For the past 3 years I have been cooking from scratch almost every day (Dan also cooks when he can – he makes delicious fancy omelettes and salads, and every now and then we go eat somewhere).
The dishes I prepare are simple, healthy, mostly vegetarian, for everyday life (recipes). I cook with natural ingredients, plenty of vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and good fats. The fruit and veg come from our local food market (the Middle Eastern souq), they are not organic, but are grown locally.
A lovely friend of mine asked me a while ago about my healthy eating groceries, so (belated) voilà:
My essentials: tomatoes (regular and/or cherry), seedless cucumbers, avocados, sweet potatoes (remain good in the fridge for quite a while), potatoes (yellow and/or red), carrots, celery, raw beetroots, eggplant, mushrooms, kale or sometimes spinach instead (I freeze the leftover of both to make green smoothies), lettuce or rocket, bell peppers, green or red hot pepper, lemons, onions (yellow and red), a bunch of fresh coriander and flat-leaf parsley, garlic, fresh ginger root, spring onions, and limes (that I freeze when in season). Chopped tomatoes in tin, and tomato paste.
Plus 2 or 3 different year-round or seasonal vegetables weekly: jerusalem artichoke, butternut squash, pumpkin, kohlrabi, courgette, broccoli, corn…
Once in a while: fresh mint, basil, chives, thyme and rosemary (I freeze any leftover); fresh turmeric root (it remains good in the fridge for a long time), and shallots.
My essentials: apples, pears, oranges, and bananas (that I froze when fully ripe for juicing, sweetening and baking). Medjool dates (for sweetening) and some other dried fruits (I keep all of them in the fridge) particularly raisins, goji berries, prunes, and apricots. In the freezer: blueberries and raspberries (I buy them frozen as the fresh ones are too expensive).
Plus 1 or 2 seasonal fruits weekly: pomegranate, persimmons, clementines, pineapple, strawberries, passion fruits, nectarines…
My essentials: coriander (seeds and ground), cumin (seeds and ground), fennel seeds, ground nutmeg, cloves (whole and ground), cinnamon (whole and ground), cardamom (whole and ground), ginger (ground), turmeric (ground), paprika, cayenne pepper (powder and crushed). Za’atar, 5-spice powder, ras el hanout, garam masala. Coarse black pepper, and white pepper. Himalayan salt, and sea salt.
Fresh lemongrass (to prepare batches of curry paste that I freeze). Dried kaffir lime leaves and curry leaves (both stored in an airtight container in the fridge). Dried thyme, rosemary, and oregano.
Dijon mustard, Heinz ketchup (small bottle as we don’t use it often), harissa (spicy sauce).
Oil and vinegar
My essentials: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and walnut oil (that I keep in the fridge). Apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and balsamic vinegar. Low sodium soy sauce.
My essentials: shelled walnuts, almonds and cashews (for snacking, and making nut milks), and desiccated coconut (for making milk). Store-bought coconut milk and cream (I freeze the leftover).
Chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds (whole and ground) (I still have to try hemp seeds). Tahini (sesame seed paste).
My essentials: dried white, red and/or black beans, chickpeas (also canned, and frozen), split peas. Brown or green lentils, french lentils, red lentils, and split peas.
Buckwheat, barley, quinoa, whole wheat couscous, brown rice, and jasmine or basmati rice.
Rolled oats. Whole wheat pasta.
My essentials: whole wheat flour, plain flour, and an unusual (at least for me!) flour like chickpea or buckwheat flour. Unsweetened raw cacao powder, and 72% minimum cacao dark chocolate. Natural peanut butter. Pure vanilla extract, rose water and orange flower water.
For sweetening: honey, maple syrup (I keep it in the fridge), medjool dates, silan (honey date), coconut sugar, demerara sugar, and fresh or frozen banana.
When needed: agar agar, baking powder (aluminium free, but I think most are), and yeast (that I keep in the freezer).
My essentials from the bakery: rye bread and/or multi-grain bread (sliced), whole wheat burger buns, and whole wheat pitas.
Dairy and eggs
My essentials: whole milk, unsalted butter, half and half cream and/or heavy cream, greek yogurt, plain yogurt and/or fromage blanc.
Block of parmesan cheese, labneh (Middle Eastern strained yogurt), and some sliced hard cheese (for making toasts).
My essentials: fresh salmon from the fishmonger (cut into fillets that I freeze in 2-person portions). Smoked salmon. Canned tuna chunks in brine.
We eat meat only occasionally so we do not buy and stock lots of it, but I keep in the freezer some chicken breasts that I freeze in 2-person portions (about 300 grams).
Tofu: I am still experimenting cooking with tofu (block and silken). I will get there eventually!