For the second part of our Pantry Series, I (Marissa) am giving you a glimpse into the five items that are essential to my kitchen pantry. After discovering several food intolerances last year, I currently follow a diet free of gluten, dairy, eggs, corn and soy. I also try to stay away from processed food as much as I can for overall health and wellbeing. Because of these limitations, I am very loyal to the foods I like and can eat because well…they’re limited!
I used to hate the idea of repeating a food item several times a week but now I look forward to the foods I like and can eat. Here are the five items I use almost every week, even sometimes several times a week.
Are any of these items also staples in your pantry?
- White Quinoa – When I cut out gluten, I was looking for something to replace what typically accompanied my main dishes. Quinoa, which is actually a seed, is one of my favorite food items. It’s incredibly versatile because you can eat it for breakfast like an oatmeal and they even sell quinoa flakes so it has more of an oatmeal breakfast consistency. It’s also a great food for lunch, hot or cold and I of course love it for dinner to accompany the center of my dish. I prefer white quinoa over red quinoa but a mix of the two has a nice taste and consistency. I usually get the Nature’s Promise version but I really like Ancient Harvest as well. Quinoa can be expensive so look for coupons and when it’s on sale, grab a few bags or boxes.
- Chicken Broth – It’s really frustrating when you find a recipe that calls for chicken broth and there’s none to be found in your home. I learned that the hard way and now I make sure our pantry is stocked with at least one box at a time. So many recipes call for a good chicken broth or stock and a simple soup is an easy fix when you have broth on-hand. I was sad to see that so many broths had flour, soy and other preservatives but I get the organic version from Nature’s Promise which fits my food limitations.
- Oat Flour/Quinoa Flour (Bob’s Red Mill) – I have both oat flour and quinoa flour in my pantry and the combination of the two work well for so many recipes. I use these primarily to coat chicken or fish and to bake snacks and desserts. I usually mix quinoa and oat flour which are both gluten-free and from Bob’s Red Mill to give it a more well-rounded flour combination. Gluten-free flours can get pricey but you never use too much of the flour so they last you a long time.
- Chickpeas (Organic) – Garbanzo Beans aka Chickpeas are heaven sent. I use them to make hummus during the week and throw them into the food processor with garlic, lemon and tahini. I often use them in salads to make our lunches more substantial and filling and I have heard people use the chickpea juice as an egg replacer. It’s a great versatile food that’s always good to have in your pantry. Please also note that like most canned goods, the regular garbanzo beans often have ingredients I can’t eat. I go for the Organic Nature’s Promise chickpeas.
- Ener G Egg Replacer – Giving up eggs was extremely difficult. Although this Ener G Egg Replacer box won’t make up for my loss of omelettes and quiches, I can use this powder mix when I bake chicken or fish and use flour. You can easily use this mix when baking and need a quick egg replacer. You simply measure out the powder and mix it with warm water. I am not sure where to grab this in-store but I ordered this one from Thrive Market.