How to Stock Your Kitchen

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When eating well is a habit you'll tend to find a long list of basic goodies that are generally present in that person's kitchen. 

Here I am providing a list of what I stock regularly in the kitchen, divided by main areas of use. This post came out of a request by a participant in the Food Boss Weight Loss Program. And I thought it was a great idea to provide some info about what to keep in the kitchen in order to make healthy eating a strong habit. 

Grab and Go "Meals"

These are foods that I can grab to eat on the run when I need something resembling a meal and I just don't have time to make a full healthy spread. The main components of any meal or snack should always be protein, fat, and fiber so I do my best to fulfill this, even in a pinch. 

These are also things that you can store for relatively long periods of time so you don't have to worry that you would buy them and they would go bad really quickly. Some of these things require home cooking, FYI. But you can make them and freeze them for later. 

  • Mini cucumbers, celery, radishes, baby bell peppers, or baby carrots WITH pesto, guacamole, or hummus (or anything else you want that has some fat and protein)
  • Frozen paleo muffins or slices of paleo bread (grab these when you know you have some time to let them defrost)
  • Artisan cheese with prosciutto or salami and some mini cucumbers, celery, baby bell peppers, or baby carrots
  • Frozen falafels (grab these when you know you have some time to let them defrost)
  • Veggie Quiche
  • Trail mix
  • Grape leaves and olives
  • Frozen soup
  • Babaganoush and some olives, mini cucumbers, celery, radishes, baby bell peppers, or baby carrots
  • Liverwurst or pate with some Skinny Crisp crackers, Flackers, olives, mini cucumbers, celery, radishes, baby bell peppers, or baby carrots
  • Paleo granola with yogurt

Snacks

Anyone that has worked with me knows that I think snacks are only for emergencies and should not be a daily occurrence. But for those times, yes, even I have some quick snack foods in my kitchen. 

Again, aim for protein, fat, and fiber as much as you can with snacks for deeper satiation. Pretty much any of the grab and go "meals" listed above could also be a snack but just smaller portions of course. 

  •  Skinny Crisp crackers or Flackers, with hummus, nut butter, seed butter, liverwurst, pate, or goat or sheep cheese
  • Mini Smoothie (add berries, some leafy greens, water, and some walnuts or hemp seeds)
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Roasted chickpeas (homemade is best)
  • Fermented pickles with some artisanal cheese, cured meat (salami, prosciutto, soprasetta), or pate
  • Tahini with mini cucumbers, celery, radishes, baby bell peppers, or baby carrots
  • Raw Brownie Bites (scroll down on their website to find this delicious and nutritious recipe)
  • High quality dark chocolate like Adam's Chocolate

General Items to Have in the House for Cooking and Food Prep

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When you have these items stocked in your kitchen regularly, you'll be able to make many, many recipes easily without doing extra shopping. And most of these items will last for quite some time without turning. Please, please, please do not let spices sit for years in your cabinet. Use them!!

  • Fresh onions, garlic, shallots, ginger, and turmeric
  • Chili peppers, Jalepeno, etc
  • Fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, and dill (or at least one or two fresh herbs)
  • Capers
  • Anchovies
  • Fermented beets, sauerkraut, pickles, or kimchi
  • Tahini
  • Pesto
  • Thai red and green curry paste
  • MIso paste
  • Spicy mayo
  • Mustard (Dijon, yellow, and stone ground)
  • Lemons and limes
  • Butter
  • Vanilla and almond extracts
  • Bone Broth
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Sea salt (get a few different kinds for variety in mineral content)
  • Kosher Sea Salt 
  • Black peppercorns
  • Dried spices of all kinds, including but not limited to: turmeric, cumin, cayenne, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, cinnamon, paprika, allspice, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, bay leaves, crushed red pepper, chili powder, nutmeg, mace, cream of tartar, marjoram
  • Homemade Spice mixtures: Essence by Emeril, Barbecue Spice Rub (can be used for all kinds of things, not just barbecue), curry powder, Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, Old Bay Seasoning (for fish and seafood), and so many more!
  • Sesame seeds
  • Red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and maybe some balsamic glaze vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Raw honey
  • Baking soda, arrowroot powder
  • Dried beans and lentils
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Dried cranberries, goji berries, etc

Items for Quick Homemade Meals

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These items can be quickly converted to simple, easy meals. Some may not be something you want to eat ALL the time, mostly just for those days when you would get take-out or eat out but you choose to eat more healthily. 

  • Canned sardines, tuna, or salmon
  • Frozen salmon burgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, etc
  • Frozen shrimp or squid
  • Frozen organic berries
  • Frozen organic vegetables
  • Frozen organic sausage
  • Eggs
  • Organic bacon
  • Oatmeal or buckwheat cereal
  • Wild rice
  • Canned beans
  • Cabbage, celery, carrots, beets, radishes, asparagus, kohlrabi, sweet potatoes, and potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, squash (these tend to stay for awhile in the fridge)
  • Boxed lettuce or leafy greens (for super quick salads)
  • Bagged slaw or broccoli slaw
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Horseradish (jarred)
  • Artichoke hearts (frozen or jarred)
  • Hearts of Palm (canned)
  • Roasted red peppers (jarred)
  • Hot sauce
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Pesto
  • Tahini
  • Miso
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Other cheese of choice
  • Homemade salad dressing (store-bought stuff has bad ingredients 99% of the time)
  • Sprouted corn tortillas and shredded cheese
  • Yogurt and paleo granola
  • Bone broth (frozen and refrigerated)
  • Paleo bread and muffins
  • Frozen sourdough bread

My Favorite Veggie Items

You will find these items in my kitchen on any given day. Not to say I don't eat other veggies, but these are my staples. 

  • Kale
  • Arugula
  • Collard greens
  • Broccoli Rabe (aka rapini)
  • Frisee
  • Radicchio
  • Endive
  • Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Parsley and cilantro
  • Celery
  • Kohlrabi
  • Red radish or daikon
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes (but only in the warm months)
  • Garlic, onions, turmeric, shallots, ginger