You might just skip along this post if you do not like to cook or frankly do not give a hoot about my pantry lol but it is a question I get emailed a lot so I thought I would give it a go here.

It is no secret my favorite place to be is in the kitchen. I have been intrigued with food since my early adult life. I do not think I started being interested in cooking healthy(ish)till my mid 30’s when I was diagnosed with Celiacs. ( can not ingest anything with gluten )

Full disclosure- I am not a recipe follower. I like to look at a recipe and then adapt it to what is in my pantry, my dietary requirements, and my current taste bud craving. I try to post recipes for you guys, but please understand that I often change them when cooking. It is a common joke in our house when Mike says “This is good, let’s have it again” and I reply “Sorry, no idea how I did it” he gets the biggest chuckle out of the way I cook but I think it also frustrates him a tad :-) You too can cook like this I promise. All it takes is confidence and a stocked pantry.

When I start to noodle on what to make for a meal it always begins with a blank canvas. A blank canvas for me usually involves some form of starch. ( DO NOT BE AFRAID OF STARCHES. Instead, be aware of what you put on the starch ) After the canvas, I build on what I have in the refrigerator or freezer. My plate usually comprises 50% starch and 50% veggies. The majority of the time my plates are comprised of whole-food plant-based foods. I am not vegan and do have some animal fats and dairy occasionally but my body responds best and my tastebuds prefer whole foods. ( just an FYI because I get asked all the time if I am Vegan )

This list is my basic staples. My stash includes a lot more but these are the items I am never without.

Flours ( all gluten-free )

  • Self-rising all purpose flour
  • Brown/White rice flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • Coconut Flour

Starch Powders

  • Potato Starch
  • Arrowroot Starch
  • Cassava Starch

Spices and Baking Powders

  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Nutritional Yeast- Non fortified is best
  • Dried Dill
  • Dried Oregano
  • Salt, Black and Pink
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Curry Powder
  • White and Black Pepper
  • Garlic an Onion Powder
  • Gram Masala
  • Cumin
  • Chili Powder
  • Tumeric
  • Ginger

Canned Items ( I don’t use a lot of cans as I use the dry version of most of the below but I do keep them handy for quick prep dishes

  • Garbanzo ( chickpeas )Bean
  • Black, White and Red Beans
  • Tomato Sauce and Paste
  • Whole Tomatoes
  • Coconut Milk
  • Canned Fruit in water

Dried Grains/legumes & Beans

  • Black, White and Red Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Mung Beans
  • Red, Brown and Yellow Lentils
  • Oatmeal
  • Basmati and Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Bag of gluten-free pasta

Condiments, Nuts and Seeds

  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Ground Flax seeds
  • Dried Coconut

Refrigerator/Freezer Items

  • Horseradish
  • Ketchup/Mustard
  • Container of cooked rice or quinoa
  • Container of cooked beans
  • Homemade salsa
  • Lots of fresh veggies cut up and ready for a meal or dip
  • Homemade hummus
  • Dairy-Free Cheeze Sauce
  • Head of lettuce
  • Brewed Iced Teas
  • Bags of frozen veggies
  • Bags of frozen fruit
  • Bag of chopped garlic
  • Bag of chopped onion
  • Ginger root
  • Frozen Potatoes- no added anything
  • Frozen cubes of sweet potatoes

These are my staples and are always in my house. With these items the menu creations are countless. Even if you take out the fresh produce, with the frozen veggies in the freezer you can make a meal in a snap. My latest fun thing in the kitchen is making wraps out of quinoa or lentils. Google it and try it, you will never waste money on the store-bought wraps again AND they are great for you. I also make a wrap, put it in the air fryer, and make chips out of them.

If I can leave you with one thought, please do not be afraid to just throw stuff together. Do not get intimidated by cooking. You do not need a fancy certificate or degree to play with food. It is very rewarding to put a dish on the table that you put together with healthy, clean ingredients.

You got this.