Pantry: Part II

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(If you haven’t already, please read the first installment of this post here!) Quick random notes before we begin the pantry talk: 1. FVB turned 3! How is that possible??? 2. We are traveling by plane with both kids for the first time tomorrow morning…eek! Wish us lots of luck. 3. HVB gets cuter and heftier with each passing day. FVB declares almost daily “I love my brother, he’s my best friend.” I sure hope that stays true into adolescence and beyond! 

Well hello there world!
OK, on to the pantry! 

Now that you know HOW we got our pantry organized, I’ll share what we actually keep in there! Our basic layout is:

Top shelf:

  • Storage bins for overflow
  • Coconut oil, Olive oil, vegetable oil, and agave nectar 

Two Middle shelves:

  • Canned goods
  • Pasta
  • Jarred goods
  • Dry Goods

Back of door:

  • Spices, alphabetized (loosely). This saves time when cooking and also saves us from buying double spices because we can’t find something. *note: this is not fool proof. Double buying has happened!

Floor:

  • Dog food

Out of pantry: 

  • Three staple flours (whole wheat, bread, and AP)
  • Vinegars (balsamic, apple cider, rice, red wine) and other liquids (sesame oil, vanilla)

We also have what we call our “auxiliary pantry,” where we store bulk items that we get from BJ’s (like Costco), or extra canned/jarred items.

I won’t take you through each and every jar, but I’ll give you a good idea of our staple items so that you can get a sense of what we rely on to get dinner on the table!

We look at our diet as consisting mainly of:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts/seeds
  • Beans

Our favorite pantry grains are brown rice, whole wheat pasta, and quinoa (not actually a grain…but close enough). We keep other types of rice on hand, and sometimes have random things like barley, but mostly we stick to the basic rice, pasta, quinoa.  FVB is not a huge fan of any of these at the moment! Our favorite way to cook rice is in the rice cooker, and we LOVE this recipe. It calls for basmati rice, but I’ve made it successfully with brown rice. 

Just enjoying this delicious wrap!

We love all kinds of nuts and seeds! We keep walnuts, almonds, cashews, and peanuts on hand at all times. FVB LOVES cashews!  We use nuts in various things: trail mix, eating plain, putting in muffins, making pesto, or topping oatmeal. We use cashews for creamy sauces as well. 
We also keep sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds on hand for various uses. I hear that hemp seeds are super nutritious, so they may be added to the mix soon!  I like sunflower seeds on top of salads, chia seeds are great in smoothies or to use for overnight oats, and flax seed is our go-to for egg replacement in baking.  We also have raisins, chocolate chips, and popcorn kernels on this shelf. 

And of course we love beans! We have a lot of dried beans, but I’m not as consistent about cooking them as I used to be.  I buy a lot more canned these days, but hope to get back into cooking my own more regularly soon. We have: black, red, white and garbanzo, plus various colored lentils.  And we always have refried beans around for when we need a quick dinner- tacos to the rescue! My favorite way to cook black beans is in the slow cooker, after soaking overnight.  These Cuban black beans are SO GOOD and really easy. 

We keep a variety of canned/jarred goods, including:

  • coconut milk (light and full fat, for use in curries and our favorite coconut lime rice)
  • Lots of tomato things, including marinara sauce, pizza sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salsa and sun dried tomatoes 
  • diced green chilies (fun for taco night!)
  • olives (all kinds, great for snacking, pizza topping, or in a sauce)
  • peanut butter (toast, crackers, or mixed with chocolate chips for a yummy dessert)

We also have basic baking supplies, like sugar (cane, brown, confectioners, and coconut), baking soda and powder, corn starch, cocoa powder, cacao powder, and a few different types of flour. We like having tapioca starch or arrowroot powder for thickening as well. We don’t do a ton of baking, but it’s nice to have the supplies on hand when the mood strikes…or when there’s a birthday in the house! 

I love this mini cake!
OK, must get some rest to prepare for the long day of travel tomorrow. Cheers to the (almost) weekend! 

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