A Give Away | Pantry Staples

A New Year!  New Beginnings!  And for a home-chef, that means a Clean Pantry!  In our case, it is a new pantry to boot.  This is the first time in our adult lives, that we actually have a pantry.  Remember our tiny 20 sq. ft. kitchen?  We only had one big cupboard, which kept all of our pantry items, as well as dishes.

Now we have a six shelve pantry to fill, I have vowed not to overstock it with things we would never use.  I have also dedicated only three shelves to ingredients.  Just because we have space now, I refuse to over-stock the kitchen with food items that we don’t use, and that will go to waste.

We were thrilled when Whole Foods reached out to us about contributing to their event, Win Pantry Staples for a Year.  The premise behind their event is that you can stock the pantry with healthy and affordable items for $50;  enough items to create 14 meals.  All you have to add is some fresh ingredients and spices.  Fifty dollars may not seem like a lot of money to stock your pantry;  but, if stick to buying their brands and/or shopping in the bulk area, that money will go far.  I shop the bulk area very often, as I have control over how much of an item I need, and I only buy what I will be using.  As well, their brand items are a lot less than “other store” brand items.

Here, is their list of items that will help you stock your pantry:

  • 1 lb black beans
  • 1 lb lentils
  • 1 lb quinoa
  • 2 lbs brown rice
  • 2 (32-oz) boxes vegetable broth
  • 2 (32-oz) box chicken broth
  • 1 lb rolled oats
  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 lb orechiette pasta
  • 1 lb pasta, your favorite kind
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 jar unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 (32-oz) box unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 (5-oz) can tuna
  • 3 (15-oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 package no-oil sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
We were working a lot this week, and having dried pasta and a jar of sauce that was full of veggies, on hand was nice.  We used some sauce and put the rest into the freezer for another quick meal.  As well I made a delicious curried lentil dish using some of the lentils and diced tomatoes.  I am excited to make these staples last another couple weeks;  cannot wait to share the recipes with you!
In addition to sharing the Whole Foods pantry list, I thought I would share our Pantry List:
  • Olive Oil  -  2 bottles, one for cooking and a high quality for dressing dishes and salads
  • Canola Oil
  • Tea Seed Oil or Grape Seed Oil – for high heat cooking
  • Coconut Oil – for baking
  • AP Flour
  • Unprocessed Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Honey  - great drizzled over oatmeal, ricotta or yogurt.  Also good in tea and hot toddys
  • Kosher Salt
  • Mixed Peppercorns – I mix black, pink and white together
  • Chocolate Chips – for those last minute baking sessions
  • Chickpeas – great in soups, stews, dips or on their own
  • Pasta – always have one kind of pasta in the pantry for late night dinners
Here is our “fresh” pantry list – these are fresh items that we always have on hand:
  • Shallots
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Yellow Onions
  • Butternut or Kambocha Squash
  • Lemons – can use in savory or sweet dishes, as well as in tea
  • Limes – need for cocktails
  • Parsley or Cilantro
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Fresh Ginger Root – great for cooking and in tea
To get you started on stocking your pantry, healthy, we are giving away a $50 gift card to Whole Foods.  Details below.  
Recipe:  Curried Lentils with Spinach

Recipes from Whole Foods using their pantry items.

Thank you, Whole Foods, for providing this giveaway!

Giveaway Requirements:

  • Answer the following question in the comments section:  How are you going to make your pantry “healthy in 2012?
  • You may NOT enter using multiple email addresses. Automatic disqualification.
  • Additional entries must leave a separate comment.
  • Contest ends January 31, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
  • Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be announced on February 1, 2012.  Winner will have 2 days to respond before being disqualified and a new winner chosen.

Extra Entries:

Additional entries can be earned by doing any of the following, giving you a total of 6 entries. Leave a separate comment for each of your entries.

