My Grocery Cart Staples

31 Aug

Hello friends! Lots to talk about today. First a life update…

I’m on week two of my senior year and I love it. My classes are going to be very challenging, but I am so excited about how much I am going to learn this year. When I’m not working on school stuff, I’m working on our new loft. I am a freak about things being clean, organized, and aesthetically pleasing so I’ve been a bit obsessive about getting things in order. I am also obsessive about decorating as cheaply as possible– I have a few DIY projects I’ll share in a future post 🙂

Between school, home decor, and soccer (JWD plays college soccer), life has been crazy and time for cooking, grocery shopping and meal planning have been limited. I am not willing to sacrifice my healthy lifestyle no matter how busy I am, so to make my food life easier I stick with the staples.

15 staples you will always find in my grocery cart

1. Portable and Frozen Fruit

“Portable” fruits like apples, pears, and bananas are easy for me to throw in my bag when I’m running out the door. I also stock up on frozen fruit because it keeps longer than fresh fruit without sacrificing nutrients and it’s great for smoothies, oatmeal, or as an oral-fixation tool for late-night studying 🙂

2. Veggies– Carrots, Celery, and Broccoli

These are my staple veggies. I eat them with everything- peanut butter, hummus, stirfry, wraps, and pastas.

3. Spinach

JWD and I polish off a giant tub of spinach every week. We throw handfuls in our smoothies, omelets, salads, and on sandwiches.

4. Citrus

Citrus is the perfect way to add flavor to a dish with little effort. I squeeze it over fish, veggies, salads, and pasta. It instantly brightens up a dish and gives it a fresh, gourmet taste.

5. Peanut Butter

Enough said.

6. Hummus

Hummus is an easy, satisfying snack. When I come home from a long day and I’m starving while preparing dinner, veggies and hummus are my go-to munchies.

7. Eggs

On some days I know I won’t have time for a mid-morning snack (I’ll be spending some long mornings seeing patients in a hospital). On these days I always whip up a few egg whites or one whole egg for breakfast to pair with my oatmeal. The mix of carbohydrates and protein keeps me full and energized until lunch. I buy organic, free-range, and local whenever possible- sans salmonella.

8. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great high protein snack. Although the individual yogurts are more convenient for work/school, we buy in bulk because it’s cheaper and creates less waste. I prefer plain greek, JWD prefers plain regular gurt.

9. Canned Beans and Tomatoes

I know, I know, technically this is two staples, but I use them in similar ways. They are both great to dump in pasta, soups, or rice for dinner in a snap. Canned beans provide fiber and protein while canned fire-roasted tomatoes create instant flavor. I use the crushed tomatoes for a pasta sauce base or as pizza sauce (much cheaper than buying jars of pasta or pizza sauce!). If beans or tomatoes are on sale, I stock up. They last forever!

10. Vegetable Broth

I always have this in my kitchen for soups or easy crockpot meals that I throw together before I leave for the day.

11. Grains

We always have some kind of grain in the kitchen. Pasta, brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth are the usuals.

12. Oats

Oats are my breakfast of choice 99% of the time. I rotate between old-fashioned rolled oats, steel-cut oats, and oat bran. All three have different textures.

13. Tortillas

Whole grain tortillas are wonderful for a quick pizza crust, veggie and humus wraps, peanut butter and banana roll ups, and fish tacos. I keep mine in the freezer so they last longer.

14. Frozen Fish

We keep some type of fish in the freezer at all times. The fabulous thing about fish is you don’t have to defrost it if you’re short on time. I just season the frozen filets and pop them in the oven.

15. Bars

Of course we always have bars in the house. They can be a little expensive, but they are a must for our busy lives. I keep one or two in my backpack so I’m always prepared when my tummy rumbles.

Knowing my grocery store staples makes shopping a breeze when I’m busy. These basics can be mixed and matched to form tons of different meals and snacks. Some of you might think I’m a sick twisted person, but I actually love the grocery store. I’ve been known to spend the better part of the day visiting the farmer’s market and several grocery stores and loving every minute of it. But sometimes I am way too busy to spend more than 15 minutes in the store and that’s when I rely on my staples. I know I can pick up these 15 things and have plenty of mix-and-match meals for the hectic week ahead.

On another note, I have a little offer for you. I am taking a nutrition counseling class and we are doing a counseling session on healthy eating. My classmates and I are required to find one person who is wiling to participate in a 1 hour one-on-one counseling session. You will fill out some information prior to your visit- primarily info about your usual diet including a food diary that one of my classmates will analyze. Then you will come to Saint Louis University for your healthy eating counseling session. The dates and times are Wednesday, 9/29/2010 or Friday, 10/1/2010 from 12pm-1pm or from 1:15pm-2:15 pm. This is a great opportunity to have a nutrition-savvy person analyze your diet and provide you with healthy eating tips and tricks. It’s also a great opportunity to help me and my classmates sharpen our skills so we can save the world someday 🙂 Let me know if you are interested! Shoot me an email at kayli923@gmail.com

something to read: Marian Nestle, a highly respected dietitian, gives her views on the egg recall

Thanks for reading 🙂

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One Response to “My Grocery Cart Staples”

  1. emily September 1, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    I am definitely the same way in terms of organization. My fave part of the school year is getting all of my schedules organized. 🙂

    I think we have very similar grocery staples. It’s good to have them on hand for simple and quick dinners and snacks.

    Good luck with your counseling session! I always think those are a ton of fun.

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