Monday, October 5, 2009

secrets of a well-stocked pantry... plus local, real food deals and my lust for French culture!

As I wrote > last week, I am making a go of feeding my family nourishing, mostly-organic, and local food on a reasonable budget.

I am finding it easy to stay within our budget partly because we are blessed to have a well-stocked pantry . I have lots of cooking fats and oils such as canned organic coconut milk for making curries, soups and desserts (I like the Whole Foods brand, which at 1.39 per can is less expensive then other brands), and coconut oil (also Whole Foods organic brand which is 5.69 per lb. I also have extra virgin olive oil, toasted sesame oil and butter in the fridge.

No pantry is complete without dry goods such as locally milled whole-wheat flour (which can be > soaked for optimal nutrition and digestibility), dried black beans, red lentils, brown rice and quinoa, > unrefined sweeteners like local honey, and > palm sugar, Italian tuna canned in olive oil, > Tinkyada brown rice noodles, soba noodles, canned whole tomatoes, and lots of delicious condiments including fish sauce, organic ketchup, real salt, dried herbs and baking supplies.

Having a well-stocked pantry can help you have greater ease in menu planning, as there's always something nutritious stored in your cupboard to add to the pot! For a great bit of advice on how to grow a nourishing pantry read > this article by a mom who is managing to feed her family whole, real food even amidst job loss.

When I find a great deal on something I buy a lot of it if it stores well. Yesterday I found organic bananas at 0.50/lb, bought 4 lbs, peeled and froze some to use in smoothies or > banana bread. Butter freezes nicely too.

For the latest food news, check out this- a > French Study which finds (not-so-shockingly!) that organic food IS indeed healthier! The French do seem to get it right so much more often then us Americans. I mean who eats brie cheese and butter with abandon, has some laws against GMO foods, makes the most fantastic, inexpensive wine (I like > this one) and manages to send all kids (assuming they want to attend) to college? (answer: not the USA).

With that note, here is a gratuitously cute and funny picture of Miss Eliza, after her dinner of Cuban pork roast (which I might add she ate with gusto!), climbing under the highchair:

This post is shared with> Gnowfglins Tuesday Twister Carnival, please join us!


  1. Great pantry tips. For the month of October I'm tracking our food spending and analyzing what we are eating. Your post from Sept 30 was part of my inspiration for doing this.

  2. awesome- i can't wait to see your findings!

  3. Emily - Miss Eliza is adorable! :) Its great that you're finding this challenge easy and can go even thriftier. Where do you get your palm sugar? I've never gotten any, nor have I seen any for sale. Thanks for sharing your inspirational post in the Twister this week. :)

  4. Wardeh- thanks! the palm sugar I use is made by Thai Taste and they carry it at Whole Foods here. it can also be purchased in blocks that you shaveoff as needed from an Asian grocer.