Little Sis here. In Baby Step 3, Big Sis (against all rationality) offered you all a look into our pantries. Mercy. Despite my many fine qualities, I have to admit to being somewhat (and I am being uncharacteristically generous with myself here) organizationally challenged. But since my sister showed you HERS, I guess I have to show you MINE. Yikes…. Yes, we are still talking about the pantry, not our panties, although we have been know to go that far for your entertainment. Really, this blog is getting a little personal… but all in the name of Food. Real Food!
Now that I’ve given you a visual, let’s talk about what’s in that puppy. Big Sis was kind enough to compile her pantry list first (since she offered, it only seemed fair) so I will share hers and add the things that I keep in my pantry that she hasn’t included. Before we get to the lists of ingredient staples that we both keep on hand in order to ensure that we can cook real food, we both have some processed bits to confess, just so’s you know that the road just keeps going before all of us and neither of us would dream of claiming to be at the finish line.
Mr. Little Sis and I keep coffee and tea on hand as both parents in this house are nowhere near ready to drop that crutch. We keep a few boxes of cereal (all under 5g of sugar per serving or they must be mixed with a SUPER low sugar cereal). We also keep the occasional box of whole wheat and white cheddar macaroni and cheese for Daddy’s traveling and Mommy’s had enough emergencies. In addition we usually have a package of storebought cookies (of the fig newton variety) to bridge the gap between baking bursts. There are also our beloved Triscuits. :-) – Can’t believe I didn’t mention Triscuits! We also keep these simple gems on hand.
You want to peep in my pantry as well, eh? I’m going to leave out the staples like coffee and tea (decaf for me because I’m a little (Big Sis is also generous with herself ;-)) high strung shall we say?), but I’d be remiss if I did not share a few smudges on an otherwise clean enough to put the scraps on record…I do keep a steady supply of boxed cereal in my pantry. I get brands with no additives / organic once in awhile and all on sale – but there you have it. I do make granola and we do eat hot cereal but we all like a little bit of boxed cereal with fruit as a bedtime snack. But that’s it… except for the not-as-bad-for-you natural tortilla and potato chips that my son takes to school. There! I feel cleansed and refreshed, and I hope some of you are feeling better as well… We all have skeletons in the pantry, don’t we? Here are the items that I always keep stocked so I’ll be prepared to make healthy food rather than get fast food or eat something pre-made. Grains:
- whole oats (try soaked oats for breakfast!)
- brown Rice
- quinoa (try quinoa/oats hot cereal)
- whole grain pasta
- black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, garbanzos, etc.
- mung Beans for sprouting
- canned beans
- canned (or boxed)tomatoes and paste
- canned pineapple
- artichoke hearts, olives
- Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (I use in place of soy sauce)
- sesame oil
- olive oil
- safflower oil
- ketchup – I buy organic with no added sugar
- rice vinegar
- balsamic vinegar
- coconut oil and butter
- sweet potatoes
- Yukon gold or red potatoes
- winter squash when it’s cold out
NUTS & DRIED FRUIT
- sunflower seeds
- pecans, pumpkin seeds
- other dried fruit purchased on sale ;-) cherries are a favorite of ours, dates, occasionally figs
- whole grain bread
- milk (both dairy and almond)
- carrots and celery
- whole wheat tortillas
- flax meal for vegan eggs
- sunflower cheese
- whole grain flour
- frozen peas, green beans, corn, spinach
- nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds – all raw)
- frozen herbs
- frozen leftover pancakes
Whew. When you list it all it seems like a lot, but it’s really NOT so much. And truthfully, neither of us ALWAYS has all of these things. I don’t keep this list in my pocket and freak out when one item is low. This is simply the list of things that we have discovered make it easy for us to keep our promise to ourselves to NOT turn to takeout out of desperation. It would be lovely to have oodles of time for every dinner, but that ain’t life, and some nights there’s a shortage of time AND patience. Being stocked up on REAL ingredients makes these nights a lot easier to face healthfully and economically. Stick with us and we’ll show you how. Do it for a while, and you’ll know why.