It’s a pretty safe bet you’ve been cooking more than usual over the past year. Since most takeout tends to rely on extra butter, sugar, and salt as not-so-secret ingredients for flavor, cooking your own meals often means you’re eating more healthily by default. Still, after another long day of video chats at work, chowing down on takeout noodles can seem a lot more palatable than taxing your brain for a DIY recipe and going through the motions of whipping up a home-cooked meal.
We get it — and so does Philly-based chef Skyler Bouchard, host of popular Instagram channel Dining with Skyler. As a self-taught cook, food blogger, and on-air host, Skyler wants to make healthy eating accessible and easy for everyone.
“Having a well-stocked pantry is the first step to cooking healthy meals for yourself,” she says. “It’s basically like having a bunch of different ingredients in your back pocket to create dishes for any given scenario.”
If we lost you at pantry item, don’t worry. “A pantry item is anything that you can cook with in a pinch,” Skyler adds. “Baking ingredients, dried spices, oils, canned goods, peanut butter — anything that doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge, I would consider a pantry item.”