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My Kitchen: le grand tour

April 19, 2012

When I asked on Facebook last night if you’d be interested in a photo tour of my fridge, freezer, pantry, and kitchen cabinets – complete with lists of everything in ’em – I received an overwhelmingly positive response! I’ve actually been interested in doing this for quite awhile, but have shied away from it, because I just know it’ll take me several hours to draft this post. But you’ve all been so kind to and supportive of me in my time of need, between my Hashimoto’s disease diagnosis, the introduction of my autoimmune/thyroid elimination diet, and my recent fundraising efforts, that I am happy to be able to provide this for you. I hope you find it valuable!

Buckle your seatbelts, because I’ve got a LOT to show you. Matt and I invest most of our spending money into our diets. We don’t drive new or fancy cars, we almost never buy new clothes, we rarely go out to eat or drink, and we travel only when Matt’s work pays for it or we have airline credits to use…but when it comes to food, we are willing to pay more than most in order to feed our bodies right. I also like to have plenty of food on hand at all times…what can I say; I’m a chef!

Other notes:
These lists will necessarily be disordered, since I store things in a somewhat-haphazard fashion.
I’ll try to include links for specific products when/where I can, since I know I’ll get a lot of “Where do you buy…” questions.
Almost everything is organic, and we also buy locally when possible (especially in the summer).  Although we committed to a mostly-organic kitchen quite awhile ago, it’s all the more important now with my Hashimoto’s disease; many herbicides, pesticides, preservatives, and chemical additives are toxic to the thyroid gland (and other endocrine tissues).
Lastly, although I’ve gone totally gluten-free (probably permanently) and soy-free (hopefully not permanently) at the moment, Matt still eats gluten and soy (though not very much), so our kitchen isn’t pristinely GF (yet).

(And one more thing:  if, after reading this post, you’re wondering how in the hell I fit all this food in my old, tiny kitchen, the answer is that I didn’t. I used one entire half of the second bedroom at my old place as a dedicated pantry. I am not even kidding you. I had two crappy old entertainment centers and a rickety old CD case in there on which I stacked bags, cans, containers, jars, and packages of shelf-stable food and ingredients, plus gadgets and appliances I had no room for in the kitchen. I actually kind of regret never taking a photo of that room…it was a monstrosity.)

First: a reminder of what this new kitchen looked like before we moved in. Bye-bye, counter- and cabinet-space!

We’ll begin with the refrigerator.


Top shelf:

Second shelf:

  • Ground flaxseed
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach

Third shelf:

Top drawer:

  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Purple kale

Yay for drawer space!  Oftentimes, you’ll find grapes, bell peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, flat-leaf parsley, and cilantro in here too. If I could eat soy right now, we’d also have organic local tofu and tempeh on hand.

Second drawer:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cucumbers
  • Baby carrots
  • Celery hearts
  • Kelp noodles

Third drawer:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli/clover/radish sprouts
  • Irish moss (seaweed)

And now, the fridge door.

Top shelf:

Second shelf:

Third shelf:

  • Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks and coconut spread
  • Asian chili-garlic sauce
  • Red curry paste
  • Yacon syrup
  • Capers
  • Kalamata olives
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Jarred jalapeños

Fourth shelf:

Our freezer is much more sparsely populated. We like fresh food! But certain frozen staples can come in really handy.

Main compartment:

  • “Chicken” strips (for Matt)
  • Cubed butternut squash
  • Shelled edamame
  • Sprouted-grain Manna Bread

Bottom compartment:

  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen blackberries
  • Frozen raspberries
  • Frozen cherries
  • We’re a little low on frozen fruit right now (we usually use it for smoothies), but at other times you’re likely to see frozen mango, pineapple, strawberries, peaches, peeled bananas, and more in here.

Freezer door:

  • Prechopped young coconut meat
  • Frozen mixed vegetables
  • Tofurkey roast (for Matt)

Our cute little wine fridge. Matt’s parents gave it to us one year for Xmas. At the moment, we have…

  • Merlot
  • Pinot grigio
  • Sparkling wine (2 types)
  • Absinthe (we’re so goth)
  • Schnaps (from Austria; 2 types)

Matt and I do enjoy our wines and spirits. Elsewhere, we have a huge box o’ liquor (two of them, actually; you can see them in the top right of the next photo) that we haven’t bothered unpacking yet. It sucks I can’t drink right now!

