Pantry

I Buy the Staples.

Rice: Rice is absolutely essential for the cuisine of so many countries.  You cannot get through Asia without rice.  When rice is part of my dish, but not necessarily the feature, I tend to default to brown rices for nutrition’s sake.  That being said, I think an attempt at making sushi or sticky rice deserves the appropriate type.

Flour/Yeast:  The variations of bread in this world is astounding.  From naan to baguettes to pita to rye, you will need flour and usually yeast.  I use unbleached flours and whole wheat flour as much as possible.

Tempeh: This is the equivalent to ground hamburger for me.   Whenever a recipe calls for ground meat (think Shepard’s Pie, etc.), I go with crumbled tempeh.  Tempeh is a fermented soy product with a great amount of texture.

Tofu: Aside from the bean itself, tofu is probably the most well-known soy product.  It is simply bean curd.  It is high in water content and very versatile.

Seitan: Seitan is a bit pricier than tempeh and tofu, but is another protein replacement.  It is not soy, but actually wheat gluten.  It can come in all shapes, but lends itself well to many dishes.

Legumes: Nuts, beans, lentils.  We usually have cashews or peanuts on hand.  I buy canned chickpeas and occasionally canned black beans, but really do prefer making beans from dried beans, (though the time it takes often dampers my spirits).

Eggs: Honestly, I would prefer that I did not love eggs.  You will not believe me from what you read on the blog, but I actually prefer to limit my intake.  However, the egg truly is incredible.  I cannot resist it. Meringue is delicious.  A perfectly poached egg adds to so many dishes.  When we buy eggs, we strive to buy local, organic, and cage-free.

A Better Butter: Earth Balance will change your life.  Or at least give you a break from butter.  I use it for baking and cooking.  Healthier for the heart.

Root vegetables and tubers: Oh, beautiful tubers.  Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, cassava (manioc).  These are the staples of many cuisine cultures.  Let us not forget beets, carrots, parsnips, and radishes.

Leafy greens: I love kale and spinach.  Lettuce is not usually my thing.

Spices: I am barely able to get a handle on the types of spices I need.  Currently, we stock up on coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, tumeric, paprika, red pepper flakes, pepper and sea salt.

Herbs: Herbs are better fresh.  I do not deny it.  But I used both dried and fresh herbs in my cooking.  I tend to have dried parsley and oregano on hand, as well as fresh cilantro and basil when I know I’ll be making recipes that require them.  Sage is another of my fresh favorites.

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