Here’s What to Stock in the Ultimate Clean-Eating Pantry for Instantaneous Meal Prep

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Trying to eat clean is step one of giving your lifestyle a wellness makeover (since what you eat affects everything from athletic performance to your complexion), so whether you're dabbling in Paleo or dousing all your food in turmeric, chances are your diet is going to reflect your clean-eating efforts.

For Sarah J. Gim, founder of TheDeliciousLife, eating clean means prioritizing quality, organic ingredients, but she isn't overly strict about imposing food rules.

"My general philosophy around food is, 'Do the best you can to eat what’s best for you,'" Gim explains. "Start by getting a baseline idea of what’s best for you—your specific nutrition needs. Then, do the best you can in terms of buying the highest-quality ingredients you can, and eating those foods as often as you can with the understanding that real life eating isn’t always perfect."

"Do the best you can to eat what’s best for you."

Gim also applies this totally real philosophy to how she feeds Millie, her chihuahua mix/outgoing BFF. "Millie is a little chihuahua mix who has been part of the family for a little over five years now," says Gim. "She has such a funny, mischievous personality and her facial expressions are hilarious."

For Millie, Gim stocks Castor & Pollux® PRISTINE®the only complete line of pet food made with responsibly sourced ingredients like grass-fed beef and wild-caught salmon.

"I feed Millie as conscientiously as I feed anyone else in my family—with food that supports a healthy lifestyle," she says. "I like PRISTINE® because it's made with responsibly sourced ingredients like grass-fed beef and organic chickpeas, the same type of ingredients I choose for myself, and without preservatives or unnecessary fillers."

Scroll down to get the deets on her pantry staples—plus download her grocery list to give your own pantry a healthy makeover.

Let's talk about your daily go-to's—the cooking oils and vinegars on the top shelf.

I started using apple cider vinegar when I began slow-cooking broths and stocks at home, but realized it makes a great vinaigrette that’s different from the usual red wine vinaigrette. The flavor is a little more pungent and can stand up to heartier ingredients and stronger flavored cheeses and fish in salads.

Avocado oil has a high smoke point so I use it for higher heat sautéing and pan frying, and though it does have a distinctive flavor, it's more “neutral” for savory cooking than say, coconut oil. 

Why keep dog food on the top shelf?

Millie’s food (her favorite is the PRISTINE® Small Breed Grass-fed Beef & Chickpea Recipe) is on the top shelf of the pantry with the other foods that I use every day. 

castor and pollux pristine dog food

What's your secret for keeping your pantry so tidy?

Are you ready for the big secret?! Matching, modular food storage containers. Also, having a finite number of containers helps keep the pantry edited to essentials. I might be less inclined to buy that giant bag of chips if there’s no space for it in the pantry. (Okay but maybe I’ll still buy the smaller bag.)

What do you keep in your storage containers?

The second shelf holds grains, seeds, and ingredients like soba noodles, rice noodles, and rice paper wrappers. The two red containers have different organic quinoas: red and a mix of red, black, and white. Red and black quinoas maintain a firmer texture when cooked, so I like tossing them into salads.

On the other side are dark green pepitas and light green hemp seeds. I also keep organic chia seeds, organic flax seeds, and organic sunflower seeds. I've been making savory granolas to replace croutons for crunch on salads. Roasted garlic and herb granola is my current favorite on a kale caesar!

The storage bin with buckwheat soba also contains rice noodles, sweet potato starch noodles, and rice paper wrappers. Soba has a great texture for salad-like dishes. Soba, avocado, and crisp vegetables like cucumber and snap peas with miso ginger vinaigrette is refreshing in the summer.

You stock a lot of seeds and beans. Do you have one that’s your favorite?

I do my best to cook with beans by starting with dried beans like organic chickpeas, soaking, and then cooking, but who in their real life has time for that? Not me.

Canned beans are great when I want to put a dish together right away, or don’t want to keep the stove on for a long time, like during the summer. I am currently loving a summery, no-cook salad made with white beans, tuna in olive oil, any kind of sharp, peppery greens, and the Parsley Salsa Verde.

castor and pollux pristine dog food

What are some of your go-to snacks?

I do my best to snack on fresh produce, and particularly love crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, snap peas, radishes, and carrots to scoop up hummus, which is where those organic canned chickpeas conveniently come in.

I don’t normally eat too many sweet foods like cookies or cake, but when I have the occasional craving, a few strips of dried mango or papaya are almost like candy. The figs, along with apricots and dates, are great for cheese and charcuterie boards.

As for Millie's snack time, she has her own little internal food clock. When it's meal time, either she's already waiting patiently in the kitchen for me, or if I'm running a little late on feeding her, she comes into whatever room I'm in, gets my attention, and we head to the kitchen together. When I open the pantry, she hops up on her back legs and looks right up at the shelf with her food. It's pretty cute!

Totally digging Gim's tips? Download her simple shopping list here, loaded with responsibly sourced foods for you and your four-legged friend, and shop Castor & Pollux PRISTINE®.

In partnership with Castor & Pollux®

Images: Sarah Gim

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