Not Just Tofu

Building a Better Pantry

If you are checking out this page, you have made a conscious decision to cook healthier.

Step One: Purge Your Pantry

Full white pantry with wire baskets and floral shelvesPurging your pantry requires you to look for all things artificial.  I find that the cheaper a food item is the less it is really food.  For an example, cup of ramen –  contains the following: Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Palm Oil, Preserved by Tocopherols and/or TBHQ and/or Ascorbyl Palmitate,  Maltodextrin, Salt), Monosodium Glutamate, Dextrose, Hydrolyzed Soy, Corn and Wheat Protein, Calcium Silicate (Anticaking Agent), Sugar, Chicken Fat, Potassium Carbonate, Sodium Carbonate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Turmeric Color, Sodium Alginate, Citric Acid, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Natural Flavors, Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate, Artificial Flavors. This is why we can buy them 3 for $1.00. It’s so much easier to just buy Asian style egg noodles and boil them in the organic broth of your own with some veggies.

Step Two: Restock your pantry with whole grains and minimal processed foods.

Dry Goods:

  • Unbleached All Purpose Flour
  • Chick Pea Flour
  • Rice Flour (white or brown)
  • Cornstarch
  • Cornmeal (yellow)
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Brown Sugar
  • Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
  • Bisquick
  • Flax Meal
  • Old Fashioned Oats

Spices

  • Sea Salt????????
  • Black Peppercorns (for grinding)
  • Garlic Powderpantry pic
  • Onion Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Oregano
  • Curry Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Spike Gourmet Seasoning
  • Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • Real Vanilla
  • Cayenne Powder
  • Chili Powder

Condiments & such…

  • Ketchup
  • Canned Tomatoes (puree, crushed, diced)
  • Mustard (Dijon and Yellow)
  • Vinegar (White, Apple Cider, Red Wine and Balsamic)
  • Tabasco
  • Anchovy Paste (in the tube)
  • Tomato Paste (in the tube)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Plain Greek Yogurt

Pantry Staples

  • Brown or White Rice (Long grain, Basmati and Jasmine)
  • Wheat, Whole Grain or Gluten Free Pasta (Spaghetti, Elbow and Ziti)
  • Potatoes (Sweet, Yukon Gold and Russet)
  • Tortilla wraps (Burrito size)
  • Corn Tacos
  • Bread Crumbs (Panko and plain)
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Craisins and Raisins
  • Canned and Dry Beans (Lentils, Black and Chick Pea)

Step Three: When buying processed goods, look for short ingredient list.

It is best that you recognize the ingredients on the package because the power to your health is knowing what you are eating.  Don’t be confused by the multiple names for sugar: sucrose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, maltose and sorbitol. Stay away from artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, neotame, and cyclamate which have proven to be hazardous to your health.

Tips:

  1. Always include fruits and vegetable on your grocery lists.  My favorites are avocados, kale, baby spinach, broccoli, carrots and string beans.
  2. Don’t buy all your fruit ripe because you are not going to eat it all at once.  Instead try to pick your fruit next to ripe, giving you time to enjoy.
  3. When buying dairy, try organic milk and organic or cage free eggs.
  4. When buying poultry and meat, make sure they are free of antibiotics, vegetarian fed and hormone free. We all can’t afford organic meat, but when you can, opt for it.  Otherwise purchase from grocers who partner with local farms to ensure the quality of product that you are eating.

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