Thursday, January 20, 2011

Our Pantry

Our pantry has changed over the past few years.  A heart attack at 49, a change in diet and 8 acres to call our own has allowed us to eat in a way that we never imagined.  Dinner tonight was chicken in a mushroom, marsala wine and sundried tomato sauce, the night before was mahi-mahi in a ginger glazed sauce with french filet beans from our garden.  We love to cook and some things we can't or don't grow in our garden so we buy at our local market, but we do eat like royalty and we try to eat from our pantry full of our canned supplies, and there are staples that are always at hand to make healthy delicious meals.
Pasta and Grains
Rice (brown, risotto, basmati and jasmati)
Whole wheat pastas
Oat and Barley flours
Whole wheat bread and pastry flours

Oils and sauces
Olive Oil
Sesame Oil
Worcestershire sauce
Low sodium soy sauce
Organic Vegetable broth

Spices and herbs
(from our own herb garden whenever possible)
Basil genovese
Basil thai
Red pepper
Lavender buds (of course)
Cumin (whole seed that we grind up when needed, unbelievable when fresh ground)
Black pepper (whole peppercorns)
sea salt (coarse and fine)

Mushrooms (button, shitaki and porcini)
Garlic (we grow 10 varieties)
Ginger  (fresh)
Sweet potatoes
Canned tomato sauce (from our own tomatoes)
Sundried tomatoes (from our garden)

Eggs from our flock
Butter used sparingly
Pecorino romano cheese
Feta cheese

Smoked Turkey Bacon(
Wine (a must, red, white and ice wine in the icebox)

From these simple things we can make delicious meals in minutes.
We reduce fat in many of our sauces by using the vegetable broth instead of more oil in the frying pan.
Turmeric, ginger, garlic are all thought to help the dietary needs of heart patients.  We may cut back on things that flavor our foods (like butter) but we make up for that loss of flavor by incorporating more spices.  A recent find that gives things flavor without the fat is Applewood Farms Smoked Turkey Bacon.  I gave up a lot of vices after the heart attack and one of them was bacon.  How I loved bacon but this may be an even better replacement.  I could go on all day about the way we eat and the joy we get out of it.  Suffice it to say it enriches us in body and soul.

“Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.”
- Charles Pierre Monselet,French journalist

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