I absolutely love the big, American pantries. When Daniel and I got married, we lived in someone’s small garden cottage at the back of their house. It had a tiny kitchen (with no oven), little nook area for our small table that my Grandfather made for us as a wedding gift, space for one couch and a desk (since we both worked and were studying at the same time) then one small room and a bathroom. It was a perfect size for us (we were 21 and 23 years old at the time) and I am afraid to say that I was the stereotypical traditional wife.
I worked as a music teacher three times a week and on the other days I studied Elementary School Teaching though the University of South Africa (UNISA) at home, did laundry (which is a whole day event in SA), I ironed Daniel’s work shirts (while watching TV shows on my laptop), and had dinner prepared as Daniel walked in the door and said, “Hello Honey.” Seriously, he had his bum in the butter. A lot has changed since then.
I had one of those toaster oven things with hot plates on the top that we could use to fry or boil things but it was so high that I had to get a step ladder to stand on so I could see what I was doing. Oh gosh, it was fun. Needless to say, we had very little pantry space and that is one of the things I love about American houses: huge pantries.
I wanted to share what’s in our pantry so you can see that it’s pretty normal actually. Here’s what I have on hand almost all the time:
- Artichokes – canned for pizza and pasta.
- Baking powder – double acting.
- Baking soda
- Chocolate chips – I like “Enjoy life.”
- Coconut milk – “Thai Kitchen” is my favorite.
- Cooking oils – olive, coconut, canola.
- Cornstarch – used for a stirfry sauce.
- Ener-G Egg Replacer – used in my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.
- Flour – all purpose unbleached flour.
- Herbs + Spices – allspice, capers, chili powder, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, everyday seasoning, garlic salt, ginger, italian herbs, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, sesame, vanilla.
- Pasta sauce – tomato and basil is my favorite (check no dairy).
- Pineapple – canned slices for pizza.
- Seaweed – for sushi.
- Soups – canned soups for emergency dinners.
- Sugar – white, powdered, brown.
- Tomato paste – pizza
- Vegetable broth
- Vinegar – cakes and cleaning.
Condiments and Seasonings:
- Balsamic vinegar
- Barbecue sauce (check to make sure it’s vegan)
- Brown Rice Vinegar – sushi.
- Chipotle Mayo – THE BEST!
- Coconut Aminos
- Jam – fig, strawberry, raspberry.
- Ketchup (Heinz Organic Tomato Ketchup is vegan)
- Maple syrup – we use this to sweeten our tea.
- Mustard – dijon.
- Nutritional yeast- for sandwiches and spreads.
- Salt and Pepper
- Soy Sauce
- Vegan Mayonaise – I love Heinz.
Grains and Grain Products:
- Cereal – multigrain cereal for Oliver, muesli + granola for me and Corn Flakes + All Bran for Daniel.
- Couscous – so quick and easy.
- Noodles – rice noodles.
- Ramen – millet + brown rice ramen
- Rice – short grain for sushi, and jasmine and basmati for everything else.
- Black beans,
- Cannellini (white) beans
- Pinto beans
I use mostly canned beans and dry lentils. I need to try adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, mung beans, navy beans, and split peas.
Seeds and Seed Butters:
- Almond butter
- Chia seeds – overnight oats.
- Flax seed – used as an egg replacer
- Hemp seeds – smoothies and salad toppings.
- Pumpkin seeds – salad topping.
- Peanut butter, peanuts, raisins.
- Sesame seeds – stirfry and sushi.
- Sunflower seeds – salad topping.
Treats, Chips and Miscellaneous:
- Bark Thins – my special treat with tea.
- Bischoff cookies – Daniel’s favorite with tea.
- Pita chips
- Potato chips
Vegetables and Fruit:
- Fruit – bananas, peaches, plums, avocado (and some fruit in the fridge)
- Veggies – onions, sweet potato, potato
Whew! I think I got it all. That’s pretty much everything that is in our pantry at any given moment. Now the fridge and freezer is another story. Let me know if you want to hear about that!
What are your treats in your pantry?
What can’t you live without?