Building your Kitchen.

A well stocked pantry

This is my fifth attempt writing this section. I created list after list to give you an idea of what the possible options are and then realized, these are my choices and not yours. My home is primarily vegetarian with some chicken and fish. While I am a herbivore, the rest of my family eats it all. Over the years, I have learnt how to handle the bird, but the fish has a stink :( 

Coming back to the pantry. Stock your pantry with what works for your family. If your family does not enjoy Quinoa, there is no need to buy the Costco pack. Start with 100 gms of Quinoa from Whole foods and then take it forward.  

Here's a quick list of some of the staples in my pantry:

Fresh Vegetables:
  • Red Onions,  Potatoes
  • Green Onions, 
  • Peppers (Red, Green, Yellow, Orange and any other color that you can find :)) It's one of the most versatile vegetables and a must have. 
  • Cauliflower, again one of the most versatile vegetables, especially if you like gluten free Pizza's. 
  • Cilantro
  • Ginger (lots of it,) Garlic and chilli peppers. 
  • Some greens or Cabbage. 
Frozen Section: 
  • Mixed vegetables - carrots, peas, corn, beans. 
  • Paneer
  • Frozen Tandoori Naan or Tandoori Roti
  • Corn - love corn, again very versatile
  • Chicken - Individually frozen chicken breasts
  • Tons of kid friendly quick foods - fish sticks, bagel bites and the like. Not very healthy I know, but life needs cheat sheets every so often. 
Spices, Herbs, Chutneys and more:  While many spend their money on diamonds, I spend mine of spices and herbs. I scout for them everywhere. From TJ Maxx Home Goods to grocery stores, I look for unique and flavor full chutneys and spice mixes. 
  • Sriracha Sauce - This is probably one of the most versatile sauces out there. From Tom Yum soup to Paneer tikka, it fits them all. 
  • Soya sauce - I prefer a low sodium one
  • Trader Joes' Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant spread
  • Mango pickle
  • Tomato Pickle
  • Maggi Hot n Sweet
  • Ketchup - you will be surprised how a squirt of ketchup can save the day. 
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Dill
  • Mix of Oregano and Thyme OR if you have them separate that's fine too. 
  • Garam Masala 
  • Cumin, Corriander Powder, Dry Mango Powder (Amchur,) Turmeric, Salt, Mustard Seeds, and many more. 
  • Pasta - a variety, from spaghetti to penne to bow tie and macaroni. 
  • Canned baby corn, black beans 

Being from India, I always have an assortment of ten different legumes, rice and whole wheat flour at any time. And really, even if there wasn't a single fresh vegetable in the house, just the legumes and rice can give you a wholesome complete meal. 

I am sure there is something I am missing, but the above is a list of what I always have.  Now lets start cooking. 

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