The skinny girl's secrets: what's in the pantry?


In his book In Defense of Food, food guru Michael Pollan introduces us to a concept I love, the 5 ingredient rule.  Here, he challenges us to eat food products with no more than 5 ingredients.  While I've experminted with whether or not one could realistically abide by this rule and found it difficult at times, (especially if you like to eat cereal for breakfast), it has a great benefit.  Following this rule heightens your awareness about:
  1. Exactly what it is that you consume 
  2. How many processed foods are in your diet
As a result of this new knowledge about my diet, I've just about abandoned processed foods altogether.  (And I don't miss them, even a teensy bit.  I swear).

You may be wondering, though.  Can you have a stocked pantry without a bunch of highly processed foods?  What dry goods does a health-minded individual buy, anyway?  Here's a peek into my pantry:
  1. Nuts.  I snack on almonds, cashews, and walnuts all the time.  They make good fuel for a body constantly on the move.  They are high in protein, fiber, calcium and minerals.  As a result, they keep me satiated.  I also keep pine nuts on hand, which I like to toast and add to soups, salads, and pastas.  (For some reason pine nuts are able to give an air of sophistication to just about any dish you add them to).
  2. Dried fruit.  Dried mango, dried cherries, and apple chips are my favorite "on the go" snacks to satisfy sweet cravings.
  3. Pumpkin seeds.  Seeds create a great crunch in a salad, and raw pumpkin seeds are yummy plain as well.
  4. Canned beans.  My favorite beans are canellini beans and black beans.  Canellini beans make a great side when mixed with sauteed onions, garlic and rosemary.  I like to heap black beans on baked potatoes or mix them with tomatoes and onions with a splash of lime juice to make a fresh salad.
  5. Salad dressing.  I'm too lazy to make my own dressings and, frankly, the taste of the homemade dressings never seems to equal the effort put into them.  I hit the grocery store for this item.  My favorite is Newman's balsamic vinaigrette.
  6. Whole grains.  Quinoa, brown rice, farro, whole wheat pasta noodles and wild rice each claim a spot in the pantry.  I look for high nutrient grains whenever possible, and I love the unique flavor of each.
  7. Dark chocolate.  A perfect dessert, dark chocolate's rich taste is very satisfying, and it's full of antioxidants.  There's nothing better than a piece of dark chocolate and a glass of red wine.
Want to know what's in my refrigerator?  Click here to find out.

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