Cooking School

10 budget-friendly foods to stock in your pantry

Author: Canadian Living

Cooking School

10 budget-friendly foods to stock in your pantry

1. Canned beans. High-fibre beans come in many tasty varieties and stretch recipes without breaking the bank. Use in dips, chilies and soups.

2. Bottled strained tomatoes. Also known as passata, these tomatoes are great in sauces and soup. Reseal opened bottles and refrigerate for up to five days.

3. Chicken thighs. Less pricey than breasts, thighs are also more flavourful and stay moister. Use them in stir-fries or roast them. Refrigerate raw chicken for up to three days or freeze for up to six months.

4. Garlic. Garlic adds aroma and flavour to almost anything. Roasting it brings out its sweetness -- perfect for dips, spreads or mashed potatoes.

5. Rice. Available in dozens of varieties, rice makes a great side dish or stuffing. Use short-grain for sushi and other Asian dishes, and long-grain for pilafs and fried rice.

6. Canned fish. A quick, easy substitute for fresh fish, canned makes wonderful fish cakes and is nice in pastas or hearty salads.

7. Dried herbs. These easy-to-store pantry gems have stronger flavours than fresh herbs. Keep rosemary, thyme and oregano around to add to sauces, stews, rubs and marinades.

8. Eggs. An inexpensive source of protein, eggs are one of the quickest dinner ingredients to cook. In a rush? There's nothing more satisfying than a veggie-and-cheese omelette.

9. Sweet potatoes. These tubers are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that turns into vitamin A in the body. Roast them in their skins, or peel and bake as oven fries.

10. Whole wheat couscous. This North African staple, made from semolina, cooks up in a snap. Try it with stews or as the base for a salad.

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This story was originally titled "Top 10 Budget-Friendly Ingredients" in the February 2012 issue.

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Cooking School

10 budget-friendly foods to stock in your pantry

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