I don’t know about you, but I’m not a bazillionaire (hey, it’s a real thing). So, that means I rarely buy gluten-free bread, frozen gluten-free meals, any fancy ingredients or a certain brand of specialty flours that dominates the market and has, like, an 800% mark up…
To the Asian markets, I say!
If you live in a major city, there will probably be a Chinatown, or maybe a random, giant Asian supermarket in the middle of an outdoor shopping mall (like Kam Man in Boston). Go there. They have everything you will ever need, and then some. AND IT’S AFFORDABLE.
So here’s the list of dry goods that I always have on hand, some specifically because I use a lot of Silvana Nardone‘s recipes, including her gluten-free flour blend. (Disclaimer: I NEVER use xanthan gum, have never even purchased it. I’m a cheapskate, no shame. And, honestly, I find that small baked goods really don’t benefit that much from it. Or so I read, so I’m sticking with that.) And then of course any vegetables or fruit I find on sale or at the markets. But these are definitely my staples:
- Rice Flour
- Tapioca Flour
- Potato Starch
- Buckwheat Flour
- Corn Flour/Meal (white and yellow, from the Hispanic section of grocery stores)
- Corn Tortillas
- Rice Macaroni-style Noodles
- Rice/Tapioca Stick Noodles (like “angel hair” and “spaghetti” noodles)
- Tamari (gf soy sauce)
- Shelly Senbei Rice Crackers
- Rice/Tapioca Paper Wrappers
- Sugar (granulated, light brown, dark brown, powdered)
- Gluten-free Rolled Oats (Trader Joe’s, great price)
- Crispy Rice Cereal
- Corn Flakes
- Beans Beans Beans! (black, garbonzo, cannelini, you name it)
- Tomato Sauce, Diced Tomatoes, Tomato Paste
- Rice, lots of rice
- Vegetable/Canola Oil
- Vinegar (rice, white, balsamic, etc.)
- Broth/Stock (vegetable, chicken, beef, check the labels)
- Onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, etc.
- More spices than fit in my tiny cabinets
- Psyllium Husk (new addition, I think it’s worth trying)
I also shop every Friday at Boston’s Haymarket outdoor market, which is where all food that didn’t get sold at the grocery stores goes to be sold fast and cheap. This is the only way I can really afford to keep our pantry stocked with the fruits that Marco loves and the wide variety of vegetables that I love. I typically never spend more than $12 there a week, and my haul stays pretty close to what’s currently in season. I save a TON of money this way, and everything else I typically get from Trader Joe’s (minus flours, starches and noodles).
I will always advocate for using what you have in your pantry, so if my recipes don’t fit exactly what you have, don’t worry – chances are you have something else on hand that can serve as an easy substitute. And if you’re stuck, just a post a comment anywhere on our blog and we’ll get back to you ASAP!