An empty refrigerator in a food lover’s home is a sure sign that things have gotten busy. In my case, that means a restaurant-opening schedule, a young puppy that needs to be to taken care of and trained, and a husband and home that needs attention. After that, there’s barely enough time to cook, let alone shop for food.
Lately, my refrigerator looks more like a refrigerated plastic shelving unit.
Yesterday when I opened the refrigerator door, the little overhead light showed me nothing but wilted basil, fancy mustard, mayo, sriracha, handmade jelly, a jar of some kind of juice-soaked cherries, soy sauce, and fish sauce.
Time for me to go shopping.
But what exactly does one buy when there’s no food in the house, stomachs are growling, and the puppy is whimpering and in need of a good walk?
If I’ve got less than an hour to go shopping, unpack the groceries, and make dinner, I’ll rely on my tried and true shopping list. I can zip through any market in about twenty minutes flat with this memorized list. The seasonal basics help us stay within budget, keep us away from relying on take-out, frozen or packaged foods, and gives us room to work with hearty ingredients that have a good shelf life.
Because even though I may work in restaurants, I often don’t want to spend a lot of time thinking about menu planning and cooking. The following list includes what I shop for along with a few simple menu ideas.
Brooke’s Basic Shopping List
My basic shopping list allows for seasonal variations for several basic meals that feature protein and vegetables. I can use milk for my morning coffee or to pour over my granola. For snacks we have a square (or two!) of chocolate and a handful of nuts, a piece of cheese, or fruit.
1 Greek Yogurt
1 Regular yogurt
1 dozen eggs
1 square of tasty cheese
a bunch of herbs
some fruit (whatever looks good)
lettuce (whatever looks good)
2-3 bunches of kale
granola (or the ingredients for making my own)
a bag of almonds or pepitas
2-3 bars of dark chocolate
Meal 1 (breakfast/lunch/dinner)
Kale and eggs
Meal 2 (dinner)
with sauteed kale
Meal 3 (lunch)
left-over chicken salad on greens
Meal 4 (breakfast)
cheese and herb omelet with greens
Meal 5 (lunch or dinner)
Kale salad with feta cheese and figs (or dates)*
Meal 6, 7, 8 (breakfast/lunch/dinner)
yogurt with granola and fruit
Do you have a basic shopping list you rely on? What’s yours?
*Recipe to follow!