The 25 Most Important Items To Have in the Pantry

To make straight to puree recipes, you need a well-stocked pantry and freezer. That way, you won’t have to run to the store. The refrigerator is the place where you keep your sauces once they are opened. I keep a small refrigerator for whole grain flour and sweeteners like maple syrup. To stock the freezer, do a good shop in advance, when you have time.

19720279084_285e4b60ed_bThe Pantry

  • A couple of savory sauces: Tomato sauce, Alfredo or cream sauce, barbeque, brown gravy, broths, curry (We use coconut milk as a substitute for heavy cream. It tastes like liquid silk.)
  • A couple of dessert sauces: Fruit, chocolate, caramel
  • A couple of sweeteners: Stevia, honey, maple syrup, agave
  • A couple of sweet spices: ginger, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
  • A couple of savory spices: garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme.
  • A couple of cans of beans (preferably lower sodium and organic): kidney, black, garbanzo, black-eyed peas, baked beans (without an overload of sugar). Beans are an excellent addition to soups and are a natural thickener.
  • A can of organic pumpkin puree for straight to puree pies
  • Tomato – The tomato should be present in the pantry in all its glory and variety: sauce, diced, crushed, paste. A tube of tomato paste is excellent for adding a tablespoon to a chili or stew to thicken and add flavor.
  • Quartered artichoke hearts for pasta sauce
  • Anchovy paste for depth of flavor in pasta sauce
  • Dried mushrooms for quickie sauces and gravies
  • Various types of broth for soups and gravies
  • Soups: tomato basil or carrot and ginger for quickie dishes

The Refrigerator

  • Oyster sauce from the Chinese kitchen for sautéed veggies
  • Hoisin sauce from the Chinese kitchen for sautéed veggies and homemade BBQ sauce
  • Soy Vay brand Teriyaki Sauce for fish and chicken
  • Good Dijon Mustard
  • Good mayonnaise or mayonnaise substitute such as Lemonaise
  • Good, mild salsa
  • Blonde and dark Miso

The Most Important Items to Have in the Freezer  


  • Frozen broccoli
  • Frozen peas
  • Frozen corn
  • Frozen asparagus
  • Frozen spinach
  • Frozen zucchini pancakes  (Zucchini pancakes cook up easily and are puréed with applesauce and sour cream, the traditional accompaniments to the latke or potato pancake. You get the extra zucchini in this product, which can be found in the kosher section of the freezer department in most supermarkets.)
  • Frozen soups from Tabatchnik (pea soup, lentil soup, vegetable soup)
  • Southland butternut squash and turnip (part of the Green Giant label)

(Note: with the addition of coconut milk and a little ginger juice, either the butternut squash or the turnip makes an instant creamed soup. With the addition of tofu, if you use soy products, you can add protein. Otherwise, a few tablespoons of goat cheese will add protein.


  • Frozen chicken breasts: skinless, boneless, individually wrapped
  • Ground turkey
  • Frozen shrimp, extra large
  • Frozen scallops, bay or sea

For Dessert or Snack  24380566666_228f67e8c5_b

  • Frozen puff pastry and frozen pie crust for the creation of desserts (see recipes online and in guideline)
  • Frozen vanilla ice cream or non-dairy dessert, chocolate, coffee (for quickie desserts, see Guidebook)
  • Frozen cherries, pineapple, mango, blueberries, raspberries

Tip: For the freezer, arrange items in rows, so you can see the labels. That way, you know what you have on hand. On the night when you are going to take a high quality frozen food item, put it in the microwave to thaw and then take it straight to puree, perhaps with some added sauce. When you store items that you have made, make sure you have labelled them with the name of the dish or sauce, the date it was prepared and the USE BY date.