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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

17 Healthy Items to Keep on Hand



Smartly stocking your refrigerator means a nourishing meal is never far away.

Plus, creating meals from a well-stocked refrigerator is easy. Pick a few foods from each category below — condiments, proteins, dairy, produce, and grains — and you’ll be well on your way to a nourishing meal.

Here are 17 excellent foods to stock your refrigerator with.

1. Dijon mustard

If you ever need to make your own salad dressing, you’ll need an emulsifier to keep it all together. Dijon is a great choice because it not only helps dressings stay together, but it also provides a punchy, vinegary flavor (1).

While Dijon is the classic choice for dressings, you can use other mustards in its place. While yellow mustard is bright and mild — excellent for a coleslaw dressing — stone-ground mustard is slightly spicy and makes a great base for German-style potato salad.

To make your own dressing with Dijon, mix the following ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of your favorite vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of extra virgin olive oil
  • a dash of salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper

Dijon also makes for an excellent low calorie add-in to marinades and sauces.

2. Pure maple syrup

Many dishes benefit from a dash of sweetness.

Maple syrup is a versatile sweetener, as golden varieties — labeled “Grade A, Golden” — are mild and not overly sweet, while “very dark” maple syrup provides a robust maple flavor.

Use it to sweeten oatmeal, smoothies, breakfast parfaits, and salad dressings, or drizzle it atop pancakes, waffles, and other breakfast goodies.

If possible, choose pure maple syrup, which doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners or other syrups like high fructose corn syrup.

Pure maple syrup also supplies several antioxidants that help protect your body from inflammation, which may lower disease risk (2, 3).

3. Tahini

You can use this rich paste made of sesame seeds in the following ways:

  • Mix it into soups.
  • Thin it with lemon juice for a salad dressing.
  • Add it to cookie dough or cake batter for a nutty flavor and creamy texture.
  • Drizzle it over grilled chicken or sautéed fish.

Tahini’s versatility and unique flavor make it one of my favorite staples.

Plus, it’s incredibly nutritious, as just 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of tahini provides 3 grams of plant-based protein and 2 grams of filling fiber. Sesame seeds also boast a high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids that may benefit heart health (4, 5).

4. Soy sauce (reduced sodium)

Soy sauce adds a savory, salty pop to satays, noodle dishes, ramen, and sushi.

It’s also a great way to season vegetarian dishes for a touch of umami — that delicious meaty flavor often associated with cheese, meat, and mushrooms — making it a staple for vegetarian kitchens in particular (6).

Regular soy sauce has nearly 900 mg per tablespoon (15 mL), which is about 40% of the US Department of Agriculture’s recommended daily intake. Manage your intake by choosing low sodium soy sauce, which contains 45% less sodium (7, 8).


Condiments add flavor to simple dishes while also offering some nutrients. Keep Dijon mustard, pure maple syrup, tahini, and soy sauce in your fridge to create delicious, nourishing meals.

5. Eggs

Eggs are one of the quickest cooking foods and supply high quality protein. Notably, one large egg contains a little over 6 grams of protein (9).

Eggs also supply lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that support eye health (10).

Add them to a bowl of ramen or breakfast quesadilla, or hard boil them and enjoy in a salad.

Store your eggs on the shelf of your fridge, not in the door, to keep them at a safe temperature. They’ll last about 3 weeks when kept at 40°F (4°C) in their original container (11).

6. Nuts and nut butter

Nuts and nut butters are nutritional powerhouses, as they’re loaded with fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Although more human studies are needed, this combination of nutrients may protect against illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer (12).

Once you open that package of nuts or nut butter, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator since nuts’ high fat content makes them susceptible to rancidity.

I use nut butters in sauces and soups and to smear on my toast. Whole or chopped nuts are fabulous on salads, in dips, as a crust for meat or tofu, and in your morning bowl of cereal.

7. Tofu

This plant-based protein is an essential in my fridge because of its versatility.

