Healthy Cooking Thursday – My Kitchen Inventory


The ladies at our healthy weight loss spa often ask if I eat at home the way I cook at Green Mountain. The answer is absolutely! I want to feel good, and I know that eating well can make that happen.

Here are the ingredients I usually keep in my arsenal at home to make sure flavorful healthy food is always at my family’s fingertips. You can use this list as a jumping-off point to create your own to see what is low in your kitchen inventory and generate an appropriate shopping list. That way, splurges on tempting impulse items at the store are less likely to occur.

Onions, garlic, potatoes, winter squashes
Fresh and dried fruit
Canned fruit and vegetables (esp. tomato)
Legumes: dried lentils, dried beans, canned beans, wasabi peas, canned refried beans, HFCS-free canned baked beans
Canned fish: tuna, herring, sardines
Grains: rice, quinoa, rolled and steel cut oats, barley, canned corn, cornmeal
Baked natural corn chips
Wheat, white, rye, and gluten free flour
Sugar, brown sugar, agave nectar, confectioner’s sugar
Baking soda and powder
Panko and traditional bread crumbs
Cocoa powder
Corn starch
Teas, coffee, and Ovaltine (for those “need chocolate!” moments)
A collection of extracts: vanilla, orange, almond, peppermint, etc.
Herbs and spices, in order of frequency of use: salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, basil, paprika, oregano, cumin, chili powder, ginger, cinnamon, thyme, curry, turmeric, red pepper flakes, coriander, chipotle powder, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, dry mustard, tarragon, rosemary, dill, fennel, caraway
Vinegars: cider, balsamic, red, raspberry, rice wine, champagne
Oils: canola, olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, toasted sesame, peanut
Low-sodium soy or tamari (which is gluten-free)
HFCS-free Worcestershire sauce
Thai fish sauce
Several hot sauces (Chipotle Tabasco and Louisiana-style among them)

Fruit and veggies (always carrots and cabbage)
Ginger root
Parsley with stems in a cup of water
Nuts and seeds
Meat, poultry, or fish for the next two or three days
Free range eggs
Vermont cheese
Yogurt or cottage cheese
Hummus or refried beans
Peanut or almond butter and tahini
Milk and a cow’s milk alternative (usually coconut milk)
Sourdough starter
Homemade vinaigrette (Honey Dijon or Maple Balsamic)
HFCS-free ketchup, teriyaki, and barbeque sauce
A collection of mustards
Sriracha (“rooster sauce”)
Pickle relish
Organic locally produced preserves
Maple syrup (from Vermont, of course!)
Leftovers (always inspirational!)

Bulk nuts and seeds
Bean purees
Locally-raised meat and poultry
Calamari or raw shrimp
Stock and soups
Bread, wraps, pitas, bagels, and muffins
Rich desserts (cookies, cakes, brownies)

What do you need in your kitchen inventory?  Did I miss something you consider crucial?

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