When I started my meal planning newsletter, I used to link to a Bon Appetit article that listed all the things they deemed you should keep in your pantry. The article is super informative, but I felt like they were missing a few things, so I started my own list. I hope it helps you stock your pantry!
Here are my pantry essentials:
Tahini: I don’t know where I was without Tahini. I put this on EVERYTHING. It’s full of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals and so versatile. Most mornings, I have avocado toast (on gluten free bread from BimBeriBon) and I spread a thin layer of tahini on it. The majority of my diet is dairy free, and tahini provides some creaminess and nuttiness the breakfast sandwich that I used to get through cheese or other dairy products. Yummers. My favorite Tahini is this Kevala Organic Sesame Tahini or Trader Joes Tahini.
Rice Vinegar: I use this in pretty much every Asian-inspired dish I make. It has a slightly sweet flavor and is milder than most vinegars. I buy the gallon bottle of Unseasoned Marukan Rice Vinegar on Amazon and it lasts us about 6 months.
Tamari: You might be asking yourself what the difference is between tamari and soy sauce? We’ll, even though they look super similar and taste relatively the same, there’s actually a pretty big difference between the two. They are both made from fermented soybeans, but tamari does not have wheat in it. Tamari is also a bit darker and tastes a lot richer and more balanced than soy sauce. Also, in Asia you’ll find soy sauce pretty much everywhere, but you won’t find Tamari, as it’s specific to Japan. Just like we buy a gallon of rice vinegar, we also buy huge bottles of tamari. My favorite is San-J Organic Tamari Soy Sauce, Gold Label.
Canned Tomatoes: If you’ve been following my weekly meal plan you’ve probably noticed that canned tomatoes show up very consistently, in soups, pastas, sauces, etc. These are essential to keep stocked in the pantry. I buy organic canned tomatoes in BPA free cans, and love the Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes.
Tomato Paste: You’ll always want this on-hand in your pantry. Enough said. Also recommend Muir Glen, as it’s organic and in BPA free cans.
Brown Rice: I always have cooked brown rice on-hand in the fridge and freezer. Every Sunday, I take two cups of dried brown rice and put it in the InstantPot to have it available all week. It saves so much time, energy, and money! Often, you’ll find me eating a bowl of brown rice with tahini and tamari sauce on top when I’m feeling too lazy or busy to cook something. Lundberg Farms harvests high-quality organic and non-GMO grains, and I especially love their brown rice. Their chips are SO amazing too. The Santa Fe BBQ are my favorite.
Quinoa: I love quinoa, but think it tastes pretty bland, so I always try to add something to it – herbs, legumes, sauces, etc. My favorite brand of quinoa is also from Lundberg Family Farms. It’s certified gluten free and non-GMO.
Coconut Sugar: Most recipies I follow are refined sugar free. Coconut sugar falls within that category. Coconut sugar comes from the sap of the coconut palm tree, and after harvesting, it’s boiled into a syrup, then dried and crystalized. Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Coconut Sugar is my favorite.
Canned Beans: Sometimes (often/almost always) I am just not in the mood to make beans from scratch. It takes so long, even in the InstantPot, so I always have canned beans on-hand in the pantry.
Dried Beans: If you’ve got the time, you can save a lot of money by making soups, stews, etc from scratch, starting with dried beans.
Curry Paste: I always keep the Thai Kitchen brand of Red Curry Paste and Green Curry Paste available in the pantry.
Hot Sauce: Well, this is a whole category in itself. I had to connect with my friend Alyson to hear her thoughts on hot sauce, as I consider her my hot sauce expert. Here’s what she said:
🌶Tabasco Sauce for eggs. This Variety 4 Pack features Original, Garlic, Green Pepper, Hababero and is amazing!
🌶Valentina Hot Sauce for Mexican food
🌶Siracha for Asian food
🌶Crystal Hot Sauce for seafood – crab specifically
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