Cooking With Fresh Ingredients – What’s On My Food Shopping List?
Are you fed up of eating the same meals every week? Or are you wondering if what you are eating is actually good for you? If you are looking for new inspiration or looking at incorporating eating healthier, have a read of this article.
Fresh ingredients are key!
For me, having lots of fresh ingredients in the fridge means that I am giving myself the best chances to nourish my body the way it needs. If you have been following me for a while you will know that the number one priority for me is eating nutrient dense, whole foods cooked from scratch.
90% of the food I eat is cooked by me, I enjoy eating out once or twice per week. Not only is this more economical it means that I am in control of what goes into my body, there are no hidden sugar, salt or chemicals in the food that I eat.
I try to make sure that anything going into my body is as good quality as possible, and this applies across the board – food, water, tea, supplements, and alcohol.
Fundamentally, if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle, you need to learn to enjoy every aspect of the food you eat. From sourcing it, preparing it, cooking it and of course – eating it!
Where to start?
But if you are not used to preparing and cooking your meals regularly, then where do you start? Like with anything, the best way to start a job is to make sure you have the right equipment – in this case; The ingredients!
Having a fully stocked fridge and cupboards is going to make healthy eating so much easier. Although it may seem daunting and hard work at first, it soon becomes a habit – which is the key for any long-term lifestyle change.
It definitely makes more sense, both practically and economically to buy in bulk for the week. Buying for individual recipes can be time consuming and can lead to you purchasing things on impulse.
What’s on my food shopping list?
To give you an idea of how to fill your fridge with ingredients that are not only great for cooking different meals with, but also have great nutritional value for you; Here is a breakdown of some of the ingredients I am looking for when I go food shopping.
If you are really not sure what you should be buying, these are some great ideas to base your shopping list around!
All the meat and fish I eat comes from Field and Flower. I really believe in what they do and have personally visited their farm to see how they rear their animals. All their meat is free range and grass fed – which means happier animals and more nutritious produce.
I get a box delivered every two weeks, my most recent box contained:
Salmon Fillets – Full of Omega 3 fatty acids and High in selenium and B12
Rump Steaks – Contains Heme iron which is more bioavailable. Also contains CLA and B12 and other B vitamins
Pork Loin – High amounts of magnesium and iron
Mackerel Fillet – Omega 3/EPA/DHA fatty acids, high in b12, selenium, niacin and vitamin D
Chicken Thighs – Omega 3s, Vitamin A
I eat a tonne of fresh vegetables. They make up the bulk of my plate. I try to eat organic, local and in season as much as possible.
Kale – Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6
Spinach – Vitamins K, A, C, Magnesium and Iron
Red Bell Pepper – More vitamin C than oranges
Courgettes – Vitamin C and Potassium
Carrots – Beta carotene, Vitamin k and antioxidants
Sweet Potato – Vitamins A, Potassium and B Vitamins
Tomatoes – Vitamins, E, C, K, Potassium and Magnese
Cucumber – Potassium
Broccoli – More Vitamin C than oranges
Cauliflower – Vitamin C, K, B6
Mushrooms – Vitamin D, Potassium and Selenium
I don’t eat much fruit, if I do, it’s as a sweet treat or part of a dessert.
Bananas – Magnesium, potassium and b Vitamins
Raspberries– Vitamin C, K and E, Potassium, and Magnesium
Blueberries – very high in antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins
Eggs & Dairy
I eat a lot of eggs and I absolutely love Greek yogurt both as a dessert or a snack in between my two meals.
Full Fat Greek Yogurt – Yeo Valley or Riverford – Good source of protein, probiotics, B Vitamins
Eggs – Clarence Court, or local farmers market bought. – choline, omega 3, selenium, vitamin D, B12
Butter – from grass-fed cows. – Omega 3s, Vitamin A, CLA
Goats Cheese – Lower lactose levels
I don’t enjoy eating grains and I think that compared to fresh fruits and vegetables, they lack nutrients and are often highly processed. I do enjoy making Gnocchi and Risotto from time to time
Soba Noodles – Iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and potassium
88% Dark Chocolate – my personal favorite is Willies Cacao – Antioxidants, Magnesium copper.
I like to make sure I always have the following ingredients in the house to make cooking simple and easy.
Cashew Nut Milk
Raw Unsweetened Cacao Powder
Pink Himalayan Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
What can you cook with these ingredients?
So, with all these ingredients in my cupboards, I am never short of options when it comes to cooking my meals. Here are a few ideas you could try using some the ingredients from my shopping list.
BAKED KALE AND EGGS
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter 1⁄2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2–3 handfuls of kale
2 free-range, organic eggs
6 sun-dried tomatoes
a handful of freshly grated Parmesan salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Melt the butter in a large heatproof frying pan over a medium– high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Then add half the kale and sauté, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes until it begins to wilt. Stir in the remaining kale and repeat. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale softens.
Using the back of a spoon, create two pockets in the kale. Crack 1 egg into each pocket. Place the tomatoes around eggs and sprinkle the Parmesan all over the top to ensure the yolks remain runny. Bake for 10 minutes and enjoy.
CHILLI-COVERED SALMON WITH SPINACH
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1⁄2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 very thin slices of lemon
1 tablespoon butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
Place the salmon fillets individually on 20cm squares of foil.
In a small bowl, mix the chillies, onion, garlic and oil together.
Season the fillets with salt and pepper, then top with the chilli mixture and place the lemon slices on top.
Wrap the fillets in the foil and roast for 20 minutes.
After 15 minutes, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat then add the spinach. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until wilted.
Remove the salmon from the oven, unwrap it and remove the lemon slices. Serve the salmon on top of the spinach.
CHICKEN WITH CREAMY BACON AND MUSHROOM SAUCE
FOR THE CHICKEN
4 chicken thighs, skin on
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SAUCE
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
180g white mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 rashers of cooked bacon, diced
200ml double cream
5 sprigs of thyme leaves, snipped
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper and the Italian herb seasoning mix. Heat the oil over a medium–high heat in a large frying pan. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook for about 5 minutes until browned. Transfer the chicken, skin-side up, to a foil-lined baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until completely cooked through and no longer pink in the centre.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Add the bacon, double cream, salt and thyme. Bring to the boil, stir, then reduce the heat to very low. Simmer for about 2 minutes. (Taste and add more salt if necessary.)
Add the cooked chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce and mushrooms over the top. Serve with your choice of leafy greens.
Enhance your success…
I often say this about many different subjects, but it is equally as true here; if you are not used to cooking meals from scratch, it can feel difficult at the start, but perseverance is key. Hopefully, my ingredients and recipes will form a platform for you to build from to become a cooking master! I promise you, it will get easier and easier – to the point where you don’t even need to plan what meals you will make, you’ll just work with the ingredients you have.
Once you start eating in this way, it is going to transform your eating habits for the better. What’s more, eating in this way WILL enhance your success – especially if you are fasting and following The 2 Meal Day!