Nuts for Greens

by Valerie on September 13, 2010 · 2 comments

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Good evening – I received a question yesterday from Lauren of Everyday Revelry. She writes a great blog about life, yoga, food and often writes about books, which I love.  Here was Lauren’s question:

 I’d love to see a post (or several!) of what you might buy for an average week’s groceries this fall and where you get it from. I think it’d be really helpful for my own journey back to healthier eating. I didn’t get to try the shake and go smoothie at VegFest–I might have to just order some!

I was thinking about Lauren’s question on the way to the farmer’s market this morning – my first reaction is that husband and I rarely have an average week’s groceries because we buy most of our dry goods online in bulk online since I switched to eating-gluten free – sadly bulk bins teem with cross-contamination of allergens, so even though it is more expensive, I end up buying packaged beans and other dry goods now.  Buying packaged beans and the like  in bulk via Amazon subscribe and save for gluten-free groceries (which is how we buy chickpeas, flaxseeds, quinoa, and azukis) or in individual packages through Iherb is cheaper than buying packaged versions at the store (though not as cheap as buying from the bulk bins). I have also been planning to place a Nutsonline order as they seem to be super gluten-free-friendly.

I was thinking of suggesting Lauren take a look at Kath Eats Real Food, as Kath blogs every single one of her meals, most grocery store trips and also has awesome budgeting tips.  Also her grocery shopping is more week to week than ours will ever be.  Then I got home from the market and decided to take some pictures anyways and share with you.

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The two pictures above are most representative of an average week’s worth of local vegetables. Lots of greens and whichever non-leafy greens and fruit are in season (in this case red peppers, zucchini, broccoli and apples).  The greens tends to vary, but our favorites are spinach, kale, and collards. I was so excited that this week there was both Lacinato and Red Russian Kale in addition to the usual curly kale.  Then, there is always a handful of what I think of as extras rather than weekly purchases:

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While we use a lot of garlic, we never tend to buy it every week – more like three heads every couple of weeks.  We usually buy grass-fed chicken every couple of weeks (one chicken breast is spread out over two meals for the two of us, though sometimes I skip eating it), the ginger gold apples are for a specific recipe (as opposed to the apples above which are snacking) and the tomatoes are because I have sworn to make tomato sauce from scratch this year. 

And then I always try to to buy something fairly new to me – this week I decided to buy the bird’s eye beans again – instead of making Pink to Lime beans again, I plan to make a bean salad this week:


In addition to the above, we round out our groceries with either a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s for tropical fruits, vegetables we cannot find at the market, almond milk, and a few other things, like tempeh or tofu:

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Sunday night 010

In fall and winter we buy sweet potatoes at the market, but for the summer we buy them at the grocery store.  Above is today’s Whole Foods run – sadly, Whole Foods was out of the Food for Life gluten-free tortillas made with brown rice flour. Now that I have figured out how to work with them so that they do not break (run under water, toast in a dry frying pan on high heat) I am am enjoying them more than before.  I should add that above are groceries for both of us – the Lara bars are my husband’s snacks for work, as I avoid eating Lara bars on any sort of regular basis because of their high sugar content (I know it is natural sugar, but sugar is sugar).

So, to finish answering Lauren’s question, we do most of our shopping at the farmer’s market (the one we go to is year-round), round it out with produce and fruit from either Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, along with a few other items like almond milk.  Any other pantry staples usually come from  Amazon or  Iherb (and maybe Nutsonline in the future).  I am seriously considering buying sardines online as they are cheaper than anywhere I have seen in a store, though I eat them once in a while only, so am not sure it is worth ordering that many.  Overall though, ordering pantry staples online works well for us.  And finally, specialty items like nut butters, low-glycemic sweeteners, specific gluten-free flours and the like also are usually purchased online.  I sometimes walk to Yes! Organic Market on U street, but have generally been disappointed by both the selection and the prices – they do not have many more specialty items than Whole Foods, and the prices are generally higher.  On the other hand, I have noticed organic and health food stores outside of Washington, DC tend to be better stocked in some of my favorite products, such as Artisana, Coconut Secret and certain Madhava products (as I blogged about here and here).  Our food shopping habits have definitely changed since I switched to gluten-free eating, and, while we always bought a lot of vegetables, produce has definitely become the center of our weekly shopping even more than before.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren September 13, 2010 at 11:30 am

Thank you!!! This is super helpful! It never would've occurred to me to order beans and such in bulk online, but that's a great idea!


2 Eden September 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm

This is so wonderful and helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your approach to groceries.


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