Staples to Stash 3: Go beany!
Beans are a nutrition power-house, packed with fiber, rich in protein, low in fat, and they're so flexible. They can star in everything from breakfast burritos and lunch-time salads, to tonight's chili or your next party dip.
Look for black, pinto, kidney, lentil and garbanzo beans either dried or canned (keep an eye on sodium levels if buying canned, then rinse the beans well before use). Then sprinkle your favorites liberally into soups and stews, over whole-wheat cous cous or into risotto.
What to trash: Refried beans go great inside a burrito, but they can be loaded with fat. Look for low-fat versions or, better yet, stick with their unfried cousins.
Stealth health tip: Hummus, made from garbanzo beans, is packed with protein and makes a great veggie dip. It also adds fiber and a nutty richness when used as a spread on sandwiches.
Staples to Stash 4: Stock up on foods that pack a lot of flavor.
As the humble garlic clove teaches, the more intense the flavor, the less of a particular ingredient you need. The folks at the American Cancer Society recommend fleshing out your pantry and fridge with robust fare like:
Minced garlic. Worcestershire, soy, and chili sauces. Spicy and Dijon mustard.