Firm tofu can be cubed and used in almost any dish — including broth-based soups, chili, and noodle bowls — or sautéed for tacos or sloppy joes. Add it to smoothies for a boost of high quality protein, iron, and calcium (13).


Protein is a necessary fuel source. Eggs, nuts, nut butters, and tofu are great to stock in your refrigerator because they keep well and cook quickly (or can be eaten right away).

8. Plain Greek yogurt or plant-based yogurt

Yogurt serves as an amazing substitute for sour cream, which is why my household loves it for topping baked potatoes and tacos.

Unlike many sour cream options, most Greek yogurt contains probiotics — beneficial bacteria that support gut health. It’s also significantly lower in fat than sour cream and offers a similar tangy flavor (14, 15, 16).

Choose plain varieties to minimize your sugar intake. If you choose a plant-based variety like soy or coconut yogurt, look for one that’s fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

9. Cheese

My favorite dishes to top cheese with are scrambled eggs, salads, and tacos.

Choose a flavorful option, such as goat, blue, parmesan, sharp cheddar, or feta, since extra flavor means you’ll need to use less. In turn, that means fewer calories and less saturated fat, which may help manage weight.

Harder cheeses like Parmesan and cheddar last longer — 3–4 weeks in the refrigerator after opening — than their soft counterparts, so keep that in mind when making your selection (17).

10. Dairy or plant-based milks

Milk is used in numerous dishes, so it makes sense to keep it in your refrigerator.

I love the flavor of whole milk, but low fat or plant-based options are also perfectly healthy depending on your health goals and preferences.

As for plant-based milks, look for varieties fortified with calcium and vitamin D and be sure to choose the plain variety without any added sugar.


Stock Greek yogurt to make salad dressings, sauces, or parfaits. Keep a few flavorful cheeses as toppings for salads, tacos, and grain bowls. Cow’s milk or plant-based milk is another essential.

11. Apple’s

Just 1 medium apple supplies 104 calories and about 5 grams of fiber, making this fruit a low calorie, filling snack (18).

Don’t forget to eat the peel, which contains powerful compounds, including antioxidants that may help fight inflammation and combat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (19).

Apples keep well and can be enjoyed not only as a snack but also as a delicious addition to many other dishes, such as kale salad, pulled pork sandwiches or tacos, and baked apples with cinnamon.

12. Broccoli or other cruciferous vegetables

You can store plenty of veggies in your freezer, but it’s nice to have fresh varieties on hand.

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and bok choy, keep well in the fridge and pack plenty of nutrients.

Test-tube studies also indicate that sulforaphane — a compound found in broccoli — has anticancer properties, although further research is needed (20).

Roast them for a side dish or chop them to add to pasta, chili, or tacos. Some of these veggies are also delicious raw and pair well with dips like hummus and tzatziki.

13. Basil or cilantro

Fresh herbs pack plenty of flavor with very few calories.

Basil and cilantro are my go-tos since they can be used in so many ways. Basil can be pureed into pesto, mixed into salad dressing, or topped on pizza or pasta. Cilantro is great for Mexican dishes like tacos, as well as slaws and scrambled eggs.

14. Lettuce or other greens

Salads make a great meal or side dish, so having lettuce on hand is essential.

Add a few dry paper towels to the container and store it in the vegetable crisper drawer in your fridge to keep lettuce and other greens fresher for longer.

You can add baby lettuce or greens like kale to almost any soup or pasta dish. Plus, if you’re looking for a fun way to stay hydrated, most lettuces are over 90% water (21).

15. Lemons or limes

The acidity in citrus foods adds brightness to any dish. Because it packs so much flavor, I often recommend adding it before you salt your food, then salting to taste.

You can even zest the peel of lemons or limes for salad dressings and for finishing dishes like grilled fish or chicken. Use the juice in marinades, ice water, and dressings and dips.


Keeping a variety of produce in your fridge makes meals and snacks easy. Plus, citrus and fresh herbs let you flavor your food without needing much salt.

