In addition to my cost, health, taste, and speed tenets, ingredients are optimized for:
- preservation: either shelf-stable or safe for over a month under proper refrigeration
- versatility: applicable to many types of dishes
- safety: low risk of foodborne illness under normal preperation
Chickpea flour is common in Indian cuisine. It’s got more fiber and protein than typical carb-heavy flours, though has a noticeable flavor.
Fresh mushrooms don’t keep well enough for occasional use and can be expensive. Dried mushrooms fix these issues and are usually more flavorful.
Few animal products fit my style, but eggs are cheap, versatile, and keep well. They also cook well in a microwave.
Erythritol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol that’s ideal for general use. It’s nearly as sweet as sugar, almost calorie-free, and relatively easy to digest.
Vegetables tend to be healthy since they’re mostly fiber, water, and micronutrients. Preservation and prep time of fresh produce can be problematic, however, so I mostly buy frozen.
Lentils have excellent macros and are one of few legumes that cook quickly without soaking. They can be used either as the base of a meal, or as a component to add flavor, texture, or nutrition.
Mung beans (pronounced “moong”) are a legume similar to lentils. Compared to red lentils, they’re sweeter and slower to cook.
Oats mild flavor and chewy consistency work well with just about any flavor. They’re especially useful in place of less healthy carbs; consider substituting them into dishes usually prepared with pasta or rice.