Cook'n is the best selling recipe organizer

Volume III
August 12, 2011

Weekly Home / No More Blood Sugar Blues

Keep Your Pantry Health-Ready

By Alice Osborne

I'm a voracious reader of health-oriented books, and one of the very best I found quite by accident (browsing the used books at our local SAVERS) is The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health.

The author, Dr. Dean Ornish, included kitchen advice, menus, recipes, etc. from renowned health chef, Art Smith. Here's what Art has to say about what we can do to keep our pantries health-ready:

"Having a well-stocked pantry will continue to guide and encourage you to live a healthy life. Most of us call out for a food delivery when we have nothing in the house to make dinner with. I am not saying you have to swear off your favorite pizza or Chinese restaurant; I am suggesting that you indulge only every now and then. In the meantime, stock your pantry with healthy snacks and groceries. [Hah! JUST what we've been talking about in previous newsletters!]

"I have listed some of the items that I always have on hand in my kitchen. Once your pantry is stocked, make a trip to a farmers' market or the produce section of your favorite grocery store and purchase some fruits and vegetables in the height of their season. It is best to purchase perishable fruits and vegetables a few times a week to ensure their freshness."

Now read on for his concise, and I would say "sensible and doable" healthy-pantry checklist, as well as one of his recipes. (Next week I will share Art's cooking/kitchen tips.) What encouraged me about his philosophy and this list is that it's so normal - nothing Martha Stewartish about it. In fact, most of his suggestions were already sitting on my shelves! See what you think:

Whole Grains and Flours:

Almond flour
Amaranth flour
Brown rice
Buckwheat noodles
Bulghur wheat
Rolled oats
Rye flour
Spelt flour
Spelt or rice pasta
Steel-cut oats
Whole-wheat couscous

Nuts and Seeds:

Almonds (raw)
Cashews (raw)
Pine nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds (raw)

Dried Herbs and Spices:

Asian rub
Bay leaf
Curry powder
Garam masala
Ground garlic
Herbes de Provence
Onion powder
Red chili flakes
Sesame seeds

Oils and Vinegars

Balsamic vinegar
Canola oil
Extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil
Olive oil cooking spray
Red wine vinegar
Rice wine vinegar
Sherry vinegar
White wine vinegar

Canned Goods

Artichoke hearts (in water)
Italian tomatoes
Legumes (black beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans)
Tuna (in water)
Lentils (red and black)
Vegetable broth (low-sodium)

Refrigerator Staples

(the herbs could also be part of a window-garden—always fresh)

Basil (fresh and pesto)
Chili paste
Italian parsley
Low-sodium soy sauce
Shiritake (soy noodles)
Whole-grain Mustard

Freezer Staples:

(organic, if possible)

Corn kernels
Peas, fava beans, edamame
Soy burgers
Veggie sausages

Garlic-Mashed Cauliflower with Herbs

Serves 4

1 large head cauliflower
7 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1/4 C fresh herbs (dill, flat-leaf parsley, thyme, and basil are all great—alone or in combination)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove the greenery and core from the cauliflower, and chop it into roughly 1-inch chunks. Bring the cauliflower and garlic to a boil in a pot of salted water. When the cauliflower is soft, drain it and garlic and place all in a food processor or blender with the herbs, salt, and pepper. Blend until chunky, or mash the whole mixture by hand.

Help on downloading recipes

Contribute to the Cook'n Club!

DVO would love to publish your article, prose, photography and art as well as your cooking, kitchen and nutrition tips, tricks and secrets. Visit the Newsletter Submission / Win Win for All section in our Forum for more information and details.