Few things are as satisfying as whipping up an easy meal in your kitchen and then enjoying the piping hot food on your couch in front of the TV.
However, if you live alone or don’t have much time to spare for this apparently mundane chore due to your busy schedule, then cooking can feel like a major nuisance, forcing you to settle for frozen meals and unhealthy junk food.
But did you know that to cook an easy-peasy and healthy meal you don’t need a fancy kitchen loaded with gourmet ingredients typical Masterchef-style?
All you need are a few basic main ingredients that can help you prepare delicious dishes in just a matter of minutes! Here’s presenting eight nutritious food items your kitchen should always be stocked with!
Famed for their nutritional benefits but not so much for their taste, oats are not an ingredient you’ll find on anyone’s list apart from the health conscious. But give it a try and you’ll see that the bad rep oats have gotten for their taste is not well-founded! You can turn oats into simple recipes and scrumptious dishes such as khichdi, pancakes and more with very little effort!
Moreover, oats are packed with fiber and help in controlling your cholesterol levels, while fighting constipation, making them a very healthy choice of food (1).
2. Olive Oil
Whether you’re cooking oats or any of the other healthy food items you’ll see on this list, you will need a cooking medium. And as far as that’s concerned, what’s better than olive oil? You must’ve found several people swearing by olive oil, refusing to eat food that’s not cooked in it. And it’s not without reason! This oil, just like oats, can help reduce constipation and even has a host of other benefits for your heart, liver, and pancreatic health (2). Besides, it also enhances the taste of your food!
There are very few things that the humble egg cannot do when it comes to rustling up some grub in the kitchen! You can fry it, boil it, poach it or cook it desi style and enjoy a simple, delicious and nutritious meal of anda bhurji and roti. With their high protein content coupled with the minerals, carotenoids, and vitamins they’re rich in, eating eggs means eating healthy (3). If you want to start off with something easy and wholesome, try cooking egg rice noodles. It’s the perfect combination of the goodness of eggs with the taste of noodles minus the flour!
Have you ever found a person who doesn’t like cheese? Exactly. That’s how heavenly this milk product is! Add cheese to just about any dish you’ve cooked and the taste goes up by several notches. Which makes it a great flavoring agent when you’re tired of having the same old omelet or plate of salad. But taste is not the only thing that works in cheese’s favor! Cheese is a great source of both calcium and protein and can help boost your bone health among other things (4).
Lately, pasta has taken the Indian cooking scene by storm. It is the most delicious alternative to unhealthy noodles as it is made of whole wheat semolina instead of flour. Plus, the fact that it can be cooked with a variety of sauces means that you’ll never get bored of it. Besides, it’s an entire meal in itself, which means no need of cooking a side dish! What’s more, it can reduce the risk of breast cancer as well as type 2 diabetes (5).
Stocking up on seasonal fruits is always a good idea. They serve as easy and convenient snacks whenever you’re hungry as you can eat them straight out of the fridge, without any preparations. The fact that they’re nutritious is like the cherry on top! Besides, the days you’re not in the mood to eat raw fruits, you can turn them into smoothies and shakes by adding milk, and enjoy a wholesome drink!
Did you know that potato is the most eaten vegetable in the U.S.? That’s right! And the way it’s used in your average Indian household, we can be sure that it tops the list here too! The potato’s versatility is what works in its flavor. It can add a distinct flavor to all of your dishes and can be cooked in so many ways that the possibilities are endless!
8. Bread & Butter
This universal food item is as good as it gets. Comfort food at its best, the simple bread and butter can satisfy your food cravings without you having to work hard at it. You can toast it, grill up a sandwich or even have it by itself to beat those hunger pangs.
If you have these eight items in your kitchen at all times, you’ll never find yourself complaining about hunger and not having anything to eat!