stocking the kitchen: fridge and freezer

5 Mar

This is the second post in my stocking the kitchen series. If you missed my enlightening post on stocking your pantry, check it out!

On to the fridge. Am I the only one who finds it fascinating to look into other people’s refrigerators? I’m always so curious to see what other people stock. If you’re like me, you’ll be excited (maybe) to peek into mine.

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Here’s what is always in my fridge:

  • produce – this gets the most real estate. We eat a lot of produce. I make sure that vegetables are a component in all of my lunches and dinners – and sometimes they are the main course. I always have salad greens, carrots, celery, and then whatever looks good at the store and most times in season. This gets pretty tough around now. Seasonal produce in March in MN? Scarce. We also eat a ton of fruit – it’s our go to snack. Currently, bananas, oranges and grapefruit are the staples. This rotates with the seasons (except for the bananas).
  • yogurt – this gets it’s own line as it’s a big chunk of the fridge. I prefer plain yogurt that I can mix things into. I also like to mix it into my oatmeal, use it in baked goods, and swap for sour cream in most recipes.  Brette prefers the flavored variety. We both dig the greek. Fage and Chobani are my faves.
  • dairy – milk for Brette, almond milk for myself, there is usually a few cheeses – goat, feta, and parmesan are the staples. They’re perfect in salads and really on anything.

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  • condiments – as you can see there is a variety and they are all used. I’ve built my stash of asian sauces, mustards, and can whip up sauces and dressings without much thought because of it. Plus one must have things like pickles, maple syrup, tahini (for hummus), soy sauce etc.
  • butters and jams – butter (the real stuff – Hope Creamery is my favorite), peanut butter and sometimes a form of almond butter along with 95 types of jams or preserves. Earth balance is now in the fold as I prepare for vegan lent.
  • eggs – can their be an easier or quicker meal?
  • tofu and tempeh – we eat one of these at least once a week so I always have it on hand.
  • protein powders – I have some Amazing Grass (both superfood and amazing meal in the chocolate flavor) and some hemp protein for when I make smoothies. They have ingredients I can pronounce and taste good – bonus.
  • vegetable bouillon – this makes vegetable stock quickly and is much cheaper than the boxes, not to mention it doesn’t take as much space. I prefer to make my own stock, but sometimes I just don’t have it. This works perfectly.

And then we move to the freezer:

We actually have two freezers – our main one in the kitchen plus a chest freezer in the basement. The chest freezer holds all of the bounty from Brette’s hunting trips (venison and pheasant) along with things I froze during the summer – blueberries, corn and greens.

The kitchen freezer almost always has the following:

  • nuts of all kinds (they keep longer in the freezer) – walnuts, almonds and pecans are the mainstays.
  • frozen fruit – mainly strawberries and blueberries I freeze after summer picking
  • frozen veggies – both items I froze from the garden, plus edamame and spinach.
  • bread – we don’t go through it fast enough so we store it sliced in the freezer.
  • pesto – I make a ton of pesto when my basil goes crazy so there is always a pesto supply (boil some pasta and add some pesto – done in 20 minutes)
  • stock – I almost always have homemade vegetable or chicken stock in the freezer because when I make it, I make a ton. Right now I also have lobster stock!
  • flours – I get a lot of flours from Sunrise Flour Mills and since there are no preservatives, it keeps better in the freezer.
  • leftovers – I always have a container of leftover chili or soup in the freezer. You never know when the freezer gods will be needed and I liked to make sure they’re happy.

So, I clearly didn’t tell you every single thing that is currently in the kitchen ,like the duck fat in my freezer or the horseradish pickles in my fridge (my parent’s specialty and they’re fabulous), but you get the general idea of what I keep on hand.

Having a well stocked kitchen is really important to me. It sets me up to win when it comes to cooking good and real food that does great things for my body.

What do you make sure is in your fridge and freezer? Do you like knowing what other’s have in their fridge? Please tell me that’s not just me.

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6 Responses to “stocking the kitchen: fridge and freezer”

  1. Steff March 5, 2011 at 9:36 am #

    Impressive! Your fridge looks like mine except…about a thousand times more organized and well-stocked. And I just realized that a bunch of the condiments/sauces that I’ve bought for certain recipes (teriyaki, weird mustard, etc.) are rapidly expiring. Argh!

    I need to ask you about protein powder sometime….I’ve been wanting to hop on the smoothie bandwagon but need a vegetarian protein powder that doesn’t taste bad!

    • jen March 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

      Steff – Sounds like you are partial to vegetarian protein powder (whey is not).I like Amazing Grass Amazing Meal the best. I think you can get it at Whole Foods, but I ordered mine through their web site. I also have Nutiva hemp protein powder (the least processed of most of the regular brands), and I like it, but it does taste a bit…hempy. I also have the Vega Sport, which is awesome but super expensive. I got it in a swag bag and covet every little speck! I know most people that use whey protein seem to really like the Jay Robb that Melissa mentioned. I have some of that too, but usually stick to the veg friendly version.

      • Steff March 7, 2011 at 8:55 am #

        Thanks, Jen! I will check out the Amazing Grass stuff. The Vega sounds GOOD and I am a fan of the Brendan Brazier…but yeah, it’s a little pricey! Anyway–I appreciate the guidance. There’s just too many options: hemp/rice/soy/different prices/a variety of flavors etc.

  2. Melissa Hjelle March 5, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

    I am no expert by any means and new to all of this, but I have been tuned into Jay Robb protein powder. I bought this in the vanilla flavor and it’s amazing! Sweetened with Stevia.

  3. Sista Joan's BFF Diane March 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm #

    I have never had Papa Barrie’s horseradish pickles, however I have in my fridge the horseradish minus the pickles straight from Mankato via Papa’s son in law Gary. I’ll tell you and your readers both ….. that stuff will put hair on a gals chest. It is not for the meek, weak, or faint of taste. I assume adding it to cucumbers helps with its palatability rather than toxicity. If not than your brother in law was trying to kill me.

    • Fav Sista March 7, 2011 at 8:30 am #

      I will bring you some horseradish pickles. They are the bomb diggity. Think sweet pickles with a kick. I myself do not indulge in the actual horseradish except when it takes a minor role in my Sunday Bloody Mary ;0)

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