Wednesday, February 22, 2012


So I thought I would share some of my favorite things that I absolutely have to have on hand in my kitchen.  Of course there are lots of other essentials BUT in the interest of time & keeping it simple, here are a few:

VEGAN BOULLION:  This is Rapunzel vegan boullion.  I've included the actual cubes in this photo so you can see the size.  These sell at Whole Foods, usually 2 for $5.00.  At a regular health food store, they are closer to $4 for just one package, but still worth it.   I use these for oven baked potatoes with sausage, every soup, kale or chard cooked stovetop, and more.  The no salt version actually has plenty of  flavor so it cuts down the need for salt, plus you can control how much salt goes in!  Love this and always keep it on hand.  

OATMEAL BAGGIES: This has been my creative breakfast attempt/moneysaver.  I simply buy any kind of old fashioned oats, measure out one serving, add a small bit of organic sugar and cinnamon, and voila!  Inexpensive, individual serve oatmeals for breakfast that are a lifesaver for hubby and I!  I also reuse the bags by washing them, since they never get wet, with some nice hot water & soap and drying them out right away.  I like to get these baggies put together at the beginning of every week so I have less work to do putting together breakfasts during busy weekdays!

BUTLER SOY CURLS:  So these are a soy-protein "chickn" subsitute.  I recently bought them bulk with my mom for $30 each, and we got 12 pounds!  Six pounds  (for $30) has lasted me for ever in the freezer and they are so easy to prepare for tacos, pasta, stirfry, and more.  I simply reconstitute them in hot water for about 15 minutes, drain, and fry up with some olive oil or butter.  Adding chicken style seasoning, broth, taco seasoning, etc.  works great.  These take on most flavors very well.  For more info, google "Butler Soy Curls."  

EWHITE VINEGAR:  So this is a recent discovery.  I keep this on hand (had it before for some potato pancakes but never used it again) NOW, as of a few weeks ago, because of a wonderful recipe for vegan muffins I discovered by googling.  More to come on that recipe in another post:-).  1 tablespoon of vinegar replaces EGGS for 12 vegan muffins.  YES, I said EGGS.  This is not only a CHEAP solution but a healthier choice if you are watching your diet or simply eliminating dairy products.  You can use any white vinegar, this isn't an endorsement for the brand--it's just what I had on hand.  Trust me, fluffy and delicious muffins, all with ONE tablespoon of this stuff.  MUST HAVE:-)  Sorry for the ugly hand/fingers.  Crazy hot water will do that to ya!:-)

WHITE WINE:  So this one is self explanatory.  Once again, not a brand endorsement just a cheap and useful white wine.  Since Dwight and I don't drink, I use this inexpensive white wine to deglaze the bottom of my pot when making soup (fantastic recipe for a tomato, white bean, crimini mushroom soup started me on this!), as well as to make white wine butter lemon sauce for pasta.  I still need to perfect cooking with this, but I will always keep a cheap bottle on hand for recipes!  This one probably only set me back about $6.  

So once again this isn't extensive but I didn't want to be too detailed!  What are some of the things you can't live without in the pantry and fridge?  

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