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Stock Your Fridge and Pantry For Easy Cooking

Couscous Mediterranean Style

One of my favorite sayings is “It all starts out in the shopping cart”. I keep a running grocery list and organize it by categories so that when I go shopping for groceries, it makes it much easier to shop.

Here are some tips to help you with your shopping:

1. Make a list and stick to it. If possible, don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry – you’ll buy too much junk food. (I speak from experience.)

2. Shop the perimeter of the store. This is where fruits, veggies, meats, dairy products and whole grain breads are found.

3. Try not to buy large amounts of processed and/or packaged foods. For maximum nutrition, buy mainly fresh fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Frozen or canned fruits and veggies are nutritious and are also convenient.

4. Go for Greens: To prepare salad greens ahead of time, wash well, cut in bite-size pieces and spin dry in a lettuce spinner. Wrap them up in either paper towels or tea towels, place in a large Ziploc bag and refrigerate. The towels will absorb any excess moisture and the greens will stay fresh and crisp for a good week. This will also work for scallions/green onions and fresh herbs.

5. Salad Time: At serving time, combine prepped greens with your favorite salad fixings; red or yellow tomato wedges, thinly sliced cucumbers, different colored peppers and crisp radish slices will add color and crunch. Add-ins can also include dried cranberries, raisins and apricot slivers. Fresh fruit adds color and sweetness. Toss together with your favorite salad dressing (homemade or store-bought) or let everyone choose their own favorite dressing and add it at the table. Croutons and/or toasted nuts will add some crunch.

Using these great tips, try making these 3 delicious recipes straight from your fridge and pantry:

Watermelon Soup

Watermelon Fruit Soup

Couscous Mediterranean Style

Mediterranean Style Couscous

Garlic Roasted Carrots

Garlic Roasted Carrots

If you shop smart you can cook healthy easily.  What are your favorite pantry staples?