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Items to keep kitchen stocked

Items you should always have in the kitchen, according to what the experts in Food Network Kitchens have in their own:

Eggs. Whip up a quick omelet, poach eggs in tomato sauce or hard-boil a few for quick snacks throughout the week.

Parmesan cheese. Invest in a microplane zester and grate Parmesan into salads and soups.

Low-fat plain Greek yogurt. Perfect on its own as a snack with fresh berries or the base for a healthy creamy dressing.

Real maple syrup. Keep stored in the fridge.

Pickles. Think beyond just dill cucumber pickles. We love pickled green beans, beets, cauliflower and okra.

Oils. Extra-virgin olive oil for vinaigrette and drizzling and grapeseed oil for cooking. Both are heart-healthy, but grape-seed oil has a higher smoking point and the flavor is less fruity and strong, making it a better choice for sautéeing.

Vinegars. Red wine and balsamic vinegars will cover you for salad dressings and the less acidic rice-wine vinegar is great for stir-frys.

Hot sauces. Keep a variety on hand and add a few dashes into soups, sandwiches and eggs.

Canned beans. Bulk up soups or mix with rice.

Whole nutmeg. Use a microplane zester to finely grate over yogurt, cottage cheese and fresh fruit.

Roasted sunflower seeds. Toss into salads for extra crunch.

Citrus. The zest can be used in marinades and the juice can be drizzled over cooked vegetables.

Salad greens. The pre-washed blends are great for a quick salad.

Pre-cut vegetables. Look to see if your grocery store has these available in the produce section. They’re wonderful to have on hand to steam, stir-fry or microwave.

Frozen brown rice. Some grocery stores now stock this, but it’s easy to do yourself. Cook off a large pot, cool completely and freeze in resealable bags.

– Leah Brickley,