New Year, New Pantry

If you're reading this blog, you probably don't need to be told to toss your aerosol oil. Hopefully, good looking, "conveniently" packaged salad dressings and marinades lost their luster ages ago, after you tasted true extra virgin olive oil and relished in the ease of cooking with just a few fresh ingredients. (Could tossing a squeeze of fresh lemon juice with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper be any simpler?) Or maybe you're just beginning to incorporate more real foods into your pantry and cooking routine? New year's resolution, perhaps? To ensure a healthier, tastier new year and in the spirit of clearing clutter, here's a smart list of ways to rethink your pantry from the New York Times: "Fresh Start for a New Year? Let's Begin in the Kitchen," by Mark Bittman. Want more? Heidi Swanson has a detailed list of blog postings from 101Cookbboks on how to Build a Natural Foods Pantry covering everything from sweeteners and grains to fats and oils. And once you've gotten your kitchen sorted and stocked, it can't hurt to try for a little prosperity in the new year with some lucky lentils. Skip the mint sauce in Swanson's Lentil and Almond stir-fry and try finishing with McEvoy oil. However it affects your finances in'09, it's sure to satisfy your belly and warm you up during these chilly, winter nights. Enjoy and Happy New Year!