Each chef has different items they always have in their kitchen. These are the STAPLE ingredients I always have on hand, meaning I use them in almost all recipes. As a wellness chef I have specific ingredients I love to have in my kitchen at all times - besides tonnes of fresh, local, seasonal produce - these are my go to items I always have on hand in my kitchen.
March 4, 2023
These simple ingredients are a must have when preparing meals all week. Luckily, living in California, we have neighbours all around me who have an abundance of lemons and limes they love sharing. Lemons and limes add fresh burst of life to any to dishe, as well as cut away any excess heaviness from the dish by bringing in acidity.
They are also very nourishing for our bodies. They are high in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and can neutralise unwanted bacteria in our bodies.
You can also use every part of the lemon or lime. I start by zesting it and adding it to dressings or marinades, then I squeeze the juice to bring brightness to dishes. When that is all done, I take the peel and let it sit in my spring water for a refreshing sip while cooking.
Always have citrus on hand and you will never be without the perfect accompaniment to your dressing. If you don’t have a neighbours tree, plant your own, or buy them from your farmers market - they are always cheaper there, and you are supporting your local farmers.
I cant imagine making recipes without fresh herbs. They brighten up a dish and add tons of depth, crunch, pop of freshness and plant magic to any meal. They are also the most antioxidant filled plants, packed for of benefits that support your immune system, anti inflammation, digestion, and removing toxins and heavy metals from our bodies.
My go to fresh herbs I buy every week are parsley, cilantro, basil and mint. This way you have fresh ingredients for marinades, pestos, soups, and toppings for almost every meal I make.
Tips for storing herbs: I keep the parsley and cilantro on my counter in a mason jar, which adds more plant vibes to your kitchen and reminds me to use them on top of meals. Mint and basil are a little more heat sensitive, so I wrap them in paper towel and keep them in my crisper drawer, to keep fresher for longer.
My favourite crunchy accessory to any delicious meal is topping it with toasted nuts or seeds. It’s also an easy way to add plant protein to your meal. My go-to nuts I always have on hand in my cupboard are cashews (toasted), almonds (raw), pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and pecans. Pistachios and Macadamia nuts are also my fave, but a little more pricy - so I save them for special occasions.
If I had to choose just one oil to work with at all times, it would be a local cold pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO). It was on the most versatile flavour profiles that go with almost every cuisine. The higher the quality of your olive oil, definitely matters. The taste is more robust, and the richness is usually found in the colour of the oil There are so many types of olive oil - virgin, extra virgin, classic, extra light tasting, etc. I choose first cold pressed EVOO as it is the least processed and the most nutrient dense option available. Make sure it is stored in a dark bottle away from light, and it is sealed tightly to keep out oxygen, or it will go rancid.
A favourite brand that is most widely available is California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It is perfect for dressings, marinades, sautéing, roasting, and much more!
If you have ever cooked in a kitchen with me, you will know this is my secret ingredient. It’s the most delicious creamiest mix of all real ingredients, and adds the perfect amount of garlic flavour without overpowering the entire meal. I always have this on hand, I use it for marinades, sauces, pestos, dressing, sautéing, roasting or straight up out of the tub as a dip. It is whipped to perfection and is super easy to work with. It is 100% organic and only contains 5 natural ingredients. It is available at Majestic Garlic.
Hello Salt Bae! This is the salt that all chefs will 100% highly recommend, it is delicious, flaky salt perfection, no matter how you use it. Maldon salt brings out the best flavour in all my food and adds a little crunch to my dishes. This is sometimes also considered as flaky salt, but the specific brand that I love dearly is Maldon Salt Company.