Grocery List: How to stock up for awhile... healthily
Updated: Mar 15
Blizzard, hurricane, coronavirus. Whatever is forcing us to stay in our homes, we all prioritize one thing first, we head to the grocery store and stock up and then stock up some more. Masses of people scoop up all of the inventory and those of us who are late to the party tend to arrive at a store filled with empty shelves. But what if I told you that there are certain items that disappear (looking at you, toilet paper and tuna fish), while there are other perfectly great products that people tend to overlook? Shop this grocery list and feel good, energized and nourished even if you have to live on these shelf-stable foods for awhile.
(And remember, your kitchen appliances will probably continue to work. So you can still buy foods that need to be refrigerated or cooked!)
How can you determine how much food you'd actually need for a 14-day quarantine?
In a typical work week most people buy takeout a handful of times. When you prepare for a quarantine it is important to remember that you’ll be eating all of your meals at home. If you normally purchase a certain amount of food during your weekly trip to the store, I’d increase that amount by a quarter. When you shop for the two weeks at a time, this will become 2.5x the amount that you purchase for a typical week.
When planning for a two week haul, purchase food for your normal meals for week 1 and plan to eat the more perishable foods first while saving the things that will last for week two. For example, if you are a sandwich person you can buy your turkey deli meat for this week and then an air sealed salami or other meat that you wait to open until the turkey is gone.
Quick tip: Make good use of your freezer for storing extra meat, seafood, fruit and vegetables. Load up on long-lasting pantry items - that can be cooked later - like potatoes, rice, oatmeal, other grains and pastas (this is a great time to try out high protein pasta like lentil or edamame noodles!).
Look beyond canned tuna. Grab some canned salmon and shrimp as well.
Canned beans (can be your protein and starch)
Individually frozen fillets of fish or chicken (bonus, a quick defrost!)
Eggs (if they are gone, check for boxed egg whites or egg substitute).
Edamame pastas (as much protein as a serving of fish)
Lentil pasta (sidenote, many of my clients who detest chickpea pasta find that they love lentil noodles!)
Tofu (lasts quite awhile!)
Kefir or lactaid milk (have longer expiration dates than traditional milk)
Sausage/Salami (Can last quite awhile before opening!)
Quinoa (both a protein and starch)
Try bean or edamame based pastas
Potato or sweet potato
Experiment with some new (or new to you) grains like barley or faro
Olive oil, canola or avocado oil
Seeds (bonus tip: flaxseed mixed with water can make a vegan egg substitute). (And another bonus tip, pumpkin seeds are super high in immune boosting zinc).
Red cabbage (to cook)
Savoy cabbage (uncooked, for salads!)
Kale (or other hearty green leafy vegetables)
Potatoes, sweet potatoes
Jars of artichoke hearts
Jars of pickled vegetables
Cans of diced tomato
Cans of water chestnuts or bamboo shoots
Meal Ideas: Putting it all together.
Here's a quick brainstorm of some things you can do with the foods from this grocery list.
Noodles with canned shrimp, diced tomato and artichoke hearts
Salmon cakes. Mix canned salmon with oatmeal, an egg and seasoning to taste. Pan fry in to a cake. Serve with a side of corn.
Tofu stir fry with cabbage, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots and rice.
Leave your own ideas in the comments and Check out Beth's instagram for more ideas and updates.
And a few more thoughts:
I’ve noticed myself and others doing a funny thing while preparing for a COVID-19 quarantine. We are shopping as if we are preparing for a snow storm or another natural disaster. In those weather-related instances, the likelihood of a power outage is high. In this instance, there is nothing to suggest that you won’t be able to make full use of your kitchen. In practical terms, this means you can stock up on more than the typical non perishable canned goods. This also means that you don’t need to do much meal prep right away.
The one silver lining of this quarantine is that it may reacquaint you with your own kitchen and possibly your love of cooking.
Yes, I said silver lining. This quarantine may be a good time for you to experiment with cooking foods that you’ve been wanting to learn how to cook. Buy some grains that you’ve never experimented with before. Or perhaps this is finally the time to try nutritional yeast. Best case scenario is that you’ll love it, worst case scenario is that you find a neighbor who will love it instead.
And remember, self-care is not selfish, by keeping yourself healthy you are helping slow the spread of the virus and the volume of people who need access to medical care.