Fridge and Pantry Essentials for a Healthy 2017 + WIN a Prezzy Card

I love the start of a new year.  Even though you can start with plans and goals at any time, the start of a new year just seems like a great time to get organised and kick start the year right.  Having a well stocked fridge and pantry with a few essential items can really help with getting into a good routine with healthy eating and meal preparation.  After all, there’s nothing worse than staring into the fridge or pantry and having no idea what to create – I know I’ve been there!

So to help you out this year,  I’ve put together some ideas on key items to have in your fridge and pantry and some ideas of what to create for yummy, nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks.  And I’m also giving away a $150 Prezzy Card to help you stock up too. Keep reading for details.   So ‘detox’ your pantry of all those old things you never use, and restock so you’re all organised and ready to go for healthy breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Later on I’ll write a post on essentials for dinners.

Pantry essentials:


Brown rice, or for a quick option instant brown rice cups
Tinned chickpeas
Seeds (including chia seeds)
Tinned salmon
Olive oil
Quality breads/wraps
Herbs and spices – my essentials are smoked paprika, oregano, cumin, ground coriander, paprika, chili flakes, garlic powder


Nice to have:

Other dried fruit for bliss balls, muesli bars and homemade granola
Freeze dried fruit – a little expensive but it does go a long way!
Raspberry balsamic vinegar – tastes amazing as a dressing!
Some bliss ball type snacks for those times when you don’t have anything prepared.

Fridge/Freezer essentials:


Feta cheese and hard cheese
Unsweetened natural yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
Frozen berries (or fresh when in season)
Baby spinach or other greens for salads
Cherry tomatoes
Other fruits/vegetables  – chop some up and store in containers in the fridge for snacks


Cheese, yoghurt and milk are an excellent source of calcium, Vitamin A and B12.  Yoghurt and milk are also good sources of protein to help keep you satisfied.

Fruit and vegetables provide lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and can form the base of many meals.  Frozen berries are super handy for smoothies and to add to cereal and oats when berries are not in season.  Eggs are easy and fast to prepare and provide a range of nutrients as well as being a source of protein.


Nice to haves:

Smoked salmon (you can just use tinned salmon as a cheaper option)

Pesto and hummus can be used as spreads and dips and smoked salmon is a good source of protein and omega 3 fats.


So here’s what you can put together:


Overnight oats


A yummy combination of oats, milk, yoghurt, fruit and seeds, this makes a nice alternative to porridge in the summer.  Here’s the basic recipe:

Soak ½ cup of oats with ½ cup milk overnight. In the morning, stir through unsweetened yoghurt, fruit and top with nuts and seeds plus extra fruit and coconut.  You can make more than one day’s worth too, just double or triple etc the recipe.


Chia puddings


The chia seeds in this recipe provide over 11g of fibre –  that’s about 1/3 of your daily needs! Fibre is great for your digestive system and gut bacteria and also helps keep you feeling full.   Chia seeds are also a good source of a number of other vitamins and minerals and contain some plant based omega 3 fats, so they make a nourishing breakfast.   Here’s how to make a basic chia pudding:

Soak 2 tablespoons chia seeds overnight with 1/2 cup of milk.  Add fruit plus nuts and seeds. If you like things a wee bit sweeter drizzle with a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey.   Top with a dollop of yoghurt.  Here’s another recipe for a raspberry and coconut chia pudding too.


Egg breakfasts


There are so many different ways you can have eggs for breakfast.  Poached or scrambled on toast with tomato and avocado,  omelets with vegetables and feta cheese, sweet omelettes with yoghurt and fruit….   Check out the recipes I have here for some inspiration.


Homemade muesli


A combination of oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and either dried or freeze dried fruit makes a delicious nourishing breakfast.  I’ve got a couple of yummy recipes here cashew, coconut and strawberry and also a recipe for plum, cashew and coconut muesli/granola. Top with a dollop of natural  yoghurt.



