Friday, June 18, 2010

My pantry ...

Lately I’ve been having people asking me 1) how my husband lost so much weight (the answer obviously is exercise and healthy eating); 2) my “secrets” (which they aren’t) to healthy cooking; and 3) what I typically serve for meals. Well, I guess first I need to share how I stock my kitchen … looking over this list retrospectively makes me realize how seriously spoiled we are in this nation – all these food options!

(Key: G-Grocery store, C-Costco, A-Amazon or Manufacturer-direct)

My fridge

Baby carrots –G (or Farmer’s Market)
Bell peppers and tomatoes –G (or garden, Farmer’s Market)
Avocados -G
In-season greens (enough for sandwiches and minimum 2 salads/week) –G (or garden, Farmer’s Market)
In-season fruits (enough for minimum 1.5 servings/person/day) –G (or Farmer’s Market)

Lowfat milk -G
Unsweetened almond or coconut milk (fresh, not shelf-stable!) -G
Yogurt (Greek or fruit-sweetened) -G
Block and shredded cheese –G, C
All-natural peanut butter -G, C
“Simply fruit” preserves –G, C
V8 Fusions –G, C
Butter -G
Dijon mustard -G
Ketchup (generally the lowest in sugar I can find) –G
Unsweetened or “All natural” applesauce –G, C
Lunch meats (generally the “higher end” lower sodium varieties) –C
100% whole white wheat bread
Sprouted grain bread

My freezer

Frozen veggies (generally green beans, peas, broccoli, and sweet corn) -C
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts -C
Boneless, skinless chicken thighs -C
Whole young chickens -C
Ground turkey -G
Extra-lean ground beef -G
Tri-tip or sirloin (generally whatever’s more affordable) –G,C
Turkey ham -G
Turkey franks -G
Turkey Kielbasa -G
Hardwood-smoked chicken sausage -G
Breaded fish fillets –G, C
Frozen blueberries -C
Frozen strawberries -C
Frozen blackberries –garden!!
Slow-churned ice cream (yes, we keep it around) –G

My Pantry

Dinner items:
Whole grain Quinoa -C
Quinoa Pasta -G
Brown rice -G
Low-sodium chicken stock -C
Crushed tomatoes -C
Tomato Paste -G
Beans: black, pinto, cannelini, garbanzo –G
Split peas
Olives -G
Garlic -G
Yellow Onions-G
Sweet potatoes -G

Breakfast grains:
Rolled Quick Oats (serve as oatmeal or blend for flour!) –G
Creamy brown rice farina
Fruit-juice sweetened corn or spelt flakes -G
Fruit-juice sweetened crunchy flax or crunchy brown rice -G
Fruit-juice sweetend millet rice flakes -G
Agave-sweetened granola -G
Note: I make my own granola bars and muesli with various combos of the bottom four ingredients!

Whole-bean coffee -C
Chai tea (bags, emphasis on decaff) -G
Peppermint tea -G
Hot chocolate (see, it’s not all good) -C

Extra-virgin Olive Oil-G
Red vinegar -G
Balsamic vinegar -G
Dry sherry (NOT cooking sherry!) -G
Mid-grade dry wines (generally cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay) –G
Low-sodium soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce (preferably green chili)
Smoked sweet paprika -C
Basil –G (or garden fresh)
Oregano –G (or garden fresh)
Cilantro –G (or garden fresh)
Parsley –G (or garden fresh)
Fennel seed -G
Black pepper grinder -C
Sea salt grinder -C
Ground cinnamon -C
Ground nutmeg -G
Ground cloves -G
Ground ginger -G
Chili powder –G
Cumin -G
Turmeric -G
Saffron –G
Ranch dressing powder –G, C

Strained baby foods: if you don’t have time to make your own puree’s, these can be thrown into various sauces to boost nutritional values!

Brown rice flour (great for bread) -A
Spelt flour (lower-gluten all-purpose flour alternative) -A
Barley flour (lower gluten, wheat alternative, great for cakes and sweet breads) -A
Garbanzo flour (performs well in cookies or mixed with other flours for bread -A
Corn meal –G, A
Potato Starch Flour (works in place of corn starch and arrowroot, gluten-free and Kosher!) -A
Guar gum (or xanthan gum, adds elasticity to low-gluten or gluten-free flours) -A
Blackstrap molasses -A
Honey (hopefully moving to raw) –C, A
Agave nectar –C, A
Lower-glycemic, lower-cal, zero-aftertaste sugar blend (1 Xylitol: 1 Erythritol: 2 Sugar—I blend this myself) -A
Pure vanilla extract -C
Yeast -C
Kosher salt -G
Semisweet chocolate chips -C
Raisins -C
Dried Blueberries –C
Dried fruits (rotating)-C
Extra-light Olive Oil -C
Coconut milk (shelf-stable) -G
Evaporated nonfat milk -G
Pure cocoa powder (NOT Dutch-processed which contains alkali!) -G

What I religiously avoid:
Corn-based oils and sweeteners
Processed soy products
MSG and other preservatives
“White” starches (with the exception of the occasional russet potato)
Pork products (Let’s face it – there’s got to be a reason God banned pigs!)

Obviously other things pass through my kitchen … for instance, I use turnips as a lower-carb alternative to potatoes during stew-season, and I try to use lots of summer squash in-season. I’m currently trying a frozen brown, red, and wild rice mix—just throw a cup into your soup 5 mins prior to serving! The main point is that I attempt to keep is simple with an emphasis on single-ingredient items that I combine myself!

So, what do I do with all this? Typical dinner entrees include turkey-quinoa meatloaf (it really is good!); chicken and sausage paella; split pea soup with soda bread; chili with corn bread; steak fajitas or quesadillas; spaghetti; or mac-n-cheese. Rotisserie chickens frequently serve for our “fast food.”

Bon appetite!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for you comment on my blog. My heart goes out to you. I so understand that fear, but with it comes a deepening faith. This has been a blessing come from the pain. It gets much easier as the child matures. Six years old was a turning point for my son; he began speaking in sentences. My daughter(4) is delayed as well, so we are going through it all over again. It's still a bit difficult, but less stressful than the first! We'll be homeschooling her as well.


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