Fast and Easy Healthful Meal Staples

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Cooking healthy at home is easier than you think when you stock staples that are functional, healthful, and most of all, delicious. Having the right foods at hand when you need them can keep you from making fast-food runs or calling for pizza - plus, they can help you prepare a meal in the time it takes to pick up takeout food or wait for delivery.

Take your family's favorite tastes into account and try to incorporate those flavors in your nonperishable foods and spices. For example, if you all love Italian food, then stock up on spices like garlic, basil and oregano. Italian-flavored tomatoes make a great base for stews and casseroles, so a few cans are a great investment. Other canned foods to have on hand are spaghetti and pizza sauces, salsas, and Asian-influenced sauces like hoisin, stir-fry and soy sauces. Beans make a cheap, nutritious fiber source - keeping canned and dried beans stocked can reduce your reliance on expensive meats in chilis and other dishes.