Hungry Haley

it's more than food

My Grocery List - What I Buy, Why I Buy It, & How I Cook It

Haley HansenComment

Anybody else find grocery shopping to be relaxing? Something about strolling through the fully-stocked aisles, gazing at all they have to offer, while mentally exploring the endless possibilities of recipes I can try is somehow kind of therapeutic. I mean, come on, after a rough day at work/an overwhelming day of classes/whatever the stress-inducer may be, who doesn't want to fill their brain with thoughts of mouth-watering meals? 

If you haven't caught on yet, I'm basically a professional grocery shopper. I do it at least once a week, which I think has skilled me in several different areas and therefore constitutes a spot on my resume. Just sayin'. However, if you find yourself lost when it comes to finding/buying the right foods, and can't think of ways to use them, keep reading. I've been there, and I know how to help!

My Grocery-List "Regulars"

  • Bananas - ALWAYS. You know how you have those super short trips to the store just for one thing? Like, you need heart whole-grain bread for avocado toast, or you just really neeeeeeed that Ben & Jerry's. I make those trips all the time, and I never leave without a few bananas. 
    • hy? 
      • complex carbohydrates for fuel
      • can be used in several different types of recipes (see below)
      • inexpensive 
      • lots of potassium (maintains body's fluid balance) and vitamin B-6
      • delicious, duh
      • ever heard of a prebiotic?
    • How I use them:
      • Frozen for protein shakes/nice cream, OBVI. 
      • Sliced up for PB & B toast. 
      • Extra ripe for baking (my favorite). 
  • Protein powder (plant-based) - protein shakes are some of the easiest (and healthiest) on-the-go breakfasts. Or, replace some of the flour with protein powder when baking for extra-filling boost. 
    • Why? 
      • inexpensive (buy in bulk on amazon) 
      • quick/easy to use 
      • versatile 
      • loaded with protein for energy 
    • How I use it:
      • 95% of the time - protein shakes 
      • remaining 5% - baking breakfast goods
  • Nut-butter - does this one even need explanation? Y'all know I go crazy for a jar of peanut, almond, walnut, whatever other kind of nut-butter you give me. 
    • Why? 
      • inexpensive (buy a big jar - it lasts longer than you think) 
      • versatile (sandwiches, baking, protein shakes)
      • healthy fats, protein, and fiber
      • because why wouldn't you always buy your favorite food? 
    • How I use it: 
      • sandwiches - perfect for packing lunches 
      • toast for breakfast 
      • baking - can be substituted for butter 
  • Spinach - I'm like Popeye when it comes to spinach, I just don't look like him. Check my fridge and you'll always see a huge bag or two of spinach somewhere inside. Kind of like bananas, spinach is one of those items I buy every single time I go to the store. 
    • Why? 
      • multiple uses - salads, stir-fry's, protein shakes, scrambles, etc.
      • inexpensive
      • loaded with vitamins - A, K, folate, vitamin C - and minerals 
    • How I use it:
      • protein shakes/smoothies - throw a handful in and you won't even know it's there! 
      • stir-fry's/scrambles - toss a bunch in with veggies for added texture and more nutrients that are unlocked when spinach is heated 
      • sandwiches and salads - there's always room for spinach! 
  • Beans - soybeans (edamame), black beans, chickpeas, pinto beans - I use and love them all! Fun fact: I used to hate them. Boy, how time has changed! 
    • Why?
      • inexpensive (notice a pattern here?) 
      • long-lasting 
      • versatile 
      • fiber and plant-based protein - woo hoo! 
    • How I use them: 
      • salads - combine with veggies and quinoa, brown rice, or whole-grain pasta for a week's worth of packable lunches
      • hummus - dip, baby dip (your vegetables), or spread it on whole-grain bread for a nut-butter alternative. Here's my quick version with avocado!
      • baking - say whaaaaat? yeah, dude. BLACK BEAN BROWNIES. 
      • burritos and tacos - taco-tuesday and burrito-everyday! who's in? 
  • Almond Milk - a protein shake's creamy necessity, a plate of freshly baked vegan cookies' best friend, or just in a glass by itself - I LOVE ALMOND MILK. I used to buy the sweetened vanilla version, but now I like the unsweetened much better because I usually end up pairing it with something super sweet anyway. 
    • Why? 
      • easier on the digestive system (no lactose, soy, or gluten)
      • more calcium than milk! 
      • can be made at home (do you have a cow to milk?)
      • same benefits as almonds
      • inexpensive 
    • How I use it: 
      • protein shakes and smoothies 
      • for dipping (burnt) PB sammies and cookies - comforts the homesick college student :) 
      • in any recipe that calls for milk
  • Tofu and/or tempeh - tempeh (the fermented soybean patty) is my favorite of the two, but it isn't always available. Tofu (blended soybeans pressed into a cube) is available almost everywhere. 
    • Why? 
      • vegan protein source - three cheers for beans! 
      • long-lasting 
      • because I don't want to eat eggs every night for dinner 
      • tempeh - fermented, which promotes gut-health 
      • both high in protein and low in cholesterol and fat
    • How I use it: 
      • stir-fry's 
      • baked
      • sauteed or seared
  • Whole-grains - I've learned to LOVE carbs, especially in the form of whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, Ezekiel bread/tortillas/english muffins, oats, and some "fancy" pastas are my favorites. As a vegetarian, I need these grains for some of my protein, but they also provide plenty of other necessary nutrients - vegetarian or not. 
    • Why? 
      • provides protein, fiber, and complex carbs
      • inexpensive (buy in bulk)
      • long-lasting
      • versatile
    • How I use them: 
      • stir-fry's 
      • salads (pasta salad, anyone?)
      • sandwiches, burritos, tacos
      • oatmeal 
      • homemade oat flour 

Again, these are just the items that end up in my cart almost every grocery-store trip - I buy other foods, not just these. I hope you noticed the pattern - most of them are pretty inexpensive and can be found at just about any grocery store, and there's no meat on the list. I'm vegan, if you're new to Hungry Haley (Hi there! :) Nice to meet you), and I've found this lifestyle to be just as easy, if not easier and healthier (as well as less expensive and time-consuming) than a non-vegan diet. 

With all the madness of shopping for school supplies like books, pens, paper, etc., don't forget about food! Without a fridge full of nutritious grub, we wouldn't be able to survive college. At least, I know I wouldn't...

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for the next post, leave them below or email me. You can also tag me and #hungryhaley on Instagram and I'll be more than happy to help! I hope you all had a magnificent summer and are excited to start another year of school. I can't wait to be back with my Mustangs!