by - July 26, 2012


These are the key players who I think are essential for making some fit food. Most of you, I imagine, don't need telling what you like to have in your cupboards, but I reckon some people still just don't have a clue about food. So this is for them... 


  • Get some lemons, lemon is vital to finish dishes and makes such a difference.
  • Get some peanut butter, crunchy, and preferably not with palm oil as it is super high in saturated fat. The increased demand for it is also tearing down rainforests in South East Asia. The whole earth organic crunchy peanut butter is only about 2% palm oil, with peanuts making up the majority and a bit of sea salt. So much better than all this sunPAT cowpat s*** which has loads of added sugar and sunflower oil. Bleugh. Anyway, this is a super versatile cupboard gem.
  • Get a good pepper grinder. Cracked black pepper is a must. Best mates with lemon.
  • Sea salt that you can crush in your fingers. Better than table salt. Better than rock salt.
  • Tins of: plum tomatoes or pasata. Tins of butter beans (so good). Tins of mackerel (in olive oil) Tins of sardines (in olive oil) tins of anchovies (go on).
  • Tomato puree. Concentrated cooked tomatoes - lycopene central, extremely high in antioxidants and its consumption has correlated strongly with general health benefits. Even the big ones like Cancer, cardiovascular disease and Diabetes. Also anti-ageing! Have it on toast! #Pushtheboatout
  • Dried stuff: chickpeas - if you can wait a million years for them to cook you will be heavily rewarded. They are so good when hot and just ready to eat.
  • Brown basmati rice - fragrant, good and doesn't take toooo long to cook. Goes with everything. The only rice you will need.
  • Lentils - yeah you know they're good. They actually help to make your stomach flatter. The packet always lies about how long they take. About 15 minutes in my experience, none of that 40 minutes bull. 
  • Rice cakes - wholegrain or there's no point. Perfect for a quick snack and you can put anything on top, sweet or savoury. 
  • Ryvita - same as above but mainly just for savory things. Also better if you are a rye bread type of person. 
  • Oat cakes - wholegrain oat cakes. Any of the three (rice cakes, ryvita or oat cakes) will do. You don't need all of them at once. Mix it up.
  • Kallo organic stock cubes. Oxo just contains loads of MSG. Enough said. Get veg and chicken ones.
  • Garlic - get it in. Vitamin C overload, but, more importantly, the chief of flavour intensifiers. 
  • Chillies - cannot live without. Smaller the hotter, generally. Green are hotter than red. Red have a nicer flavour. 
  • Pickled beetroot - YUMMMMMMMMMMMY
  • Pickled onions -  as above
  • Pickled gerkins -  tasty in burgers/salads

I personally think mayonnaise is rank, it's basically oil and eggs. yummy? No!

  • Soy sauce is a good little staple to have rattling around in the cupboard.
  • Balsamic and cider vinegars - essential for a banging salad dressing.
  • Wholegrain mustard - and Dijon actually, and English for a nice variety. Get your beef out!
  • Horseradish - get the hot and not the creamy. Made from better stuff and has a proper kick. So good with beetroot. Oh my daaaaaaaaaaaays!
  • Spices - the more you can collect, the merrier! Just pick up a new one every time you go to the supermarket - Micheal McIntyre has it in a nutshell:

These are the only beige and brown ingredients I would advise that you eat. It saddens me to work in an educational environment where the majority of things served up to children are yellows. As in, carbs, carbs and more carbs. Of the refined sort. Of the totally pointless type. Think yellow, think Gregg's. Bad. Fatty, sugary, oily, salty, sluggish, s***.

  • Fruit and Veg - get as much in as you can afford. You don't need me to tell you how good for you they are do you? every single one offers some benefit. The darker the colour, the more nutritional the produce. For example, beetroot is a powerhouse. Same as Spinach. Put them together and not only do they look pretty as hell but you are basically becoming batman as you eat them. It doesn't all need to go in the fridge either. Juice it, eat it raw, blend it, cook it.
  • Fresh Herbs - If you have space, grow them. If not, only buy them when you have a specific recipe in mind, or else you may find they go off. You can freeze them, but I find they are never the same after freezing. :(

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