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My Grocery List Essentials

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My best friend (who will be known as Lucifer from this point forth) and I are constantly chatting about better ways to improve our diet. One of her goals of 2012 is to cook more meals for herself, without having to plan in advance too much. Since I do a lot of cooking at home, I told her I would help her come up with a grocery list. This list is just a base for some things to have around your house regularly that will make spontaneous cooking easier and tastier.


  • bag of frozen peeled shrimp (cooked or uncooked is fine, cooked takes less time to defrost so it’s more convenient – can get at TJ’s, Whole Foods, Costco, or most major grocery stores)
  • bag of frozen scallops, jumbo size (TJ’s or Whole Foods)
  • individually wrapped boneless, skinless chicken breast (TJ’s)
  • Italian chicken sausage, (or any flavor you like, as long as it’s not pre-cooked)
  • frozen berries (good for oatmeal, or on ice cream)
  • ground turkey
  • flash frozen fish (available at TJ’s or Safeway*, comes in freezer bag. Can throw it right in the oven ready to cook. Some require defrosting, just read cooking directions before you buy)


  • Italian seasoning (so underrated)
  • garlic salt
  • cracked pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • cumin
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • cinnamon


  • Israeli couscous
  • plain couscous (or whole grain if you can find it)
  • quinoa (red or black is great for fish dishes, but regular is more versatile)
  • whole wheat spaghetti
  • brown rice pasta
  • Soba noodles
  • Harvest Grains (mix of delicious grains, great in a salad or as a side dish, TJ’s brand)
  • brown rice
  • Basmati rice


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • lemon juice (real lemon, not from concentrate)
  • chicken stock
  • sesame oil
  • low sodium soy sauce
  • balsamic vinegar
  • grape seed oil (good for high heat)
  • orange muscat champagne vinegar (TJ’s brand)
  • hot sauce, or Sriracha (a house staple)


  • chickpeas
  • black beans
  • crushed tomatoes
  • diced tomatoes
  • whole tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • Kalamata olives
  • capers
  • anchovy paste (comes in a tube)
  • salsa (more uses than for chip dipping!)
  • yellow miso
  • tahini


  • instant Oatmeal packets (Quaker weight control maple brown sugar is my favorite)
  • Imagine Foods organic soup (I love all the flavors, and you can add your own spices to them)
  • sesame or wasabi flavored wakame (seaweed paper, great for snacking)
  • pine nuts
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • slivered almonds


  • eggs
  • Fage 0% total yogurt
  • reduced fat feta
  • reduced fat Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • goat cheese ravioli (Lactard’s favorite, she gets it at TJ’s)

(you can buy as needed, but the items below usually last for about a week and a half, or more)

  • cherry tomatoes
  • fresh spinach
  • onion
  • mushrooms
  • bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • okra
  • broccoli
  • cucumber
  • Romaine lettuce
  • carrots

About Kelsey

Kelsey is a food and wine lover residing in Napa, California, where she does marketing for a boutique wine collective. She previously lived in San Francisco for over six years, where her blogging journey began. She loves to cook seasonal meals and experiment with new wine pairings. She has been drinking and learning about wine with her father since she was 14, and cooking in the kitchen with her mother since she was 6. Both of her parents taught her well about seasoning and flavors, and she continues to learn more with every meal that is made.

2 responses »

  1. What’s the name of the bag of shrimp or scallins I can’t read it


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