As a dietitian I often get asked "What do you eat?" My clients either think I am purchasing super expensive green powders and strange smoothie add-ins OR they think I secretly eat the foods I tell them to avoid yet somehow miraculously I don't suffer any adverse effects.
I love when they get to know me better and can understand that what I eat isn't complicated, its just simple, whole, real foods. I love it even more when these same clients start to understand that they too can eat in this simplified way and probably save a little money as well.
A typical trip to the co-op or grocery store for me involves about 30 minutes in the produce aisle and about 5 minutes everywhere else. I shop by season and price as much as possible. I love Harmony in Bemidji because it tells you where the food is coming from. This is important for managing our carbon foot prints and its healthy and helpful to buy local. I buy as little as I can in packages and try my hardest to be creative in my meal options. Food waste is also always on my mind when I shop. Even if a giant bag of pears (one of my favs) is on sale, I won't buy it if there is the slightest chance that we may not have time to eat them all, use them in a soup, or if I won't have time to preserve the extra in some way. I try to only buy foods in bulk that last a long time and can be frozen, cooked down to soup or roasted if they start to lose their appeal.
I try to cook with different foods as often as possible to help expand my families taste palate. But if Im short on time while shopping or the selections are slim I tend to shop the staple items and usually fall back on one of two of my staple meal creations. first choice is always veggie tacos, this is a family favorite and super fast. Basically any veggies are chopped and sautéed and then eaten in a wrap. In fact this is a great way to use up food scraps and reduce food waste. We even sometimes pull out random items from the fridge such as sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and pickles to put on top. The next fall back meal is roasted roots and a mung beans or a meat if we are so inclined. Although this one is easy, the cook time is a bit longer. Same principle applies. Chop the food, throw it on a pan, roast it in the oven, cook the meat or beans however we want and dinner is served!
The most important thing to remember in meal planning, shopping or cooking is veggies first! Now go out there and get cooking! And yes, that is a glass of wine in the image :)