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home cooking basic shopping list

OK, so I admit it, I've been chowhounding a lot in the last few years and I've not had a proper kitchen until recently and I want to focus back on cooking again. Note: I tend to eat a pretty healthy diet as I am a marathon runner training for his first ultra-marathon.

So, here's my question. I'm cleaning out what I've got and I want to start from scratch again minus my spices (I've got a ton.)

So: What should I be keeping on hand at all times besides my typical sports junk (H20, Gatorade, Powergel, Sport Beans) so that I can make myself basic, wholesome meals in the evenings?

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  1. I would say:

    eggs
    skim milk
    fresh lemons
    parmesan cheese (fresh, not the kind in the green can)
    canned tomatoes in various forms (sauce, crushed, diced, etc.)
    an assortment of dried pastas
    boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs
    olive oil (extra virgin for salads and regular for cooking)
    rice (Jasmine, Basmati and Brown)
    canned beans (white, black, pinto)
    whole wheat tortillas
    a couple of good cheeses (cheddar, decent mozarella, etc)
    garlic
    onions
    shallots
    potatoes
    a couple of decent vinegars (red wine, white wine, balsamic)
    capers

    That's just mho, but I think that's a decent fresh food and pantry stock that provides some building blocks for some healthy meals. I'm sure others will post a ton of stuff I forgot. Happy shopping! Oh - and good luck with that marathon!

    1. My cast-iron dutch oven has served me well all these years, as well at a three-sizes-set of pyrex dishes, and also cast iron skillets in big-daddy, momma and baby sizes... glass lids for some.

      1. Good list, I will add...
        Lentils
        Whole wheat flour
        Almonds, walnuts
        Dried cranberries
        Frozen veggies (I freeze them when they're fresh and use later, some freeze better than others)

        1. A few more . . .

          unsalted butter
          chicken broth
          variety of hot sauces
          variety of mustards
          fish sauce
          coconut milk
          Good peanut butter

          1. Mustard. I never liked it before, but am finding that it can be used to make wonderful sauces and marinades really quick.

            And honey. I don't use it often, but it keeps forever.

            Oh, and sour cream and yogurt (I use low fat). Both have reasonably long shelf lives and can be really useful for impromptu recipes.

            I also just got one of those rosemary mini christmas trees, and have been clipping fresh rosemary off of it like crazy. If you don't mind taking care of a plant (rosemary is pretty low maintenance), it can be a great addition to your kitchen (and smells great!).

            The first list was pretty comprehensive though...Pretty much encompasses what I have in my kitchen now.