16. Cooked whole grains

When you prepare meals, you know the value of having cooked whole grains on hand in your fridge.

Whole grains provide a great base for any lunch or dinner and may even help prevent conditions like heart disease and diabetes (22).

Plus, their fiber content may boost fullness and improve cholesterol levels (24).

Cook them up to 2 days in advance and let them cool, then store them in a sealed, labeled container to use throughout the week.

I love wheat berries for a hearty salad, quinoa as a side for BBQ chicken, and bulgur wheat as the base for a parsley-heavy tabbouleh.

17. Tortillas

To keep them fresh for longer, store tortillas in the refrigerator. If you don’t use them up in time, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 6 months.

I love corn tortillas for a boost of whole grains, but whole grain flour tortillas are a great option, too.

Use this staple for tacos or quesadillas. You can also bake them to make tostadas or homemade chips.


Grains are a necessity in the fridge because they often serve as a base for meals. Stock a variety of cooked whole grains and tortillas.

A smartly stocked refrigerator makes meal planning easy and ensures that you’re eating a variety of foods.

Use the items above as a guide, but fill in with other foods that your family enjoys. If it helps, keep a running grocery list with these staples so that you don’t forget them at the store.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Guiding the way to thrive



Jan Juc naturopath Rebecca Winkler has always found joy in the practice of cooking nourishing meals for others.

That pastime spilled over into developing recipes and it was during lockdown that her culinary passion led her to become a qualified plant-based chef and a raw dessert chef.

Now the mum-of-two has expertly thrown all of her skills into the mix to achieve a long-held goal of producing a book.

Released as an eBook, with a print version to hopefully follow, 14 Day Whole Food Feast is a comprehensive two-week meal plan designed to nourish the body and delight the tastebuds.

Within its pages are recipes for whole food snacks, lunch and dinner meals, lunchbox ideas, and time-saving tips.

14 Day Whole Food Feast by Rebecca Winkler is available now as an eBook.

“My motivation was both personal and professional,” Rebecca says.

“On a professional note, I found so many patients were having difficulty finding family-friendly, whole food recipes to help them navigate various dietary needs.

“The recipes are easy to follow, a shopping list is provided and time frames are taken into account so slower cooked meals or more time-consuming recipes are saved for weekends.”

Rebecca says the eBook can function purely as a recipe resource or be followed meticulously for a 14-day reset.

“Food prep guidance is given at the start of each week in order to get ahead and be organized as possible.

The eBook includes lunch, dinner and snack ideas, as well as shopping lists and naturopathic advice.

“Dinners are often incorporated into leftovers for lunch the next day and naturopathic guidance is provided around ways to maximize your time by incorporating regular exercise and practicing self-care.”

The idea for the book began to brew in 2019 during a solo trip Rebecca took with colleagues which gave her the space to establish a clear vision for the content she wanted to share.

“I began developing and refining recipe, enlisting a beautiful photographer and graphics team to allow my dream to be realised.

“The long-term plan is to release a number of other eBooks and, eventually, print a hard copy, real-life book to be loved and to splash your chocolate and bolognaise sauce on. The kind of recipe book that you find yourself grabbing time and time again.”

The eBook is filled with nutritious recipes and much more.

So, what are some of Rebecca’s personal favorites featured in her carefully curated eBook?

“Ooh, that’s like trying to choose a favorite child,” she laughs.

“I know it might seem boring, but the slow-cooked bolognaise with hand-made gluten-free fettucine is an absolute favourite.
“We make it weekly in my house and every time my kids exclaim ‘this is the best bolognaise ever’.”

The slow cooked beef pie, kafir lime chicken balls and whole food cranberry bliss balls are also hard to pass up, she says.

Rebecca avoids listing ideal ingredients for people to incorporate into their diet, instead saying the most beneficial ingredients are those that make you feel at your best.

“Not everyone tolerates grains, some don’t tolerate fruit, others have difficulty digesting meat and protein.

“My advice is to listen and take note of how your body feels when you eat.

