I didn’t say it was organized.

But if you look a little closer (that’s a big ol’ roasted turkey breast that Baby Parker is reaching for), you’ll see that we have 3 shelves and a crisper drawer of goodness.

Confession: there’s also a bag of Peanut Butter M&M’s propped up in the back, by the mustard jar, but that’s just my down and dirty way to conquer chocolate cravings.

The truth is, if you don’t keep junk around, you don’t eat junk. Sure, we stop at the corner pizzeria and we pop into Magnolia Bakery because it is (fortunately? unfortunately?) across from Parker’s favorite playground but when we eat at home, we eat well… because there are no alternatives. Some ingredients- like Dijon mustard and fresh herbs- actually inspire us to put down the chips (oh how we love our salty chips…) and be our best selves.

Our fridge and our family wouldn’t run without these 10 can’t-live-without ingredients. Try out a well-stocked fridge—see how much better you eat and feel!

10 “Fit Fridge” Must-Haves 

  1. Greek Yogurt (we like Chobani)- Newsflash- Yogurt isn’t just for breakfast anymore!  Okay, you already knew that. What really surprises me, though, is how we sneak yummy, thick, Greek yogurt into breakfast, lunch & dinner in our house.  Even our Super Bowl snacks (hello, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes w Garlic-Horseradish Yogurt “Cream!”) get a boost from tangy Chobani.
  2. Eggs (we like Eggland’s Best)- The easiest, most perfect protein on the planet. I keep a few hard-boiled in a Tupperware, I make a half dozen into egg-salad, I save another half dozen for Parker Lee’s breakfast scramble… It feels like my better half is missing when there are no eggs on the top shelf, left-hand side.
  3. Chicken (we like Murray’s)- We’re bad when we’re hungry. We’re good when we eat chicken. Basically, we make really poor choices when our bellies are empty. (Somehow, chips and Twizzlers sound like a balanced meal.) But if we can snack on strips of grilled chicken in between meals, we stay sane and get back to the business of healthy cooking.
  4. Whole Milk– Because Parker is still growing and whole milk is a great substitute for cream in recipes. Oh, and because Brooke’s a.m. coffee wouldn’t be the same with water-y skim.
  5. Cheese- Asking me to pick my favorite cheese is like asking Parker to choose her favorite Backyardigan (Tasha? Uniqua? Tyrone?) Three to five cheeses is the norm for our fridge, which we realize to be… just perfect. Kidding! That might sound like a lot but for sandwiches, pastas, casseroles and happy hour, we like: 1 hard cheese (parmesan), 1 soft cheese (brie , camembert or taleggio), 1 blend (cow, goat, sheep), 1 crumbly (feta, queso fresco or blue) and 1 knock-your-socks-off-totally-stinky (Stilton, Epoisses). We live mere blocks from Murray’s Cheese on Bleeker- Brooke’s livin’ the dream!
  6. Haas avocadoes– Avocadoes and eggs are tied for  “Wonder Food” status. Truthfully, we don’t really store them in the fridge, but they’re such a staple, we had to include them. Whether we’re whipping up the Avocado Crema from our cookbook (pg 60), throwing a Mexican Fiesta Family Night with Jamie’s Outrageous Avocado Pork Soft Tacos, or just looking for something to spread on our whole-grain bread at breakfast- We HEART Haas Avocadoes!
  7. Dijon mustard– Talk about heavy lifting. This little bottle lifts and seasons everything it touches. It’s the secret, calorie-free ingredient of champions that lends flavor and depth to proteins (Quick n’Easy Salmon, Herb-Crusted Turkey Breast), makes salad dressings oh-so-French and serves as the crown jewel on any sandwich.
  8. Fresh herbs– A flash of green, a burst of flavor. We especially love basil, cilantro, tarragon, thyme, marjoram and oregano. Let them stew or throw them in at the last minute.
  9. Veggies (we like Dole)– Our crisper drawer is stuffed to the gills. Dole is our go-to brand for veggie packs, pre-washed mixed greens, baby arugula and every toddler’s personal fave- the broccoli/cauliflower combo.  Veggies serve as the base for our meals, whether in sautees, stir-fries, egg frittatas, garden pastas, stews or monster salads.
  10. Sriracha– Every chef’s ‘secret’ ingredient (sorry, honey). The blend of sun-ripened  chiles and garlic adds a perfectly balanced blend of spicy and sweet to any of your favorite dishes, calorie-free. Brooke proudly uses it like ketchup on everything from her morning eggs, to lunchtime sandwiches to late-night steak & Brussels.