There are a number of ingredients I stock my kitchen with. They tend to be non-perishable powders, or occasionally non-perishable goops. I sorta like powders in theory because you can get the result more concentrated than if you used hydrated stuff – your gamut is wider. In practice I don’t really take advantage of that.
I’m what I term a quantum vegetarian – I’m a vegetarian when not observed. (If you don’t get the joke, it’s about quantum mechanics.) So, some of my ingredients are vegetarian versions of meaty things. I don’t really like vegetables much, though, so I’ve found meaty-substitutes that still taste pretty good, IMO.
- Normal stuff: flour, sugar, seasoning salt, pepper, onion/garlic powder, baking powder, corn starch, maybe rice, other spices according to preference
- And maybe some onions – you can leave them on the counter for a surprisingly long time; months? though they do eventually sprout or turn to nasty liquid that soaks into your shelves.
- Powdered milk
- Usually tastes a bit weird plain, but in almost anything else seems to work just fine. Basically never goes bad, comes in great big bags.
- Cocoa Powder
- I favor the fair trade stuff, like https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CNSG3FB
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Good flavoring for sweet things.
- Pumpkin spice must flow.
- If you flavor a lot of things, it can be nice to have some LorAnn Oils flavorings. The usual dosage per 1.25 lbs is apparently 1 tsp.
- Some of my recipes call for N forkfuls of crisco/shortening/butter. 1 forkful ~ 1 tbsp, in my estimation.
- You can also/instead have butter, if you want. Crisco comes in a convenient tub, though, and maaay last longer?
- Canola oil
- Better Than Bouillon
- This stuff’s pretty great. They have a lot of vegetarian options that taste quite good. I primarily use the No Chicken flavor (which tastes like that chicken soup that comes dry in a flat packet and has tons of short noodles?). (See e.g. https://www.amazon.com/Better-Than-Bouillon-Chicken-Vegetarian/dp/B01G4FGCN8 .) The others are pretty good, too – though the No Beef variety tastes off to me; I don’t like it as much as the others. I’d say the Seasoned Vegetable Base is my second favorite – I’ve eaten that goop via bread-dipping.
- Powdered eggs
- Like https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IU2JGXG . They keep basically forever, though I refrigerate them after opening a package. You can easily mix them with other dry ingredients and just increase the amount of water you add.
- Canned vegetables or something
- It’s good to have something to put in soups etc.
- Asian Best brand Rice Sticks
- For plain-text: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012U8CWDC
- These are good for soup and stuff. Also for chicken-goop, which I intend to explain at some point.
- Texture granules (aka Beef Not)
- It’s supposed to taste like beef, or something. It doesn’t, IMO, and instead is almost completely tasteless. However, it does give some texture to otherwise plain smooth soups etc., so it might be worth grabbing.
- These aren’t really ingredients, but they’re food items I like, and I feel like putting them here.
- Mio water flavorings; I’ve been drinking them for years, in varying combinations, and have dozens at any given time. Cranberry Raspberry is especially good. Other brands are also fine – Kroger actually produces some pretty good ones, like White Grape Peach.
- Morning Star Farms Chik’n – the best substitute chicken patties I’ve found; nearly indistinguishable, IMO.
- Soylent – it’s actually a significant chunk of my diet. By my calculations, it saves me between one and two full weeks of time every year. It means I only have to cook when I want to. And it tastes mildly pleasant – to me. Like thin pancake batter. But your mileage may vary – this substance convinced me that different people physically taste foods differently. I did a study, sorta. I may make a blog post about it at some point. https://soylent.com/
- Bisto – instant gravy. Tasty, quick, and vegetarian! Be careful your water is hot enough (boiling) or it won’t thicken up. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00D6IRK4C
- Bread – I don’t really use it as an ingredient, but bread and toast are good.
- Black Pepper A1
- Beaver Honey Mustard – one day I bought 5 honey mustards, and this one won. https://www.amazon.com/Beaver-Sweet-Honey-Mustard-13oz/dp/B001E0KZKK
- Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, most any variety
- Oh, and though it’s been a while – Chick fil A’s sauce is very tasty. And ooh, they openly sell it now, apparently! https://www.amazon.com/Original-Chick-bottle-Chick-Fil-LIMITED/dp/B0876BSLG2
- The usual stuff, knives, cutting sheets, pots, etc.
- I primarily have one saucepan and one frying pan.
- (Have you tried chopping your vegetables in a blender? …I guess they call that a food processor?)
- Excellent for mixing soylent. :P
- Rice cooker
- Magnetic stirring hot plate – e.g. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09636JKQC, with magnetic stir bars, stir bar removal rod, and beakers or something. The one I got does not heat very quickly, sadly, but the stirring is very useful for things that normally tend to quickly clump up.
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