What’s in Jenn’s Pantry? And Tips to Improve It From a Nutritionist!

jenn-pantry-1-300x200Yep, that would be my pantry. A somewhat chaotic mix of this, that and everything in between, it’s where I go for cooking inspiration and, well, storage. (Hey, the organization makes sense to me…)

Similar to an earlier Question of the Week where we peeked into each FBG’s fridge, this week we’re showing you what our pantries look like. (Funny how removing one little letter in “pantries” could make this question totally different.) But, wait, there’s a twist! In addition to just showing our kitchen cabinets off, we’ve also shown them to nutritionist Keri Glassman, who is working with Arnold/Orowheat Sandwich Thins for its Smart Eating campaign, to get her opinion on what’s good and what could be made just a bit better.

But before we share what Ms. Glassman thought of my pantry (I’ll admit this was a bit eek-inducing for me!), let’s look at this mess, shelf by shelf. We’ll start bottom left because that section seems the least cluttered. We’ve got almond milk, canned pumpkin, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pumpkin pancake mix from Trader Joe’s (how did that get in there?!), tuna, salmon, almonds, corn meal, and two flours that were left over from my gluten-free baking adventure—quinoa and coconut.

Next shelf up, things get a little spicy. (Get it? I kill myself.) There are you usual spice standbys like chili powder, marjoram and basil, but fun stuff like Garam Masala and my favorite cajun-spice blend, Slap Ya Mama. Also co-mingling on this shelf are honey, bread crumbs and rice paper wrappers. I have no idea why.

The two top shelves are pretty boring, so I’m leaving out a photo: sugar, flour, vanilla, baking spices—nothing exciting and mostly stuff that stays up there and out of reach for a reason. But the bottom right shelf? Well, there’s a bevy of tasty. Tamarind paste for when I make pad thai, mango butter (love this stuff on sandwiches and even burgers!), jams, that weird yet incredibly convenient low-sodium chicken broth paste, mushroom powder (for the vitamin D, baby), sea salt, dried beans, barley, couscous, pasta and seaweed for my occasional sushi-making endeavors.

And lastly, there’s the middle-right shelf, which is a cornucopia of more exotic spices. There’s some dry rub for that good barbecue that Kansas City is known for, more sea salt (this kind is for sprinkling on, the other kind is for grinding—common sense would put them on the same shelf, but logic doesn’t always apply in my kitchen), and then a bunch of spices I bought in bulk and on the cheap at a local Indian market. You can see a sliver of the Tandoori powder at the bottom left, and then there are bags filled with curry powder, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, ground cumin and ginger powder. Behind all that is a little sushi rice for previously mentioned sushi-making.

So just what did the nutritionist have to say about my pantry? Well, some good suggestions. In Glassman’s own words…

  • You have a lot of good things in there! I see quinoa, pumpkin, herbs and spices and it’s great that you have the mango butter, sea salt, salmon, seaweed and barley!
  • Great job with the almonds—let’s add in other nuts for variety like pecans and walnuts. You can also add in more ancient grains like amaranth. I see you have chickpeas, so you might like lentils as well.
  • Whole-wheat bread crumbs are hard to find, but you can use wheat germ mixed with flax seeds to coat chicken or fish.

Dude, such great advice! (And I didn’t seem to do too bad, eh? Hooray!) I’m definitely planning to round-out my nut buying (wow, there are a lot of jokes to be made there), work lentils into dishes (she’s right—I love ’em) and try that wheat-germ-flax-seed combo for coating chicken and fish. Yum, yum, yum. A big thanks to Glassman for the expertise!

What do you think a nutritionist would say about your pantry? Any items that stand out as something Glassman might love—or want to swap out? Dish! —Jenn

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1 Comment
  1. D says:

    Hmmm probably the 65% cocoa chocolate disks might not be all that fabulous. I’m guessing my pantry would be okay, I have pumpkin, spices, gluten free flours, sugar, tea, walnuts, almonds, coconut oil, lentils, oatmeal. Of course you can’t see it all because I literally have two shelves so it’s all crammed in so tight. I need a bigger pantry.