Shopping List: Basic Ingredients for a Healthy Kitchen The first step to cooking healthy is to stock your kitchen with a variety of foods that you can throw together for healthy meals in a hurry. Keep these foods on hand for fast meals on busy nights. In the cupboard Beans: Black, pinto, kidney, chickpeas, lentils, refried Rice: Brown, long-grain, rice mixes Pasta: Whole-wheat spaghetti, fettucini, penne, bowtie, ramen noodles Other grains: Couscous, orzo, cornmeal, whole-wheat crackers, breadsticks, bread crumbs Onions Canned tomatoes: Diced, whole, seasoned, sun-dried, sauce, salsa Canned vegetables: Mixed vegetables, green beans, mushrooms Canned and dried fruits: Applesauce, cranberries Sauces: Pasta, pizza, tomato Soups: Canned soups, broth, and bouillon and dried soup mixes Meats: Canned tuna, salmon, minced clams, and chicken Peanut butter Evaporated milk Vinegars: Cider, red and white wine, balsamic Your favorite herbs and spices Oils: Olive, canola, peanut, and non-fat cooking spray In the refrigerator Vegetables and fruits 100% vegetable and fruit juices Reduced-fat milk and yogurt (without added sugar) Reduced-fat cheeses: Cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Monterey Jack, cottage, Parmesan Reduced-fat sour cream and cream cheese Whole-wheat and corn tortillas Eggs Minced garlic Sauces: Worcestershire, soy, teriyaki, and chili Ketchup and mustard (spicy and Dijon) Salad dressings with olive oil or reduced-fat In the freezer Frozen vegetables, fruits, and 100% juices Frozen chopped onions and chopped green pepper Breads: Whole-grain breads, dinner rolls, English muffins, bagels Meats: Chicken breast, ground turkey breast, extra-lean hamburger Fish: Red snapper, salmon, orange roughy, cod, flounder, sole Whole grains vs. refined grains A whole grain is made up of 3 parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ. Refined grains are made from the endosperm. Because the bran and germ contain much of the vitamins, minerals and all of the fiber found in grains, whole grains have more fiber and nutrients than refined (or processed) grains. Shoot for at least 3 servings of whole-grain foods each day.