Friday, August 8, 2008

Grocery staples


A year ago or so I wrote about my typical grocery lists. And because I've seen this topic come up on the Weight Watchers message boards over and over again, and because I have nothing else planned to write about today — I thought I'd revisit it.

Having a well-stocked pantry is very important, whether you're trying to lose weight or not. I like to know that on a bad day where I don't feel like making something too involved, I have some staples on hand to pull a meal together effortlessly. An Rachael Ray provides a good example of what you should have in a typical pantry.

My typical grocery list includes:
PRODUCE: Mostly what's in season. Right now it's a lot of corn, tomatoes, peaches, and berries. I also always have apples and oranges in the refridgerator for quick snacks. Mixed greens, green beans, zucchini and summer squash, and green and red bell peppers are also in heavy rotation this time of year. In the winter it's mostly potatoes, other root veggies, winter squash, spinach, broccoli and dark leafy greens.
DAIRY: Low fat plain/vanilla yogurt, skim milk, sharp cheddar, part-skim mozarella, monterey jack, feta, goat's cheese, bleu cheese, eggs
AISLES: brown rice, arborio rice, whole wheat pasta, regular white pasta when whole wheat isn't available, whole wheat couscous, dried spices, condiments, olive oil, a variety of canned and dried beans, the occaisonal bag of popcorn, cold cereals (usually whole grain with 3 grams of fiber or more), oatmeal (quick and old-fashioned, honey, maple syrup, dried fruits, Kashi granola bars
BULK: Nuts, frozen chicken (boneless skinless breasts and thighs), coffee beans, decaf tea bags
MEATS/FISH: Flank steak, round steak, scallops, shrimp, lean pork chops, pork tenderloin, whole chickens, lean ground turkey/turkey sausage, extra lean ground beef, salmon, tilapia
BAKERY: whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, corn tortillas, whole wheat pitas, whole wheat bagette, whole wheat English muffins.

Not everything makes my list every week, of course, but this gives a good idea of the types of items I buy most often. My breakfast on the weekdays usually is cold or hot cereal with fresh or dried fruit, milk, and coffee. Snacks are yogurt with fruit and homemade granola, veggies in homemade bean dip, whole wheat crackers (ak-mak when I'm being virtuous, TLC crackers when I just want something tasty) with cheese or peanut butter, or sometimes just a handful of nuts (usually almonds, but I have a soft spot for TJ's Chili-Lime Pistachios). Dinner and lunches vary, of course.

What are some grocery staples you can't live without?

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