“Are you bloated, do you have pain in your gut, loose stools, headaches or fatigue?

Rebecca is a qualified naturopath, as well as being a plant-based chef and raw dessert chef.

“I am more inclined to advise people to source good quality ingredients, grow what they can, and cook from scratch as much as time and money allows.

“Eat three meals a day and snack only if you are hungry, growing, pregnant or exercising.

“Try to consume 30-35ml of water per kg of body weight. Add plenty of vegetables, fresh herbs, variety and colour.

“Our gut flora thrives on variety, so mix up your veggies, fruits, grain, legumes and proteins. Eat the rainbow.”

To get the most out of the eBook, the author suggests reading it from cover-to-cover and choosing a 14-day period where you are at home and have minimal social engagements.

Rebecca is passionate about naturopathy which she describes as a holistic, comprehensive view of the body in its entirety and “a wonderful adjunct to Western Medicine for patients as it ensures medical due diligence is exercised, adequate diagnostic testing where appropriate and an individualized approach to restoring health”.

Rebecca’s advice is to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to healthy food choices.

She says many of her clients are seeking ways to regain optimal health following extended periods of lockdown during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that most of us found ourselves allowing more in alcohol and comfort foods over lockdown, which is nothing to feel ashamed about.

“In such a difficult, confining and overwhelming time, we sought comfort where ever it may lie for us.

“This is not a failure, it was merely a way for so many to cope. I never judge anyone’s choices, I merely try to support, understand and listen.

“Often we already know what we need to do to rebuild or move forward, simply sharing and being heard without shame or judgment is therapeutic.

“I cannot describe to you the genuine joy that seeing people thrive provides.”

14 Day Whole Food Feast retails for $19.95 and on the Rebecca Winkler website. Discover more and contact Rebecca via her Facebook page, Instagram @rebeccawinklernaturopath or email [email protected]

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Get to know farro and other superfood whole grains



By Casey Barber, CNN

Quinoa has reached a level of superfood status not seen since the great kale takeover of the aughts. Equally embraced and mocked in pop culture, it’s become the symbol of the grain bowl generation. It’s not the only whole grain that’s worth bringing to the table, however.

The world of whole grains is wide, and if quinoa and brown rice have been the only grains on your plate, it’s time to expand your palate. Here’s an introduction to whole grains, along with tips for cooking and enjoying them.

What’s a whole grain?

The term “whole grains” encompasses all grains and seeds that are, well, whole. They retain all their edible parts: the fiber-rich outer bran layer; the carbohydrate-rich endosperm center, which makes up the bulk of the grain itself; and the inner core, or germ, which is packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.

On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and all-purpose flour have been milled to remove the bran and germ, stripping away much of the fiber, protein and vitamins, and leaving only the starchy endosperm.

“A lot of people don’t realize that whole grains contain several grams of protein in addition to vitamins and antioxidants,” said Nikita Kapur, a registered dietitian nutritionist in New York City. With every serving of whole grains, “you get a ton of minerals, B vitamins and fiber, which is especially important for good health.”

So-called “ancient grains” fall under the umbrella of whole grains, though the phrase is more of a marketing term than a marker of a more nutritious option. Ancient grains refer to whole grains like millet, amaranth, kamut and, yes, quinoa that have been the staple foods of cultures for several hundred years. They are not hybridized or selectively bred varieties of grains, like most modern wheat, rice and corn.

And though quinoa has gotten all the press as a whole grain superfood, there’s good reason to try others. Trying a variety of whole grains isn’t just a way to mix up your same-old side dish routine. It’s also a chance to get a wider portfolio of minerals and more into your diet.

“Suffice to say, we need to have a more diverse plant-based diet” to get the full complement of recommended nutrients in our meals, Kapur said, “and we can’t get it from the same 10 or 20 foods.

“One grain might have more manganese, another more zinc or magnesium, and another more protein,” she added. “Try one as a pasta, one as a porridge — you do you, as long as there’s a variety.”