  1. Follow Chez Us and Whole Foods on Twitter and ReTweet the following message: Win a $50 Whole Foods gift card @chezus http://tinyurl.com/78f9lae  #giveaway – come back here and leave the tweet in the comments.
  2. Become a fan of Chez Us on Facebook – come back here and leave a comment that you did so.
  3. Become a fan of Whole Foods on Facebook - come back here and leave a comment that you did so.
  4. Subscribe to the Chez Us RSS Feed “The Daily Dish” - come back here and leave a comment that you did so.
  5. Subscribe to the Chez Us monthly newsletter “Culinary Capers” - come back here and leave a comment that you did so.
Other Give Aways we have going until January 31, 2012

Disclosure: This post was written as part of my participation with Whole Foods Stock Your Pantry event. I was given $50 worth of staples to facilitate my review, as well as a $50 gift card to give to one of our readers.  All opinions expressed are my own.

The winner of the $50 Whole Foods Gift Card is Kristina of Former Chef!  Congrats Kristina.  Drop us an email with your mailing address and we will get you your gift card.  


  1. I haven’t been focused so much on making my pantry healthy so much as wasting less. The amount of food we throw away is ridiculous. I’m learning to make better use of my freezer and turning leftovers into new creations so as not to get bored!

  2. I already like Chez Us on Facebook.

  3. And Whole Foods :)

  4. Mami2jcn says:

    I’m going to stock my pantry with more whole grains, beans, and brown rice.

  5. Mami2jcn says:

    I like Chez US on FB with my username Mary Happymommy.

  6. Mami2jcn says:

    I like Whole Foods on FB with my username Mary Happymommy.

  7. Mami2jcn says:

    I subscribed to Culinary Capers.

  8. I’m buying more staples and fewer mixes!

  9. ladywild says:

    Making the pantry healthy by filling it with good things like dried beans, lentils, whole grains, etc.

  10. ladywild says:

    follow both on twitter and retweeted

  11. ladywild says:

    follow chez us on FB

  12. ladywild says:

    following WF on FB

  13. ladywild says:

    subscribed to the email list

  14. Rona Y says:

    I’m going to try to buy (and eat!) more grains and beans!

  15. I plan on making my pantry healthier by making my own chicken and veggie broth instead of buying it. Sodium free and the taste is so much better.

  16. I Subscribe to the Chez Us RSS Feed “The Daily Dish“

  17. My pantry needs more dried beans and legumes. Also, I need to “let go” of most of my old dried spices. I rarely use them. I have a great herb garden that I started several years ago, so I either use fresh snipped or frozen (most herbs freeze great!). I have many, many old spice jars that are way past their prime. I keep holding on to them because all those little jars lined up somehow make me feel like a “real” cook. But they just take up space in there!

    Also, adding to list of these lists of pantry items, I would add a nut butter of some sort. I always have some on hand (usually almond butter). Its a quick, easy, healthy snack even my kids can prepare for themselves (with apple slices, celery sticks, whole grain bread, etc.).

  18. modernworkinggirl says:

    I’m going to try to get the whole family to eat less cereal – all around, but especially sugar cereals. Just not the way to start the day. I’ll stock oatmeal and whole wheat bread instead!

  19. In 2012, we’re going to focus primarily on a vegan diet, with grains and beans as our pantry staples, and veggies and fruits as our fresh staples.

  20. Gina M Maddox says:

    I am going to keep more whole grain pasta and quinoa on hand! Thanks for the chance to win!
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  21. Gina M Maddox says:

    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  22. Gina M Maddox says:

    I like them on FB — Crave to Save
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  23. Gina M Maddox says:

    I like you on FB — Crave to Save
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  24. Gina M Maddox says:

    I am an RSS subscriber!
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  25. Gina M Maddox says:

    I am an e-mail subscriber!
    gina.m.maddox (AT) gmail (DOT) com

  26. Heather Hicks says:

    I’m going to try to cut out white rice and pasta.

