Pantry Essentials for Quarantine

Hello from my couch on day 5 of isolation!

The internet is insanely saturated with information and advice regarding how we can stay safe and stay sane during the COVID-19 pandemic. And I am here to add a little bit more. But my goal here is to keep it light and hopefully helpful! I initially started by making a list for myself of things I could do to stay busy, how I can take care of myself mentally, food to stock up on, and recipes I wanted to try. And I thought it would be fun to share some of those things here in the coming days!

I’m lucky enough that I have been able to stay in good spirits through this, but I know that this is not the case for everybody. It’s a time of high anxiety, and the over-saturation of information is inducing fear and panic in many people. It is completely valid to be worried about yourself, your loved ones, and how this world shut-down might affect your income or future life-events. Just remember that as long as you are doing everything in your power to help the situation, there is no good that will come from allowing yourself to be brought down by negative thinking. Easier said than done, I know.

In my province, there are new laws starting on March 23rd, which prevent more than 25 people from being in a grocery store at one time. This is an important restriction, as grocery stores continue to be one of the few remaining places where people are gathering in confined spaces. This will hopefully limit the number of trips people take to the grocery store. While many grocery stores are constantly having their shelves emptied by people hoarding food and other necessities, they are still getting stock in every day. I have made a list of the staples that I have stocked up on a little more than usual to get me through the next couple of weeks!

Produce:

  • Leafy greens
    • Spinach and kale are my go-to’s for salads, bowls, and smoothies. I buy them in bunches, wash and chop them, and they last in an airtight container for a week or so!
  • Veggies with a long shelf life (many of these last SO much longer if they are cut up and kept in an air tight container!)
    • Broccoli
    • Cauliflower
    • Brussel sprouts
    • Carrots (store in a container of cold water)
    • Celery
    • Yams
    • Squash
  • Fruit with a long shelf life
    • Apples
    • Oranges/Grapefruit
    • Bananas (I bought some ripe and some green – they can be frozen to use later for smoothies and baking)
    • Avocado (the biggest necessity if ur asking me. toilet paper?? nah.)
    • Melons
    • Lemons/limes (i use these in homemade dressings and cooking)
  • Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
    • Frozen green veg mix (broccoli, peas, green beans, etc.)
    • Frozen berries, pineapple, and mango

Dried Pantry Staples:

  • Grains
    • Quinoa
    • Brown rice
    • Pasta
    • Oats
  • Legumes (the canned versions of all of these are likely gone, but there is a high chance that you can find the dried versions, as many people do not typically cook with these because they are less convenient. I buy them at my local bulk store, but most grocery stores have them bagged!)
    • Chickpeas
    • Lentils
    • Black beans
    • Kidney beans
  • Nuts and seeds
    • Raw cashews (I use them for making cream sauces, etc.)
    • Raw almonds
    • Pecans (my fav in oats/smoothie bowls)
    • Pumpkin seeds (very high in protein)
    • Ground flax seed
    • Chia seed
    • Hemp hearts

Sauces, condiments, etc.:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Vegetable bouillon cubes (for making broths or adding flavour to any dish)
  • Canned coconut cream (great in soups and curries, and many desserts)
  • Your favourite sauces/dressings, or ingredients to make your favourite homemade ones

Other:

  • Tofu (has a super long shelf life when unopened, and freezes well!)
  • Plant milk (buy some from the shelved section to store in your pantry!)
  • Baking/cooking essentials
    • Flour, sugar, vegan butter, egg replacer, oils, maple syrup, spices, dried herbs, etc.
  • Bread, bagels, etc.
  • Nut butters
  • Convenience items (anything that brings you a bit of comfort during a difficult time – its all about balance)
    • Chips
    • Salsa
    • Popcorn
    • Chocolate/candy

 

I might be missing a few things, but this is basically an extensive list of all of the foods that I always have in my fridge/pantry. The nice thing about a vegan diet is that the majority of the foods I eat on a daily basis (aside from fresh produce) are naturally non-perishable, so I feel like I was kind of already prepared for this. I just stocked up a little more than usual! I made one more trip to my local bulk store, Bulk Basket, who I highly recommend supporting if you need any of these items and cannot find them at your grocery store. They are currently taking online orders and arranging pickups and deliveries to avoid people having to go into the store! (link to store website)

Remember to only buy what you NEED. With some of these staples, there are so many delicious and nutritious meals you can make, and there is still a lot of room to be creative with your cooking. Personally, I’ve been doing a lot of baking, and look forward to trying out some new recipes and making some meals that I might not normally have time to make! Cooking is super therapeutic to me and is kind of a mindless distraction from whatever is going on in my head, so I plan on doing a lot more in the coming days.

Remember to check on your friends and family who might be having a harder time with this situation than you are. Call your grandparents, or your friend who lives alone, and see how they’re doing. Facetime someone while you bake some muffins, or have a dinner and wine date! It’s a new kind of normal and we have to get creative, in order to find ways to stay sane. I hope to post again in the next couple of days – until then, stay safe and STAY THE F HOME.

 

With LOTS OF LOVE and lattes,

Jenna

 

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