BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO GROCERY SHOPPING | 3 RECIPES + GROCERY LIST PRINTABLE

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Every month marks a new beginning, let’s start with a clean slate and set intentions for a better quality of living and diet! To set the record straight, my only intention in August is to fill up my fridge and food cupboard with a chock full of staples and fresh produce! No one likes to see an empty fridge amirite? Every time when I am absentminded to notice that food is running out at home, it makes me feel miserable and always resort to ordering food via delivery apps. Easy peasy, but you know you’re stretching your sodium and sugar intake over time.

Stocking up the fridge regularly has a natural impact on me to feel like cooking and also be creative to explore many options, I love options! It took me a few lessons to learn that shopping for groceries requires some wise decisions to pick up on some ingredients that have a longer shelf life and also last for a more than a week long before they perish. Additionally, be realistic in purchasing the quantity of fresh produce with the amount of time you can set aside to cook every week.

As they said, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, planning a grocery list without any mindful purchases may lead to trashing your food before you are ready to cook. Try to minimise food waste if possible.

With that being said, here’s my August grocery shopping list I curated for the next 2 weeks!

You can also watch the video above for the reasons of my picks!

These foods are essentially the most manageable, versatile and nourishing for a beginner to start preparing meals at home. If you are planning to shop for the entire list, I would recommend purchasing them online via Redmart or Cold Storage . However, if you prefer to order them via Red Mart, all groceries are expected to be available at least 3 days before the date you plan to cook. Otherwise, Cold Storage offers a next day delivery.

On a side note, I am somebody who likes hand picking my avocados for different ripeness most of the time. Whenever there is a “3 for $X.XX” promotion, I would avoid choosing 3 fully ripen brown avocados, simply to refrain myself from finishing them across consecutive days under the pressure that they turn bad quickly.

To end this post, here are 3 simple recipes for quick fixes using most of the ingredients from my grocery list:

  1. Vegetarian Japanese Curry Rice with Beyond Meat Beef Crumble (V)

  2. Avocado & Anchovy Rice Cake Snack with spicy miso dressing

  3. Classic Acai Bowl with Red Dragonfruit, Blueberries and Banana

For any flexitarians, this may be something for you to get started with a simple plant-based diet too!

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VEGETARIAN JAPANESE CURRY RICE WITH BEYOND MEAT BEEF CRUMBLE (V)

Preparation Time: 10 MINS

Cooking Time: 20 MINS

Serving: 3

Difficulty: 3/5

Diet Notes: Vegetarian, Dairy-Free


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of cooked basmati rice

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, diced

  • 300g butternut squash, cut into small chunks

  • 75g kale, cut in big chunks, widthwise

  • 1/2 packet Beyond Meat Beef Crumble

  • 3 store-bought Japanese curry cubes (medium spicy)

  • 750ml hot boiled water

  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander, finely chopped

  • Pinch of ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric powder (optional)

  • 1 tsp ground chilli powder (optional)

  • 1 1/2 tbsp organic ghee/ 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Soak rice grains in a bowl of water for while you prepare the other ingredients. Rice grains are high in arsenic level, it is important to soak them for a while and wash them thoroughly. Drain water, wash and scrub rice grains gently with your fingers. Pour them in a rice cooker, and fill it with 1 1/2 cups of filtered water to cook.

  2. Heat a sauce pot over medium high heat, drop organic ghee, let it melt completely and sautéed onions and garlic for 3 minutes till lightly brown.

  3. Constantly stirring, add butternut squash chunks into the sauce pot, stir-fry continuously for 4 minutes till they turn slightly soft on the edges. Add beef crumbles and combine the mixture for 2 minutes.

  4. Gently pour hot water into the sauce pot, make sure they are hot as room temperature water will slow down the cooking process, it should be bubbling. Add Japanese curry cubes into the mixture and stir clockwise until they have dissolved completely.

  5. Turn down to medium heat, let the curry mixture simmer for another 10 minutes (look out for small rolling boil).

  6. Season with turmeric powder, chilli powder and black pepper for the extra kick (if you can handle your spice). Add kale into curry and stir for 1 minute. Do not overcook kale until they turn brown as it loses all the essential nutrients. If the mixture has thickened up, add 1/2 cup of hot water and stir to a desired consistency before removing from heat.

  7. Divide rice to three portions, serve curry aside and sprinkle coriander over.

More to know

Arsenic:

  • Arsenic is a metal element that is naturally present in water, air and soil, and is absorbed by rice crops. Being present in rice, it cannot be completely eliminated from the food we eat or the water we drink.

  • Arsenic is a toxic substance. Studies have linked high chronic (prolonged or long-term) exposure with adverse health effects in multiple organ systems including the stomach, kidneys, liver, and in coronary heart disease and diabetes. (Source: Nutrition.org.uk)

  • For any leftover curry and rice, keep them in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to a plate and heat up in the microwave on the following day. For safety consumption, do not keep rice for more than 1 day.

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AVOCADO & ANCHOVY RICE CAKE SNACK

Preparation Time: 5 MINS

Serving: 2

Difficulty: 1/5

Diet Notes: Contains Fish

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ripe avocado, smashed

  • 6 super seeds rice cakes

  • A handful of wild rockets, washed

  • 6 slices of anchovies (optional)

  • 1/2 tsp organic dash miso paste (bonito & kelp paste)

  • 1 tsp korean gochujang

  • 1 tbsp filtered water

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make a spicy miso dressing, combine miso, gochujang and water. Stir continuously until it forms a nice dressing consistency

  2. Spread smashed avocado on all rice cakes evenly

  3. Divide and top with wild rockets, a slice of anchovy on each rice cake, and splatter drops of spicy miso dressing.

CLASSIC ACAI BOWL WITH DRAGONFRUIT, BLUEBERRIES & BANANA

Preparation Time: 5 MINS

Serving: 1

Difficulty: 1/5

Diet Notes: Dairy-Free, Vegan

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 açai pulp, defrost for 1 minute

  • 1 large banana, break in chunks

  • 1/2 red dragon fruit

  • 3 tbsp oat milk

  • 1 tsp almond butter

  • A handful of blue berries

  • 1 tsp raw cacao nibs (take note that they contain caffeine, avoid taking them before bed time)

  • 1 tbsp oatmeal cookie crumbs

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut 3/4 of the dragon fruit into huge chunks for blending, and slice the remaining 1/4 to reserve as topping.

  2. When açai pulp is slightly defrosted, cut and remove them from the packs, add into a blender, followed by dragonfruit chunks, banana chunks and oat milk. Blend at low speed to get all the ingredients slightly broken up. Then turn on to high speed for 30 seconds until it forms a thick paste. For a thinner consistency or you prefer a smoothie bowl, add 2 extra tablespoons of oat milk, and blend.

  3. Serve acai in a bowl, and arrange dragoon fruit slices, blueberries, almond butter, cacao nibs and oatmeal cookie crumbs.


With lots of love,

Ally