In My Cart: Everyday Essentials

From time to time I am asked by clients what exact foods make up my weekly grocery list. I get it…grocery shopping can be daunting when you are starting a healthy eating program or just trying to figure out new things to eat. You walk in and it is sort of like a sensory overload. And the truth is that this isn’t just an issue for people just beginning their healthier eating journey – this is true for ALL of us.

In addition to being overwhelmed by the stocked shelves, it is also difficult to determine how to put simple meals together with the wide array of possible ingredients. And really, who has time for complex recipes?

That is why I make sure my refrigerator, freezer and pantry are always stocked with essentials I can count on to prepare healthy meals. And these are the essentials that you will always find in Killer K’s cart- every single week.

Fruits & Veggies

  • Bananas – for the hubby’s oatmeal and for a new Super Muffin recipe that will be coming soon to a blog near you.
  • Blueberries – a superfood loaded with antioxidants, these are quick adds to oatmeal, muffins, yogurt, salads, or snacks.
  • Raspberries – When in season, there is nothing like a sweet raspberry. Great on salads, in oatmeal and for snacking.
  • Oranges – Awesome snack loaded with vitamin C. If you can get your hands on Sumo Oranges definitely give them a whirl. They are seedless, easy to peel and extra sweet!
  • Apples – Sliced with a little peanut butter, or microwaved with a little cinnamon, these are good go-to snacks.
  • Snow Peas – I snack on these while I’m making dinner, chop them up for salads, or dip in hummus as an afternoon snack. They are also great gently steamed for a dinner side. Sweet and crunchy goodness!
  • Lettuce Mixes – If you have a Whole Foods near you, check out the Gotham Greens containers of locally sourced lettuces. They are organic and won’t wilt before you are able to finish the full container.
  • Cucumbers – for added crunch on salads, or dipped in hummus for a snack.
  • Beets – Roast these babies in the oven for a dinner side, or shred them raw for salads.
  • Carrots – I buy shredded carrots for my salads, and baby carrots for munching on.
  • Sweet Potatoes – There are so many varieties these days and I buy them all – Jewel, Garnet or the more recently discovered Japanese variety which has a purple skin and white flesh. The texture is more like a regular potato, and slightly less sweet than a traditional sweet potato.

Nuts, Seeds and Grains

  • Sliced Almonds – For salad toppings, in oatmeal, on top of yogurt, or just for munching.
  • Walnuts – Same as above, these are highly nutritious snacks or toppings that add crunch. As with any nut, make sure to measure before use- they pack a nutritional punch but can also pack a caloric one if you don’t watch it.
  • Chia Seeds – I am not necessarily a fan of the texture of chia seeds. I recently learned, however, they can be food processed very easily into powder form and then added to all kinds of recipes. One of the healthiest superfoods you will find!
  • Engine 2 Ancient Grain Blend – These are awesome!!! Bags of precooked and then frozen blends of lentils, quinoa, barley, farro and brown rice. At 160 calories for one cup, it is the perfect side dish for any meal. Packed with fiber, protein and iron and is ready in just 4 minutes in the microwave.
  • Whole Foods Frozen White Quinoa – This is another hidden gem in the frozen food section of Whole Foods. If you aren’t ready for lentils and farro, this is a great way to try quinoa in place of rice.
  • Oatmeal – Basic quick-oats that can be microwaved and topped with fresh fruit, nuts and cinnamon.
  • Spelt Bread – A good healthy bread option for turkey sandwiches, or with eggs for breakfast. Spelt is higher in protein and far less processed than other bread varieties.
  • Back to Nature Crispy Wheat Crackers – When you crave a little crunch, this is a healthier option than chips or pretzels. Great for snacking, with hummus, or with a little peanut butter.

Meat and Seafood

  • Salmon – Monday’s are Salmon Mondays. I broil two 6-ounce fillets with a little seasoning and have peas and quinoa on the side. A balanced meal in less than 10 minutes. And salmon is a terrific source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are hard to come by in the American diet.
  • Turkey Breast Deli Meat – For turkey sandwiches. Add a little hummus and it is a good recovery meal following a hard workout.
  • Ground Chicken – Add to Frontera’s White Bean Chili Starter for a quick and hearty weeknight meal.
  • Ground Beef or Ground Buffalo – Great with Frontera’s Taco Skillet Sauces! We use the mixture for taco salads on a very regularly basis.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – I sprinkle a combination of salt, pepper and seasons such as cumin, sage or rosemary and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. You can use the meat throughout the week on salads.

Dairy

  • Eggs – Hardboiled to grab and go; to top vegetable hash, or a bowl of grains such as quinoa; for omelets, egg cups, and so much more!
  • Fage – Pronounced Fa-yah, this is a plain greek yogurt that can be dressed up with fruit and nuts or used in place of sour cream (on top of taco salads, chili, etc.). This is a great compliment to any diet if you do not have a lactose allergy as the natural probiotics will help with tummy issues.
  • Goat Cheese Crumbles – Great on salads, on top of grains and in omelets. Not recommended for expectant mothers.
  • Cashew Milk – This is my go-to instead of milk. It is delicious and the unsweetened variety has just 35 calories per cup. I add it to protein shakes and use it in any recipe that calls for milk.

Other

  • Hummus – My favorite brand is Cedar’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. Good for spreading on sandwiches and as a dip for veggies or crackers.
  • Boathouse Farms Salad Dressing – This dressing has a yogurt base instead of oil which keeps calories in check and provides a thick, creamy consistency. My favorite flavors are the Avocado Cilantro and the Salsa Ranch.
  • Newman’s Own Raspberry Balsamic – This is my husbands favorite brand. It works really well with a salad of roasted beets, oranges, chicken, goat cheese and sliced almonds.
  • Dark Chocolate – I don’t necessarily have a favorite variety. I keep a couple of small bars in the refrigerator and break off a piece or two to tame the Luke sweet tooth.

Happy shopping… and eating!!!