If you walked into my kitchen right now, you would most likely find many, if not all, of these things. I get 99% of my things from Jimbo’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Sprouts, and online at Amazon. Almost everything I buy is organic. Remember that this is what works for my family, and what we believe keeps us in our healthy and happy place. You need to find what work for you:
Fruits and vegetables– the more locally grown, organic and GMO free you can get the better, but anything is better than none at all.
Oatmeal– I use gluten free oats. Trader Joe’s has an awesome gluten free bag, as do some other grocery stores and natural markets. Oats aren’t always gluten free but if you are not really sensitive, most people do not have big issues with oats.
Flours/starches/etc.- the gluten free (GF) ones that I like best are brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, tapioca, almond meal, coconut, GF oat flour (you can also grind gluten free oats), potato starch, arrowroot powder, corn starch, flax meal, chia seeds.
*a side note, the bean flours are also gluten free but I am not fond of the taste. You can also use a general all purpose gluten free mix in my recipes, but be wary of bean flour in it for taste purposes. I have created my own mix for my recipes, but if it is too much work, you can sub a premade flour mix like this one by Pamela’s or this Kind Arthur brand.
Bread/tortillas– Udi’s GF bread is the best GF I found. We mostly stick to the sprouted wheats though, although there is some gluten it is tolerable and they are much less processed than regular breads. My favorite is either Dave’s Killer Bread or Ezekiel Brand. We also get the Ezekiel sprouted grain tortillas, along with corn tortillas.
Grains– quinoa (technically not a grain), farro (not completely gluten free but low in gluten and very tolerable if you aren’t actually allergic), black rice, brown rice, wild rice, millet, buckwheat groats.
Pasta– One of my favorites is the Ancient Harvest Organic Quinoa/Corn pasta. Another favorite is the TruRoots Ancient Grains pasta, especially the elbows. This is one gluten free pasta that tastes great as a leftover so it is awesome for pasta salad! The pasta by NOW Foods, Living Now is also amazing. I also absolutely love the bean pastas by Explore Asian, both black bean (click here for single pack) and mung bean are delicious and are really good for you! I haven’t tried the soy bean yet but I’m sure its great. They are organic, GMO free, vegan and the only ingredients are the beans and water, so they are packed with protein. I buy these on amazon (click on links for each) because they have the best deal, especially when you buy the pack which is what I do! Brown rice noodles are another option, but not as good in my opinion as the quinoa or bean pastas. Trader Joe’s came out with a quinoa/brown rice noodle mix that isn’t bad either.
Tofu and Tempeh– Great protein as long as you aren’t allergic to soy. I use a tempeh bacon from Jimbo’s that is pretty good. I also use the blocks of tempeh and boil them before use to help get rid of that bitter aftertaste they have. It works well. Jimbo’s also has a grilled tofu that is ready to eat and really firm and hearty. If you want some faux meats, you can stock some of those too, but these really shouldn’t be eaten too often as they are usually filled with sodium and have other processed ingredients. Also, make sure that the products you buy with soy are non-GMO. Here’s a good link for non-GMO info: http://www.nongmoproject.org
Veggie broth– not only can be used as a soup base, but also to cook your quinoa/rice in and to sauté veggies in so they don’t stick and you don’t overdo it on the oil. I try and use the ones without the tomato in it as it gives a more neutral flavor.
Non-dairy milks– Cashew or almond is my milk of choice but coconut is really good in smoothies. It’s best to use unsweetened but if you can’t stand the taste then start with the sweetened and slowly move yourself to the unsweetened. Silk and SO Delicious are my favorite brands.
Sweeteners– my dry sugar of choice is coconut palm sugar, or maybe Sucanat. Sometimes I throw in maple sugar. I also make date paste by blending dates in a high speed blender or food processor, here is my recipe. It gives you a caramel like consistency and taste, I love it and use it all the time! It keeps in the fridge for about a week but it freezes exceptionally well. If I need something liquid, I mostly use organic grade B maple syrup but I have also used brown rice syrup or coconut palm nectar. I have tried agave syrup but there is some controversy on which ones are refined and which ones are not. Stevia and Xylitol are not my favorite as I don’t like the taste and my stomach doesn’t react well to them.
Tea– any herbal tea is great for those cold days. They have some really good tasting ones on Amazon online, or at Trader Joe’s, Jimbo’s, Whole Foods, and Sprouts.
