Yesterday, I did my grocery shopping for the week. First, I reviewed the recommended shopping list on the back of the Simple Start booklet I received in my meeting. It got me to thinking about what staples are necessary to have on hand to make healthy cooking easy.
- Herbs and spices – These are essential for flavoring the
food you are preparing. You can find these in the produce section
or the spice section of wherever you buy food. Once, I found some
in the frozen section of Costco (http://mydorot.com/).
The frozen cubes of minced herbs are convenient for crockpot
cooking, soups, or sauteing. I also love Gourmet Garden herbs and
spices in a tube (http://na.gourmetgarden.com/us).
- Extracts – Another nice way to add flavor to foods. I
added a teaspoon of peppermint extract to my brownie mix with out
adding PPV. I saw that my local Super Target has about 5 or 6
different extracts to choose from (I remember seeing vanilla, maple,
coffee, and some sort of mint).
- Produce – Stock up on what you love and keep it at eye
level. Keeping fresh produce at eye level ensures you see it and
will grab for it first. I also stock up on frozen produce for
roasting. I also roast fresh produce when it starts to look no so
- Whole grain pastas, couscous, and quinoa – You can make a
recipe on the fly with this staples. Combine with cooked veggies and
a lean meat and voila you have a quick meal.
- Fat-free and reduced sodium broth or stock – I like to have
on hand to add flavor to the foods I am cooking or to make a soup
quickly. For soups I will put broth, chicken breasts, fresh/frozen
and/or roasted veggies, and pasta, couscous, or quinoa into my crock
pot with some herbs in the morning and will enjoy when I get home
- Lean proteins – Fish, seafood, lean cuts of beef, chicken,
turkey, and lean ground meat. The key here is to keep an eye on
your portion size. A serving of meat is 2-3 oz. Many restaurants
serve 8+ oz in a meal. I know that I lose more when my diet is
higher in protien, but a 16 oz steak is way too much for me!
- Eggs – Hard boiled eggs can make an easy go-to breakfast or
snack if you like them and are not allergic. Eggs are my favorite
source of protein in the morning.
These are some of the things I have in my kitchen at all times. I do have things that are for the kids only. They are things I don't really care for, so it is easy for me to not eat them. What are your staples?