Staples are food/spices you have in your kitchen that help craft the majority of your week’s menu. A good pantry can help tackle the “I don’t know what to make blues”. As I was reading about a good vegetarian/vegan checklist, I thought it would be fun to see where my kitchen stands!
Now, I feel I need to say that I am not a health or food expert, by any means. I am just a new mom, trying to make healthy food choices for my family, while learning who I am in the process. I have been a vegetarian for a little over 6 years (although I ate meat while I was pregnant, being a vegetarian was no match for pregnancy cravings!). Consuming a diet without any meat is not the same old boring spaghetti and salad for meals. It doesn’t have to be boring and void of flavor, in fact, it’s quite the opposite! Herbs and spices, oils and vinegars add flavor combinations you don’t think of when you use meat as your flavoring. I try to play with different flavors to make eating vegetables fun for my kids. I try to make it an adventure for them!! because I know that it would be easy to just give them fruit snacks and goldfish for a snack, but what about fruit and vegetable muffins instead?? There are endless possibilities when it comes to vegetarian eating. you just need to be willing to learn how cook it, so it’s flavorful and that everyone is still getting all of the nutrients they need.

My reason for being a vegetarian has to do with animal rights and health. I feel very strongly about the mass production of food in this country and how it is depleting the health of humans and animals. But the huge event in my life that shifted my eating was when I got sick about 6 years ago. I was diagnosed with a bacteria infection in the fall of 2007 and it caused so much anxiety for me, to constantly feel like I was going to be sick. My doctor really limited my diet for so long, because everything I ate made me sick and anxious. I lost a lot of weight. I battled with an eating disorder on and off through life, and being sick just escalated it. I spent a few months in a treatment facility (which cost lots of very shiny, pretty pennies), and I feel like I can handle life a little easier now. Now I can’t say it’s easy for me to have had 2 kids and a body I am not comfortable in right now, but I know it won’t be forever. I will get my body back some day soon.

In the mean time, I am learning how to cook, trying out wacky ideas, sometimes I miss! And I am giving my kids good food choices. “If you give your kids good choices, they will make the right choices”. Weight will never be talked about in my house, especially to my daughter. We will never own a scale. It’ s just a number. Instead, we will talk  about God and the food He created for us to eat, all of the delicious, kind foods He has given us. So, let’s get started on seeing how awful my check list is! Heehee!
The items in bold I have in my kitchen:

Nonperishable Dry Goods:
Black beans
Black eyed peas
Cannellini Beans
Pink Beans
Pinto Beans
Kidney Beans
Green Chilis
I need to work on stocking my beans!!

What about nut butters?? Almond, Peanut, Cashew? Hmm those are definite staples in our house! And what about Agave Nectar, honey, rolled oats and other baking supplies??

Wild rice

Spices: keep a good variety of spices around, like a good curry and Italian spice. Check!

Dark Sesame
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I would add avocado and coconut oil to this list

Pastas and noodles:
Keep a good supply of different sizes and shapes of pasta. Check!

Soy Sauce

Tomato products:
Pasta Sauce

Red wine
-3 for 3!! Yes!

Prepared Condiments:
BBQ Sauce
Marinara Sauce
Salad Dressings
Salsa, tomato based
Salads Tomatillo
Thai peanut sauce
Stir-fry sauce

Pantry Vegetables:
Sweet potatoes
Potatoes (red, russet, gold)

Refrigerator Staples:
Cheeses (non-vegan list)
Mayo (veganiase)
Milk (dairy, non-dairy)
Dijon mustard
Yogurts (dairy, non dairy)

I would also say that if chickpeas and lemons are a “must have” then why wouldn’t Tahini be a staple as well? Since I am assuming that the chickpeas and lemons are for making humus?

Freezer Staples
Burger Buns
Sub Rolls
Pasta frozen (raviolis, tortellini, cavatelli)
Pita Bread
Pizza crust
Soy bacon
Tortillas (corn of flour)
Veggie burgers

I would argue for frozen fruit here as well.

Fresh fruits and veggies
Wide variety in the fridge

Well, OK!! This tells me…I need to go shopping!! But I’m not that far off. Yay!!
This was good for me to do, since a collge professor of mine says I “hold the vegetarian card”, it was nice to see where my kitchen is at, and where I need to improve.

Until next time…
Have a fabulous day!