Next up, these awesome translucent cabinets that make this kitchen look so cool. These lists will be looong.

Top left shelf:

Bottom left shelf:

Top center shelf:

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats
  • Gluten-free rolled oats
  • Steel-cut oats
  • Kombu strips
  • Dried mung beans
  • Dried navy (white) beans
  • Dried black beans
  • Dried chickpeas
  • Dried pinto beans
  • Dried kidney beans
  • Dried soybeans
  • Quinoa
  • Long-grain brown rice
  • Short-grain brown rice
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Arrowroot powder

Bottom center shelf:

Top right shelf (miscellany):

  • Raw buckwheat groats
  • Dried red lentils
  • Dried mini yellow lentils
  • Dried green/brown lentils
  • Whole flaxseed
  • Pink sea salt
  • Coarse-ground sea salt
  • Ener-G egg replacer
  • Agar powder and flakes
  • Corn kernels
  • Cornstarch
  • Empty glass bottles
  • Sushi mat, muffin tin liners, napkins, extra water filter, cherry pitter, etc.

Way back in this deep shelf, where you can barely see, I store TONS more stevia (powderliquid, and packets; seriously, I stockpile this stuff); Matt’s and my various vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements; and our coffee cups…

…plus tons more raw food ingredients which I often use for developing/testing new recipes.  Several of these will be repeats from above.

Top shelf:

Bottom shelf:

We also have this shelf near the window, which holds (top to bottom):

On our (rather messy) counter, we keep:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Lemons
  • Unripe avocados

Oftentimes you’ll also find sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, kiwi, limes, and tomatoes here.

That’s pretty much it for the food, but just for fun, here’s my “cooking corner,” between the stove on the left and the sink on the right, with my:

On top of the fridge live my:

My dehydrator resides on a microwave stand on the other side of the kitchen.

I won’t bother you with my silverware/utensil drawers, but here’s another cabinet:

And finally:

  • Plates and bowls
  • Glass and plastic containers
  • Some dishes on the top shelf I haven’t unpacked yet
  • Glasses (wine and regular)
  • Some more coconut nectar and my shotglass collection hiding up in the corner.

Annnd I’m spent.

Can you tell I’m a chef?  😛  This post took me about five hours to complete…whew!  I hope you enjoyed this peek into my busy kitchen.

So I heard this rumor that a vegan diet doesn’t offer very much variety.  What do you think of that statement?  😉

 

3 years ago this week…
March leftovers
White bean & broccoli pasta toss
2 years ago this week…
Kidney bean-brown rice chili
Long-winded March leftovers
1 year ago this week…
April news bits & bites
One week, four foodie meetups
Review: ‘Seduced’ raw chocolate ebook

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76 Comments leave one →
  1. April 19, 2012 12:10 pm

    Wow Amber! Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us today! I’m so glad to hear you also purchase only organic food (especially produce)! So important! And really, great job putting this post together. 🙂

    Hugs,
    –Amber

  2. April 19, 2012 12:11 pm

    Wow! You have soooo much awesome food!! Where on earth did you find coconut flour? I’ve been wanting to make Natalia KW’s raw cupcakes, but they all call for coconut flour.

    P.S. Posting your link about the fund-raising campaign today. I’m just catching up, but that sucks about the cost of treatment! Medical expenses are ridiculous! I’m broke as a joke right now, but I will post the link on Facebook.

  3. Marina permalink
    April 19, 2012 12:12 pm

    Wow! good job for doing this! your kitchen is amazing! I’d really love to know what spices you have because I feel like spices are soo important and add so much especially to a raw diet!

  4. Tracy permalink
    April 19, 2012 12:30 pm

    What a fun post. I am jealous of all the fun things you have as ingredients and applicances 🙂 A chef’s playground for sure!

  5. April 19, 2012 1:00 pm

    what an amazing post!! OMG!! I love the details, the pics, the cabinets, your kitchen is to die for gorgeous and all that storage…I would be in HEAVEN! My kitchen is so small that you can touch both the wall to the left and the right without moving, yes, that narrow!

