Now that your pantry is singing your praises it is time to start filling in the blank spots. Not all of the spots, one of the goals is to simplify, right?
Sort your canned, boxed and baking ingredients in their own space/shelf. Label and date items that are time sensitive, especially baking powder… if your cakes or muffins flop…well, it’s not like I didn’t tell you.
You will find that if you get rid of the “whites” and slowly incorporate whole foods that your pantry will naturally become gluten free (with the exception of some grains)
- white flour: try unbleached whole wheat white. King Arthur has an easy to find product
- white sugar: try sucanat, turbinado or raw organic agave. when baking try applesauce.
There are 7 basic things you should have stocked in your pantry at all times
- canned tomatoes
- olive oil and vinegar
- make great fillers with veggies for hot or cold dishes/salads
- bulk out a rice dish, burgers or casseroles with beans
- you can puree any kind of bean to make a dip. add fresh herbs and spices
- perfect for soups, whole or pureed
- when using dry beans, reconstitute with dried herbs & water
- you can freeze reconstituted beans, for a quick fix, not canned beans.
- a serving size is 1/2 cup or 1/2 baseball
- look for baby french lentils, split peas, black beans, adzuki (tab bit sweet), dahl, cannelloni, and kidney beans
- you should have whole grain rice in your pantry…if not get rid of the instant stuff…NOW… we can wait for you. I must admit that one indulgence of mine for white rice is jasmine.
- rice is a prefect alternative for pasta in chilled salads or served under a main dish (meatballs, roasted eggplant etc)
- easy as a chilled salad on bed of greens, bulk it up with raw/ roasted/lightly steamed veggies
- you can freeze cooked rice. make extra and baggie it for later
- a serving size is 1 cup or the size of a baseball/fist
- look for long grain brown, sweet brown rice (stickier), bamboo rice, Himalayan red, thai black sticky, brown basmati, brown arborio, and jasmine (you can find in white or brown)
- buy these in bulk to save some cash: diced and sauce
- you can use these for anything..almost. Soups, 5 minute tomato sauce, add to cook meats, and veggies. This recipe is a killer
- canned tomatoes have a higher content of lycopene (antioxidant/cancer fighter) than fresh. It is one of the only veggies/fruits that is actually better for you cooked.
- some may not agree because there are so many oils now available. There is coconut, walnut, canola, and so on. I grew up with olive oil, so olive oil it is. That said, be aware of where your oil is sourced. Here is a great link.
- limit oils & fats to 6 tsp a day, 1 serving 1/2 tsp or fingertip
- my mom use to out olive oil on my sunburns when I was a child
- vinegar can make an ordinary salad special. You can flavor your own vinegar. I never buy dressing it is too easy to make your own vinaigrette. Here is a recipe Mark Bittman style
- Look for olive oil that is extra virgin olive oil, first pressing, cold pressed. white wine, balsamic, and cider vinegar
- if you go meat free, nuts are the perfect way to add a bit of protein and healthy fats into your diet but don’t go overboard.
- 1 serving is 1/4 cup, 1 layer in your palm, or about 10-15 almonds
- nuts are the perfect snack to keep in your purse or car, kicking hunger to the curb. 1 serving a day. here is a snack recipe
- perfect toasted or raw on a salad or in a bean/rice/grain salad
- pulse it with fresh herbs, citrus zest and liquid/oil to make a quick dressing or nut spread for toast points/veggeis
- keep frozen to maintain freshness, if you buy a gigantic bag
- here is another great link about seeds & nuts
- walnuts have healthy omega’s and almonds are full of magnesium (calming), brazil nuts help calm you too.
- look for walnuts, almonds (whole/sliced), cashews, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds (raw/toasted), chia and flax seeds
- I love low sodium Better than Bullion brand but use what you like.
- you and your broth will become the best of friends because it is so versatile. As you cut sodium out of your diet you will get use to flavor instead.
- use to make your rice
- look for low sodium
- these will also be a stand in for pasta as a side or under veggies/meat
- make a chewy breakfast oatmeal by adding grains to your oatmeal. try a slow cook , overnight oatmeal by using a 1 cup dry, 1 cup dried apricots, 1 cup dried blueberries fruit, and 4 1/2 cups liquid
- perfect addition to soups or as a filler for ground meat dishes
- 1-2 serving a day. one serving 1/2 cup
- look for quinoa, spelt (low gluten), kamut, millet, rolled oats