Week Three of High Vibes Cooking
In the last two weeks we set goals and brainstormed recipe ideas. This week it's time to create and execute a strategy:
Make a List || Go through each recipe that you've come up with and generate a shopping list. Stick to the list when you're shopping and try not to go to the store hungry. This is key to a successful shopping trip. Shopping "off list" or going to the store when your stomach is growling can lead to impulse buys that not only take you off course, but also really add up when you reach the register.
Check it Twice || Next, look at your list and decide on which stores to go to for different items. If you're seeking lots of fresh and quality produce, try out an organic health food store, farmers market, or local CSA. Wholesale clubs and superstores usually have better deals on bulk items and dry goods such as granola bars, rice, and dried beans. Going to the market a few times a week is a great way to keep your food extra fresh and moving.
Online Resource || Those in the US can use LocalHarvest a organization that connects people looking for good food with the farmers who produce it. Using their map you can locate farmers markets, family farms, CSAs, farm stands, and u-pick produce.
Divide and Conquer || If you have a big list, split it up into two trips: one at the beginning of the week, and one in the middle of the week. After each shopping trip, make 2-4 of the recipes and put them in the fridge for grab-and-go meals throughout the week. If you don't have time in your schedule for multiple shopping trips, be diligent in laying out your meal plan and grocery list when you go shopping at the beginning of the week. This can help you avoid additional trips to the store for missing ingredients. If you're afraid of spoilage, you can purchase a frozen option that will keep longer in your freezer, or you can make time on your way home from work on the day you plan to cook to stop at the store to pick up specific ingredients.
A Tip from Soapwalla Chef Rachel Winard || When I buy a ton of veggies, I spend a few hours one weekend afternoon prepping them all -- peeling, slicing, dicing, quick steaming, whatever. Then I put them in glass Pyrex containers or bags in the fridge. When it's a Tuesday night and I'm exhausted from a 14 hour day, all my prep work is done and dinner only takes 15 minutes. This is a LIFESAVER.
Sourcing || When looking into grocery stores, get acquainted with the company. Where do they source their food? How do they treat their employees? Are they concerned about offering any organic or fair trade items? These questions can put their food production into perspective and connect you to the process, deepening your appreciation of the food you will prepare and the meals you are about to enjoy. Joining a food co-op is another great way to get closer to your food.
Keeping’ it Real || When planning your week, try to make sure that you balance your home cooking adventures with eating out. Make sure to map out your week so that you can have a guilt free lunch with some friends one day, then follow it up with a day of executing (and enjoying!) your meal plan. Overall, keep it simple, healthy, and easy.
Jenny Schwartz lives in Brooklyn, NY and assists her clients in developing a personal spiritual practice of their own, focusing on connecting with nature, seasonal rhythms, and their true self.
Image || Death to Stock