Pantry Staples

In the book What the Fork? Stefanie Sacks lists common food items and where and for how long you can store them. In Real Simple magazine a number of years ago it featured this kind of cheat sheet in a more detailed fashion.

This got me to thinking what kind of contemporary healthy kitchen a person could stock to make it convenient to eat more nutritious food. Ideally, on nights when you’re too tired to cook there should be better alternatives to some kind of soggy sugary flakes cereal.

Indeed: it’s been years since I’ve resorted to having cereal for dinner. You can click on the recipes category to find simple to prepare meals that can stand in for that ubiquitous cereal-for-dinner lassitude.

See if having on hand these staples would make it easier to cook more healthfully and also when we’re low on money:


Eggs – 1 month.

Butter – will last 3 months unopened and 2 weeks opened.

Sesame oil – will last 6 months

Maple syrup – will last 1 year opened.

Mustard – will last 1 year opened.

Deli olives  – will last 2 weeks.

Broth – will last 4 days.

Salad dressing – will last 1 month.

Pasta sauce  will last 4 days opened.


Honey – will last 1 year opened or unopened.

Hot sauce – will last 2 years.

Onions and garlic – will last 2 months.

Canned beans – will last 9 months.

Pasta – dried – will last 2 years.

Olives – jarred – will last 6 months unopened.

Pasta sauce – will last 9 months unopened.

Vinegar – will last 1 year opened – 2 years unopened.

Olive oil – will last 6 months opened – 1 year unopened.

(All other oils should be stored in the refrigerator. They can keep in a cool fridge for 1 year.)

Salad dressing – 1 year unopened.

This is good news because if you stock a pantry with these items you can buy salad greens and then use the olives and salad dressing and chick peas or other beans in the pantry to create a salad.

You can also use the eggs to create my Baked Eggs in Tomatoes recipe. (In season in the summer or out of season at other times.)

I’m not going to judge a person who eats meat. I’m not going to judge a vegan either. Each of us has to do what makes sense for us. A lot of the information I’ll be writing about was gleaned from What the Fork? by Stefanie Sacks.

I’m not going to say “read it and heed it” for anything I write or what I refer to from a book. I’m simply like a librarian giving information.

You can see if it makes sense.

I write about fitness and nutrition now because it’s high time someone living in recovery came out and wrote in specific detail about these things.


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