There are some days the only thing that I want for lunch is simple.  Ok, most days I want simple but don't always get it.  I like simple, it makes me happy and way less frustrated.  Today's lunch is just that, a simple salad.  There are some things that I keep in my pantry, my freezer and in my fridge at all times.  In the freezer is cooked chicken in single use bags, bags of nuts and bags of fresh frozen berries and cheese. That's right, I keep grated cheese in the freezer at all times.  I also keep cooked bacon in the freezer. Usually every other Sunday I bake up about 2 lbs of bacon and freeze it.  That way there is always cooked bacon. You can wrap it in a paper towel and zap it for 45 seconds and voila, bacon.  How do you bake it?  I take a cookie sheet and line it with aluminum foil, cut my bacon in half and then line it up with two rows.  I bake it at 375 degrees F for 15 minutes but check it sooner at 12 minutes depending on your oven.  The first batch usually takes about 16 to 17 minutes while the subsequent batches take about 14-15 minutes due to the cookie sheet staying hot.  Between batches I drain off the oil from the cookie sheet (never into the sink!). Once all is cooked and the bacon is at room temp, I place in freezer bags.  Simple.   In the fridge  are always lemons, lettuce, apples, a variety of vegi's and eggs.  These are a must in my house especially the lemons.  I adore the taste, the look and the smell of lemons.  It might be bordering on a lemon fetish but we'll pretend that it's not and move on.  In the pantry I also keep olive oil, walnut oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, gluten free soy sauce, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and wine vinegar, sugar (white and brown), vanilla extract, and capers.  Why you ask?  I'm getting there just give me a second.  All of the things named can be used for quick and easy meals.  Hard boil some eggs and throw it over some leafy greens and you have a quick healthy lunch.  Thaw out some chicken and make chicken salad with apple and nuts, wrap in lettuce and another quick meal (lunch or dinner).  For breakfast you can make a quick omelet with the eggs and wilt some of the leafy greens with cheese and bacon. 

Your pantry should always have a few staples in it. Whether your just starting out or want a well stocked pantry.  Now, everyone has their own lists and you should develop yours.  I'm going to list the items that I keep in mine so that I can always throw something together.
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Fresh greens, hardboiled eggs, walnuts, apple, avocado and fresh squeezed lemon for dressing.
Lists: 

Pantry

Variety of Vinegars, these are great from making salad dressings
Oils, again for dressings and adding different flavors to foods during the cooking process 
Sugar, refined, turbinado, brown and dark
Salts, have a variety of salts, again these add different flavors to your foods
Pepper, fresh ground is the best
Olives, green and black--under rated food for snacks and added variety to your dishes
Tomato sauce
Tomato paste
Gluten free Flours--I keep mine now in a spare refrigerator but you can keep them on the shelf.  Word to the wise though, keep them tightly sealed especially Millet flour as it tends to get weevils.  I keep a 1-1 AP blend, buckwheat flour, oat flour, sweet rice flour
Regular Flour if you are not Gluten Free
Baking soda
Baking Powder
Corn Starch
Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Nutella-really any of the nut butters that you like.  These should be in any pantry. Used for desserts, lunches and snacks
Chicken stock or bouillon--I keep both but if you are not going to use it a lot then get Bouillon.
Beef Bouillon--soup base or a sauce base
Capers-can be used in salads and sauces
Bamboo Shoots-jarred  not canned, used in stir fries and salads
Pasta--either Gluten Free or wheat and a variety 
Soy Sauce--Gluten Free (or not)
Syrup
Lemon Curd--can be used in desserts, dips and for breakfast on toast (GF)
Ghee-I use this quite a bit in stir fries and when cooking eggs
Dried Fruit--used for snacks, salads, stuffings and baking


Refrigerator:

Eggs
Milk-source of your choice, I keep cows and almond milk
Sriracha--I usually keep one in the fridge and one in the pantry.  Same with Soy Sauce
Minced Garlic--Sometimes you just don't have time to cut it up
Minced Ginger--Same as the garlic
BBQ Sauce--Who doesn't like BBQ Sauce and it can be used in the oven and not just out on the Q
Sour Cream--good in baking, mixing in sauces and on top of all kinds of things
Cream Cheese--another staple that is good in baking, as a snack and as a side dish
Gluten Free Tortillas--Sorry but I have to give a plug to the Mission GF Tortillas as they are so, so good
GF Corn Tortillas--These can replace bread in quite a few recipes
Apples--these keep for a long time in the crisper.  If they start to wrinkle, use them in a sauce or make apple sauce.  Fresh apples are good in salads, chicken salad, baked with pork chops or with fish.


Freezer:

Frozen Vegi's--buy the kind you like and keep them stocked.  Spinach, corn, peas, green beans, etc.  As long as they are the quick frozen kind they are still good for you.  Don't buy the kind with sauces or added salts or sugars.
Cooked Bacon-because who doesn't like bacon
Cooked chicken in individual servings
Nuts-keep a variety-walnuts, sunflower, pecans, almonds
Cooked Sticky Rice-wrapped in 1 cup servings
Grated Cheeses-Cheddar, Jack, Mozzarella
Frozen Fresh Berries--when ever I buy berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, I take part of them and freeze for later
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Ghee is clarified butter. Not a necessary staple but great to have around. It has a higher smoking threshold than butter or most oils.
With most of these items in your kitchen, you can make soups, pasta dishes, quick lunches and easy breakfasts.  Any of the frozen vegetables can be used in stir fries or baked with any meat that you pick up. The bouillon can be your soup base, add chicken and vegetables, some fresh ground salt and pepper and garlic and wham you have a great soup.  You could thaw out the rice and add that to the soup as well.  Use the BBQ sauce on pork chops, throw them in the oven to bake while you saute some vegetables with the minced ginger.  Make some scrambled eggs and use the frozen fruit to make a compote to drizzle over or make a breakfast burrito with egg, cheese and bacon.  The uses are endless.
This doesn't mean that I don't keep other items in my kitchen but these are the ones that I have at all times. In the crisper are fresh vegetables and fruit, in the freezer will be steak, pork chops and chicken.  When I want fish I always buy it fresh.  All the recipes that I post will have at least one of the staples listed above if not several.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.  If you need a quick recipe, let me know!

Enjoy life,

It's the one you have.

Tammie
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Some items that I might buy on a weekly basis, celery, mushrooms, green onions and broccolini.