Smoothies are a great quick breakfast that you can have on the go.  There’s so many ways you can create a smoothie but my basic formula is a mixture of milk, yoghurt, fruit, vegetables and nuts or seeds.  I’ve created a guide for making balanced smoothies here.


Lunch ideas


Having some quick, healthy lunch options makes life so much easier. With just a few items listed above you can create a range of different lunch options in less than five minutes.  Here’s some options for one serve –


  • Heat one brown rice cup and mix through salmon, feta cheese, avocado, cherry tomato, red onion, red capsicum and baby spinach.  Stir through a teaspoon of raspberry balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  • Rinse and drain a tin of chickpeas.  Heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a pan.  Add the half the chickpeas and sprinkle over 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika and a sprinkle of dried oregano. Place in a bowl and mix through a heaped teaspoon of pesto. Add cherry tomato halves, chopped capsicum, and a sprinkle of feta cheese and a tablespoon of cashew nuts.
  • Cook a serve of quinoa as per instructions on packet.  Mix through some smoked salmon, chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion.  Add a dollop of natural yoghurt mixed with fresh herbs.
  • Heat one brown rice cup and place in bowl. Add baby spinach, chopped cherry tomato, cucumber, avocado and chickpeas (if you want, pan fry in olive oil with some smoked paprika first), feta cheese.
  • A range of sandwiches and wraps – you can make them vegetarian with cheese and salad, or do smoked salmon and salad or even mashed feta and chickpea with salad.


Snack ideas

I find I need a snack between meals some days to help tide me over and these are some of my favourite nourishing options that are also delicious 🙂


With the essentials listed you can have:

*Yoghurt with berries or other fruit
*A handful of nuts
*Homemade bliss balls (check out a recipe here) or store bought bars/balls for those times you don’t have anything prepared.
*Roasted chickpeas (recipe here)
*Vegetable sticks, cheese and hummus
* Individual yoghurt containers.  I like De Winkle plain unsweetened. These are great to grab for work when you’re running late!


I hope this helps you to kick start 2017 with lots of healthy meal ideas.  To help you out, I’m also giving away a $150 Prezzy card! To be in the draw to win, simply comment below with what your favourite idea is from above.  Competition is open to NZ residents only sorry and will be drawn on Saturday 14th January.  Winner will be notified by email and published on this post after the 14th January.

WINNER:  Congratulations Maia!  Check your emails 🙂

This post was made possible thanks to Fonterra.








585 Responses to Fridge and Pantry Essentials for a Healthy 2017 + WIN a Prezzy Card

  1. Brooke Swaney January 12, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    The chickpea salad for lunch sounds delish! Definitely one to try xx

  2. Emily Griffin January 12, 2017 at 4:01 pm #

    I always struggle with ideas for lunches so that whole section was my favourite, but particularly the quinoa, smoked salmon and veges!

  3. Lyn January 12, 2017 at 4:04 pm #

    Keen to give sweet omelettes a go!! Thanks ????????

  4. Vanessa January 12, 2017 at 4:15 pm #

    The chia pudding looks amazing!!

  5. Gemma January 12, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

    the different variations for eggs. love eggs! thanks for the ideas.

  6. Abbie January 12, 2017 at 4:28 pm #

    The chickpeas, vege and feta idea sounds divine and so easy to make for lunch! Especially since I’m always running late and that sounds awesome. Will definitely be trying that

  7. Mel January 12, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

    Definitely chia seed pudding! Never attempted to make before but would love to

  8. Samantha Leigh January 12, 2017 at 5:20 pm #

    All of the lunch ideas sound absolutely delicious! Would love to win the voucher towards ingredients to try some! Thanks 🙂

  9. Rena January 12, 2017 at 5:38 pm #

    Lunch idea! Convenient for those long uni days 🙂

  10. Kate January 12, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

    Love the homemade muesli!! Always a good option

  11. Naziya January 12, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

    Homemade Bliss Balls for sure ! They look really yummy and look really easy to make. I’m alway craving that 3pm snack at work and this would be perfect and its healthy !

