How to Stock a Holiday Kitchen | The Italy Diaries

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I just got back from Southern Italy. I spent 12 days there, switched off from social media completely, rented a car and explored! I’ve got three vlogs coming your way, so keep an eye out for those, as well as a food haul — and this!

I stayed in an AirBnB while I was there so that I could have access to a kitchen and ensure that I still made a least some of my meals, both to save money but also to be able to control what I was eating a little more.

Here’s an entire video that I made on the groceries I picked up while I was there — in a kitchen that was utterly bare save for salt and pepper. I thought this might prove useful to anyone who is in a similar situation while travelling, or has to buy a few ingredients to tide them over in a new house.

As I mentioned in the video, I also brought a few ingredients with me from home, including some rice cakes, oats, cashew butter, raisins and a couple of other odds and ends.

As promised, here are a few of the meals I made while there — unfussy, uncomplicated meals for breakfast and lunch. I ate out most nights for dinner, or had leftovers.

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Breakfast: rice cakes, cashew butter, a banana and a double espresso


Breakfast: porridge, milled flaxseed, cashew butter, a banana and a double espresso


Lunch (coming up in Sunday’s vlog): couscous and roasted vegetables on a bed of spinach


Lunch: couscous, sautéed onions and courgettes, roasted peppers and grilled paprika chicken

What was missing, and what was an unnecessary purchase:

The pearl barley was a mistake, although I didn’t realise at the time what it was (the Italian label confused me). I wish I’d gotten either risotto or regular rice. The couscous was a great idea in terms of time (obviously you just pour water on top of it and let it steam), but it’s not my favourite grain so having something to swap it out with would’ve been ideal.

The cabbage was also unnecessary, and honestly, I didn’t end up eating it. It is slightly odd, because I love snacking on cabbage (I’m weird, I know), but yes, could’ve done without that.

What I definitely needed more of, and which I mentioned in the video, was protein. I got some chicken later in the week, although I’d originally wanted fish, I couldn’t find any at the times I went looking. I also would have definitely bought another spice to cook with, preferably cumin, as for me that’s an essential and would’ve helped a lot with flavour.

There you have it! Overall it was a good shop, and I’d recommend just breaking this down to the basics like I did so you know what you’re making and how to narrow down ingredients. I’m happy to answer any questions, although I hope most of them are answered in the video, so please do give that a watch.


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