When I'm in the checkout line at the grocery store, I can't help but peek inside other people's shopping carts. It's such a voyeuristic, slightly creepy indulgence - but I'm always interested in what people are buying. Not to mention, after seeing what others place on the conveyer belt, it often inspires a frantic, last-second run throughout the store to track down a new-to-me item I also need. And the same goes for people's fridges. Sometimes I assume that they all look the same, only to go to a friend's house to see she literally only keeps beer and bottled water in hers. We've gotten better over the years at stocking ours so that it's conducive to quick snacks and easy meals, so I thought I'd share what we always have on hand.
Cottage cheese. A bowl of cottage cheese with fruit and nuts is one of my favorite snacks. It's super versatile (I know a lot of people enjoy it in a more savory capacity - my mom has it with tunafish and avocado, which skeeves me out though) and is packed with protein, which keeps me full for a while.
Greek yogurt. I buy 2% greek yogurt in bulk since we go through it so quickly. I eat it with berries and granola in the morning, add a dollop to my chili and use it instead of sour cream on baked potatoes.
Sharp cheddar cheese (Applegate slices). I don't keep a lot of cheese in the house anymore since G doesn't like it and I found myself plowing through massive blocks on my own. These are pre-sliced, which makes for a quick and simple addition to my English Muffin or with a handful of almonds for an easy snack.
Kefir. G drinks a protein shake each morning for his breakfast and uses this as the base. It's packed with protein, probiotics and is like a yogurt-drink-hybrid. I haven't totally gotten behind its slightly sour taste, but I'm working on it.
Kale. For someone who isn't that into vegetables, it's strange that I love kale so much. I buy it every week at the farmers' market and use it in salads, baked into little crisps or thrown into rustic soups.
Crudités. Shira suggested that I always keep washed, cut-up crudités in the fridge right at eye-level. That way, when I open it up looking for a snack, that's the first thing I reach for. I used to always come home with fresh produce, but rarely took the extra time to prepare them ahead of time, which has made a big difference.
Avocado. One of my hidden talents is that I have a knack for picking perfect avocados (the same cannot be said for my ability to exclusively buy old, bruised fruit). That being said, they don't last all that long when kept on the kitchen counter, so I throw them in the fridge to get a few extra days out of them. I add avocados to just about everything - from salads and sandwiches to eggs and grilled cheese.
Eggs. Sloan goes through about a carton of eggs a week on her own (she's all about them when they're scrambled) and G and I have them for dinner on nights we don't feel like cooking. They're also the base of most things baking-related, so I always have at least a carton on hand.
Rotisserie chicken. There's a truck at our farmers' market that has rotisseries chickens and I get one or two each week. When I'm feeling ambitious, I cut it up as soon as I return home and throw it into a tupperware. It makes meal prep super easy for those times when I'm not feeling breakfast-for-dinner, but don't want to put in a lot of work.
Salami and/or Prosciutto. Since G doesn't appreciate cheese the way I do, we keep cured meats on hand for those nights when I'm going rogue and just consuming cheese. Bonus points: if we have last-minute dinner guests, putting out salami and prosciutto looks pretty legit, even if we have nothing else prepared.
Peanut Butter. When I was a kid, I was always bummed that my mom bought the natural, peanut butter at the health store and not the processed, unnatural stuff all my friends had. But now that I'm older, I do the same thing as her. Peanut butter toast is one of my comfort foods, so I have it on hand always, and also use it in one of my go-to smoothies: milk, banana, ice, peanut butter and a touch of honey.
Hummus. We stock a pretty impressive amount of hummus in our fridge at any given time (only some of which are expired). It's great for crudités, pita bread and alongside leftover chicken.
Cornichons. A random condiment we always have in the fridge. I add them to charcuterie plates and chop them up finely in tuna/chicken salad.
Golden Flax Seed Meal. This is another one of those things G subscribes to, but I don't totally understand. When I'm not looking, he adds it to our smoothies, oatmeal and even pancakes for a boost of protein and fiber.
La Croix (grapefruit and lime). La Croix sparkling water has an almost cult following amongst my friends and me. It has a subtle flavor with no sodium or sugar and helps keep me hydrated, since I'm terrible about drinking water. Bonus: it's a great mixer for cocktails.
Champagne. I mentioned that I always have at least one bottle of champagne chilled in our 10 house rules and that hasn't changed. Whether you're celebrating something or turning a bad day around, a glass of bubbly always works.
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice. We don't drink juice every morning, but I like to have it on hand for weekend mornings when we typically have bigger breakfasts.
Unsalted Butter. I have a minimum of four sticks on hand at any given moment. Because baked goods require so much of it (my chocolate chip cookies call for two and a half sticks!), there's nothing worse than deciding on a dessert to make and realizing you're short on butter.
Herbs. I had an herb garden in the backyard for a hot minute, until I killed everything once the weather shifted. I love fresh herbs though, so I stock up at the farmers' market each week. My go-to's are tarragon (makes THE best salad dressing) and chives, to add on top of scrambled eggs.
Yeast. I haven't been making as much bread lately, since G and I have a tendency to polish off the entire loaf within a day. But I like to still have it on hand for those times when I'm feeling ambitious and gluttonous.
Berries. Even though berries aren't in season right now, they're my favorite fruit to add on top of things - yogurt, cereal, granola or cottage cheese. Sloan also is pretty cute when she pops blueberries into her mouth, so these are always in the fridge.
Roasted Red Peppers. I can eat these straight out of the jar, but they're fantastic for cheese plates and taking sandwiches to the next level.
P.S. Our four entertaining staples.