Foods — Mostly Organic — To Have On Hand
~ Richard Hudson
Vegetables can be a combination of those bought or grown: asparagus, broccoli, carrots, celery, Swiss chard, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce, green onions, brussels sprouts, leeks, peas, spinach, squash (acorn, butternut, zucchini), green beans, sweet potatoes,
tomatoes. Most of these vegetables can be grown in the back yard. Many can be stored in a root cellar or blanched and frozen for later use. Plan meals so that you don’t have to keep all on hand at the same time, even though shelf life can be extended by refrigeration or freezing. I usually bring the census down by combining 6-8 vegetables into a vegetable-rice, or vegetable-barley soup, to which bits of chicken and mushrooms and fresh herbs are added. You can make a large pot of soup and freeze some for later if you can’t eat it all in a timely way. Good vegetables for soup are broccoli, carrots, celery, Swiss chard, green onions, leeks, spinach, green beans, and tomatoes. Fresh herbs that are also tasty in soup are parsely, basil, dill. I usually grow these in small pots on the back porch. I also grow rosemary, sage, thyme, tarragon and oregano for fresh use or to dry and use over the following winter. Many herbs and spices can be frozen directly and used in soups and other cooked dishes as well. Overall, grow as much as you can. It will significantly reduce your expenses.
Fruits to keep on hand are berries or all kinds that are fresh and in season: strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries are favorites. You can freeze them as well and put them into smoothies or blend with protein powder and plain yogurt. You can add some chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) or dried fruits (raisins, prunes, craisins) as well. Fruits include apples, oranges, kiwi, bananas, grapes (dark purple or black and seedless). Add limes and lemons to the list — used to drizzle onto baked fish and other items, or into salads. Also, lemon and lime good to mildly flavor all the water you’ll be drinking. Add cherries, melon, pineapple, papaya, mango, and pears occasionally.
You will also want to have many dried beans and related items on hand: these include black beans, red beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and others. White kidney beans and chickpeas I’m cans are also useful in some dishes — especially soups. Soy beans (edename) and soy bean curd (tofu) are both good additions to the protein in your diet. There are many great recipes for tofu in the Internet designed to make the product edible.
Grains to keep on hand include oats (old fashioned or steel cut) wild rice, barley, brown rice, quinoa, polenta and couscous. Nuts and seeds include almonds, brazil nuts, pecans, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds and walnuts. I also keep some nut butters, especially almond butter which I make myself in a grinder from unsalted almonds.
Cottage cheese and yogurt are great for mixing various items with (nuts, veges, or fruits). Experiment. Meat I recommend limiting to wild fish and poultry. Both dairy and meat will add protein, but you can also get protein from legumes and other vegetables, and from a whey protein supplement.
I usually use portobello mushrooms in soups and some other dishes, but generally don’t use mushrooms otherwise.
In general, I keep olive oil, seasame oil, basalmic vinegar around for most of my cooking. I don’t keep white sugar or sweeteners, but use honey, maple syrup and sometimes a little brown sugar especially on oatmeal.