Yesterday someone arrived here after searching the phrase: "how to deepen your pantry." I'm sorry to say, unknown searcher, that you are one day
Indeed, we have been discussing pantry staples a bit here lately, so I thought it might be time to open the cupboards - and offer my own primer on pantry essentials. I'm not trying to compete with Mark Bittman, or even offer a rebuttal. The following is simply a list of items that are always on hand chez Diva.
- Brown Rice - (actually, I keep it in the fridge)
- Pearl Barley
- Whole Wheat Orzo
- French Green Lentils
- A variety of oats: steel-cut oats, rolled oats and instant oatmeal
- A variety of pasta shapes, both whole wheat and white
- A variety of canned tomatoes: petite diced, crushed, sugar-free tomato sauce, tomato paste
- A variety of oils: extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, walnut oil, sesame oil, some flavored oils
- A variety of vinegar: red wine, white wine, sherry, balsamic, etc.
- Canned beans: black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans and fat-free refried beans
- Nuts: walnuts, pecans, roasted pumpkin seeds and roasted almonds
- Several kinds of broth a/o stocks: Chicken, Vegetable, Beef - all low-sodium and fat-free, and the scrumptious new College Inn Bold Stock pictured above.
- Baking Supplies: whole wheat flour, white flour, corn meal, chickpea flour and various extracts and powders
- Canadian Bacon
- Non-fat Greek Yogurt
- Non-fat plain Yogurt
- Non-fat Milk
- Unsweetened Soy Milk
- Low-fat Cottage Cheese
- A variety of olives
- A variety of cheeses, always to include a chunk of good quality aged Parmesan
- A variety of fresh veggies: onions, carrots, celery, red, yellow and orange peppers, radishes, shallots, etc.
- Fruit: lemons, limes, grapefruit, Granny Smith apples
- Fresh Herbs: parsley, thyme, rosemary, dill and cilantro are all pretty standard
... and no, I didn't clean it for you. Doesn't matter, *I* know where everything is and that's all that counts. This is my arsenal and I use it daily. A pinch of this, a dash of that and - zoom - I'm on my way to delicious. As we discussed last week, if you don't use your herbs and spices regularly you do need to check them for freshness. Many will lose their flavor after 6 months or so ... personally, I wouldn't know, mine never last that long!
Keep your pantry well stocked and you'll be half-way towards getting dinner on the table in a hurry. Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you all about what I did with that Bold Stock pictured above ... and a few other items from the list of essentials.
So, what's in your pantry? Curious Diva wants to know.