Don't stop there, stock up on tasty items, such as:
Sesame oil. Fish sauce. Horseradish. Pickled peppers. Capers. Lemon juice. Dried herbs, spices, garlic and onions. Vinegars: balsamic, red and white wine and cider. Olive oils infused with everything from basil, garlic and thyme, to truffles and chilies.
What to trash: A heavy hand. Though olive oil is a heart-healthy fat, it's also calorie-dense -- just a dash will do! Stealth health tip: Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil over your baked potato and you may not even miss that pat of butter. Well, not much.
Staples to Stash 5: Tried and true friends.
For whipping up a quick meal you'll always want to keep on hand these old reliables:
Eggs. Whole-grain goodies: bread, tortillas, pasta, cereal, oatmeal and rice. Reduced-fat spreads and cheeses. Lean protein: meat, tofu, beans and nuts. Low-sodium soups and broths.
Be sure to experiment. You won't know which low-calorie dressings, cheeses and spreads you like unless you try a few. The same goes for ice creams, breads, crackers and chips.
What to trash: The wishful thinking. Just because a food says it's low in cholesterol or has reduced fat doesn't mean it's good for you. You won't know until you read the label. Watch for elevated levels of sodium and sugar making up for the items taken out.
Stealth health tip: A healthier diet for hens means that some eggs are now rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E -- look for these new eggs at your supermarket.
These are just a few tips on staples to stash in your fridge and pantry -- and a few items to trash.
The next time you're dashing through the market, slow down -- at least through one aisle -- and take a look at what's available. You just may find your next must-have staple -- bottled artichokes or fire-roasted peppers, perhaps? -- that carries you through breakfast, lunch and dinner, without a frozen meal in sight.
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Wendy C. Fries writes about health, wellness and computers for eDiets, WebMD, C/Net and others. In a perfect world, she would be assigned an article about jelly beans.