Stocking Staples

My friend Emily in a recent post highly recommended that you buy frozen veggies when you grocery shop. I think this is a great idea and I do this as well. Don’t know what to have for dinner? Break out the winter vegetables in pine nut garlic sauce from the freezer and use it to top pasta. Bam. Done.

During this whole dairy-free experimentation, I’ve noticed that there are a number of things that are typically in my kitchen disappearing and a new set of usual suspects arriving. Before, it was commonplace for me to have various kinds of dried beans in the house. I eat a lot of beans. But, I’ve noticed a large number of seeds have also started to feature in my cooking and in the jars in my pantry. Before, I just had chia seeds. Now, I have hemp seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds. Before, I regularly had a big container of plain yogurt. Now, the plain yogurt is gone. I’ve tried replacing it with various kinds of non-dairy yogurt, but none of really stepped up to the plate. I like the almond and soy milk yogurts, but I think they taste more like pudding than like yogurt. I used to always have blocks of cheese in fridge, usually cheddar, Parmesan and mozzarella. Now, I have a package of daiya and nutritional yeast. I’ve not been a regular milk drinker for awhile, but I’ve noticed that over the past two months I’ve gone to having 2 cartons of some kind of non-dairy milk going in the fridge. I usually have soy milk for baking and then an almond, coconut, rice or oat milk that ends up being the creamer in my coffee. I’ve also found myself eating a lot of fruit. This is a good time of year for fruit-eating, so I’m pretty happy about this.

And, during this whole process I’m still not sure what my basic grocery list is. I’ve not settled into a cooking routine yet. This has been good in that I’ve tried a lot of fun recipes, but it is also challenging because it requires brain power and time to come up with and make a list of dishes that aren’t part of a routine. I still haven’t settled into my 8-9 dairy-free/vegan dishes that I can cook at a moment’s notice. This is my next step in the process. Falling into a pattern of tasty dishes and learning what I need to keep on hand to keep myself nourished.

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