Let’s face it. You don’t always have time or the right ingredients in your kitchen to whip up gourmet meals all the time. But other than your normal shopping of the usual suspects like onions, tomato, pastas and rice, there are a few things you can make sure you always have. Things that will always have your back in terms of flavour and versatility.
Extra Virgin Olive oil
This will always come in handy for salads, for cooking or even drizzling on finished foods like pasta, grilled fish or vegetables. With antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest oils and is well loved by chefs the world over. My favourite is Olivia which is high quality, fairly priced and easily available locally. “Olivia’s olives have been cold pressed and its oils mechanically extracted so that no heat is applied during the crushing, avoiding changes in the oil’s chemistry and thus retaining its natural taste” – Source.
Always have a number of eggs in your pantry. Eggs are so versatile and go well with lots of foods. Hard boiled eggs will add a dose of protein to your salads and can also be taken as a quick breakfast on the go. Slice them and they’ll make great garnish for finished food platters. They can be used to make a quick omelet to go with pasta or rice dishes or again for breakfast.
Honey will go into salad dressings, marinades, baked foods, and is particularly good for sweetening a pick-me-up tonic when you’ve had a long day. A good pick-me-up could be a lemon honey and ginger mix or honey and cinnamon among others. Honey is a healthier alternative sweetener to sugar, and has great energy and immunity boosting properties. It is anti bacterial and anti fungal among a host of other health benefits. A lot of DIY beauty and hair care mixes will usually call for honey as one of several ingredients.
When you’re home with little time to cook anything but bland food, try adding a dash of lemon. It will add a punch of flavor to most foods and is also a must have for salads, marinades and tonics. The famous lemon water too is a powerful detoxifier and very beneficial for weight loss. Lemon packs quite a high amount of vitamin C and is even known to destroy intestinal worms.
If there is any spice that will work wonders on anything in the kitchen and on the dinner table it is black pepper. It is excellent for meat, fish and chicken stews and is a must have for marinades. Black pepper can be sprinkled onto anything including fries, avocado, fried eggs, boiled eggs, salads and just about any finished dishes. In short, this spice is so versatile it will go into just about anything.