Even though I work in restaurants all day, I pay close attention to what kinds of food I bring into my home. As a chef, I see food as art. A canvas to explore flavors and textures. However, many people don't know that I have a degree in exercise physiology with a minor in biology and nutrition. I also see food as fuel for our bodies. What we eat has a major impact on our energy levels and overall health. That's why I do my best to keep my fridge stocked with organic and natural foods.
My first stop in the grocery store is produce. No matter what grocery store you go to, flowers and produce are always right by the entrance. I try to get an array of fruits and vegetables to last my family throughout the week. I usually buy apples, seedless red grapes, lemons, broccoli, spinach, iceberg lettuce, edamame, fresh ginger, red onions, sliced brown mushrooms, fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, bananas and carrots just to name a few. While I don't always know what I'm going to be cooking just yet with this array of produce, I know there's plenty of options for snacks, stir fries and salads like this Chopped Vegetable Salad.
After produce, I head to the back of the grocery store where the meat and dairy sections are located. I pick up a variety of proteins, normally fresh salmon, chicken breast and a rotisserie chicken. I know that at some point during the week I can pair my protein with some tasty veggies and make dishes like the Air Fryer Fajitas shown above. I also grab sliced, low sodium turkey and sliced, low sodium swiss cheese. I can eat them as snacks or use them in a sandwich. I don't leave the dairy section until I have some eggs, almond milk, feta cheese, parmesan cheese, non fat greek yogurt and cottage cheese in my cart.
After I wrap up in the dairy aisle, the bulk of my shopping is complete. However, there are a few odds and ends I have to grab before I checkout. While I don't drink many juices or soda, I do buy coffee and teas, specifically mint and chai. I also love Harmless Harvest Coconut Water. Then I grab my carbs: brown rice, bagels, whole wheat tortillas, and whole wheat penne pasta. I also throw some snacks into my cart like dried seaweed, multigrain Wasa Crackers and brown rice cakes. Before I head to the cashiers, I snag my favorite staple, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use it almost everyday whether it's in a recipe or a facial.
The next time you go on a trip to the grocery store or farmer's market, don't forget your reusable bags. A couple large bags, like my White Tote above, are great for holding your groceries. However, you can also get reusable mesh produce bags like this Ever Eco 8-Pack. That way you can get your groceries and reduce your consumption of single use plastics all at the same time!
After you get home and finish your meal prep, be sure to store your food in airtight containers like this 12 pc OXO Good Grips Container Set.
Since we're all staying at home, it's the perfect time for me to connect with y'all as much as possible. With the help of my kids and my wonderful wife, I started a new series on Instagram, called CORA-ntine Cuisine. Everyday at 5 pm PST, I'll be cooking my favorite recipes. Be sure to tune in!