Ever find yourself dragging your feet in the grocery aisles and staring blankly at the vast selection of goodies? What about tossing leftover ingredients because all you needed was just a handful of ______ for one recipe or because you’re only cooking for one? We’re learning to shop smarter so we actually eat everything we buy, make healthy meals, and save money for more important splurges like that much-needed happy-hour cocktail.
While most people march into grocery stores equipped with a list to make one recipe, we like to start each week with a grocery basket that is both flexible and inspiring. This style of shopping is based off the South’s idea of ‘makin’ groceries’ (simply means the process of buying groceries) to help you shop smarter by providing a variety of options. We use the following framework and a budget of $65 to guide our decisions:
- 2 proteins: Select one cooked or prepared protein and a raw protein. Pre-marinated or prepared meats, such as a rotisserie chicken, help reduce cooking time while bringing home a few fillets of fresh fish challenges you to be creative.
- 2 veggies: Choose seasonal, fresh produce that can be easily roasted or steamed to serve as a side.
- 2 fruits: We often purchase too many fruits, and then they spoil. Pick just two that you’d want to eat with yogurt or to grab for on-the-go mornings.
- Herb-du-jour: All you need is a handful of herbs to add a dab of freshness to your morning eggs or to spruce up your choice of protein.
- A dozen eggs: Eggs (preferably the pretty brown ones!) are a weekly essential that can be used any meal or snack throughout the day.
- Greek yogurt: Aside from being a quick and healthy breakfast choice, we like to use Greek yogurt in creative ways–in place of mayonnaise in chicken salads and instead of sour cream for tacos.
- Choice of cheese: Always a fun part of shopping! Pick one cheese that you can add to omelets, mix into a salad, or eat on its own.
- Choice of grain: Unless you’re on a carb-free diet, we think it’s always a good idea to experiment with grains, such as Basmati rice or quinoa, to round off a meal and make you feel full.
- Granola: Whether homemade or storebought, we love topping our morning yogurt or vanilla ice cream with a little crunch.
- Smart snack: Nuts and dried fruit are always a great choice, but we never rule out dark chocolate or popcorn!
With this formula in mind, we peruse the aisles and pick up items that can be easily mix and matched for different meals throughout the week. We might, for instance, roast all vegetables one day to heat and serve alongside our week’s protein or toss all of our veggies into a big pot of soup for the week. The options are endless!
On this particular trip we picked up: • 2 proteins: a rotisserie chicken and two 4 oz. fillets of fresh salmon • 2 vegetables: asparagus and carrots • 2 fruits: a handful of bananas and two avocados • Greek yogurt • Eggs • Grain: quinoa • Crunchy vanilla granola • Cheese: feta cheese
Below are a few simple and easy dishes we made! Keep in mind our list is ideal for someone cooking or shopping for one, but you can easily adjust the quantity of each group to feed more people.
Greek Yogurt with Bananas & Granola
Ingredients: 1 c. greek yogurt 1 banana 1/2 c. granola
Directions: Top greek yogurt with sliced bananas and granola
Rotisserie Chicken with Quinoa & Roasted Carrots
Ingredients: Storebought rotisserie chicken, sliced 1/2 c. quinoa 1 c. water Handful of carrots, peeled & sliced Curly parsley Salt & pepper
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare quinoa by adding quinoa and water in a heavy-bottom saucepan on a medium-high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Let simmer, covered on low heat for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, place peeled carrots on a baking sheet. Drizzle carrots with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 8-10 minutes until tender. To assemble, top quinoa with your favorite part of the rotisserie chicken and serve carrots on the side.
Scrambled Eggs with Roasted Asparagus
Ingredients: 3 eggs, scrambled 4-5 stems of asparagus, ends cut off Salt & Pepper Curly parsley
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle asparagus with olive oil, then season with season salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. To assemble, top the roasted asparagus with scrambled eggs and curly parsley.
How do you shop each week and would you use this formula on your next grocery shopping trip?
Check out the original article on The Everygirl.