04 Jun It’s Time To Get Personal! I’m Giving You A Peek Into My Fridge!
Clients will often joke that they’d “love to see what’s in my fridge.” Even friends like to snoop a bit when they’re over. I get it, and sometimes I have some explaining to do, especially when the friends find my designated chocolate drawer just above the two drawers of tea. It’s all dark chocolate, and it’s necessary in my world. A little piece or two per day does the soul and body good!
When it comes to my fridge, you’ll find a lot of staples in there. It’s a full fridge in this photo, we just made a big trip to the grocery store. I thought I’d give you a few tips and tricks that serve our family well, and outline some of the staples we use every day. But before doing so, I should probably give you a bit of the bigger picture here. I have a 12-year old boy who keeps sprouting up like a weed; food goes into his stomach as fast as I bring it in! My daughter is 16 and while she doesn’t consume as much on her own, we often have a house full of neighborhood kids and friends who are raiding the fridge and cabinets too. I love this about our home and always want there to be plenty to go around. So, here’s how we make it all happen.
In this photo, I haven’t yet prepped my vegetables. Typically, though, I’ll have one or two vegetable crispers in the drawer that house all the chopped veggies. We rotate the vegetables we eat every week and always have leafy greens on hand. Here are a few things we do on a consistent basis to make sure we eat all the produce before it has a chance to go bad.
• Leafy greens are incorporated into just about every meal:
- They add great crunch to every sandwich
- They’re a perfect base for a hearty salad
- Every smoothie includes a cup or two
- We sauté them with onions and mushrooms and top chicken breast, burgers and more
- We make kale chips that last only a day or so because they’re just that good!
• Peppers, Cucumbers, Carrots, Celery, Zucchini, Squash, Parsnips, Cauliflower:
- Rotate your veggies every week so you’re getting a variety of flavors and phytonutrients
- Eat them raw with dip
- Add them to salads
- Roast them and scramble with eggs, top a hearty rice bowl dinner, use as a side or snack.
- Grill them: just coat in healthy oil, salt and pepper and place on a heated grill pan. They turn into yummy caramelized vegetables! We love this with sausages (organic & nitrite/nitrate free) and kabobs
- Mushrooms and onions: these are two great cancer fighters! Use them often.
• The Meat Drawer:
- Yes, we eat meat. However, this is one area where we never compromise. EVERYTHING is organic and nitrite/nitrate free. Read labels and advocate for yourself.
- We make hot turkey sandwiches “philly steak” style. On the griddle we cook onions and peppers in a bit of oil and then add chopped turkey and top with some manchego cheese, so it melts a bit before making the sandwich.
- Sandwiches are an easy go-to for the kids. They top them with avocado, lettuce, tomato, and sometimes cucumber.
- While we do eat meat, there are plenty of days when we eat all plant-based foods, vegetarian-style. You know your body best, be sure to select high-quality protein sources and balance your intake with loads of vegetables, greens and fruit.
• The Shelves:
- Dairy section: While we don’t eat cow dairy (except for my husband, he enjoys his half n half in his coffee) we do have some dairy-alternatives that are mainstays:
- Almond Milk: We use this solely as a carrier for baking, a bowl of cereal here and there, or to add to a smoothie when desired. We’re not getting much nutrition from this option, but it provides a carrier when we need it.
- Yogurt: We enjoy goat milk and sheep’s milk yogurt. Sometimes I’ll grab an organic Greek yogurt for my husband. We use yogurt as a breakfast option for parfaits, add it to smoothies, put a spoonful into eggs to make for a fluffy scramble and for baking needs.
- Pancake Mix: This is a quick GF pancake mix the kids can make on their own. We usually spruce it up with a bit of vanilla, cinnamon and fresh fruit. You’ll see the jar of flax meal in the fridge too. We use it in baking, smoothies, and as a topper for salads.
- We’re a pickle and olive family (if you couldn’t tell!) Be sure to select options that do not contain high fructose corn syrup. They’re nice as a side, and the olives provide the body healthy fat.
- Nut butter and jam: They’re a staple. Sometimes used for a quick pb&j sandwich, or to top toast, or we add the nut butters to smoothies. Right now, we have sun butter and peanut butter, but I rotate these as well to include almond butter, and blended options too. I love making my own cashew butter – super yummy!!
- You’ll often find the blue ceramic bowl housing raw meat and fish that will be used for an upcoming dinner. I just like to do that so there’s never risk of raw juices leaking onto my shelves.
- Salsa and avocados are a mainstay. The kids eat it with organic blue corn chips for a snack and they both enjoy making fresh guacamole . . . almost daily! Hence the big bowl of avocados! In our house, they’ll be gone within a few days as we also add them to smoothies, use the avocado to top sandwiches and salads, and eggs, I think you get the drift. Avocados are a tricky little fruit because they go from being not ripe to ripe! Here’s a little trick: once you have them ripened, just pop them into the veggie drawer and keep them refrigerated until use. That’ll stop the ripening process and keep them perfect for a bit. You can also store half-used avocados in the fridge. Just keep the pit in the middle and you’ll be good to go.
- Eggs are something we use often here. For breakfast scrambles, burritos and sandwiches and of course as a key ingredient in baking. When we run out and need an egg replacement for baking needs, I’ll mix flax with water and it works great!
- Fruit is always on hand. It’s an easy go-to snack option and we often add it to breakfast and lunch as a side. That big basket of apples will be wiped out in just 3-4 days, and the berries in the fridge go even quicker. Help your kids learn how to wash and chop fruit so they can enjoy it anytime.
I think I’ve sufficiently overshared on my fridge; and to think that I haven’t even touched on the pantry and freezer! There’s plenty to write about those as well. I hope this little peek into my world inspires you and offers some fresh ideas. Keep advocating for yourself, try something new every week and continue to create a supportive environment that serves you well in this life.
That’s all for now, I think it’s time for a little square of dark chocolate and some green tea.