A well-stocked pantry is a good way to ensure you'll get healthy meals at home on days you don't feel like cooking. Here’s a few things to keep on hand:
1. Canned tomatoes. Research shows that lycopene, a potent prostate-health-friendly antioxidant, is better absorbed by the body when tomatoes are processed. Crushed tomatoes work as a nice compromise between diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, so they can be used as pasta sauce or salsa.
2. Microwave popcorn. A standard three-cup serving of air-popped popcorn contains just 93 calories and less than 1.5 grams of fat. Microwave popcorn, however, is often sprayed with too much oil, so be sure to choose one that is low in fat and trans-fat free.
3. Whole wheat frozen waffles. This breakfast alternative is easy to prepare, and if made with whole wheat flour, is also packed with nutrients. Nature’s Path makes a version with soy protein and flaxseed, upping their nutrient quota.
4. Whole grain crackers. There are many varieties to choose from, and not all of them are made with whole wheat. Brown rice and other whole grain varieties abound at the health food store. Bonus for pairing them with almond butter, hummus, or low fat cheese.
5. Frozen vegetables. Frozen vegetables are no less nutritious than fresh vegetables, and they’re less expensive. In addition to the standard diced carrots, green peas, and corn, you can also find broccoli and cauliflower, stir-fry mixes, and Szechuan varieties, among others.
With your canned tomatoes, make them Marzano tomatoes -- Italian. They are pic\ked at the peak of lusciousness and many chefs use them when fresh tomatoes look wintery. I don't really eat waffles or popcorn myself. I would suggest that you always have a good, fruity extra virgin olive oil, your favorite nuts, maybe some Watkin's organic pure flavorings for "doctoring" up a bland yogurt, a peppermill with whole tellecherry peppercorns, nutritious sea salt, local honey, Black Diamond nut crackers, good vinegar, your favorite type of mustard, Crystal hot sauce, Sirachi hot sauce, frozen or boxed veggie stock, whole grain pastas, interesting spices from your favorite ethnic market, pure fruit spreads, nut butters, some squares of dark chocolate, garlic, sesame oil, dried exotic mushrooms, dried fruits.