My Favorite Things

A few of my favorite ingredients, and why I love them!

  Flaxseed (Ground) Flaxseeds are a vegan's best friend. Not only do they provide a complete daily supply of ALA Omega 3's (in a 1/4 cup serving), but they are also the ideal egg substitute for recipes of all kinds. Flaxseeds have a nice, nutty flavor that can add depth and substance to any recipe.

  Oatmeal I love oatmeal. All kinds of oatmeal. I always have an abundant supply of oats on hand...from steel cut, to old-fashioned, to oat flour--I absolutely adore my oats. They are great for breakfast, in baked goods, in smoothies, you name it. So versatile and nice and cheap.

  Protein Powder I like to add protein powder to my morning (and afternoon!) smoothies. I think it adds a nice flavor, as well as providing a good percent of daily protein needs. The trick is finding one that is what I like to call "triple threat protein powder": vegan (of course), no added gunk (aka clean ingredients), and budget-friendly (for the most part...PP's are not cheap!). I've tried quite a few and my favorites are listed below.
--Jarrow Naturals Organic Brown Rice Protein Powder, Vanilla or Mixed Berry Flavor; 
--Vega Vanilla Smoothie; 
--Garden of Life RAW protein; 
--NutriBiotic Vanilla Protein; 
--Hemp Protein (any brand is fine, just be sure the only ingredient is 100% hemp protein)
--Natural Factors Vegan Protein Powders

  Fruits and Veggies...ALL KINDS! This one kind of goes without saying...but buy your veggies people! I do my best to buy seasonally as much as I can, but I do use frozen fruits and veggies when I must.

  Non-dairy Milks This is DEFINITELY a must-have. I love Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, Silk Unsweetened Cashew Milk, Silk Unsweetened Coconut Milk, and Westsoy Unsweetened soy milk.

  Nuts, Seeds, and Nut Butters While I AM a HCLFV (see my "About Me" page for my story!), I do like to keep my fave nuts and seeds in my pantry, mainly for flavor, a little crunchy something on top of a NoGurt Bowl, or for those times I just want some pistachios (or the like...) SO BAD that I'm willing to suffer the migraine later and I just eat them (it happens...). However, even on the times I DO give in to my craving, I make sure to limit myself--the headaches aren't TOO severe if I only eat a very little bit. And usually, that's all it takes to kick the craving.

In the Pantry

  • Oats (old fashioned, quick, thick cut rolled, and my all time fave...OATBRAN!)
  • Wheat bran and wheat germ
  • Protein Powder
  • Various Flours (spelt, oat, brown rice, chickpea, buckwheat, coconut, and almond are faves)
  • Spices (I try to only buy the "must-have" spices, as they tend to be pricy. Cinnamon, black pepper, nutritional yeast, garlic/onion powders, nutmeg, ginger, curry, etc.)
  • No-Salt Added Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • No-Salt Added (or Reduced-Sodium) Canned Beans (Note: if you can't find No Salt or Reduced sodium, rinsing the beans in a colander gets the majority of the salt off--I do this frequently)
  • Organic No Salt Added Tomato Paste
  • No Salt Added mini cans of tomato sauce (8 oz.--perfect size for a bowl of chili! No leftovers = perfection.)
  • 100% Organic Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal
  • Polenta (Corn Grits)
  • Hot Tea Bags (Green Tea, Peppermint, Various Herbal Teas)
  • Vanilla Powder
  • Pure liquid smoke (Wright's brand is my fave)
  • Baking soda/powder (For baking powder I use Haine's Featherweight Sodium-free) 
  • Powdered Peanut Butter (Fave brands--"Just Great Stuff" and "Jif". Jif brand is one ingredient: roasted peanuts! That's it!)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Arrowroot Powder (used as cornstarch replacement for a less-processed and GMO-free alternative)
  • Agave Nectar (I only use occasionally as a treat)
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Stevia packets and liquids, various flavors (I ONLY buy Sweet Leaf brand--it's the best!)
  • Quinoa 
  • Barley
  • Millet
  • Nori
  • Textured Vegetable Protein
In the Fridge

  • Almond/soy milk
  • Flaxseed
  • Salsa
  • Hummus (Engine 2 and Wild Garden brands are oil-free)
  • Spicy Brown Mustard
  • Red/Green Curry Paste
  • Vegetable Broth (I like Pacific Naturals Low Sodium Brand)
  • Kimchi
  • Extra-Firm Tofu
  • Silken Tofu
  • Ezekiel 4:9 Bread and Corn Tortillas
  • Alvarado Street Bakery Breads 
  • Engine 2 Diet Marinara Sauce
  • Tofu Noodles

Note: for produce, I buy seasonally, both for cost AND flavor. That being said, I've listed the things that are ALWAYS in my fridge/on my counter, regardless of the season.

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Citrus (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
  • Carrots
  • Greens (kale, spinach, romaine, etc.)
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Cucumber
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers
  • Onions
  • "Veggie of the Week" (I pick one random veggie each week and get creative!)

  • Frozen Fruits and Veggies, assorted
  • Oatmeal Toppings (unsweetened coconut flakes, dried mulberries, freeze-dried cranberries, raisins, hemp hearts)
  • White Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bragg's Liquid Aminos
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Organic Yellow Mustard
  • Organic Unsweetened Ketchup (Westbrae Naturals)
  • Individual protein powder packets (for quick snacks of "protein pudding")
  • GoRaw mini bars
  • Applesauce 

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