Saturday, 19 March 2016

What's in your Fridge?

Do you often go to your refrigerator and find nothing to eat? Happens with me all the time! I look at all the things I pick up from grocery stores and try to fix something to eat but something or the other is always missing. The other day I casually mentioned this to Rubab Arif - my first guru for the blog, an expert not only in traditional Pakistani cooking but all kinds of cuisines. It is a great skill to perfectly cook dishes with such variant tastes and styles. I think that is one of her biggest quality. She is super innovative in her kitchen and her cooking is always finger licking good.

At her house, with a cup of tea in her hand, she casually gave me amazing and practical tips to satisfy my untimely hunger pangs. I have tried them all and they are a life saver! Less time and effort in kitchen and yet a healthy and hearty meal at home! Saves time, money and energy.

I decided to do this post to make sure you all spend less time in kitchen and more on reading my blog :).

Before I give you the tips, let me tell you that Rubab shares her treasured recipes and tips on Facebook through her recently launched page Rubab's Treasure Box. Trust me, it is a page full of treasures! 

So, if you have already counted the things in your refrigerator, see if it matches with the list of my guru which is very concise and practical list. This list will also help you plan your grocery and do a week’s cooking in advance if you are a lazy and forever hungry person like me! And your trips to the fridge will be fun :)

You must have in your fridge:

Boiled Chicken

Grilled Chicken
Boil and shred chicken and store in small containers. It will last for a month or more in freezer and for a week in refrigerator. This shredded chicken can be used in sandwiches, salads, or omelets. Days when you just want to have a heavy breakfast, add chicken to your regular omelet to make it rich. Shredded chicken mixed with a bit of mayonnaise or cream cheese, seasoned with salt and pepper makes an excellent sandwich spread. If you are into healthy eating, nothing is better than a salad made of your favorite vegetables and fruits mixed with shredded chicken. 

*Always store in small containers or zip lock bags. Enough quantity for one serving so that you thaw or defrost only the amount you need, avoiding wastage. 

Grilled Chicken

Marinate chicken with a bit of Olive oil (or whatever oil you use), garlic paste, chili powder and salt for 3-4 hours. Cook this chicken on a griller or on a frying pan. You can freeze it (lasts for a month or more) or keep it in refrigerator for a week. Grilled chicken can be used any time to make sandwiches, fried rice, spaghetti, macaronis or salad. You will find more tips for using grilled chicken as you read further.


A very important ingredient for sandwiches, burgers and many other dishes. Apart from cheese slices, it will be great to have cream cheese as well.  Here is unique recipe from Rubab's treasure box. 

Recipe#1 Cheese Toasts

Ingredients: (1 sandwich)
Bread slices 2
Cheese slices 1 (or 2 if you like it cheesy)
Well beaten egg 1
Smoked paprika (Can be replaced by black pepper but smoked paprika is recommended)

1. Put the slice(s) of cheese on the bread and sprinkle smoked paprika. Put the other bread slice to make sandwich
2. Dip the sandwich in well beaten plain egg in such a way that both sides are well coated.
3. Fry in pan sprayed with oil until golden brown.

Simple, easy and filling!

Minced Meat

Minced meat is cooked really quickly. It can be used in so many ways. A simple tip is to buy and wash minced chicken or beef, add salt, black pepper, spring onions, ginger and garlic paste and mix well. Make thin layers (half inch) 3x3 inches squares and freeze them, separate the layers using sheets of cling film. The benefit of thin layers is that it will thaw in 5 -10 minutes when needed. Once thawed, you can make kebabs or burger patties by reshaping it and frying it. You can also fry finely chopped onions, add the meat and cook till the water dries. You can have this cooked meat with bun or chapati or you can also mix this in boiled macaroni or spaghetti. 

Boiled White Rice

I was also surprised at this but Rubab says that she always have plain boiled white rice in her fridge. It can last up to a week in a storage container. You can also utilize left over boiled rice. You can use boiled rice to fix chicken and vegetable fried rice with a few easy steps. I have added two recipes using rice later in the post. Keep reading :D



If you want to enjoy fried rice, buy vegetables, wash them, cut them and chuck them in freezer in small containers or zip lock bags. Vegetables come in really handy when you need to urgently cook something to eat. Keep vegetables like
Green peas
Green Beans
Having all these readily available gives you room be innovative in the kitchen but without spending a lot of time. You should also keep lettuce and cherry tomatoes if you love salads. 

Recipe #2 Spinach and Cheese Rice

Ingredients (Serves 1)
Spinach - 1 cup
Boiled/grilled chicken - half cup
Boiled rice - 1 cup
Shredded cheddar cheese - to taste 
Salt and black pepper

1. In a pan, put a table spoon of oil and fry spinach for a while. (You can directly put frozen spinach)
2. Add boiled or grilled chicken and mix.
3. Mix in the boiled rice.
4. Sprinkle salt and pepper 
5. Add cheese on top and mix. 

A tasty and healthy rice dish is ready. 

Recipe #3: Fried Rice 

Ingredients: (Serves 1)

Carrots - 20 grams
Green beans - 30 grams
Peas -30 grams
Capsicum - 20 grams
Boiled or grilled chicken - half cup
Soy sauce (optional)
Boiled rice - 1 cup
Salt and black pepper

1. Add oil in a pan and put all the vegetables except capsicum. Cook till the veges are soft.
2. Add chicken and fry. Season with salt and black pepper.
3. Add boiled rice and capsicum. Mix well.
4. Sprinkle a little soy sauce (optional) and cover the lid. Simmer for 5 minutes!

How easy is that? Just 5 (or less) steps if you have all the things in your fridge!


