These are items that we’ll use again and again, to make delicious, healthy, well-rounded meals. You probably have many of these in your cupboards, already! We also cover our favorite kitchen tools and websites for recipe inspiration.
- Eggs & Dairy
- Cooking Fats & Oils
- Canned Goods
- Flavor, Part 1: Condiments, Ferments, Sauces & Sweetener
- Flavor, Part 2: Spices, Herbs, Fruits, Nuts & Seeds
- Grains and Pasta
- Baking Ingredients
- Kitchen Equipment
- Our Favorite Websites
Eggs & Dairy
Including high quality eggs and dairy are key elements to simple, delicious meals. They are yummy, very easy to work with, and they can add a lot of variety and nutrients to your meal.
When shopping for eggs, we recommend looking for eggs that come from Vermont farms that raise their chickens on pasture. It's the best option for quality, nutrition, and sustainability. When shopping for dairy, we recommend looking for Vermont farms that grass-feed or pasture raise their cows, goats, or sheep. That's the best way to ensure quality, nutrition, and sustainability. Grass fed and organic, like Butterworks Farm or Does' Leap, is even better!
Storage: Keep refrigerated
*included in Omnivore and Localvore Packages | **Available as a weekly share
- **Eggs (we feature Besteyfield Farm) (great for baking, hard boiled in salads, homemade mayo, and delicious breakfast dishes)
- *Butter (we feature Ploughgate Creamery cultured butter) Great for sauteeing vegetables, cooking eggs, and adding flavor to almost any dish
- Milk (Sweet Rowen, Kimball Brook, and many others)
- *Whole Plain Yogurt (Butterworks Farm, and others. Great for breakfast, dips, sauces, marinades, and desserts)
- **Cheddar Cheese (we feature Shelburne Farms 1-year cheddar)
- *Chevre (we feature Doe’s Leap) (Add chevre to salads, eggs, sandwiches, dips, and more)
- *Hard-grating Cheese (we feature Mount Mansfield Creamery. Parmesan or Romano are versatile as well)
Cooking Fats and Oils
Having a variety of oils around will make your cooking more versatile. Some have mild flavors that will let your ingredients shine through, whereas others will add more layers of flavor to your meal. Plus, healthy fats help your body absorb many of the vitamins and minerals present in fresh fruits and vegetables!
Choosing the right oil for your cooking: Different oils can be used at different levels of heat depending of their level of refinement: here's a great guide, courtesy of the fabulous folks over at Serious Eats.
Storage: Oils will oxidize if left at room temperature, especially if they’re in the light. Dark bottles help with keeping oil fresh, and you can store them in the fridge.
- *Butter (we feature Ploughgate Creamery cultured butter)
- Coconut oil (adds flavor to stir fry, rice, and other dishes)
- Grapeseed Oil (a healthy, neutral oil that is great mixed with other oils, or in the background)
- Olive Oil (strongly flavored, and somewhat bitter. Best mixed with other oils when making salad dressings.)
- Sunflower Oil (The less refined this oil is, the more nutty and delicious, but the more refined version can be used for higher heat cooking)
Canned goods are some of the easiest items to stock up on - and they can transform a meal from a side dish to a filling main course with the twist of a can-opener. You can add these to casseroles, soups, dips, sauces, and so much more. We highly recommend choosing certified organic whenever possible, take advantage of grocery store sales when you can, and keeping several cans in your pantry at all times.
- Black Beans
- Garbanzo Beans
- White Beans
- Coconut Milk
- Fire-roasted tomato puree
- Tomato Paste (buying a tube will cost more, but will last much longer than a jar)
Flavor, Part 1: Condiments, Ferments, Sauces & Sweeteners
Having condiments at the ready will let you turn a bland dish into a delightful dish. Most have a long shelf life, so you can stock up and always have options on hand. We recommend choosing certified organic whenever possible!
Storage: Keep Refrigerated
*included in the Omnivore Packages and Localvore Packages
Must Have items:
- Dijon Mustard (for sauces and dressings)
- *Honey (we feature BTV Honey)
- Hot sauce and/or Sriracha (Local brands to try: Benito’s, Butterfly Bakery)
- *Jelly orJam Besides the obvious addition to toast, jelly and jam can be used in sauces, marinades, and desserts, too! You can also use jelly or jam to flavor plain yogurt (we feature The Farm Between and V.Smiley)
- *Maple Syrup (we feature Square Deal Farm)
- Mayonnaise (store-bought or homemade)
- Soy Sauce or gluten-free Tamari
- Vinegar: We recommend always having Balsamic Vinegar, Cider Vinegar, and White Wine Vinegar on hand
Items we love for even more flavor and creativity:
- Fish Sauce (for adding a ton of flavor sauce, marinades, and soup)
- *Kimchi and/or Sauerkraut (we feature Flack Family Farm and Sobremesa)
- Miso - fermented bean paste that you can use to flavor dressings, sauces, soups, roasted veggies, and more. (Local Brand to try: Rhapsody Natural Foods)
- Peanut butter (for homemade peanut sauce!)
