How to Shop with a Method and No Lists
Let’s start by explaining a topic that is near and dear to me. It’s called clean eating. “What is clean eating all about,” you ask? Well in short, it’s all about non-processed foods. When eating clean, we stick to healthy, low glycolic sugars, healthy fats, low sodium, and all natural ingredients.
The less the food is processed, the healthier it is for our bodies. In this day and age, there is so much food out there that is so bad for us. The best route to take at this point is to stick to clean food that is natural and made by the ultimate food provider, Hashem (God).
When I go shopping I use a method called “shopping the circumference of the supermarket.” I almost never shop with a grocery list when buying weekly produce and proteins. The same goes for Shabbat and holidays. The one exception is when I need to stock my pantry with any shelf items. In that case I definitely need a list—shopping the center aisles of a supermarket without a list is dangerous!
I start in the produce aisle. All my menu inspiration comes from the produce aisle. I look around at the vegetables and see what looks nice and beautiful. This allows me to see what is fresh and in stock instead of making a list beforehand and only being able to get half of it because it’s not in season.
I do have a few items that are essentials in my fridge at all times. I buy them ready-made or prepared, and they make meal prep smoother, faster, and hassle-free.
- Shredded carrots
- Pre-peeled garlic
- Shredded raw beets
- Fresh, checked lettuce stalks (I like to buy them in stalks since it lasts longer)
- Sliced mushrooms
- Fresh lemons
- Checked herbs
The next aisle I hit up is the meat and poultry fridge. I usually like to see what the store has that was prepared fresh that day. Then, I look through my shopping cart. Based on my mood-inspired veggie selection, I match up proteins and voilà I have created dishes. My top 5 favorites in this section?
- Dark meat chicken cutlets
- Ground turkey
- Turkey necks (I make a turkey neck soup instead of chicken. Check out the recipe here.)
- Chicken bottoms
- London broil
Next, I head to the fish counter. Here is where I tell you guys my little secret that will save you so much time. I’m not sure if this works in every store, but in my market, if you ask the guy by the fish counter to cook your fish for you, he will cook it how you want it with no extra charge. Yeah, it’s awesome, and it saves so much time!
Last but not least, the frozen section. Personally, I didn’t grow up on any of premade frozen foods. To me, a freezer section does not mean fish sticks, pizza bagels, and waffles. To me the freezer section is all about the quick and easy frozen vegetables for those nights that you just don’t have time. Or for the frozen herbs that make for an amazing chicken rub. What are my favorites?
- Frozen microwavable bags of veggies—they cook perfectly every time!
- Frozen garlic, frozen basil, and frozen parsley
- Blood orange sorbet (One of the most amazing sorbets that I have ever tasted that is clean and healthy.)
As they say in culinary school, for the most part there is no such thing as a recipe. It’s all a method. Now that I have shared my shopping method, you can take it and personalize it to your own preferences!