  27. What a great idea! You can absolutely stock your pantry for $50 and your money will go even farther if you make your own stocks out of leftover veg and bones from a roasted chicken.
    I’m going to make my pantry healthy by trying to use up things before they go bad (not over-stocking) and have more staples instead of mostly random odd ingredients.

  28. Already a fan on Facebook!

  29. Jessica says:

    To start making my pantry healthy in 2012, I’m going to try to stop buying potato chips and cheetos. Those are awful for my skin! Going to start eating more veggie chips… Whole Foods sells some good ones :)

  30. Jessica says:
  31. i tweeted!

    Win a $50 Whole Foods gift card @chezus http://tinyurl.com/78f9lae #giveaway


  32. Andrea says:

    I’m planning to cook more with beans, barley, and whole grains. I’d like to try farro if I can find it for a reasonable price. Neat giveaway!

  33. Marit says:

    I’ve learned that if it isn’t here, I won’t eat it, so I’m increasing the fresh fruits, veg and making sure I always have cooked legumes in the fridge.

  34. Marit says:

    Like Whole Foods on Facebook

  35. Marit says:

    Liked Chez Us on Facebook

  36. Kaylan says:

    I’m planning to cook with pantry items a few times a week because these meals are usually very conducive to freezing (and thus easy to pop in the microwave or defrost overnight with minimal effort for easy dinners after work). Soups with beans, freezing lentils to heat up in the microwave for a quick protein boost, etc. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

  37. Kaylan says:

    Liked Chez Us on facebook!

  38. Kaylan says:

    Liked Whole Foods on facebook!

  39. Kaylan says:

    Subscribed to Chez Us RSS feed via Google Reader!

  40. Kaylan says:

    Subscribed to Chez Us newsletter Culinary Capers!

  41. i am going to make all grains and pasta whole wheat!

  42. i like you on FB steph sweeper

  43. i like whole foods on FB steph sweeper

  44. What a great giveaway! I plan on filling mine with more nuts… which I get from the bulk section at Whole Foods. It not only makes for a healthy snack, but I eat a handful for breakfast every day.

  45. Nurse Amy says:

    I just started using vital wheat gluten and this year I plan to make much more 100% whole wheat bread. So tasty!

  46. i canned a ton of things from my garden this summer and that will be the base for so many delicious soups, sauces, and other creations all winter long!

  47. lesliemikkelson says:

    I plan on making a greater effort to be mindful about what I buy for my pantry. After a move last year I realized that my own pantry was full of out of date impulse buys from years ago. Never again! Hopefully.

  48. lesliemikkelson says:

    I follow The Daily Dish with Google Reader.

  49. lesliemikkelson says:

    I subscribed to Culinary Capers.

  50. lesliemikkelson says:

    I became a fan on Facebook.

  51. Clove says:

    I am hoping to buy more in bulk (less packaged foods!)and purchase tons of fresh fruits and veg!

  52. Jessica L. says:

    I plan on making more things from scratch by buying less boxed items, and trying to use more whole grains!

  53. I’m going to keep my pantry super-stocked with lots of chickpeas, white beans and lentils so I will cook more vegetarian dishes this year :)

  54. Janet says:

    I’m going to make my pantry healthy by only buying items that my family will actually eat. I’m tired of buying stuff that gets thrown away after its expiration date has come and gone. ~Sigh~

  55. Janet says:

    I follow ChezUs and WholeFoods on Twitter & I tweeted your tweet:

  56. Janet says:

    I became a fan of Chez Us on Facebook (Janet Janet).

  57. Janet says:

    I’m a fan of Whole Foods on Facebook (Janet Janet).

  58. Carilyn Platt says:

    I would love to win the Whole Foods gift card and the Plenty cookbook!

  59. Carilyn Platt says:

    I subscribed to the Daily Dish

  60. Carilyn Platt says:

    I subscribed to culinary capers


  1. [...] recently wrote about making your pantry healthy during 2012, one item that can always be found in ours is lentils.  Lentils are perfect in recipes [...]

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