Familiar foods like oats, corn, brown and other colors of rice, as well as wild rice (which is an aquatic grass), are all considered whole grains, but there are many others you’ll want to add to your regular repertoire.

Some whole grains to get to know

amaranth is a tiny gluten-free grain that can be simmered until soft for a creamy polenta-like dish, but it also makes a deliciously crunchy addition to homemade energy bars or yogurt bowls when it’s been toasted. To toast amaranth seeds, cook over medium heat in a dry pan, shaking frequently until they begin to pop like minuscule popcorn kernels.

Buckwheat is gluten-free and botanically related to rhubarb, but these polygonal seeds (also called groats) don’t taste anything like fruit. You might already be familiar with buckwheat flour, used in pancakes and soba noodles, or Eastern European kasha, which is simply toasted buckwheat.

Faro is the overarching Italian name for three forms of ancient wheat: farro piccolo, or einkorn; farro medio, or emmer; and farro grande, or spelled. The farro you typically find at the store is the emmer variety, and it’s a rustic, pumped-up wheat berry that’s ideal as a grain bowl base. Or make an Italian-inspired creamy Parmesan farro risotto.

Freekeh is a wheat variety that’s harvested when unripe, then roasted for a surprisingly smoky, nutty flavor and chewy texture. Freekeh’s taste is distinctive enough that it steals the spotlight in your meals, so use it in ways that highlight its flavor. It’s fantastic in a vegetarian burrito bowl paired with spicy salsa, or in a warming chicken stew.

kamut is actually the trademarked brand name for an ancient type of wheat called Khorasan, which features large grains, a mild taste and tender texture. It’s a good, neutral substitute for brown rice in a pilaf or as a side dish. Or try this high-protein grain in a salad with bold flavors like arugula, blood orange and walnut.

millet is a gluten-free seed with a cooked texture similar to couscous. Teff is a small variety of millet that’s most frequently used as the flour base for Ethiopian injera flatbread. Try raw millet mixed into batters and doughs for a bit of crunch, like in this millet skillet cornbread recipe, or use either teff or millet cooked in a breakfast porridge.

How to cook any whole grain

While cooking times vary for each grain, there’s one way to cook any whole grain, whether it’s a tiny seed or a large, chewy kernel: Boil the grains like pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a handful of kosher salt. Add the grains and cook, tasting as you go, until tender. Small grains like amaranth and quinoa can cook fully in five to 15 minutes, while larger grains like farro and wild rice can take anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour — so keep an eye on your pot and check it frequently.

Drain well in a mesh strainer (to catch all those small grains) and either use immediately or allow to cool slightly, then refrigerate for later meals. Cooked whole grains can also be portioned, frozen and stored in airtight bags for up to six months.

If you want to cook your whole grains in an Instant Pot or other multicooker, this chart offers grain-to-water ratios for many of the grains mentioned here.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. foods Stories.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Travel: A quaint county seat with Mayberry charm | Lifestyles – Travel



I finally ventured out for my first road trip of 2022 earlier this month. It’s been way too long since I took a little trip and it was long overdue. My last little getaway was in Chicago the week of Christmas. The day I returned I wasn’t feeling very well and an at-home test confirmed that I had COVID — again.

The first time was in November 2020 and it was a severe case that landed me in the hospital with pneumonia and difficulty breathing and then many months of recovery. Luckily this time around it just lasted a couple of weeks. At the same time I was pushing through COVID we were in the process of moving. And my Dad, who had tested positive for COVID not long before me, passed away. So, it’s been a heck of a start to 2022. A getaway was much needed.

It was a brief 24 hours in the Indianapolis area, but as always I packed a bit in and had a lot of good food. On our way down we stopped off in Rensselaer for lunch at Fenwick Farms Brewing Co. and took a little walk to check out the murals that are part of the Ren Art Walk. That evening I attended a media opening of the newly reopened Dinosphere exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.

