The Farmstand PantryElizabeth Winslow | JUNE 18, 2019
A well-stocked pantry is your Farmstand's secret weapon. Filling your larder with earth-friendly ingredients to make simple meals with what's in season is going to make whipping up dinner (or breakfast, lunch, or brunch) easy peasy!
A good selection of whole grains will make quick work of stir-frys, salads, breakfast, and grain bowls.
Farro - An ancient wheat variety, farro has the chewy toothsomeness of barley. Try it cooked like risotto or boiled in salted water to add heft to salads and grain bowls.
Brown Rice - A healthy whole grain (and more flavorful!) substitute for all your white rice recipes.
Oats - Savory or sweet, these are our breakfast go-to. You can toss a handful of rolled oats into your favorite smoothie for a heartier blend.
Cracked Wheat - An all-season tabouli staple, but also really, really good in a grain bowl, as a fritter filler, or wrapped up in a chard or collard leaf.
Quinoa - High in protein, we love quinoa in salads and bowls, as a tabouli substitute for gluten intolerant eaters, and folded into homemade veggie burger mix.
Grits or Polenta - You won't find anything better as a creamy comforting base for sauteed greens, mushrooms, or eggplant. Stir in a dollop of any-greens pesto for a simple, satisfying lunch or supper.
Check out our Grains Pinterest Boards
for some recipe inspiration!
Full of protein, hearty, and versatile, dried beans are the essential building blocks for many a meal at Lettuce Grow HQ, but we'll use canned in a pinch!
Garbanzos - Probably in heaviest rotation (with lentils coming in a close second) in our veggie-focused kitchen. Garbanzos take well to a huge spectrum of sauces, from creamy curries to brothy stews. They love a vinaigrette and crunchy vegetables and mash up to perfection in your favorite hummus recipe.
Black beans - Crazy good for you and your go-to for burritos, tacos, brothy, chile-accented soup beans.
Lentils - Another Lettuce Grow HQ staple, lentils are fantastic both hot and room temp in a salad. Explore green LePuy, red, yellow and black beluga varieties. Amazingly good in recipes that normally center around ground beef - think meatless balls, sloppy joes, Bolognese sauce, and chile.
Cannellini beans - Super creamy and smooth, cannellinis are great braised with garlic and greens, and for pasta dishes, bean soup, and silky bean spread for crostini and dip.
Check out our Beans Pinterest Board for some recipe inspiration!
Take your impromptu recipes in wildly different directions with a little spice. These flavors can take dishes just about anywhere you want to go.
Cumin - Earthy and bold, a pinch (or more!) sends things in a South Asian, Mexican, or Central American direction.
Coriander - Bright and lemony, it often goes hand in hand with cumin, but try it on its own to add a citrusy element to any dish.
Fennel seeds - A little bit licorice-y, a quick toast in a skillet will bring out fennel's roasty, nutty side.
Cinnamon - From oatmeal to moussaka, cinnamon is a non-negotiable at Lettuce Grow HQ.
Smoked paprika - Who needs bacon when you have a stash of this warm, smoky, brick-red powder.
Cayenne - A pinch adds a little piquant heat to wherever you need to elevate a dish’s flavors.
Turmeric - Famous for its anti-inflammatory and healthy properties, it turns dishes a gorgeous yellow and adds notes of earthy astringency wherever it goes.
Our go-to salt is Diamond Crystal kosher - it's a lot less salty than other brands and contains no anti-caking chemicals. A box of Maldon salt is lovely to have on hand for sprinkling on top of salads and veggies.
Pepper - We prefer it freshly ground!
Check out our Spices Pinterest Board for some recipe inspiration!
Oil, Vinegar & Extracts
These are our desert island oils and vinegars - there are a gajillion out there to play with, but these are our go-tos over and over again for both health and flavor reasons.
Olive oil - Find your favorite mild everyday oil for cooking and experiment with the flavor profiles of more strongly flavored varietals for drizzling on top of dishes.
Grapeseed oil - Our favorite completely neutral oil for frying and roasting - stands up to high temps and imparts no flavor to food (and high in vitamin E and antioxidants too!).
Coconut oil - Another healthy fat, coconut oil is solid at room temp so can stand in for shortening in baking recipes, and it imparts sweet, tropical notes to savory dishes.
Sesame oil - Rich and roasty, toasted sesame oil is used sparingly for flavor in stir-fries, vinaigrettes, and dipping sauces.
Balsamic vinegar - A little sweet and a little sour, balsamic runs the flavor gamut from vinaigrettes to final drizzle over roasted meats and veggies. White balsamic has a softer flavor profile - we like to keep both on hand.
Wine vinegar - Red, white, rice, champagne, or sherry - a good selection of wine vinegars are essential for keeping the salad bowl interesting.
Apple cider vinegar - When you want a shaper tang in your vinaigrette, reach for apple cider vinegar. We also love it sprinkled on roasted veggies with a pinch of crunchy Maldon salt.
Soy sauce - This staple brings a hit of rich savoriness to roasts, stir-fries, noodle dishes, and crispy roasted kale.
Vanilla extract - Dress up smoothies, fruit compotes, your morning oats, granola, and your favorite baked treats.
Almond extract - Often overlooked, almond extract is a critical component of our favorite smoothie blend and our go-to granola recipe.
Nuts & Seeds
For crunch, for richness, for health - nuts boost the nutritional profile of any dish with their plentiful omega 3s, and are often the last minute addition that's exactly what your recipe was missing.
Pecans - Halves will be fresher than pieces - taste one if you're buying in bulk to make sure the flavor is good.
Almonds - Sliced, slivered, or whole, almonds add crunch and a sweet nuttiness wherever you toss them.
Walnuts - Try blending lightly toasted walnuts into your next vinaigrette and prepare to have your mind blown.
Hazelnuts - Rich and deeply crunchy, we like to mix it up with hazelnuts - toss in a salad or make a crunchy topper for pasta or risotto.
Peanuts - A super-healthy legume, peanuts are graduating from a lunchbox sandwich staple to stir-fries, noodle dishes and dipping sauces. Try them in molé!
Pumpkin Seeds - Quick-toasting pumpkin seeds are a staple in our favorite granola recipe, in salads, and on top of morning oats.
It's always good to have the basics on hand!
Flour - Branch out into whole grain and alternative flours - give spelt, buckwheat, and stoneground wheat a try.
Sugar, Honey, Maple Syrup - Sometimes you need a little touch of sweet for even your savory dishes. Make sure you have healthy options on hand!
Leavening - You don't want to be caught without yeast, baking powder, or baking soda when the baking bug bites.
Pasta - If you've got some on hand, you can whip up a quick meal with pretty much anything your Farmstand is yielding. Try whole grain for a heartier flavor.
Sometimes (especially if you're cooking meat-free), your recipes need a little something-something that you just can't quite put your finger on - this list is for those moments.
Parmesan or nutritional yeast
Anchovies (trust us)
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