How to build your safe pantry

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Everyone knows that with food sensitivities and special diets that eating WILL become a chore! However, I believe that preparation is the key to success for your health!

You couldn’t possibly be able to come home late from work and put together a quick meal if you’re gluten-free and all you have is regular pasta in your pantry!

Recipe for disaster!

 

You need a plan!

You need to have on hand everything you could possibly need to throw together a quick, healthy and yes, a simple meal.

So, what do I do?

I stock my pantry. (And my freezer and fridge) with “SAFE” staples. The things I need and always fall back on, so when life throws you a curve ball and that detailed lasagna you wanted to make with that expensive special gluten free lasagna noodle can be switched for a quick stir-fry when time is of the essence!

 

Below is a list of MY staples. Yours may be different, but I hope that it will be helpful for you if you’re just starting out a new way of eating. In my case everything has to be gluten-free.  So, I try to find products that my non-gluten-free family can enjoy as well.  In order for me to stick to my diet they have to eat the same way. (There’s no way I am making two pots of pasta or two different stir fry’s!) I can only do so much, so it’s eat it or starve!

San-J Tamari Gluten free soy sauce
Barilla Gf pasta
Great Value gf pasta (It’s actually really good!! Found at Wal-Mart)
Presidents Choice gf pasta (Found at Loblaws)
Asian rice noodles ( I find these in the international food sections)
Cans or jars of your favourite pasta sauce (Read the label!! I found a few no-no ingredients in some)
frozen stir fry veggies (Costco has a great blend)
frozen veggies of all kinds
frozen fruits
cans of beans (or dried beans home cooked and frozen in small portions)
spices and seasonings (Read labels carefully!)
jumbo costco sized bag of rice
quinoa
instant broth cubes (read the label, not all are gluten free!!) I use these to make quinoa otherwise it tastes like cardboard!
gluten free bread or buns, keep them in the fridge or freezer
cans of tomatoes, I use the less salt variety

After scanning many recipes for gluten free baked goods, I noticed a trend to a handful of regulars, so with my trusty Bulk Barn near by I stock up on enough to get me through a few months.

* Note: many who are severely Celiac should not buy gluten free flours from the Bulk Barn because of cross contamination. Bulk Barn had actually removed the gluten-free labels on these flours and starches because they cannot actually prove that they didn’t come into contact with gluten-rich products! The scoops alone could be switched around even if they’ve been washed!

 

Anywhooooo, the best way to get this done is to start slowly!

Always Remember to Write on the Tag What it is you are bagging up!

Here is a list of my gluten-free baking supplies:
arrowroot powder
amaranth powder
rice flour
teff flour
potato starch
potato flour
tapioca starch
almond flour
coconut flour
sorghum flour
guar gum
xanthan gum
corn flour
corn meal

 

* Note #2- a lot of these powders are white or off white, so not only should you label the bin code on the Bulk Barn tag, but write the name on the other side so when you get home you will know which is which! I ended up putting brown rice flour into my sorghum jar and sorghum into brown rice and never noticed until they were both side by side on the cupboard. they are very slightly different shades of beige!

 

I bought cute jars from Ikea that fit nicely on top of my cupboards to store all these flours. I also have them labeled! Technically, I should have them all refrigerated to keep them from spoiling, however, I use them quite often and have not had any problems!

 

This is how I keep my pantry ready for anything!  I have recipe books and Pinterest, of course! I try to keep an open mind to make what my family likes, but sometimes I just have to make foods that only I will eat.  It makes more work for me but in the end I have containers of extras to eat for lunches during the week.  One way to sabotage your efforts is to not be prepared with easy to grab foods!  The next best thing to help you keep at it is to have a menu plan! While you may not eat exactly what you wrote down for Monday on that particular day, it helps give you an idea of what you CAN make with what yo have on hand!

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