Since most people only usually do the 21-Day Clean Program once or twice per year, we thought you might like a look at a balanced pantry and fridge tour with Kaitlyn Noble, one of our regular blog contributors. She has tips on a well-prepped fridge, since her work has her on-the-go all day long. She makes sure every ingredient is ready for easy, 10-minute meals.
Hi! I'm Kate. I'm a recipe developer and food photographer - you can see a lot of my work here on the Clean Program blog as well as my personal blog. I am also the owner of Noble Wellness where I work with private clients in pilates, barre, and HIIT training. I live in Los Angeles and spend most of my free time at the beach, hiking with Tyson my black lab, or exploring LA's incredible food scene with my boyfriend Alex.
I'm obsessed with all things food - eating it, cooking it, and photographing it. Naturally, I am a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my fridge. I rarely put a veggie in without prepping it first, so at a glance, it looks like a bunch of neatly stacked glass containers, that way everything is ready to go at a moment's notice.
FOOD PREP IS KEY
I spend an hour or so at the beginning of each week prepping as much as I can, and my fridge is usually filled with neatly stacked containers to prove it. This always includes the same basic steps:
- Washing, drying, and de-stemming leafy greens
- Hard-boiling half my eggs for snacks and salad toppers
- Peeling and chopping my veggies into cookable pieces
- Cooking large batches of grains like quinoa and brown rice
- Making nut milk (if I'm feeling ambitious)
I also like to cut the tips off of asparagus and herbs like mint and store them in mason jars with an inch or so of water, then loosely cover them with a ziplock. I make smoothie bags by combining greens, fruit, and booster foods like chia seeds into ziplocks and stick them in the freezer. In the morning all I have to do is dump them into the blender with nut milk and I'm good to go!
I love pasta but unfortunately I can't eat it at every meal and still feel my best. Spiralized zucchini noodles let me have the satisfaction of noodles with more nutrition. My food processor gets a ton of action during food prep. I almost always make cauliflower rice for grain-free stir-frys, and I use the grating setting on carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash for an easy breakfast hash or grab-and-go egg muffins
Dinners are usually some form of animal protein like grass-fed beef, one or two vegetables roasted, and a grain. When I do my food prep ahead of time, I can simply toss my pre-cut veggies with coconut oil and seasoning, then put them in the oven to roast. While my veggies are roasting, I'll sear a steak on the stovetop. While my steak is resting and my veggies are finishing, I'll sautee cooked quinoa with a little ghee and garlic. There is so much less to clean up and dinner is done in less than 20 minutes. If I come home from a long day of work and nothing is prepped, I am a lot more likely to order in. Sunday food prep saves me time and money.
NECESSITIES TO KEEP ON HAND
In addition to all of my prepped food, I have a few things I never go without:
- Lemons and limes: I squeeze lemons over salads, pasta, and into my water to help with detoxing my body daily. I live for Meyer lemons in the summertime.
- Tamari: Tamari goes in most of my Asian cooking. One of my favorite snacks is half an avocado mixed with a little tamari, topped with nutritional yeast, and rolled up in a nori sheet.
- Hot sauce: I am a spice addict. I am constantly on the hunt for the perfect hot sauce (Homeboy's Hot Sauce is my latest love).
- Chia seeds, hemp seeds, Clean Daily Shake, and Spirulina: One of these fridge staples almost always make it into my daily smoothies for a boost of protein and nutrients. Chocolate Daily Shake is especially nice.
- Eggs: I go through a ton of eggs every week. I always buy pasture-raised (vital farms is my go-to). The taste of pasture raised is enough to convince me of the quality. Usually, I buy a 12 pack and I keep 6 raw for scrambles and I hard boil the other half.
I'm a purist when it comes to staples. You won't typically find an exploding pantry or many exotic spice mixes in my kitchen. The things I reach for most often:
- Himalayan sea salt: This is probably my most used item - I think every recipe (even dessert) can use a little salt for balance.
- Matcha tea: I drink a matcha tea every single morning. Coffee makes me jittery so this is a nice alternative that tastes good and gives me (a former coffee addict) that same sense of morning ritual.
- Ghee: Ghee is a form of clarified butter that is rich in nutrients. It has a much higher smoke point than other oils so I use it for higher heat cooking.
- Coconut oil: Just like ghee, coconut oil is great for high-heat cooking. I blend a teaspoon with my matcha tea, hot water, raw cashews, coconut palm sugar, and cinnamon for a morning drink that is energizing and satiating. Since I'm normally out of the house by 5:30 AM to meet with clients, complicated breakfasts aren't in the cards for me.
- Apple cider vinegar: I love the flavor of apple cider vinegar, mixed with good olive oil, and coarse black pepper over butter lettuce. I'll also use a little bit with water as toner which makes my skin glow.
- Nutritional yeast: The list of benefits associated with nutritional yeast is endless, but I honestly just love the flavor. I sprinkle it over brown rice, vegan pizza, and salads.
- Olive oil: I have a great local olive company that I buy my olive oil from at our farmer's market. This is one thing I don't bargain shop for - the taste of the good stuff is worth a higher price to me.
- Wine: A giant glass of wine is my ritual on Friday evening. During the week when I am waking up at I typically avoid alcohol, but I let myself indulge on the weekend.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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