Coming back

Well, hello again. It has been more than six months since my last posting. Why so long, you ask? Well, unfortunately, I have been an extremely busy bee with school (and  before anyone points out that it was the summer, I take classes in the summer as well). Today was actually my first day at a new university, so classes have restarted after two weeks. Why am I back then? As a teacher candidate, the year is sure to be busy. So, why commit myself to posting again? Or to cooking again for that matter (seriously, no cooking has been done since this last posting)? Honestly, I miss it. Also, if I commit myself to a posting or two a week, I am much more likely to cook.

I also need to point out one quick thing before I continue.  My eating habits since last January have changed drastically. I have become vegetarian. I am a lacto-ovo vegetarian, which means that I still eat eggs and dairy. After taking this step, I look and feel so much better – combined with my new diet, I found a new love for walking; it’s wonderful stress relief.

I did go vegan for three months, and switched back. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this diet. I switched back for medical reasons, not ethical ones. A vegan diet takes some getting used to, mentally, and for your body. You must be extremely careful as to the number of calories you get, and be sure to get all of your vitamins. I do plan to revisit this diet, but at the moment, I need a grip on eating a balanced vegetarian diet. When vegan, however, I found some wonderful things in terms of dairy and egg alternatives (will do a post on this later). 

So, what should I do this post on, I wonder! How about not pushing it too far and doing a post on pantry staples? This is quite important for me since I’ve only just recently moved into my own place (yay!). So what do I have in my cupboards, you ask? Well, lets go have a look, shall we?

Jams – Yeah, okay, I know what you’re thinking; yes, jam is the first thing on my list. Why? Because it’s the first thing I’ve seen. Jam is really useful. Yes, toast and crackers and jam are awesome. But, jam can also be used in a lot of baking, as well as cooking. 

Pasta – Mhm, pasta – be sure to get the whole wheat kind. There are also options for pastas that are high in flax, omega, etc. It’s yummy, versatile, and goes really far.

Spices – Oh, I could do a whole posting on this. Keep staples like salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, chili flakes and powder, and curry powder (I have an Indian background)

Rice – Like pasta, rice is a must… use brown; much better for you

Breadcrumbs – Make your own, since whole wheat is hard to find. Also, for a more thin coating, use fine semolina

Dehydrated vegetables and protein – Again, a whole posting to come on this. But, I’ve been experimenting loads with chunk and textured vegetable protein. Vegetable flakes can be added to lots of stuff as you’ll come to see, I promise.

Chips – Well, no, that’s not what I mean. I mean whole wheat tortilla chips. Not terribly health, but makes a perfect base for nachos and for dinner.

Oats, Bran, Cereal – Need I say more? It’s awesome. 

Canned lentils, beans, sauces – Just check the sodium on these. Just to be clear, these aren’t pre-made, canned meals; you’re to use these cans as bases for your meals.

Trail mix, cookies, energy bars – Great for class

Tea, coffee – Simple. Student = caffeine. I have quite a few different kinds of basic tea – orange pekoe for company, but my favs are green (with jasmine), and English Breakfast. As for coffee, I have a custom mix from a cafe – Belgian chocolate and carmelo – can you say yum?

Okay, so that’s what I have in my pantry. Time to go get creative? Yes, I think so too.

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