Hey Friends! One of my all time favorite ways to show how easy it can be to live a healthy lifestyle is with a little tour of my fridge and pantry. So that’s what I’ll share with you all today. I get asked often how I keep my fridge stocked when I might be recipe testing, at the restaurant all day, or traveling! And the answer is to be flexible, control what you can control, and always try to keep some color around.
When you first open my fridge, the thing you might notice is that it doesn’t look like a typical fridge. I might have quart containers full of sauces or spreads I’m testing (these are containers frequently used in the restaurant world). There might be one item in bulk if I’ve been experimenting with a new recipe (like Brussels sprouts for roasting or cilantro for a sauce). But, you’ll also find some core staples and ingredients that I always keep around.
I always have a big bottle filled with water so that it will be ready and waiting for me in the morning when I get up, to be filled with my daily scoop of Athletic Greens. This is how I prefer to start my day, and gives me a big boost that really takes my day to the next level.
Lemons and limes are one of my favorite ingredients in the kitchen. There are so many ways to use them, from zest to juice to the peel itself, so you can never go wrong by having tons of these guys around.
I keep plenty of sauces in the fridge as well. Many of these are homemade and created from herbs and roasted vegetables — like the butternut squash spread we use at Charley St or our roasted tomato beet sauce. Some are condiments like fish sauce, tamari, or mustard, which are all incredible incorporations into recipes.
Next, as I mentioned before, you’ll find tons of “meal prep” items, or recipes I’m testing. I usually try to keep some roasted veggies on deck, as well as cooked grains and maybe a protein or two. Boiled eggs, poached chicken, or a vegan option like chickpeas are great for me to have around, as I need plenty of protein to support my workouts.
Last but not least, I always try to keep some fresh herbs in the fridge. These are used in my spreads and sauces, but also make for a great tasty, nutritious, and colorful garnish on any bowl or plate. I personally love cilantro, dill, and basil. You can whip up a quick pesto in seconds if you have any of these herbs around!
My fridge is almost always stocked thanks to what I do every day in the restaurant, but if you’re looking to start from scratch and build the color-packed fridge or pantry of your dreams, I suggest starting small. Pick a few key items you use in your kitchen often, and a few basic pantry staples.
Make sure you have healthy colorful ingredients that are prepped and ready to go, so you can take the guesswork out of your healthy routine. Then, when you’re ready to get cooking, all your healthy ingredients are right there for you and ready to go. Preparing in advance and controlling those things you can control — like which ingredients you buy organic, which you can find locally — makes all the difference.
Dan Churchill is the Executive Chef at Charley St. Café in New York City, host of his Feast With Friends show – and he’s constantly creating recipes for his YouTube and Instagram followers. Dan also knows the importance of food, fitness and a healthy lifestyle. In addition to being an avid surfer who recently completed a marathon, he was the personal chef for skier Lindsey Vonn during the 2018 Olympics.
Check out our full Open Kitchen line of essentials, like Dan uses, here!