How many times have you come home from a long day only to find the frig practically empty and dinner waiting to be made? The solution is a well stocked panty. A well-stocked pantry gives you the opportunity to create a meal on demand so planning ahead saves the day and allows you to create and eat healthier, faster and easier without relying on fast food or prepackaged meals. You just need to know what staples to have on hand and what fresh food needs to be purchased regularly.

Here are her recommendations for the perfect, well stocked pantry:

Balsamic vinegar
Rice vinegar
Wine: red & white
Fresh garlic
Black pepper corns/peppermill
Sea salt, Kosher salt
Condensed skimmed milk
Roasted red peppers (jar)
Sun-dried tomatoes
Jalapeno peppers (fresh or can)
Fresh ginger (freezer)
Dried fruit: raisins, apricots, cranberries
Broth: chicken, beef or Vegetable
Parmalat Milk
Red pepper flakes
Dijon mustard
Low-sodium teriyaki
Low-fat mayonaise
Olives: green & black (jar)
Lemons & limes (juice)
Bread crumbs (plain)
Chicken sausage (freezer)
Tuna (chunk light)
Alaskan Salmon (canned)

Beans (canned): black, red, white

Legumes: lentils (dried), chick peas (canned)

Oils: olive for salads & saut̩ing,
peanut for frying
grapeseed for salad
sesame for garnish

Tomatoes: whole (plum), diced, crushed

Whole grains: brown rice (basmati), millet, quinoa, buckwheat, wheatberries, kamut

Bread: Ezekiel Sprouted grain bread, multi-grain w/no added sugar

Fresh Veggies: carrots, celery, onions, parsley

Frozen Veggies: peas, spinach, broccoli florets

Nuts & Seeds: almonds (whole & slivered), pignoli (pine), walnuts, pumpkin seeds

Powdered spices: garlic, cumin, rosemary, thyme, oregano, paprika, cinnamon, curry, nutmeg, ginger, white pepper

Note: Pantry items often remain on shelves for years. Check the expiration date before using.

And there you have it.