Every year, during the week following Zacchaeus Sunday, my family begins to prepare our personal game plans for observing the coming Great Fast. Some things are a given, like the prescribed dietary and liturgical guidelines, while some things are truly a personal challenge, like giving up coffee, or white flour, or a certain favorite yet time-swallowing past time...don't worry, it isn't blogging! ;) Lists make everything easier for me, so I've developed a checklist of ingredients that I can begin collecting to gradually fill up my pantry so that I'm ready for the fast when it does officially begin.
BEANS: Canned or dried
White, makes a great mash with caramelized onions and rosemary...great with stews
Red,or Pink for chili
Black, for burgers and quesadillas with sweet potatoes
Chick peas, for hummus and falafel, and for curry
Lentils (all colors!) makes a great sloppy joe with grains and bbq sauce, and for curry
Black Eyed Peas, Split Peas for soup
Brown long grain rice, for pilafs etc.
Brown short grain rice (for sushi and sticky rice),
Quinoa, for a great tabbouleh, porridge
Farro, used with mushrooms for stuffed cabbage rolls
Barley, with mushrooms
Amaranth, pops in a dry skillet like mini-popcorn!
Millet, breakfast cereal, in soups, salads
Flour: use whole wheat or any other whole grain flours for best nutrition
Oats, for breakfast, for topping fruit crisps
Corn meal, polenta
Pasta of all kinds (rice pasta, soba, corn, quinoa pasta, etc) all shapes and sizes,
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas),
Sesame seeds ( black and natural),
Flax seeds, (handy for grinding into meal, and makes a great egg replacement in baked goods!)
Cacao nibs, raw powder, etc.
DRIED VEGETABLES AND FRUITS:
Apricots, cranberries, raisins, dates, pineapple rings, mango, you name it!
dried mushrooms, (for soups, stir fries, and especially for filling holupki!)
Peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and lots and lots of
raw cashews! (indispensable for making creamy sauces and condiments, if you can handle the fat content))
Seaweeds (wakame for salads, kombu for cooking with beans, hijiki and nori sheets for sushi,
Wasabi & pickled ginger too!),
Bahn-trang (thin rice paper)wrappers, great for sandwich rolls, dumplings in broth etc.
Pickles and other pickled vegetables ( peppers, beets, giardiniera mix),
Vegetable stock (buy in cartons or make your own and freeze, or buy it powdered)
Tomatoes, canned puree, whole, diced, etc.
Soy sauce or tamari, or liquid aminos
Nutritional yeast flakes, tastes very "cheesy" ...good on popcorn, in sauces and in making seitan
Spices and dried herbs, other condiments like good Mustards and hot sauces
canned coconut milk, for curry and for creamy sauces like mushroom stroganoff
pumpkin and other favorite canned veggies
As the fast draws nearer, we'll start purchasing some more perishable items to keep on hand:
Milk: Cashew, coconut, hemp, almond or soy ....your preference
Organic sprouted extra firm tofu
Tempeh Almond or oat yogurt Just Egg (just really convenient and really good...just sayin')
Lettuces, all kinds, be sure to have leaf lettuce for lettuce wraps!
Cabbages, (red, white, savoy, Chinese cabbage, bok choi, Brussels sprouts)
Avocado, for salad dressings, smoothies, guacamole, creamy sandwich condiment
Peppers: Bell, pablano, (for dippers, for stuffing, roasting ), jalapenos, chilis, etc.
Cauliflower...can't get enough of this...SO versatile! Can be riced, mashed, roasted, steamed, stuffed, etc
Roots: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, celeriac, carrots, parsnips
Greens (kale, swiss chard, spinach, rapini, beet greens, collards, mix it up!)
Beets, all colors, and beet greens
Sprouts…you can even grow these at home!
You name it....the list goes on!
Fresh fruit of any and every kind!
Frozen fruit is great for smoothies! Especially like bags of frozen fruits and bananas that I peel, cut in half and freeze in a zipper bag for quick use in a smoothie, or something cold and sweet...think banana ice cream!
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