Several weeks ago, Kendra Adachi (The Lazy Genius) shared a great list of foods she’s stocking this summer on her podcast. I love every episode of The Lazy Genius Podcast and I found this one especially inspiring as we lean into summer and I immediately wanted to share my own list here.
Kendra’s list is a lot more about having things organized in the way that it makes it easy for her kids to get and prepare food on their own. With my kids being just three and six, we’re not really in the mode of having them prepare their own food. My list is focused on having options of available that are easy for me to get on the table quick and appealing to everyone in the house.
Some things I thought about when it came this list:
- What foods will everyone at my house enjoy?
- What foods don’t require me to turn on the oven?
- What foods have a variety of uses?
- What foods are going to keep my kids happy and full?
It turned out to be difficult to keep my list down to just 10 items; I generally keep a pretty stocked pantry and fridge. These are the items that I know we’ll keep going back to for easy meals and snacks, even if I do manage to prioritize occasionally getting creative in the kitchen.
- hot dogs and buns – A repeat from the podcast episode, I too appreciate how easy it is to prepare hot dogs (on our griddle, in a pan or in the microwave) and the fact that everyone in my house will eat them. Hot dogs and buns freeze great and defrost quickly.
- tortillas and shredded cheddar cheese – We eat something in the vein of Mexican food at least once a week – tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas, nachos. Again, everyone likes them, tacos don’t require turning on the oven, and these ingredients pair wonderfully with fresh tomatoes and lettuce from our CSA share
- salad greens – Speaking of lettuce, I plan to get some from our CSA whenever we’re low. My kids aren’t as interested in salads as my husband and I are, but they’re perfect for a lunch or dinner side and can easily be bulked up with toppings. Salad greens are also great for sandwiches and the aforementioned tacos.
- tuna fish – Tuna is a go-to lunch around here when we’re home and can be utilized in a variety of ways as part of a lunch or no oven dinner. Bonus points for being non-perishable.
- canned beans – Also in the non-perishable category, I will pay regular attention to the canned bean section of my pantry before I go to the supermarket. We regularly use beans in our Mexican-style meals, salads, pasta salads and more.
- pasta – This summer’s menus will surely include pasta salad, pasta alongside a protein, pasta and tomato sauce and macaroni and cheese. Whenever pasta is on sale at the supermarket, I stock up.
- fresh mozzarella – Some foods are just summer foods and fresh mozzarella is one of them. Caprese salad is a regular feature on our table when tomatoes are in season and I intend to make the most of it.
- peanut butter and jelly – I have never cared for peanut butter and jelly, a fact that made me difficult to accommodate at events as a child. Everyone else in my house thinks that peanut butter and jelly, or at least just jelly, is a wonderful sandwich. This means kids can have pb&j while adults have the aforementioned salads.
- frozen desserts – Another summer food is frozen desserts. I rarely have a popsicle or ice cream when it’s not hot out, but I am all about an icy after dinner treat. This is another item where the kids are equally enthusiastic and it’s much easier and cheaper to have ice cream at home than go to the ice cream shop.
- chicken breast – Though Kendra has almost fully converted me to the superiority of chicken thighs over breasts, I still appreciate chicken breast especially in the summer. I’ll be keep chicken breast on hand for chicken salads, pasta salads, green salad toppings and stove-top, kid-friendly recipes.