the Oil-Free Roasted Pistachio Pesto from this post.
Tofu. Tofu is one of my favorite proteins to play with since it soaks up any sauce or flavor you throw at it. I buy the extra protein Tofu from Trader Joe's because it's thicker and doesn't require you to press any liquid out before using like other types of tofu do.
Cauliflower. This is something I make often, so I love having cauliflower in the fridge. It's also delicious roasted and paired with a pasta or grain, like in this recipe.
Cherry Tomatoes. I love these little guys and even list them here as one of my favorite ingredients. They're delicious raw in salads or dipped in hummus, but I especially love roasting them in the oven or tossing them into stir fries. I find them a lot easier to prep than regular tomatoes since you can just cut them in half and be good to go.
Pizza Sauce. Call me crazy, but pizza sauce is useful in so many instances. I've added it to soups to make them more tomatoey, used it in place of pasta sauce in a pinch and my favorite of all, spread it on a tortilla and then sprinkled with Daiya cheese to make a mini pizza.
Daiya Cheese. This vegan cheese is literally to die for and I constantly have to stop myself from eating it straight out of the bag. It's delicious on anything and everything, but I specifically have it on hand for the aforementioned tortilla pizzas.
Tortillas. See above! My favorite is the brown rice tortillas from Trader Joe's since they crisp up really nicely.
La Croix (grapefruit and coconut). I used to be a complete Diet Coke addict, but now drink La Croix. It's sugar and sodium free but fills that soda void I became so accustomed to. I love to crack one open to enjoy while prepping a meal, which also keeps me from sneaking tastes or snacks while I'm in the kitchen and ruining my appetite.
Arugula. Easily one of my favorite vegetables, I use arugula as my base for salads or atop more decadent dishes like pasta to add freshness.
Zucchini. For Zoodles, duh! I need these on hand because this and this are regular meals Jack and I have for dinner.
Tahini. Another one of my favorite ingredients. I often use this to make salad dressing in place of olive oil or mix it with some lemon or lime and drizzle over my dinner as a sauce. It really is extremely versatile and has a way of tying things together in a dish.
Lentils. These little powerhouses frequent my fridge because they're so full of satisfying protein and fiber, making them a perfect last minute meal or side dish. Trader Joe's sells precooked lentils in their salad section adding a whole other level of convenience.
Kale. Kale salads are one of my favorite things to bring to work with me for lunch because you can dress them in the morning, and then the kale is nice and marinated by the time you're ready to eat.
English Muffins. These are the perfect quick and easy breakfast or snack and are super versatile. Aside from spreading on almond butter or Earth Balance, I'll use them as a bun for veggie burgers or make mini pizzas with them.
Carrots. Carrots are one of the only vegetables that I don't have to worry about going bad within days of purchasing. They're also very affordable and make for a great addition to salads or stir fries.
Oranges, Lemons, Limes. These are always on hand to make salad dressings or add bright acidity to finish off any dish. I used to keep them in the pantry, but have found that they keep longer when stored in the fridge.
Maple Syrup. Maple syrup is one of my all time favorite natural sweeteners, especially in smoothies. I received this bottle of Vermont maple syrup as a gift and, since I use it sparingly, it has lasted forever.
Broccoli. Roasted broccoli never gets old in my book; I always find it delicious and satisfying. Especially when its sprinkled with cheesy nutritional yeast like in this recipe.
Earth Balance. Butter is a pretty basic staple, but this vegan option is delicious and so much healthier. I like to have it for baking or spreading on fresh bread I often grab from the bakery down the street.
Brussels Sprouts. Brussels sprouts add the perfect crunch and hit of nutrients to salads or stir fries and are one of my favorite veggies I always have around.