Say I’ve had the week from hell, and I haven’t had the chance to do any meal planning and have no idea what’s going on in my fridge or freezer, but I’ve made it to the store, and I don’t want to be back for several days. What should I buy? Assuming you don’t have any diet restrictions, you can use my cheat sheet:
- Two different vegetables to use for side dishes – broccoli and green beans are family favorites here
- Bananas and apples, or two other kinds of fruit, for breakfast and snacks
- Carrots, which can be used in many dishes but also as a side dish or raw as a snack
- Onions and garlic
- Two dozen eggs
- Shredded cheddar
- The middle of the store
- Canned black beans
- Large can of whole tomatoes
- Jarred salsa
- Grated parmesan
- A loaf of bread, peanut butter, and jelly
- Frozen aisle
- Ice cream (obviously I’m under a load of stress in this situation)
- Ground beef or ground turkey
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- A pound of salmon
No matter what’s going on, I’ve always got a minimum of olive oil, soy sauce, my spice cabinet, and salt and pepper.
And coffee. There’s never not coffee.
Here are some ideas of what I could cook after this shopping trip:
- Pasta with a quick bolognese and roasted broccoli
- Broiled salmon in an Asian-inspired soy marinade with white rice and green beans
- A quick burrito bowl dinner of rice, black beans, frozen corn, salsa, and shredded cheddar
- Pan-fried chicken cutlets, steamed carrots and peas, and pasta in a quick cheddar cheese sauce
- A few breakfasts of scrambled eggs and bacon with toast
- A few breakfasts of oatmeal with sliced fruit
- Lunches of leftovers, or peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
- Snacks of fruit, carrot sticks, and of course… plenty of ice cream.
That’s four full days of meals!