  12. Amy January 12, 2017 at 5:43 pm #

    I love the green smoothie recipe, I struggle with making good flavour combinations. This sounds like the perfect mix to get that green into me!

  13. Mackenzie January 12, 2017 at 6:05 pm #

    The lunch ideas! I love salmon but can’t afford to buy it very often. Tinned salmon is a great idea, as is frying the chickpeas with some yummy flavours!

  14. Connie January 12, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    Love the idea of homemade bliss balls, currently buy them but want to start making them. Love the recipe provided!

  15. Nic January 12, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

    The snack balls.

  16. Sandra Davie January 12, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

    This looks a lot like my pantry and fridge 🙂

    Have never had roasted chickpeas though – awesome idea, can’t wait to try it out!

  17. CHERYL January 12, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    Lunch ideas look great! So keen to try something new and surprisingly have a lot of the ingredients already in the fridge! 🙂

  18. Kat OConnell January 12, 2017 at 8:00 pm #

    Lunch ideas. I am running out healthy ideas so this is a great ideas for me

  19. Olivia January 12, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    The chia seed puddings. Amazing idea! I’m going to make some right now for tomorrow’s dessert 🙁

  20. Caitlyn January 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

    I would love to try the roasted chickpeas as a snack option, sounds yummy ????

  21. Alex January 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm #

    The bliss balls! They are such a good thing to have on hand, even grab in the morning on my way to work to have something to get my metabolism started and then have my overnight oats at my desk at work. Also grab a bliss ball between meetings or on my way to/from the gym when I’m getting hungry! So good!

  22. Marie snell January 12, 2017 at 8:50 pm #

    I always struggle with snacks and always reach for president packets stuff so the bliss balls took my fancy and looked amazing also loved the idea of the Chia seed puddings I have never had them before as never know how to use them but have been on a weight lose journey and doing so well but needed some new ideas so this will helps helps thank you ???? storing these in the bank for sure

  23. Tori January 12, 2017 at 9:04 pm #

    Home made bliss balls! I suffer terribly from a sweet tooth and these are just what I need to keep the craving at bay!

  24. Evvie January 12, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

    The granola looks like a lovely recipe to try out! Will try out the strawberry and coconut as a breakfast food and a granola bar snack ????????????

  25. Lisa Williams January 12, 2017 at 9:09 pm #

    The first lunch idea with brown rice mix with raspberry vinegarette

  26. Adele Box January 12, 2017 at 9:16 pm #

    I would love the overnight oats or the Chia pudding, I never have enough time in the morning to do a proper breakfast

  27. Tara January 12, 2017 at 9:24 pm #

    Wow those bliss balls look great, they’re expensive to buy pre-made too! Awesome article ????

  28. Tiana January 12, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    Lunch is my weakness, I struggle to stray from the classic cheese and lettuce sandwich so i’ll definitely be trying the quinoa recipe – because I love it!

  29. Stephanie January 12, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

    Omlette with feta + veges ???????????????????? yuuuum *drool ????

  30. Cheyenne January 12, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

    Love the idea for bliss balls. I always find that I need that little snack to keep me going towards the end of the day so will diffently be trying these out.

  31. Rebeka Wolfgramm January 13, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Overnight oats are such an easy idea! Thanks xx

  32. Diane Davidson January 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

    I like the homemade blissballs concept. Mid-afternoon can be a dangerous trap for me . Even though I’ve done well up until 3.30 I find that I frequently feel hyperglycemic at this time of day. A tasty little treat like these would be a quick pick-me-up!

  33. Michele Mehana-Hansen January 13, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    Smoothies sound yum. And guess what hubby won a breville ‘boss to go” smoothies mixer from his work this week. Obviously a sign and a good start for 2017

  34. Ange H January 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    Love the chia puddings. So easy to make and so filling.

  35. Helen January 27, 2017 at 3:15 pm #

    The chia pudding is the one for me sounds yummy

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