While most of my Lean Pantry Stock List is shelf-stable items, there are a few fresh produce staples I like to keep stocked. Most of them are long-lasting, like onions and garlic. But lettuce and a quick-steaming veggie of choice are also on the list, even though they only last a couple weeks. That’s because they’re versatile and easy to use without planning, which is essential when plant-based improv cooking & on-the-fly eating.
Lean Pantry is designed to give you the base Stock List, the items that you should replenish when at the market. But don’t stop at my list, it’s meant to be customized. The point is to have a grocery list that doesn’t change much – so ALL of your personal go-to items should be on the list. Maybe that’s frozen fruit and coconut water for your daily smoothie. Or maybe it’s bell peppers because they’re your favorite raw veggie, or everything-but-the-bagel spice because you like it on everything. My personal list is so comprehensive and curated, that my grocery trips are mainly just re-stocking my standard items that are running low. If nothing is running low, there’s no need to take a trip to the store. My list is also large enough that I never run out of recipe ideas, which keeps things interesting and exciting.
Lean Pantry: Fresh Produce
Cabbage: it lasts a super long time in the fridge whole, and because it maintains its hearty texture when shredded, cooked and dressed, it’s great for meal-prepped dishes. Make a slaw, add to stir-fries, cut into wedges and braise or add to wraps, burritos and tacos.
Lettuce: I often add an easy salad to round out meals so I like to have fresh, washed lettuces ready to go in the fridge. I typically keep romaine & a baby green, like spinach or arugula, stocked, washed and prepped.
Versatile Extras: I rotate between cauliflower, brussel sprouts, green beans and broccoli. They’re hearty, filling, easy to prepare and nutrient-dense. Eat raw, steam, sauté or roast then use with dips or add to pasta, tacos, sandwiches, burritos, big salads, grain bowls, soups, pizza… literally whatever.
Celery: I love making soups and a lot of my soups start with celery, carrot, onion & garlic. If you’re a soup fan too, keep celery around, great for hummus-dipping too.
Ginger: fresh ginger root is a main ingredient in my Asian-inspired peanut sauce (which I toss with any and every grain imaginable) and I also add it to my easy curry soups & Indian-inspired dishes. If these aren’t your style dishes, no need to keep ginger around.
Potatoes: long lasting and versatile, I love having potatoes around. I prefer waxy gold or red potatoes and sweet potatoes of all kinds. If you’re not a potato fan, no need to keep them around, but I make roasted potatoes weekly, so they’re def on my list.