After the dust settles from cleaning out your pantry of the offending dairy filled ingredients, you may stand back and think, there is nothing left. Now what?!
You will have to restock your pantry so you can whip up a meal at a moment’s notice. The key is having foods on hand that will still allow you to cook creatively and continue to eat a variety of delicious meals without breaking the bank.
Renee and I have complied two lists, one for dairy free baking and one for dairy free cooking. These lists are by no means inclusive of all your dairy free options but they are a good beginning for your new life. We have tried not to repeat the same ingredient in both lists, but some items can be used for both cooking and baking.
Dairy Free Pantry
Make sure to read labels to make sure the products are dairy free. Our app, Now Find Dairy Free, can help you to easily identify dairy free products.
- Chicken Stock, Beef Stock and/or Vegetable Stock
- Be sure the varieties of stock you buy are marked dairy free, some stock will have added dairy. Making your own stock is not difficult and you know exactly what goes into it. I have some wonderful, easy to follow recipes that you may like to try.
- Bouillon, all flavors
- Cooking Wine – both Red and White
- I highly recommend trying a variety of rice. Try to stay away from the over processed commercial white rice and subsequent blends. Be very careful if you buy flavored rice as the seasoning could have dairy and it is generally hidden quite well in the ingredient list.
- Basmati or Arborio rice can be great alternatives to the bleached white rice. Plus, they are perfect to use if you want to make a great Risotto.
- Kokuho Rose is another of our favorite rice varieties. We absolutely love this rice. They have sustainable agriculture practices, it is non-GMO, the rice is not bleached, and it is grown in America.
- There are quite a few varieties out there, you will have to find the one that works for you. Unfortunately, trial and error is the only way to go here. I tend to like the brown rice varieties and have quite a few different shaped pastas on hand at all times. Be sure you follow the manufacturer’s cooking instructions as they vary quite a bit.
- This is a great all-around seed that is quite versatile. I use quinoa for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Bread Crumbs
- Matzo and Matzo Meal
- This is easy to find around Passover, so when you find it stock up. Matzo is great for using as a breading alternative and it lasts forever.
- Tomato Sauce
- Tomato Paste
- Whole Tomatoes
- Diced Tomatoes
- Jarred Spaghetti Sauce
- This is great to have on hand in case of emergency. Please check labels as several varieties and brands will have added dairy.
- Canned Coconut Milk
- Beans (Garbanzo, Kidney, Pinto, etc.)
- The beans can be dried or canned. I tend to stock a variety of both.
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Artichoke Hearts
- Both black and green
- Yellow Mustard/Dijon mustard
- Balsamic Vinegar
- BBQ Sauce
- Salad Dressings
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Rice Vinegar
- White Vinegar
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Stir Fry Sauces
- San-J and Sky Valley are what we use and they are really quite good.
- Franks Red Hot Sauce
- I use this when making chicken wings.
- I use raw organic honey. Most honey sold in stores is over processed and does not even remotely resemble real honey after they are finished with it.
- Maple Syrup
- Olive Oil
- All olive oil is not created equally, and some isn’t actually even olive oil, please read labels and check before buying!!
- Peanut Oil
- I use this for frying.
- Sesame Oil
- I don’t usually keep a big bottle on hand. I use this for stir-fry and for making certain dressings
- Coconut Oil
- Hands down the healthiest oil out there for you. I use this oil most often.
I do not recommend running out and buying all spices at one time. Frankly you probably have a large percentage of these in your cupboard already. Check labels for fillers paying particularly close attention to spice blends, as some will contain dairy. I try to make my own spice blends and mixes, so please check out our recipe section to see if we have a recipe before you buy an overpriced spice blend at the store. I am amazed at how easy most spice blends and mixes are to make. When I am cooking I always make extra to have on hand for later use.
- Himalayan Rock Salt
- A Peppercorn blend
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Garlic Powder
- Minced Garlic
- Celery Salt
- Dry Mustard
- Bay Leaves
- Ground Mustard
- Granulated Onion
- Ground Cumin
- Chili Powder
Just a quick thought on herbs – growing your own and learning how to properly save and store them is not difficult. I grow quite a few different herbs and have an abundance of fresh, frozen and dried herbs available all year round. It is cost effective, does not require a lot of space, time or skill and results in better tasting seasonings for you to use in all your dishes.
The herbs listed here will be enough to make most of the blended herb seasonings, including taco and fajita seasoning, that you can find on our recipe page. These spice blends and mixes are amazingly simple to make and to store at home.
- Dairy–Free Buttery Spread
- Nut, Coconut, Hemp or Soy Milk
- Soy (or other non-dairy) Yogurt
- Vegan Cheese
This is by no means a comprehensive list of ingredients; however, it will get you off to a nice start.
I have not included fresh or frozen dairy free fruits and vegetables in this list, which should be a large portion of your food supply. I buy these foods on a week-to-week basis and try to choose seasonal organic options. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also a useful option and I like to stock up on these when they are on sale. I buy fresh fruits that are in season each week and I keep a good variety of frozen fruit on hand which I especially like for smoothies.
Produce items that I keep on hand include:
- All varieties, I particularly like fingerling potatoes and red potatoes.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Well, they should be listed here, but no one in my family likes them.
- I use both red and yellow onions each week.
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Heirloom Tomatoes
- Lettuce – Different Varieties
- Green Onions
I buy meats in bulk from an organic farm. I realize that this is not an option for everyone, however, I recommend you doing a quick search to see if there is an organic farm near you. Most farms offer lists of people interested in buying only a fourth of a cow or half of a pig. Finding someone to share the meat (and the cost) with you is a good investment of your time and money. We use Mint Creek Farms, which is located here in Illinois. US Wellness Meats is another well know company which offers a large selection of quality meats and poultry.