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The 5 Groceries a Meal Prep Pro Can’t Live Without

published May 21, 2020
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Credit: Slender Kitchen

As the co-founder of healthy meal-planning site Slender Kitchen, Kristen has a packed schedule. But that doesn’t stop her from creating mouthwatering, crowd-pleasing dishes — have you seen her Instagram feed? From curry salmon burgers to stovetop spinach and mushroom lasagna, she’s a pro at keeping family dinner healthy and satisfying. Here are the five items she always has on her shopping list.

Credit: Slender Kitchen

1. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Slender Kitchen has a treasure trove of recipes starring this versatile protein. (We’re big fans of the One-Pan Teriyaki Chicken Thighs and Vegetables.) “From a quick and easy stir-fry to tacos to homemade chicken strips, chicken thighs can work in so many different dishes,” Kristen says. “Plus, they have more fat (and flavor!) than chicken breasts, so they are harder to overcook.”

Credit: Slender Kitchen

2. Pace® Mild Picante Sauce

Kristen and her crew don’t wait ’til Taco Tuesday for this Southwestern blend of tomatoes, savory onions, and hand-picked jalapeños. “Everyone in my family, including my two-year-old and four-year-old, loves the bold flavors of Pace® Mild Picante Sauce. From breakfast tacos to snacks to easy slow cooker shredded chicken, we go through a couple of jars weekly,” Kristen says. “It’s also a great way to add veggies to any meal since it’s packed with the finest tomatoes, jalapeños, and onions.”

Credit: Slender Kitchen

3. Plain Greek Yogurt

The A-list ingredient in Slender Kitchen’s Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken keeps the chicken super moist while it’s baking. “Greek yogurt is one of those powerhouse ingredients that has so many uses beyond smoothies and breakfast bowls, although we use it for that daily,” Kristen says. “You can make healthy dips and dressings, add it to pasta to create creamy sauces, use it as a marinade for incredibly tender chicken and pork, and use it in baked goods and breads.”

Credit: Slender Kitchen

4. Frozen Cauliflower Rice

Healthy cauliflower rice is a Slender Kitchen staple both online and at home. “One of my daughters is super picky, and cauliflower rice is a veggie I can sneak in everything: mac and cheese, smoothies, pancakes, eggs, oatmeal, and rice bowls,” Kristen says. “Its mild flavor is virtually undetectable for even the pickiest eater, and it requires no chopping or extra prep work.”

Credit: Slender Kitchen

5. Quinoa

Whether baked into Banana Quinoa Chia Muffins or simmered in Slow Cooker Garlic Mushroom Quinoa, quinoa is one of Kristen’s go-to ingredients. “Leftovers are a staple in our house for lunches and more often than not, quinoa is part of that meal. From quick grain bowls to salads and stir-fries, quinoa is a nutrient and protein-packed grain that works with almost any flavor profile.”