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It’s a place I adore and still enjoy visiting even though my kids are teenagers and young adults now. I love being greeted by the huge Bumblebee character on the way in from what is probably my favorite action move, “The Transformers.” The largest children’s museum in the world has so much to see and I’ve loved having the chance to explore it both with and without my kids.

After the event it was a quick overnight at Staybridge Suites in Plainfield, and in the morning we headed to Danville. Danville is the county seat of Hendricks County. I adore county seats with downtown squares and this is one of my favorites. On an earlier visit there we were in town for the Mayberry in the Midwest festival, which had lots of activities related to the classic TV show “The Andy Griffith Show” that was set in the fictional town of Mayberry.

Danville definitely has that charming, inviting, friendly small town vibe that feels like it could be a sitcom setting. We ate at the Mayberry Cafe where old episodes play on television screens and the menu is full of down-home, made-with-love comfort foods, with a specialty being “Aunt Bee’s Famous Fried Chicken.” I tried it and it was very tasty. The whole place made me smile like Opie after a fishing outing with his dad.

This time our dining destination was The Bread Basket. I had tried their desserts at a few events, but it was my first time dining in. It’s located in a house that was built for the president of Central Normal College in 1914 and is cute and cozy. It’s a breakfast and lunch spot, so plan to go early and be prepared for a wait during peak times (but it’s well worth it).

My Dilly Turkey Sandwich on fresh wheat nut bread with an Orchard Salad was delicious. I loved that they had a combo option where you could pick a half sandwich and half salad or cup of soup. But the desserts are the real star here. I stared at that dessert case for several minutes — and I wasn’t the only one.

I was seated next to it, and watched intently each time they removed a pie or cake from the case to cut a slice. I tried the Hummingbird Cake, which was a perfect treat without being too rich, and then noticed another that was so unique I had to get a slice to take home — the Blackberry Wine Chocolate Cake. If you go there and are overwhelmed with choices, go with this. You won’t regret it.

After lunch, we made our way over to the Hendricks County Historical Museum & Old County Jail, which is just off the square. For someone like me who loves history, this was a wonderful stop to incorporate into our day. It was built in 1866 and used as a jail all the way up until 1974. You can go into the old jail cells (two on the female side and four on the male side) and tour the sheriff’s home.

An exhibit has information and artifacts from when Central Normal College existed (later Canterbury College). There’s also a temporary chronological exhibit about music and musicians, featuring many Hoosier hitmakers.

After the visit, I took a breezy little walk around the square, where I was reminded that there is a nostalgic old movie theater. The historic Danville Royal Theater dates back to the early 1900s and shows current movies for just $5 a ticket.

It was then getting close to dinner time, so we decided to eat before we headed back home. A place in the nearby town of North Salem had been recommend to me and I am so glad we took time to visit. I chatted for a few minutes with Damiano Perillo, owner of Perillo’s Pizzeria. He’s a native of Palermo, the capital of Sicily. The food is authentic and almost all of it is made fresh daily, including their garlic rolls, marinara and alfredo sauces. The New York-style pizzas are perfection.

They even have a nearby garden where they grow many of the fresh vegetables and herbs used in their dishes. They have gluten free pastas, too, and the lady at the next table had some and was raving about it. We also tried the homemade Sicilian cannoli and the limoncello flute, and trust me when I say to definitely not skip dessert.

There was one last food stop. Although we had just eaten, I realized we’d be driving right by Rusted Silo Southern BBQ & Brewhouse in Lizton and just couldn’t pass it up. I made my husband pull in and pick up some food to go. We got the brisket and their house made pimento cheese, chorizo ​​and kielbasa and took it home. I was introduced to it last fall and there is a reason they have been voted Best BBQ in the Indy area four years in a row. I loved hearing about how this eatery located next to a railroad literally stops trains in their tracks to get food from this award-winning BBQ joint.

All three of these places — The Bread Basket, Perillo’s Pizzeria and Rusted Silo are ones that you should absolutely include in your itinerary if you happen to be in the Indianapolis area.

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