Normal people have a regular supply of certain foods always in stock. You know, things like mustard, ketchup, chicken breasts, American or cheddar cheese, pickles, Ritz crackers, olive oil…Sure we have some of these things in our fridge and pantry from time to time. Some of these normal foods even remain as staples in our home. But more often than not, my “must-have” food items are a little surprise quirky. I mean, you know we always have 5-10 different types of cheese hanging around in the cheese drawer. And for Brian, we ALWAYS have to have a back-up to the back-up of pico de gallo and tortilla chips. And the twelve different types of hot sauce…You can never have too much hot sauce. But these are some of my other favorite foodie treats.
Boring plain old lettuce is for chumps. Spinach? Chumps. I use arugula as a substitute for lettuce AND spinach. It’s flavorful. Green. Chock full of healthy. It’s amazing. I buy the Rocket Salad from Trader Joe’s, at $1.99 a bag, but you can find arugula in most grocery stores. TIP: If it starts to get wilty, cook it up in some pasta or soup. You don’t need the perfect fresh arugula, and then you’re not wasting delicious $1.99/bag lettuce. At 0 Points Plus, it’s a great hearty side to any meal.
Pine nuts (Pignolias)
The nutty answer to almost everything. They’re a little lower in fat content that some other nuts, and you still get that nutty flavor that you’re looking for. Plus, a little goes a long way. Again, I buy mine from TJ’s.
I’ve used several different brands of truffle oil, and I like some of the more inexpensive oils better than the pricier options. I recommend taste testing some of the cheaper ones to start, just to see whether you’re a fan of the truffle aroma, or not…this one’s an acquired taste, a lot like me. So you’ll either love it or hate it.
Now go mix all three of the previously mentioned items together for an amazing salad of JOY. If you’re doing Weight Watchers, this little salad is 3 Points Plus for 2 cups of arugula, 1/2 oz pine nuts and 1 tsp truffle oil. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and you’re ready to go… Just saying. And if you’re not on weight watchers, add parmesan cheese. Oh hell, even if you are…it’s worth the extra points.
Speaking of which…that leads me to…
Forget regular paprika. This smoky sister to the standard spice brings out ALL the FLAVORS. So much delicious in EVERYTHING. Yumm-o. I use it on meat a lot (chicken, pork, lamb, beef – makes no difference to me). And in my chili. And sometimes on veggies.
There are definitely more random food items, but I figured I’d start you off small. If you haven’t tried these beautiful creations, go forth and get the fuck on it. Because they’ll make you happy.