    • April 19, 2012 1:06 pm

      Haha, if you clicked the link above to the photos of my old kitchen, it was maybe even smaller than yours! I’ve waited a looong time for this kitchen. 😉

  6. April 19, 2012 1:04 pm

    You’ve mentioned you need a stronger juicer, but then you list that you have an Omega juicer. This concerns me because I’ve been strongly considering an Omega juicer. Would I be wasting my money?! The one I’m looking at is around $350. Idk the model number but I’m torn between centrifuge and masticating. Ugh. Too many choices!

    • April 19, 2012 1:08 pm

      Of the smaller juicers, I think the Omega is great – not at all a waste of money, if that’s what you’re looking for. That said, I do hate seeing goopy (i.e. still-nutrient-rich) pulp come out of it, and it’s too slow to use for juice fasting/feasting (unless you want to spend 4 hours a day juicing!). But it’s still a very decent small juicer.

      • bitt permalink
        April 19, 2012 2:10 pm

        Is it that slow? I have a Hurom and yes it’s slower than a Breville but the quality of juice much higher. I have known people to do juice feasts with Brevilles, blenders, etc, all kinds of juicers, I hope you won’t let that be a deterrent, in the film Fat Sick and Nearly Dead they had Brevilles and had great results. I hope you won’t let that be a roadblock to your doing a juice fast if it’s really important to you, it’s not the type of juicer really, it’s how you use it.

      • April 19, 2012 2:13 pm

        Yep, it’s a slow one. A juice fast would definitely be doable with it, but it’d be so time-consuming, especially with my low energy level. Sometimes I think a Breville would actually be better, just because it’s faster, though I know the juice isn’t as good.

        I asked my doctor about a juice fast the other day and he said not right now…so it’s a low priority at the moment anyway (though I am making/drinking juice here and there as snacks). But maybe later in the summer, before my wedding, I’ll do one.

  7. April 19, 2012 1:15 pm

    Wow, I love your new kitchen! You really have an amazing amount of storage in there. It’s beautiful! I love peeking into other people’s fridges and cabinets though… It fulfills my inner foodie voyeur! Thanks for taking the time to share this. 🙂

  8. April 19, 2012 1:40 pm

    Wow, Amber! Now I’m not sure if I’m actually more jealous of your kitchen or of your super healthy food stash! I totally relate to you on spending money on good food as opposed to cars and shopping trips. When I was still working, nearly my entire paycheck went to Trader Joe’s and the health market at Hy-Vee…and also bulk baking supplies from Amazon and my bakery supplier when I was still in the cake and pastry biz. My husband and I opted to move into a nice home, very close to downtown and to eat well rather than purchasing new cars. We also travel with buddy passes on flight and get free and dirt cheap hotels since my hubby manages hotels. Those are the things that will last and create good memories and great health. The plaza shopping trips wil come eventually, haha. 🙂 xx

    • April 19, 2012 2:00 pm

      Hehe, I think in the end, the good food is the important part.
      Whenever those Plaza shopping trips happen, take me with you! 😛

  9. April 19, 2012 1:45 pm

    This amazing! We have the same knife block…all the other cool stuff, however, is missing from my kitchen. I would die to have your omega juicer as i only have 30$ centrifugal from aldi…

  10. Abby permalink
    April 19, 2012 1:59 pm

    Wowwzzza!!! What a great stock of goodies you have! It’s like Christmas just looking at it all! Thanks for sharing! Many positive thoughts and lots of love on your journey through this health challenge. You have acquired quite the tool belt when it comes to health and I know you will come out the other side with experience and knowledge that not only is helping you but helping and inspiring others! Thanks for your courage to share!

  11. bitt permalink
    April 19, 2012 2:13 pm

    Wow! Whenever I see these sort of kitchens I realize that there are two types of people I think: those who stash and stockpile food and those who don’t. I am the non stockpiling type. I love seeing other people’s stashes, but practical reasons keep me from getting that big of a stash going. That being said, how awesome to have that built up as you are in a tough time right now and it’s something to lean on.

    • April 19, 2012 2:18 pm

      Yep, I’m a stockpiler. I don’t know why, I guess my mom was too. But yes, it’s great to be able to put off grocery shopping for several extra days if I need to.

