Here are some staples we keep on hand at Chez Nom Nom Paleo:
Coconut Oil: We normally stock up at Whole Paycheck when coconut oil goes on sale. I used to avoid it like the plague since I was taught that saturated fats = heart attack (yes, I have a nutrition and food science degree from the mid 90’s). Now, I use this stuff all the time time for stir-frying or high temperature cooking.
Here’s our coconut spray oil, also purchased at Whole Paycheck. Fitbomb uses it for everything. I prefer to scoop some coconut oil from the jar.
Our go-to brand of extra virgin olive oil for everyday cooking is the one in the biggest bottle from Trader Joe’s. It’s economical, tasty, and I love the pour spout that comes with it. Call me crazy, but I don’t like sticking my thumb on the bottle opening (á la Jamie Oliver) when I’m drizzling olive oil on stuff.
I use Conzorzio Roasted Garlic Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil to drizzle on foods post cooking, or on foods I’m not cooking at a super high temp. The flavor is pretty strong so I don’t put it on things that it’s likely to overpower. Get it at Costco before they decide to take it off the shelves. I just wish these bottles came with spigots!
Since the Paleo gods frown on dairy, we don’t use butter as much as we used to. When we do, we use Kerrygold unsalted butter because it comes from grassfed cows. Plus, you can find it reasonably priced at Trader Joe’s.
When I need a high-smoke-point fat and coconut oil has too distinctive a flavor for my dish, I’ll use ghee. I’m too lazy to make my own from Kerrygold, so I just buy Purity Farms Organic Ghee. Per their website, it’s made from grassfed, pasture raised cow milk. This product is carried at Whole Paycheck and other fancy grocery stores.
Okay, vinegar isn’t technically Paleo because it may have some gluten in it but I really like balsamic vinegar and keep a few bottles in my pantry at all times. My favorite cheap balsamic vinegar is Trader Joe’s Gold Quality Balsamic Vinegar of Modena. I use this stuff all the time to marinate my roasted veggies. See how the label has rubbed off?
Having a fancy, aged, thick balsamic vinegar in the pantry is a must. I just buy whichever one is on sale at Whole Paycheck or at a nicer grocery store. I drizzle the nice stuff to finish my dishes. A little bit goes a long way. This is the higher-end bottle that’s currently sitting in our pantry:
Since I’ve cut out soy and oyster sauce, we have some San-J Organic Tamari in the pantry when I make Asian food (which is rare). I don’t use this too often, though, because it’s still made with soy.
The Worchestershire sauce we have in the fridge is The Wizard’s™ Organic Worcestershire Sauce. This is the stuff Fitbomb uses in his jerky recipe.
Last but not least, is one of my favorite pantry items: Rao’s Marinara Sauce! Honestly, this canned sauce is better than most Italian grandmothers’. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny. Anytime I see it on sale, I stock up. Buy it and put it on everything.