I’m following up my super exciting post on my fridge with what’s in my cabinet? I always have a random assortment of stuff in my cabinets that I keep in these glass jars, which helps me see when I’m running low on stuff, and it also makes cooking easier when you don’t have to fumble with annoying packaging. Most of the stuff in these jars changes often based on super random impulse buys at Trader Joe’s.
My fave dry goods (lowest cost in green):
Oats: I’m a sucker for oats, but Kath wrote the book on oatmeal, so I’m not even going to go there on this blog. Check out her site for a zillion ideas! I usually buy rolled oats (not instant – trust me, its worth the extra 3 mins!) from Costco or the bulk bins at Whole Foods.
- Trader Joe’s: $.13 per oz
- Whole Foods (bulk bin): $.08 per oz
- Costco: $.04 per oz
Quinoa: I always have this on hand to use in place of rice, which I dislike. (Anyone else think eating rice tastes like you have mouse droppings in your mouth? No? Huh). I usually buy my quinoa at Costco, but its in the bulk bins at Whole Foods as well if you don’t want to make a Costco-sized commitment. When I encounter a recipe that calls for rice or couscous, I usually use quinoa because I prefer the taste, and it cooks a bit quicker than brown rice.
- Trader Joe’s: $3.99 per lb (box)
- Whole Foods (bulk bin): $2.99 per lb
- Costco: $2.25 per lb (comes in a 4 lb bag)
Black Beans: I usually buy cans of black beans at Costco and keep them on hand for quick dinners. Its so easy to throw together tacos or toss some black beans on a salad for a quick week night meal. Note: the cheapest option is definitely to buy dry beans and cook them, but for some reason I haven’t tried this yet! I’ll be sure to blog about it when I do.
- Trader Joe’s: $1.19 can (organic), $.89 can (non-organic)
- Whole Foods: $.99 can (organic)
- Costco: $.62 can (organic)
Nuts & seeds: I always keep a few varieties of nuts on hand. Right now I have in my pantry: sliced almonds, walnut pieces, pecans, and pumpkin seeds (pepitas). As long as I have one of these, its easy to substitute into any baking recipe. And I love topping a salad with seeds for some crunch. Since I’ve given up sugar for Lent, its handy to have some seeds and nuts around to cure my sweet tooth with a sad excuse for trail mix of: pumpkin seeds, raisins, and cacao nibs.
Protein powder: I’m pretty picky about my protein powders since a lot of them contain metals (gross!). I like Sun Warrior Vanilla and Vega Vanilla Chai since these are vegan and have great nutritional content. The Vanilla Hemp Protein powder at Trader Joe’s is good in a pinch (some people think this tastes too “woody” but I don’t really notice it)! I usually buy Sun Warrior and Vega online when they are having a deal (I get their emails). They seem expensive, but I use about a tablespoon at a time so they last forever.
Chia seeds: Loove these. They have all the benefits of flax seeds (read: Omega-3s) but don’t need to be ground up (did you know that the body can’t utilize the omegas in flax seeds unless they are ground?). I put these in my morning smoothie, in oatmeal, or use them to substitute for an egg in baked goods. I’m sure you can get a great deal on these online, but I have found Navita’s Naturals brand 1 pound bags for $9.99 at Whole Foods, so I usually just pick them up there. Since I only use about a tablespoon at a time, one bag lasts a long time.
So here’s whats in my easy-access grain shelf currently:
- Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder, brown rice pasta (from Trader Joe’s), brown rice (mostly for the Huz), quinoa, chia seeds
And the pantry:
- Misc oils, baking powder, whole flax seeds*, cacao nibs
- Sliced almonds, whole raw almonds, unsweetened coconut
- Bread crumbs, pecans, raisins, unsweetened cocoa powder, nutritional yeast
- Powdered sugar, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar
These pictures make our kitchen look far more organized than it actually is, so don’t be fooled. Let’s call a spade a spade: I’m a lot of things, but organized just ain’t of them.
In other whats-in-my-cabinet/fridge news, here’s what happens if you let me loose in Stanley’s with $30:
*Note: flax seeds are a great way to get fiber and Omega-3s into your diet. But they are a little complicated: your body can’t digest them whole (probably because our teefs aren’t good at grinding seeds!), but they oxidize quickly when ground, and there is little nutritional value once they are oxidized. For this reason, I buy them whole and grind them in our coffee grinder before using. If this is too much work for you, buy the ground flaxseed meal (they have this at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods) and store it in your fridge or freezer in an airtight container after you open it.