  12. April 19, 2012 2:34 pm

    So awesome! I need those translucent cabinet doors, like yesterday.

  13. April 19, 2012 3:28 pm

    I’m a stockpiler too–I think having any experience of starvation makes you that way. It’s funny, my dad couldn’t care less about food but he gets nervous if something’s running low, as I do, whereas my mum doesn’t mind. In Israel, the stores are so close to my grandma’s apartment that if they run out of anything they just go get it.

    Gorgeous kitchen and great stash of wonderful, _varied_ food! And that’s on a restricted diet!
    love
    Ela

    • April 19, 2012 3:30 pm

      I think so too. I get antsy whenever I use the last of anything I have. If I know ahead of time I’m going to be using something up, I’ll often even go out and buy another first, so that when the one is gone, I know I’ll have more for next time. Matt hates that, ha.

      Thanks! Granted, there are many things in here I can’t eat right now, but I’m trying to focus on what I CAN eat. Avoiding nuts is the hardest thing right now!

  14. Stacy permalink
    April 19, 2012 3:37 pm

    What brand of organic local tofu and tempeh do you like? I have found organic but no local.

  15. A Tablespoon of Liz permalink
    April 19, 2012 3:50 pm

    wow, I wish I had your kitchen, along with everything in it!

  16. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
    April 19, 2012 5:18 pm

    Wow! Thanks so much for putting this together. I see myself coming back to this post again and again for the links to all these awesome and sometimes hard to find foods. I find it fascinating to see the wide array of things you have to work with, but I wonder if those new to healthy eating might be intimidated by it and feel like they can’t eat healthy without all this stuff. Would you ever consider doing a post on your top 30 or even 50 foods and products you couldn’t live without? I like seeing what other people consider their “staples.”

    • April 19, 2012 5:23 pm

      Excellent point, and great idea! I was already thinking of turning this into a separate post/document/list with everything properly grouped, no duplicates, etc. Maybe I’ll either a) do that, also noting “essentials” vs. “optionals,” or b) just do a separate list of “staples.” Option b might be easiest to navigate…thanks!

  17. April 19, 2012 7:11 pm

    Amberrrrrr!!! Is this for real? Or did you tell all your neighbours to store their food in your cupboards for this post haha. I’ve been meaning to do this kind of post for my own kitchen, as everyone always asks to see it, but no way am I doing it now, NOTHING will compete with yours! :)))

    • April 19, 2012 10:30 pm

      Haha, dude, if my neighbors ate these kinds of foods I think we’d be best friends 😉 Don’t let this stop you from posting about your kitchen/pantry! I wanna see it!

  18. Tara permalink
    April 19, 2012 7:26 pm

    Wow Amber! Your kitchen stash is something to envy! I tried to keep a well-stocked fridge in the past, needless to say that I was bummed when we got hit by hurricane Irene and I had to throw it all out after days and days of no power. The funny thing is that I had just frozen a big batch of homemade seitan and I “saved” it by putting it in my in-laws freezer since they miraculously still had power. “Refugee seitan” that survived a hurricane, haha! Thank you for sharing this with us. Great post! : ) By the way, I’m one of those people that also makes food a priority and scrimps on things like new clothes and other “things.” I’d rather have a full fridge than a closet full of shoes. I love hearing that other people feel the same way. : )

  19. April 19, 2012 8:21 pm

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing all of this with your readers! It’s always fun to see what other people have in their kitchen, and I love that you went into so much detail.
    Thanks for that, it’s always fun to see 🙂

  20. April 20, 2012 7:58 am

    Wow! I can’t imagine how long it took for you to do this post. Looks like you are well stocked for your new eating adventure. Thanks for taking us on this personal journey with you. Sending healthy positive vibes your way ~*~*~*~*~

  21. hungryvegantraveler permalink
    April 20, 2012 10:42 am

    Wow! That’s one hell of a post on one hell of a tour of one hell of a kitchen! I subscribe to your posts via email and this is the first time one of your posts didn’t fit in one email!

    You have a beautiful kitchen. My “kitchen” would make you cry (mostly because I currently don’t have one).

