Over the weekend, my sister and I (who is equally as crazy about food as I am) took a little road trip to Burlington, MA to a store called Market Basket. I know it sounds crazy to drive ½ hour out of our way to simply go food shopping but when I tell you their produce and their prices are amazing it would be an understatement. We went early to beat the crowd, and to our surprise when we walked in...a table of Girl Scout cookies! I think Kris almost had an anxiety attack over the caramel delights. Anyways, we got 2 carts and made our way to the fresh produce section. “Is it weird that I am excited?” I said to my sister as a bagged the most beautiful bunch of cilantro I had ever seen (ya..I told you I was crazy). My point to this story is that food shopping shouldn't be a chore, it should be an adventure. If you plan ahead and have a general idea of what to do with the foods that you buy, cooking will be easier and less stressful.
I always try to keep staple items in my fridge and pantry for those “oh no! we have nothing to eat” kind of days.
With these staple food item you can make a lot of quick and easy meals.
Quick Lentil Soup
1 bag of dried lentils
2 tbsp olive oil
2 slices of bacon, diced into small pieces
1 tbsp dried or fresh rosemary
2 stalks of celery
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 chicken bouillon cubes
8 cups water
In a small pot add dried lentils and 2 cups of water, bring to a boil for 10 minutes until lentils are softer but not fully cooked. The lentils will absorb most of the water but drain off the extra water and set aside
In a soup pot add oil and bacon and cook until crisp. Add onions, carrots and celery and saute for 2 minutes then add garlic, saute for another minute. Add bouillon cubes, rosemary and prepared lentils and saute for another minute. Add water and simmer for about 10 minutes.Serve
Tips for Food Shopping:
Plan meals – think about what you might want to eat or prepare for the week ahead. Take advantage of cooking shows, recipes from friends or recipes from the Food Fashionista. Having an idea of what you are going to be eating for the week makes shopping much easier.
Always make a list and stick to it – include only the foods that you are going to using to prepare meals for the week ahead Think about if you need to replenish any of your “staple items”. Also think about breakfast in the morning and grab and go snacks. Stick to your list, if you buy things that aren't on it because they look yummy or your craving them, you bill is going to be way over budget and 9 out of 10 times, those foods you pick on a whim are not healthy.
Don't go food shopping hungry -your more likely to but thing you don't need and that aren't healthy for you
Clip coupon – don't be embarrassed to be the Coupon King or Queen!