I often get asked how to shop for food. And I can see why – ultimately a lot of this comes down to what you’ve got in the cupboard. If you shop right, and it’s all there, then it’s a piece of cake to throw a meal together on the run or when you’ve got some time to putz and ponder and experiment. Here’s my list. I keep it all on hand so I can be inventive, and cook what appeals to me on any given day. It looks like a long list but take heart, once you’re in the habit of stocking the essentials, it’s second nature.

FRESH INGREDIENTS

(with some consideration for what’s in season)

apples

apricots

asparagus

avocado

beets

berries

bok choi

brussels sprouts

carrots

cabbage

cauliflower

celery

celery root

chard

corn

cucumber

eggplant

fennel

fresh basil

fresh chives

fresh cilantro

fresh dill

fresh ginger

fresh lemongrass

fresh mint

fresh parsley

fresh rosemary

fresh thyme

garlic

greens: arugula, tender greens, spinach

green beans

green onion

kale

leeks

lemons

limes

mushrooms: portobello, shiitake, cremini, white button, any others you can find

onions: white, red, cipolini, pearl

oranges

parsnips

peaches

pears

peas: sugar snap, snow, shelling

peppers: red, orange, chili

potatoes

pumpkin

radishes

rhubarb

rutabaga

shallots

sprouts

squash: delicata, butternut, acorn

strawberries

sweet potato

tomatoes: every variety you can find

zucchini

SPICES

(There are some things I insist on being organic; others that I’m less fussy about. Spices fall on the fussy side of the equation. Organic spices are night and day from their non-organic relatives. For taste and quality, it’s a must).

anise seeds

bay leaves

black mustard seeds

black pepper

cardamom

cayenne

chili powder

cinnamon: ground, whole sticks

cloves

coriander: ground, seed

cumin: ground, seed

curry leaves

dry mustard

fennel seed

fenugreek

garam masala

ginger, dried

nutmeg

oregano

paprika: smoked, sweet, hot

red pepper flakes

saffron

sea salt

star anise

turmeric

vanilla pod

SEEDS / NUTS / DRIED FRUITS

almonds

apricots, dried

cashews

cranberries: dried, fresh

currants

flax seeds

hazelnuts

pecans

pine nuts

poppy seeds

pumpkin seeds

sesame seeds

sun-dried tomatoes

sunflower seeds

walnuts

CANNED INGREDIENTS

(I try to do things from scratch but sometimes it’s nice to have canned good on hand like beans, corn etc. especially in the winter when things aren’t in season. Try to buy things in glass jars, not metal cans. If you can.)

beans: kidney, navy, flageolet, mung, aduzki

capers

corn

coconut milk

mustard

olives

tahini

thai red curry paste

tomatoes, whole

tomato paste

tomatoes, puréed

veganaise

veggie stock (I make my own and freeze it, but you might want some on hand)

DRY GOODS

baking soda

baking powder

barley

beans: kidney, navy, flageolet, mung, aduzki

bread: baguette, multigrain

breadcrumbs

cornmeal

couscous/bulghur

dulse

flour: pastry, all-purpose, chickpea

lentils: du puy, red, green

nutritional yeast

oatmeal

pasta: variety of shapes and sizes

porcini, dried

quinoa

rice noodles

rice paper

rice: basmati, brown, wild, arborio, calaspara

semolina

sugar: organic cane and brown

yellow split peas

MISCELLANY

tofu

tempeh

miso

yeast

LIQUIDS

juice:  apple, cranberry, cider

maple syrup

molasses

olive oil: fancy, every day

sesame oil

soy milk

sunflower and/or safflower oil

tamari and/or soy sauce

vanilla

vinegars: apple cider, sherry, white wine, red wine, balsamic, rice

BOOZE

brandy

port

sherry

wine: red, white, pink

OCCASIONAL NECESSITIES

arrowroot powder

banana

edamame

grand marnier

honey

hot red pepper sauce

peanut butter

polenta

puff pastry

wheatgerm

5 Responses to “Kitchen Pantry”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    I was hoping I might find a picture of your Spice drawer with the spice containers that you paid to much for. Oh well….maybe in a different post. = )

    Thanks for the wonderful blog.

  2. nancy01243 Says:

    Hi Ruth,

    I came across your food blog accidentally and I loooove it! The recipes look fantastic. I’m not a vegan but I often want to try some alternative recipes to cut down on the red meat my family eats. I want to try the pear dessert this week. My son and daughter (and I) love pears so I think it will be a hit.

    Nancy Rishor (nee Sukornyk)


    • Nancy,
      How crazy! What have you been doing since Jarvis (I assume you are the same Nancy Sukornyk)? So glad you found my blog. There’s lots to discover on it and I’m about to do some upgrades with a fancy new design so continue to visit and you’ll be able to navigate more easily. Great to hear from you.
      Cheers,
      Ruth


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