    • April 20, 2012 10:43 am

      Oh wow, I didn’t know this post didn’t fit in an email! I thought about splitting it up, but decided against it.

      Kitchen sadness for you! 😦

  22. April 20, 2012 12:38 pm

    Great, informative post! I feel like I need to save it somewhere so I can revisit, lol!

  23. April 20, 2012 12:43 pm

    wow! that’s a lot of food/ingredients!

    out of curiousity, i saw tamari is in the fridge. i keep mine in the pantry. should i not?

    • April 20, 2012 1:03 pm

      I’ve kept tamari at room temp before, and it’s been fine. I just put it in the fridge since the Bragg bottle is in there. They’re friends. 😉

      • April 20, 2012 1:07 pm

        ooh ok 😉 yay! i’m glad i’m not the only one who groups foods together by their other friends 😉

  24. April 20, 2012 2:16 pm

    I’m one of those weird voyeurs who loves looking through other peoples’ fridges and cabinets, so thank you for indulging me. 😉 Your well-stocked kitchen is like a dream!

  25. April 20, 2012 11:14 pm

    I am so jealous of all of the food you have in your kitchen, Amber!

  26. April 21, 2012 12:03 am

    Forget about Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s; I’m going to shop from your kitchen and pantry when I arrive. 😉 (And by “shop”, I mean “eat a whole damn lot”. xoxo

  27. April 21, 2012 12:24 am

    Thank you for sharing! I ❤ your kitchen. So many wonderful yummy yummy things. Our tastes are very similar

  28. April 21, 2012 1:32 pm

    I adore this post! Our pantry items are incredibly similar, and it made me laugh that you used to use part of the second bedroom in your old place. The one item on your list that I didn’t know about was sunflower lecithin, very interesting!

    • April 21, 2012 1:40 pm

      Sunflower lecithin rocks! It’s incredibly rich in choline (important for brain health), and since it works as an emulsifier, it makes nut milks, puddings, mousses, smoothies, etc. super-rich and creamy. 😀

  29. Mara permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:34 pm

    Thoroughly enjoyed this post!!! These kinds of posts are my favorite – thank you thank you thank you!! ❤

  30. clairelloyd1977 permalink
    April 26, 2012 8:11 am

    OMG – I LOVE your kitchen. Would you like a permanent house guest??!!

  31. April 26, 2012 4:01 pm

    I just stumbled across your site/blog and I am in heaven, for sure! Your kitchen cupboards, pantry and fridge look a lot like mine. I can’t seem to stop buying food products that I ‘just might need for a recipe in the near future’! I came across some organic vanilla beans for a great price and could not pass them up. AND…I finally bought some organic, coconut flour from our local Mennonite bulk food store. When I asked the owner whom I know pretty well if I could buy a 25 pound bag from him, he shot me a glance as if to ask ‘What on Earth are you going to do with 25 pounds of organic coconut flour?’ After lookng at the recipes on your site, I know exactly where that flour is going to be used! I just bought a 9 shelf, Excalibur dehydrator and will be breaking it in with a few of your recipes. I cannot wait! I have slowly been incorporating raw food recipes into our ‘Almost Vegan’ diet (we love raw honey) and we feel absolutely wonderful. I notice that no one here has mentioned a Champion Juicer, which is what my hubby and I have…we love it! My next big kitchen splurge will be either a VitaMix or BlendTec blender. Any thoughts?

    • April 27, 2012 9:52 am

      Ahh, I know that “But I might need it SOMEDAY…” rationale all too well 😉
      Wow, you’re all stocked up and ready to go! I have some great coconut flour recipes in my cookbook, too – you have GOT to try the Sugared Doughnut Holes. 🙂
      I have a Vitamix personally, but I know a lot of people with Blendtecs. I think you’ll love either one!

  32. April 29, 2012 1:56 pm

    I haven’t gotten around to trying Absinthe yet. Maybe I will one of these days. 🙂

  33. Tt in nyc permalink
    May 15, 2012 9:18 pm

    I am flabbergasted. Speechless. You have re-defined what my fantasy kitchen is forever.

  34. Ronya Williams permalink
    May 17, 2012 10:09 am

    Your kitchen is awesome!!!! Yes I agree with the comment above!! This is my fantasy kitchen with all those ingredients!!

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