Nut/seed butters– peanut, almond, sunflower, cashew and pecan are my favorite. Make sure there are no added ingredients other than the nut/seed or perhaps salt.
Prepared snack items: nuts, seeds, trailmix (make sure there is no added sugar), dried fruit (again, no added sugar), hummus (I love the Majestic Sprouted brand), Bitchin Sauce, gluten free pretzels (Glutino brand is awesome), gluten free crackers, seaweed snacks, tortilla chips (look for those that are organic corn based and with few ingredients), Lara Bars and Pure Bars (my favorite because of their very few ingredients).
Protein Powder– I don’t use these often but some good ones are the Sunwarrior brand, NOW Foods Pea Protein, and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein because they are the most natural and simple ones I have found.
Spices– I love 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe’s. It has no salt so I use it liberally to add different flavors to our meals. Some of my other favorites are Himalayan Pink Salt (it is less processed and still has many of its natural nutrients), lemon pepper, regular and smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, ground black pepper, greek oregano (I’m spoiled and get it straight from Greece from my family over there), cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Simply Organic is one of my favorite spice brands.
Special Treats– We all need a treat every now and then. My favorite right now is Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups, they are so good and SO much healthier than Reese’s! I also like coconut milk or cashew cream based ice creams (SO Delicious is my absolute favorite) best but the almond and rice milk can be good too. I usually make my own but these are a great quick treat. I also love the Enjoy Life Vegan chocolate chips. They are soy, nut and dairy free!
Kitchen Tools and utensils:
Food Processor– I use this in a lot of my cooking, from pulsing veggies into chunks to creating smooth sauces.
Blender– I use this as a backup smoothie, drink maker. I don’t use it as often as my food processor or high speed blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec) but it comes in handy once in a while and is much less expensive than the other ones.
Vitamix– An expensive but amazing kitchen tool. If you could buy just one thing, this would be it. A powerful high speed blender is an all around multi use tool that you will use in your everyday cooking. Other option that is similar is a Blendtec.
Immersion blender– I use this for everything. A great way to puree soups and sauce right in the pot, make single serving smoothies, or every quickly chop small amounts of ingredients with the attachment chopper. I love it.
Kitchen Aid stand mixer– This is another one of my favorite must haves. I love being able to put ingredients in and move on to other things while it mixes them for me. Best investment.
Crockpot– A busy households best friend. I have a handful of great crockpot recipes and am always coming up with more. So easy to use and gives great results. Very versatile.
Mandolin slicer– A quick and easy way to get perfectly shaped sliced fruit and veggies. Great for french fries!
Spiralizer– A fun kitchen tool that gives a cool twist to your food. Kids love this one and mine have been willing to try things they wouldn’t have when I use this tool to make it new and different! If I hold the base even my 3 year old can turn the crank.
Rice Cooker– Cooks many types of grains for you. It’s the best way to get perfectly cooked quinoa every time. I use it often.
Panini Press/griddler– I use this for everything from making panini’s to grilling veggies or veggie burgers.
Juicer– Amazing for fresh pressed juice. This one is a slow juicer so retains many of the nutrients.
Ice cream maker– I use this weekly during the summer to make fresh homemade ice cream!
Waffle Iron– A great way to make homemade waffles, I make a big batch and freeze the leftovers.
Stainless Steel Pots– I use for everyday cooking and rewarming of food on the stove.
Sautee pan– A needed accessory for any cook.
10” omelet pan– A needed accessory for any cook.
12” omelet pan– A needed accessory for any cook.
14” omelet pan– A needed accessory for any cook.
Glass bowl set– A must have for all cooking and baking.
Pasta strainer– A great tool to not only drain your pasta and other grains but also to wash your produce.
Baking/cookie sheet– I use this for everything from baking cookies to roasted veggies. My go to everyday tool.
Springform pan– I use this more for pies than a regular pie pan because I love how well it bakes and keeps the pie looking nice and neat.
Parchment paper– A very useful and inexpensive non stick surface.
Silpats– A nonstick baking mat that takes the place of parchment during baking.
Mason jars– I use these for everything from making my overnight oats to storage to gift containers for friends filled with the treats I make. I love them!
Ice cream scoop– Not only useful for ice cream but also to scoop the innards of squashes and drop cookie dough onto cookie sheets for baking.
Eat Cleaner produce wash– A great product for cleaning your produce easily and effectively.
Eat Cleaner produce wipes– A great product for cleaning your produce easily and effectively when you are out and about.