- Red Curry Paste (we love simmering root vegetables in curry sauce!)
- Tahini (sesame seed paste, which is amazing for dressings and dips
Flavor, Part 2: Spices, Herbs, Fruits, Nuts & Seeds
If you have a nice selection of spices, it will enhance your ability to whip up food from all around the globe, without an extra trip to the store. You can buy them in bulk and pick up just a few tablespoons at a time, and they’ll be fresh and fragrant when you bring them home. Or, we recommend buying in smaller jars at the store so that they don’t sit for too long.
Other key ingredients are lemons and citrus, garlic, onions, and fresh herbs. We'll supply these in our Vermont Vegetable packages, but it never hurts to have them on hand.
Spice Blends can be a great shortcut, especially if you have some favorites you like to use often. We love using Montreal Seasoning for meat and potatoes, Italian Seasoning in summer pasta salads and homemade pizza, Za'atar for grilled vegetables and grain bowls, and Taco seasoning (store bought or mix your own).
Storage: store spices in airtight jars in a cool, dark place.
- Bay leaves
- Ginger, ground (fresh is delicious too!)
- Mustard seed
- Paprika, smoked, and sweet
Dried fruit, nuts, and seeds will add flavor and texture to salads and other dishes. Plus, they're great for snacking!
Storage: Because of their high oil content, nuts and seeds are pretty perishable. They can also pick up aromas from their environments. The best way to store them is to keep them in airtight containers in the freezer.
- Dried Cranberries and/or Raisins
- Almonds and/or Walnuts
- Pumpkin Seeds and/or Sunflower Seeds
Grains and Pasta
Grains and pasta are essential elements to our favorite go-to recipes, like stir fry with rice, grain bowls with roasted vegetables, or pasta with sautéed vegetables. Keep your pantry well-stocked with your favorite quick-cooking grains and pastas - but don't forget to try something new some time! We highly recommend choosing certified organic whenever possible.
Storage: These items can be kept in the cupboard, but do have a shelf life -- grains will oxidize over time. Store in airtight containers, kept in a dark place, and make sure to follow the “first in/first out” rule.
Must Have Items:
- Pasta - smaller noodles, like penne, bowties, or macaroni, are great for pasta salads. Spaghetti, linguini, and angel hair are nice for main dishes with sauteed vegetables.
- Noodles - soba noodles or rice noodles cook quickly and can be added to delicious soups. They pair well with cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, and stir fry.
- Rice - brown and white rice are great staples. Arborio rice is best for risotto. Wild or other exotic colorful rices are a great way to mix things up.
Items we love for even more flavor and creativity:
Barley (A quick-cooking grain that makes a delicious base for summer salads, like tabbouleh!)
- Farro (A delicious chewy grain that's great for grain bowls or side dishes)
- Quinoa (comes in different colors and cooks easily - we like to cook in broth for more flavor)
- Wild Rice, Forbidden Rice, etc. (Wild or other exotic colorful rices are a great way to mix things up.)
Whether you love making pancakes on the weekend, or you love sneaking your vegetables like carrots, parsnips, and zucchini into delicious desserts, it's handy to have small amounts of these ingredients stored away for special occasions.
Storage: These items can be kept in the cupboard. Store in airtight containers, kept in a dark place, and make sure to follow the “first in/first out” rule.
- All-Purpose Flour (Local brand to try: King Arthur or Nitty Gritty Grain Co.)
- Whole Wheat Flour (Local brand to try: Nitty Gritty Grain Co. or Roger’s Farmstead)
- Rolled Oats
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Sugar - both brown and white
- Vanilla Extract
Our Favorite Websites
Not all recipes are created equal. These websites do a great job of curating, so it’s more likely that you’ll find recipes that work.
101 Cookbooks www.101cookbooks.com
Bon Appétit www.bonappetit.com
Serious Eats www.seriouseats.com
Simply Recipes Food and Cooking Blog www.simplyrecipes.com
Smitten Kitchen www.smittenkitchen.com
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
If I could only keep one book in my cooking library, it would be this one. It’s not a cookbook, but rather, a guide to which foods go well together. Not sure what to do with your cucumbers? This book will tell you that the crunchy vegetable pairs well with buttermilk, feta cheese, cilantro, cream cheese, dill, garlic, gin, lemon juice, mint, onions, parsley, salmon, scallions, soy sauce, Vietnamese cuisine, and more.