Nourish Yourself in the New Year: Love Your Lists

Originally, I was just going to write about keeping a par stock list to keep track of your (fabulously efficient) pantry. But then I looked around my own kitchen and realized I have three lists working synergistically to help me keep the basics well-stocked and use what I have on hand to turn out healthy meals. Here’s how I use them and how they work together.

par-stock-lists-post1.    Par Stock — In professional kitchens, chefs keep what’s called a “par stock,” which basically means a minimum level of essential ingredients. I’ve adapted this practice for my own kitchen with a laminated list of the ingredients my family can’t do without: olive oil, garlic, milk, bread, etc.. Then I go through the list to check the status of each ingredient before heading out to the store. Working with a par stock virtually eliminates those annoying “uh, oh, we’re out of olive oil” trips.

2.    Produce List – There’s always something in the fridge. If you’ve been to the farmers’ market, it’ll be full of veggies. If you’ve roasted a chicken over the weekend there might be some extra breast meat. The trick is keeping track of everything you have so you’ll use it before it spoils. I’m an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of person, so this was a real challenge for me before I found a simple solution . . . in black and white, right before my eyes: a chalkboard. Now, when I come back from the market or if I’ve just picked a crop from the garden, I jot down what I’ve put in the fridge on the blackboard by the kitchen. I love to sit down, sip a cup of tea and let my mind wander to concoct meals out of what’s written on the board.

3.    Cupboard List — My grains, pulses and legumes are on a shelf above eye-level so, in the spirit of my produce chalkboard, I’ve added a white-board to the inside of the cupboard door to keep track of how much quinoa and rice and red lentils I’ve got stashed up there.

The idea is to form a system of lists that keeps your basics stocked while capturing the ever-changing contents of your fridge and cupboards so you know what you have to work with at a glance. The payoff? Big savings on time, money and effort come mealtime . . . and a healthier approach to boot.

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Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

Hey there ... I'm Lia Huber

My mission is to inspire and equip you to live a richer life through real food by becoming a more competent, confident home cook.


I’m the author of Nourished: A Memoir of Food, Faith, and Enduring Love, founder and CEO of Nourish Evolution, and the creator of Cook the Seasons, Home Cooking School, and the Real Food Reset, and I empower intentional women to cook in a way that brings them (and their families) joy, health, and ease.

Making the shift from processed food to real food doesn’t happen overnight. It’s an evolution that occurs over time, with effort, intention, and belief. And it will change the course of your life. Are you ready to take the first step? I’m so glad you’re here … and I’m honored to be with you on the journey to becoming nourished!

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