Easy, healthy meals on demand
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, I lived in a place called Chorlton. Chorlton was known far and wide as a foodie hub, made up largely of independent food shops and restaurants, including an independent fish monger, butcher shop, bakery, green grocer, and vegetarian co-operative.
Although I loved having access to all of these shops, I didn’t fully appreciate having all of them within easy walking distance until I moved away, and now I particularly miss the vegetarian co-operative called Unicorn.
Therefore, once in a while, my very kind boyfriend drives about 90 minutes each way with me to give me a chance to stock up on some of my favorite cooking ingredients, and I thought I would share the essentials that I love to have on hand for easy meals and healthy snacks.
In addition to Unicorn, we also stopped at the Barbakan bakery in Chorlton for fresh bread and some freshly sliced meat for sandwiches, and we stopped at a farm shop on the drive back for two dozen fresh eggs and a couple of pounds of potatoes.
Anyway, here is what the shop looked like. I know that unfortunately we can’t all get to Unicorn easily, but I hope this gives you some idea of what I like to have on hand for whipping up quick and easy meals.
5kg bag of toasted oats
bag of chopped mixed nuts to sprinkle on top
bag of dried bananas to sprinkle on top
box of Moroccan mint green tea
2 loaves of Barbakan bread
Quick and Easy Lunch/Dinner Ingredients and snacks
Sliced roast ham
Fresh bread (also listed above)
Fresh lettuce and tomatoes for salads
Pre-made veggie burgers and pre-marinated tofu
Avocados (they had tiny avocados packed together in bags for just £1.09 per bag – about $1.50). These were outstanding, and ideal since Ben isn’t an avocado fan and I generally use only half of a large one at a time.
Tins of soup – parsnip soup, pumpkin soup, and a North African soup (absolutely delicious!)
Grains/dried -organic quinoa, bulgar, brown rice, green lentils for quick rice cooker meals
Tins of organic lentils, black beans, and chickpeas to throw in the rice cooker with the grains
Dairy-free pesto, fresh mushrooms, and organic whole wheat pasta for mushroom pesto pasta
Potatoes to throw in the oven
A very large jar of organic peanut butter
Chickpea noodles (like potato chips/crisps but made with gram flour)
These pictures are actually from two weeks ago now, but we are still fairly well stocked up on the essential items, although I desperately wish I had bought more of the North African soups and the carob bars.
Not only are these food items delicious, and cheaper than buying supplies from a normal supermarket chain, but I feel good about shopping at Unicorn, Barbakan, and local farm shops.
Whenever possible, Unicorn sources their products from local providers, and they own their own plot of land, where they grow all of the produce that they can.
In addition to having healthy foods sourced from local (whenever possible) and ethical (always) providers, Unicorn is also environmentally conscious, and foods are packed in minimal packaging, which can almost always be recycled and/or re-used, and their plastic bags that they package the food in are all biodegradable.
Anyway, I hope it was interesting to see what I stock my cupboards with.
What are some of your favorite cupboard essentials to have on hand for creating quick and easy meals?