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Old 05-16-2014, 01:20 PM   #1
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Stocking a Pantry from Scratch

Hi!

Three weeks into this and loving it. But so far, we have stuck strictly to the basics: meat and veggies, eggs and cheese. I keep telling DH we will branch out and explore new territory soon enough, but for now we're strictly keeping it simple. (The kitchen in our temporary quarters doesn't have utensils or ventilation.)

We will be moving into our [brand] new house in about a month. I need some direction on what kinds of things I will need to fully operate a LC kitchen. I am an experienced cook, but I have been stumbling because I only know how to cook the old-fashioned way. For example:

What do I use to thicken sauces instead of cornstarch?
What can I coat fish/chicken with instead of Panko?
Are the baking mixes any good? What's a good brand?
What replaces the bread in meatloaf?
What would you suggest in place of honey?

I wanted to make a coconut chicken recipe but I can't find unsweetened coconut, so I got finely chopped pecans. It will taste good but I really wanted coconut.

We have been shopping at a national chain supermarket for right now because of where we are, but I can't find things like unsweetened coconut or LC ketchup, but we'll have other opportunities at the new house. We will have Sprouts, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. Which of these would you recommend? I know I can find many things on Netrition, but I don't know what to buy.

Not asking for recipes, there are a zillion of them in here and "out there," but I don't know what I need for everyday cooking. What are the staples?

Many thanks.

Last edited by RyeBaby; 05-16-2014 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 05-16-2014, 02:06 PM   #2
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For unsweetened coconut, check the produce aisle and the freezer section. I have found it in both places. If all else fails, buy a fresh coconut and grate your own unsweetened coconut...drink the water, it's very good for you.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:34 PM   #3
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What do I use to thicken sauces instead of cornstarch?
guar or xanthan gum

What can I coat fish/chicken with instead of Panko?
a mixture of ground up pork rinds, parmesan cheese from can and spices is the most common

Are the baking mixes any good? What's a good brand?
I like carbquik and "Better than Flour" recipe on this site

What replaces the bread in meatloaf?
ground pork rinds and milled flax seed usually

What would you suggest in place of honey? There are varieties made with malitol and xylitol but I won't eat them. I do without. I make brown sugar by mixing Swerve or erythritol with a dash of blackstrap molasses though. And I use DaVinci sugar free pancake syrup with a little guar gum mixed in for maple syrup (and often add melted butter too if I am topping pancakes or waffles...)

I wanted to make a coconut chicken recipe but I can't find unsweetened coconut, so I got finely chopped pecans. It will taste good but I really wanted coconut. It exists. Try the produce section, the baking section of grocery stores and also health food stores.

We have been shopping at a national chain supermarket for right now because of where we are, but I can't find things like unsweetened coconut or LC ketchup, but we'll have other opportunities at the new house. We will have Sprouts, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods. Which of these would you recommend? I know I can find many things on Netrition, but I don't know what to buy. All of these places have great items. I get Heinz 1 carb reduced sugar ketchup at Walmart.

Definitely buy almond flour and coconut flour and black soy beans. I also recommend a vanilla low carb protein powder, a plain unsweetened protein powder, cream cheese, cream, glucomannan and chia seeds. You gotta try Buitoni's (Peggy) Individual White Bread and Chickenlady's carrot cake and Laura Dolson's pecan based chocolate torte.

And find a good low carb barbeque sauce (Paula Deen, Guy's, Elgin are all good), Seal Sama sugar free teriyaki sauce, WingTime buffalo wing sauce, thai garlic chili sauce. Having lots of condiments helps stave off monotony!

Oh, and research sweeteners. I personally like to use a mixture of Ez-Sweetz (granular SPlenda has 24 carbs per cup- I don't use), liquid vanilla stevia and an erythritol based powder- Swerve and Truvia are the best, in my opinion.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:03 PM   #4
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Thank you soooo much! xoxo
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Old 05-16-2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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No problem! Also, try peeling and quartering large turnips and adding them to the crockpot about an hour and a half after starting a corned beef or beef roast with broth or water, an onion, pepper and garlic.

Cooked with the meat, they are almost identical to potatoes.
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Old 05-18-2014, 09:03 PM   #6
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Welcome! I just want to add my two cents here, and say that I totally understand how overwhelming it can be to start cooking LC, even for an experienced cook. The good news is that there are tons of great recipes here to guide you at the start, and you will soon get your "sea legs" and realize that you can have virtually anything you want, but you might have to cook it yourself! Don't be afraid of bizarre sounding ingredients (pork rinds in pancakes??! Surprisingly yummy. As is avocado in chocolate pie). It gets to be fun to try to recreate something you used to love, and very satisfying when successful. And if you truly can't have it, there are other wonderful things that you can have, so try not to focus on what you can't, but think about what you can. I know that sounds Pollyanna-ish, but it has really worked for me. And most of all, have fun - welcome to the start of your new culinary adventure!
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:19 AM   #7
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Save your money and avoid Whole Foods. Sprouts and Trader Joe's will provide all you need at much better prices! I miss Sprouts so much but I still have my TJ's.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the advice! I do know about Whole Paycheck....
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Old 05-19-2014, 08:32 PM   #9
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Of course, a lot of it depends on the application (I'll read what everyone else wrote in a sec; I want to see if I am close to everyone else's answers!).

