Buying canned goods in bulk may seem a slightly paranoid, Doomsday Prepper-esque endeavor, but a well-stocked cupboard can be a healthy eaters’ best friend—as long as you’re choosing the right stuff. Many canned goods are notorious salt-bombs, which not only cause unflattering bloating but also high blood pressure, and other nonperishables contain trans fats or questionable—and often unpronounceable—preservatives.
With a little shopping guidance and these recipes from Anthony Stewart, head chef at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, FL, however, you can whip up a healthy, low-sodium lunch or dinner in no time by tossing together a few ingredients you’re almost guaranteed to have on hand.
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Ah quinoa. This healthy, tasty, satisfying grain (okay, technically a seed) puts white rice to shame with twice the protein and 2 more grams of fiber per half-cup serving. And despite its status as the super-food du jour, we like it too much to declare that it’s jumped the culinary shark. This recipe adds ticker-boosting, waistline-friendly tofu, which has about half the calories of chicken or beef. While it’s not a pantry staple per se, it should keep for about two weeks in your fridge.
Directions: Rinse 1 cup quinoa in cold water. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa with 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Add 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup shredded carrots and 1 cup cubed firm tofu. Makes about 4 1-cup servings.