Chances are, once in a while you have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner! It’s often difficult with the stresses of everyday life, the busyness of work and family and the general “stuff” we all have to deal with, to come up with new and creative ideas for meal time. Sometimes, it seems like more of a chore than an enjoyable part of the day (which frankly, cooking should be) I think for me, recently having finished writing my book, and making a lot of the recipes in it for photographing, I’m just feeling a little tired of coming up with new ideas. So, this is the time when we need inspiration.

I have in my kitchen, a vast collection of cookbooks. I’d say there are probably at least fifty of them, and I love them all. When I’m having a hard time figuring out dinner, I just check out my pantry and fridge so I know what’s on-hand, and then see what simple recipes I can come up with, often basing them on something in one of my books. Fairly simple and straight-forward, and no requirement to make a trip to the store just to get dinner ingredients.

I wanted to compile a simple list of ingredients, out of which you can make wonderful complete meals. These are the things I almost *always* have on hand:

Fresh lettuce/greens, onions, garlic, cilantro, carrots, celery, potatoes (favorite seasonal vegetables/fruits)
Fresh lemons
Dry pasta & rice
Tomato sauce, soya sauce, honey
Chicken breast, ground beef or turkey
Oil (olive & canola)
Favorite seasonings and spices, such as curry, thyme, oregano, cumin, cardamom, basil…etc.

Making good, fresh food is easy, and it really doesn’t need to be complicated if you keep your house stocked with these essential ingredients. Follow this list as a general guidelines, and you’ll never be stuck in a dinner rut again!