What do I use to thicken sauces instead of cornstarch? I use either cornstarch or cream or arrowroot. While cornstarch and arrowroot aren't technically low-low carb, they're low enough for most of my applications. Heavy cream or a cream cheese with thickeners built in also work, depending on application.

What can I coat fish/chicken with instead of Panko? I use Parmesan cheese. It's wonderful.

Are the baking mixes any good? What's a good brand? I haven't tasted one I've liked. They typically contain either soy or wheat, and I'm allergic to soy, intolerant to gluten to boot.

What replaces the bread in meatloaf? Sometimes I'll add grated parm or flax seed meal.

What would you suggest in place of honey? If in recipes, I'd use a powdered sweetener and add more moisture with water or heavy white cream depending on the application. That or I'd use a wee bit of blackstrap molasses.
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Last edited by cleochatra; 05-19-2014 at 08:33 PM..
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Old 05-19-2014, 09:09 PM   #10
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chia seeds. get some for your pantry.
cocoa powder
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Old 05-19-2014, 11:09 PM   #11
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I have found "unsweetened" coconut in the bakery aisle in big grocery stores. You really have to hunt for it because they only have a small shelf.
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:21 AM   #12
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You can also find unsweetened coconut in an Asian or Indian market.
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Old 05-20-2014, 10:23 AM   #13
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What do I use to thicken sauces instead of cornstarch? I use arrowroot usually it's pretty minimal or some thicken thin (heard they don't make it anymore), reduction works too.

What can I coat fish/chicken with instead of panko? Pork rinds, Parmesan, nuts and coconut all work great. I've seen people use almond flour.

Are the baking mixes any good? What's a good brand? None in my opinion. Like Cleo, can't do soy or wheat.

What replaces the bread in meatloaf?. I have found it really doesn't need it. But almond flour or a small amount of coconut flour. That stuff is super absorbent, so be careful!

What would you suggest in place of honey?. Anything a 1/2 cup or under can be replaced with any other sweetener in equal amounts. Over that, you'll need to adjust for your taste.

As for shopping, I happen to like Whole Foods. I shop there a lot, because they usually have want I am looking for and if not are really good about getting it. We just got a small Trader Joe's and I'm not impressed. Packaged, processed and canned. Meh. I know there might be some things worth the hunt, but I haven't found the need.

As for your pantry; cocoa powder, coconut flour, almond flour, sweeteners, coconut oil, coconut oil spray, sugar free chocolate. Lily's is good and ChocoPerfection. I use them to cook with all the time. Then of course all the usual suspects, spices, baking powder, baking soda and good salt.

As for which sweeteners, I use xylitol (toxic to dogs, but I don't have one & it didn't kill the bird, I guess it's specific to dogs) and swerve. I also like stevia glycerite.

How fun, though, a new house and all new kitchen stuff! Doesn't get any better than that!
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Old 05-20-2014, 11:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowangel9 View Post
As for shopping, I happen to like Whole Foods. I shop there a lot, because they usually have want I am looking for and if not are really good about getting it. We just got a small Trader Joe's and I'm not impressed. Packaged, processed and canned. Meh. I know there might be some things worth the hunt, but I haven't found the need.
I'm also a Whole Foods fan. I find their 365 brand, in particular, competitive with other grocery stores in the area. I also appreciate being able to buy stuff that I might otherwise have to order.

They get bashed a lot, but the one near my home and the one near my workplace are always packed.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:09 PM   #15
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Not sure if they are in your area but Big Lots is now carrying a large number of Bob's Red Mill products. I just bought two packages of unsweetened coconut there the other day and saw a number of other products like flax and protein powder.

They also had the Heinz Reduced Sugar ketchup for $1.00 a bottle but I'm not a ketchup fan so passed on it.
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:37 PM   #16
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I still haven't found the unsweetened coconut, but I haven't gone to Sprouts yet. We have a huge supermarket but trying to find anything without sugar is a real challenge!
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Old 05-21-2014, 03:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by PaminKY View Post
Not sure if they are in your area but Big Lots is now carrying a large number of Bob's Red Mill products. I just bought two packages of unsweetened coconut there the other day and saw a number of other products like flax and protein powder.

They also had the Heinz Reduced Sugar ketchup for $1.00 a bottle but I'm not a ketchup fan so passed on it.
I didn't think to look for the unsw. coconut in the Bob's Red Mill stuff! Thanks!
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