Welcome Back!

Back to school. With new classes comes homework, but with Friday night comes cheap drink specials at the bar. It also means back to cooking for yourself. As you’re moving back into your apartment or house, you’re probably thinking about toilet paper, new furniture, and the ridiculously large sum you just paid for rent; but sooner or later you’re going to have to buy some groceries.  Just like last semester, I’m going to give you a bunch of new recipes to try, and some tips about staying healthy at school.

Before you chef it up, you’ll want to stock your pantry with a few staples, so you can enjoy all those recipes instead of scrambling for substitutes or ordering a pizza brimming with grease and empty calories.  They’re all items that should last awhile, and you’ll use all the time.  You can find everything at a big grocery store for pretty cheap, and feel free to get any brand or type of each item.

  • Extra virgin olive oil (if you buy one thing, make it this!)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Herbs (dried): basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, rosemary
  • Spices: black pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, cinnamon
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salad dressing and/or marinade (balsamic vinaigrette, Italian, Ranch, etc.) Sometimes you can find great dressings or marinades in unexpected places for really good prices. I recently found a great Asian marinade at Marshall’s for $3.99! Check out Trader Joe’s or Stonewall Kitchen for more delicious options.
  • Frozen skinless chicken breast
  • Butter or margarine
  • Milk
  • Pasta
  • Bread/wraps
  • Tortilla chips/wheat thins/pretzels/crackers

Those are the staples that I use all the time in my cooking, that I have found many recipes call for. I’ll always give you healthy options, but to help yourself out even more, buy smart options from the beginining, like whole grain pasta and bread, or low-fat milk and margarine.

While most of those things won’t go bad, and you’ll use on multiple occasions, here’s some items you should pick up on your regular grocery store runs, whether you choose to incorporate them in some of my recipes or for your own snacking purposes.  Keep in mind you can find many of these things in low-fat options as well.

  • Fresh fruit: apples, bananas, berries (fresh and frozen), tomatoes, lemons/limes, oranges, peaches
  • Fresh vegetables: red and green peppers, onions, lettuce, corn, cucumbers
  • Cheese: mozzarella, shredded parmesan and shredded cheddar (or monterey jack, etc.), blocked cheese
  • Sliced deli meat and cheese
  • potatoes
  • Hummus
  • Salsa
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Wheat thins or crackers
  • Brown rice
  • Croutons
  • Mustard/mayo
  • Honey
  • Juice (orange, cranberry, etc.)

That’s all I’ve got for now. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below if you think of something I didn’t to add to this list! If you’re headed back to campus, good luck with move in and enjoy your first week(end) back. Keep on the look out for great new recipes and ideas for quick fix snacks coming your way 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: