My excellent weekly grocery list starts with me with my cell phone, in iNotes, tapping out a week’s worth of green juices, vegan soups and chilis, and big raw salads.
You have a unique opportunity each week to make excellent choices that directly affect your health and wellness and it happens at your grocery store. Here are a few tips to help you make your shopping list a health filled powerhouse. I am also including some treats to sweeten the deal, so that you always feel excited to not only shop for food, but plan the most delicious, flavorful meals you’ve ever tasted.
Life is too short for boring meals so really put your heart into your flavor combinations.
Weekly Grocery Shopping in the Outer Aisles
The outer aisles, produce section, greengrocer, or whatever you prefer to call it, is where you will spend the bulk of your shopping time and budget.
As you choose your produce, think of two things: how will it taste in my daily salad and which plant-based dinner will be delicious.
Where to Splurge
Issues with the cost of organic foods always come up for my readers but I tell them, instead of buying expensive wine and meat, focus your attention and budget on excellent produce. I’m not ‘one bit’ afraid to buy $20 worth of berries every week just for myself because I don’t buy alcohol or high-end skin care products. It’s all about priorities and I know wine, beer and hard liquor are not good for my skin.
Instead, splurge on your salad ingredients. Whether it’s with roasted corn, guacamole and salsa on a bed of romaine topped with a delicious, homemade chipotle dressing or noodles and toasted sesame oil on an Asian salad or creamy chèvre, pears and pecans over mixed greens, every day is a fancy salad day for me. Salads are my mainstays, as are my daily homemade green juices and savory vegan soups.
Read the Ingredients List
Here is where almost everyone falls short. Bring your reading glasses and look closely at the list of ingredients on everything you buy. Look at your almond milk. Does it say almonds, water and sea salt? Or does it have words you can’t pronounce. Because if there are any words that aren’t an actual, real food, I don’t buy it. What is in your vegetable stock. The only brand I’ve found that doesn’t have chemicals in it is Pacific Brand. what about your salsa? Many salsas have chemicals in them. So always read the ingredients and aim for lists that include only food.
Where to Shop
I am partial to Whole Foods because I find their produce is priced lower and they have a much better selection than Safeway or Raley’s here in northern California. Find a store that has an excellent organic produce section and if needbe, order everything else online.
Make it Taste Really Good
Here is where you can have fun with your food shopping. Think of flavors that are good together. For salads I generally like to include something crunchy, like romaine lettuce and celery, salty like Himalayan pink salt, sweet like pears, apples, berries or honey, acidic like lemon juice or balsamic vinegar and some oil or fat like olive oil and chèvre or nuts.
If you are doing a salad with bitter greens like lacinto kale, include a sweet counterpoint like apples or pears. I also do a kale Cesar that is a crowd pleaser, and it has high quality parmesan, pine nuts, lemon juice, anchovy paste, garlic and olive oil. Generally, I buy vegan Parmesan.
My Favorite, Plant Based Meals
For vegan soups and chilis I always taste test before serving to make sure they have enough fat and salt. I use grapeseed oil in cooking soups because cooking olive oil over 118 degrees changes its composition. But you can top the soup with a drizzle of olive oil before serving. Just don’t cook with olive oil.
My Favorite Homemade Soup Combinations
- Red bell pepper soup
- Vegan tortilla soup
- Vegan minestrone soup
- Homemade vegan chili
See my Soup’s On post, for more about my favorite soups.
My Favorite, Big Salad Combinations
For salads, I fill a 9-inch plate full of leafy greens plus a variety of ingredients like fresh fruit, creamy chèvre, nuts and homemade dressings. If your salad comes out boring, try a little more lemon juice, pink salt or more dressing.
- Romaine lettuce with sauteed green beans, roasted garlic and beets dressed with pink salt, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Butterleaf lettuce with grapefruit sections, avocado and Bay shrimp dressed with pink salt and olive oil and a little extra grapefruit juice.
- Mixed greens with pear, dried cranberries and candied pecans Romaine lettuce with strawberries, cilantro, yellow bell pepper, avocado, and red onion with lime juice, honey and jalapeno dressing.
- Kale Cesar made with lacinto kale, stems removed, pine nuts, Parmesan, anchovy paste, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
- Fresh corn off the cob, Heirloom cherry tomatoes, cannellini beans, nectarines, cilantro, cucumbers, orange or red bell pepper dressed with lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, jalapeno and pink salt.
Don’t Forget the Treats
Now that I’ve said I don’t buy packaged foods that have unpronounceable ingredients in them, let me just add a few exceptions to the rule, and those are treats.
Each week, buy yourself a few choices of reasonably healthy snacks that taste good and aren’t too bad for you. I don’t go for perfection here, but I buy high quality snacks. You are worth it. I usually get a nut and dried cranberry snack as well as a few bags of my favorite rice chips, see list below. I never cared for rice cakes. These aren’t rice cakes, they are hard to describe except to say they’re made with rice, lentils, black beans and are delicious. I also like organic white tortilla chips and high quality, all natural salsas; celery and all-natural peanut butter or almond butter; dark chocolate and non-dairy frozen dessert; and very occasionally, Boulder brand potato chips cooked in avocado oil.
After you’ve done your weekly shopping, treat yourself to a special Peet’s drink or a big, fancy salad out. Don’t you love rewards?
My Weekly Grocery List
Here is an example of my excellent weekly grocery list. My grocery budget is about $150 a week for just me, not including supplements or meals out.
3 triple packs Romaine lettuce, that’s 9 heads
2 to 3 bundles cilantro
4 large cucumbers
7 to10 limes
3 to 4 lemons
1 large bag Fuji apples
3 large heads lacinto kale
1 head celery
2 to 3 baskets blueberries or raspberries
And or 1 large strawberry
1 large container baby spinach or baby mixed greens
1 bundle broccoli for juicing or roasting
Or 1 bag shredded broccoli to throw into salads
2 large avocados
1 red bell pepper
Small container of cherry type tomatoes
MALK oat milk
MALK almond milk
1 large log Laura Chenel chèvre
Medium bag pecans, cashews or almonds or a mix of all three, for salads or snacks
1 small bag dried cranberries (to mix with nuts as a snack)
2 to 3 bags Off the Eaten Path Veggie Crisps (delicious!)
365 Plant Based Nuggets, eaten with Dijon mustard and catsup.
Other seasonal fruits like oranges, peaches, pears and melons.
My Bi Weekly Grocery List
Rishi Super Green Matcha Tea
YS Raw Organic Honey
Miyoko’s Creamery Vegan Butter (amazing!)
All-natural peanut butter or almond butter
Non-dairy frozen desserts
If you found My Excellent Weekly Grocery List super helpful and maybe, even a little fun, please remember to share with someone who needs it!
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Bye for now!
Here’s that link again. xo