A must, must! I think I can never get bored of eating eggs. There are so many different ways of making eggs that a person can survive just on eggs for quite sometime. You can make a rich omelet with cheese, veges and chicken. You can also boil eggs, mash them, mix some mayonnaise, salt and black pepper and use it as spread for egg sandwiches. I should do a blog on eggs! Just eggs.

 Milk and Yogurt

There are so many health benefits of eating yogurt that I think it should be always in your fridge . It is a rich source of calcium and contains probiotics which are good for digestive system.You can have ready made fruit yogurts if you don’t like plain or make your own fruit yogurt by adding pulp and small pieces of your favourite fruit. Yogurt also tastes very nice with nuts. Or you can blend it with milk and sugar and get a glass of refreshing lassi. Health conscious people can have smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruits of their choice!

Fruits and Berries

Having fruits as a part of your diet is the best way of getting the essential minerals that nature has packed for you. Keep fruits and snack on them to stay healthy. An additional thing that I often do is that in one go, I peel and cut fruits like mango, passion fruit, banana, chicko, kiwi, papaya, lemons etc and freeze them in separate containers. You can chuck fruits like kiwi or lemons in a blender with some ice, a pinch of salt and black pepper, mint leaves, sugar and get refreshing fruit crush!  You can make healthy smoothies with fruits like mango, passion fruit and banana. A pack of frozen strawberries and blue berries in your freezer will always come in handy!    

Nuts and Crackers

For healthy snacking always keep nuts and crackers. You can serve crackers with cheese, nuts, berries to any guests at home or just enjoy them in evening for those untimely cravings. Add nuts in your salads, cereals or just have them as is!

Bread/Frozen paratha/Lebanese or pita bread/Tortilla & Noodles family: 

It is a great blessing in days you are too tired to cook. Just roll grilled chicken, freshly chopped onion and tomatoes, ranch dressing (optional) mayonnaise or ketchup or chili sauce in pita bread or any bread and enjoy a homemade healthy meal.

Recipe #4 Lebanese Wrap

Ingredients: (Serves 1)
Grilled or boiled Chicken - 1/4 Cup
Shredded Iceberg Lettuce - 1/4 cup
Mayonnaise - 1 tablespoon
Salt and black pepper to taste

1. Spread mayonnaise on the bread
2. Spread a layer of lettuce and chicken
3. Season with salt and pepper
4. Make a roll and toast it on a frying pan. Put something heavy like another pot or lid on the wrap while toasting (optional). Turn and toast the other side.

You will love this wrap!

Noodles, spaghetti, macaronis can also be boiled and refrigerated and mixed with any of the things to replace rice. Just to add variety :)

Ta da! You have a list of grocery ready for your monthly shopping. Do try out these amazing tips & I will love to hear your feedback! Keep following Rubab's Treasure Box and The Ordinary Girl for more collaborated posts that we have lined up!

Happy shopping, cooking and eating :)


  1. Too good, yet cumbersome for me ❤️

  2. OOOF Mehwesh this is my third comment on this post and I dont know why every time I post the comment it asks me assign in and erases all the comments

    1. I am so sorry! I seriously dont know why this happens :(... I have removed all kinds of security conditions too...

  3. Good... so finally it went for approval...
    First of all I will like to thank you for this post... its just in time when needed...
    I am not a big fan of keeping things refrigerated but I must say I never thought of keeping grilled chicken for a week in refrigerator. Something that never occurred to me partly because I hate cooking :) and yes I know hate is a strong word :D
    We have to prepare and plan everything even for our favorite chicken cheese omelet. Never thought of it that I can prepare in advance just toss it in the omelet any morning. I am particularly looking forward to the spinach and cheese rice. They seem delicious. And everything is in perfect mood of manha and me.
    I am quite a fresh person for cooking and these recipes will be handy. I know that there are too many things over the internet but I will take this opportunity to thank you and your friend to put this together for a lazy person like me to get it over in just one go. It takes time to search and get organised for cooking hahhaha...
    I always have something important missing in refrigerator for these times when are in mood of a sandwich or quick pasta salad. So there is nothing quick.

    1. Yeayyy!!! finally you can comment!

      Thank you so much! I am equally lazy and yes these tips have been really handy for me too...

      I plan on doing another one for sandwiches using these same ingredients but playing around with sauces and dips! Keep reading :) <3

    2. I am into italian herb seasoning right now.. easy peasy olive oil vinegar lemon salt pepper garlic thyme and top it with a little mustard... here you go for a quick grilled chicken veggie salad ... try :D btw thats a tested and improved recipe from an indian muslim friend :D

    3. Seeeee... I told you, you can do a guest post on this blog ... hehe .. Let me know whenever you are ready ...

      and Yes... I will try the recipe too... Thanks!

  4. Can't wait for your blog post on eggs :D

    1. Hahah .. I cant wait to have cheese omelet tomorrow!

  5. I must admit I have very few of these items as a vegetarian with a lactose intolerant child. I do agree with her idea of having some veggies preprepped to make meal time more convenient.

  6. Cook once and eat two or three times. Works for me.

  7. Good thing about being a vegetarian is that you dont have to "Cook" so long. May be one day I will also become a vegan ...

  8. Yeah Candace Kage .. I also do that most of the time!

  9. this falls perfectly into the meal-prep thingy I have going on lately. Need to adapt that a little as I have one vegan and one vegetarian in the family, but it helps me prep my meals - I love grilled chicken, even if I am the only one in the house! Blessings!

  10. Thanks for reading Claudia :) Do share some vegan recipes.. I need inspiration ;)

  11. My son loves Vegan dishes and would definitely enjoy this dish.

  12. I always have tortillas, cheese, and black beans. Perfect for easy quesadillas. You certainly have a lot handy!