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Healthy Go-To Pantry Staples

It’s winter, the urge to nest is strong, heading out to the grocery store is the last thing I feel like doing on a cold winter night. Lucky for me, I make sure I always have go-to ingredients in my pantry for simple and quick meals that taste good – and are good for me.

Pantry staples including; broth, beans, lentils, onions and garlic, sweet potatoes, quinoa, salsa, and peanut butter. Here’s why: I can make a meal combining any of the above.


Having a couple boxes of low/no sodium chicken or vegetable broth on hand means I can make soups or sautée veggies in broth instead of oil.
I replace water with broth when I make quinoa and it dials up the taste to 11.


It’s a super grain. Super high in protein, super easy on the blood sugars, and a little goes a long way.

Onions and garlic

I consider these one item because I always seem to be cooking them together! Onions and garlic are the key ingredients to delicious and savory, have a long shelf life, are carb free and on the cheap!

Sweet Potato

I’m part Irish – I grew up on potatoes. My family embraced sweet potatoes because they were easier on blood sugars. I always have a couple in the pantry because when I eat a sweet potato, I don’t ever feel like being denied. Also, YUM.

Sweet potatoes can become fries and leftover sweet potatoes can be used for multiple meals.


I’m talking about beans – healthy, plant based proteins that are good for your heart and your brain, either canned or dried -I suggest both.

You can turn a can of black beans into a meal in 25 minutes. Also, don’t forget the onions and garlic! Bonus for adding extra veggies, hot peppers, cilantro , spices and leftover sweet potato and salsa!


Easy on the blood sugars, fantastic, beneficial re: cholesterol, low in carb, high in fiber, and super cheap. Dried lentils have a long shelf life, are inexpensive and and can be turned into a pot of savory soup in less than an hour.


SO GOOD. It’s a veggie, high in vitamins, is no/low fat, and salsa can be added to virtually anything. Eggs, sweet potatoes, beans, chicken, fish or meat – as well as the occasional chip.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is my favorite. Some nights I don’t want to cook, so I make a slice of low carb toast with peanut butter and a dash of honey, and wash it down with vanilla almond milk. It hits the spot and doesn’t cause my blood sugars to go sky high.

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