Kitchen Staples (Pantry/Freezer/Fresh Produce)

I’m linking up with Running with Spoons again for Thinking Out Loud. Thanks for hosting, Amanda!

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I came across a post in my Bloglovin’ feed a week or two ago on kitchen staples, and for the life of me, I can’t remember who shared it. Any clue?! It inspired me to share my own.

I’ve divided my kitchen staples into things I almost always have on hand in my pantry, fridge and freezer and the produce items first to make it on my grocery list each week.

It took a while to build this pantry, and I’ve learned over time what I need/like to have on hand through trial and error. This also by no means serves as an exhaustive list. Plus, some not-so-good for you stuff gets crammed in with the more nutritious items. Looking at you, pumpkin cheesecake in my freezer (and emergency boxed mac ‘n’ cheese).

Let’s start with the pantry. Since moving in with Alex in August, I’ve deeply satisfied my type-A tendencies with a lot of glass jars that store our most used dry goods. I bought them for cheap at IKEA. Perfect for topping oatmeal quickly with seeds + nuts or cooking rice/pasta. Here’s what I like to have on hand:

Grains and Legumes
Brown rice
Brown pasta*
Ezekiel bread**
Canned beans***

*I like spaghetti and fusili
**Always keep a back-up in the freezer!
***One day I’ll make a large batch from dry beans, but until then…cans are easier. I like buying them at Trader Joe’s because I can spend less time reading can ingredients and weeding out the ones with gross additives.

Seeds and Nuts
Chia seeds and flax seeds
Dried fruit: cranberries, golden raisins, raisins
Flax seed meal
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Nuts: chopped pecans, whole and sliced almonds, walnuts, cashews
Peanut and almond butter

One day I’ll progress from mini post-it notes to sticker labels…

Oils, Sweeteners, Misc.
Maple syrup
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Nutritional yeast
Sweet potatoes

Next: the freezer. Perfect for when I need some emergency greens or want items on hand that are required in some of my regular recipes, like vegetarian paella or black bean and quinoa enchilada bake.

Freezer Goods
Green beans
Fruit (berries, mango)

*When I remember to put some in before I eat them all

These next items are almost always on my grocery list, and more get added as I know what I’m cooking that coming week (mushrooms, peppers are the top contenders).

Fresh Produce
Fruit: bananas, apples, berries, and usually one more (grapes/pears/etc.)*
Baby carrots
Sugar snap peas
Bagged spinach**
Fruit (berries, mango)

*I eat an absurd amount of fruit and always have. My mother called/calls her children a bunch of fruit flies.
**Sadly though, this is usually the first to go unused if I don’t plan properly

What are your kitchen staples?

Friday Five: Things That Make Me Happy

I’m linking-up with DC area bloggers Courtney at Eat Pray Run DCCynthia at You Signed Up for What?!, and Mar at Mar on the Run again today! This week’s theme is things that make me happy.

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There are a lot of important things that make me happy, including my family and more than decade-long friendships, but there are also many silly things that make me smile too. This week’s Friday Five is going to focus on the latter – namely: food! I’ll spare you any love notes to the important people in life (especially for my father during this week’s upcoming Father’s Day!), and share five of my favorite foods/meals/eats in Washington, D.C. Food is food, but these five things sure do make me happy. Keep in mind, while I do enjoy a plate of plant-based goodness, these things run on the more indulgent side of things. Let’s get started.

  1. Delicious, sugary goodness from Baked & WiredIf you ask anyone who knows anything about eating cupcakes in DC, they will send you straight to Baked & Wired and far away from Georgetown Cupcakes. Listen to them (me). They have been starting to form their own long line on the weekends, but it is worth the wait. My favorites? The chocolate cupcake of doom (chocolate cake with dark chocolate satin frosting), a slice of key lime pie, bakedwich (ice cream sandwich) and the lemon cupcake with the raspberry filling (and you know, the rest of the menu). You’ll thank me later.
  2. Tofu + cauliflower tacos from TaKoreanTaKorean began as a taco food truck, but you can now find them in The Yards DC or my favorite place, Union Market in NoMa. They serve a cool combination of Korean flavors with a Mexican twist. My go-to order? Three tacos — one cauliflower (the seasonal vegetable), two hoisin, carmelized tofu — with kale slaw and all the toppings. Sometimes I spring for the avocado crema, which is extra. The picky eater in me put off trying TaKorean’s food for a while (despite friend’s ravings), but man, am I glad I got over that.
  3. Bagels from Buffalo & Bergen. You can find me here almost every Saturday morning for a bagel and an endless cup of coffee at the counter. I usually go through phases of bagels (egg + cheese on everything, lox + cream cheese on garlic, or french toast bagel + cream cheese), and when I’m feeling particularly indulgent I’ll add a made-to-order craft soda. My favorite combination is coke + peppermint. They also have excellent cocktails and knishes if you’d like to try those as well.
  4. Brunch at Founding Farmers or Kafe Leopold. Okay, okay – I snuck in two places in one line! I couldn’t pick. I went to Founding Farmers after my 10K race on Saturday, and it’s also my favorite place to take visitors. The atmosphere is great, the food is delicious and reasonably price, and it never fails to make a good impression. I highly recommend making a reservation first though, especially on the weekend, because it gets busy. If you’re in Georgetown, try Kafe Leopold! It’s a little hidden down Cady’s Alley, but well worth it for their lemon/raspberry pancakes (and savory dishes). They also have a great little outdoor space to enjoy when the weather is warm.
  5. Date night at Dangerously Delicious Pies. This place is best enjoyed Monday-Wednesday after 5pm when you can enjoy the date night special! Bring along your partner or best friend and enjoy 2 sweet slices, 2 savory slices and 2 non-alcoholic drinks for $22. If you all order something different, you’ll get to sample four different slices! The savory pie also comes with a salad. My typical order is usually the goat cheese and spinach quiche and a type of berry pie for dessert.

Where do you love to eat in DC? Have you tried any of these places?