In the middle of this five minute meal series for the Trailside Kitchen community, I started noticing patterns in my shopping habits so wanted to give you the same “formula” to shop from to make your shopping trips easier and your time outside longer.
You’ll notice the big theme here is shelf stable items.
If you’re making five-minute meals, you probably don’t have a ton of time to plan out each meal and plans probably change last minute so buying shelf stable items will help you save money and avoid tossing out food that has gone bad if you miss a few meals at home.
Five Minute Meal Shopping List “Must-Haves”
- Ready to eat protein – this one is key. Fruit is easy, crackers are easy, bars are easy…but protein? Kinda hard. Also takes a while to cook. Here are some of my favorite ready to eat options:
- Easy good fats – sounds simple, but can be hard. Fat is an easy thing to skip when in a hurry so always having easy options on hand is important. Try these:
- Nuts or nut butter
- Hardy produce – For the same reason as the other items, having relatively shelf-stable produce is important from a spoilage standpoint. I also like to buy produce that can be eaten raw or cooked. It gives you more options depending on your mood and time available. Pre-washed and pre-cut a plus!
- Citrus fruits
- Quick cooking carbs – with carbs quick often equals processed but I want to challenge you to think outside the box on this one.
- Trader Joe’s frozen brown rice or quinoa – literally a game changer, buy it and love it
- Granola – read ingredients with caution! Love Purely Elizabeth because they have a “Meet our Ingredients” page – mad respect to the level of transparency and quality there.
- Canned beans – I only eat Eden Organic because they cook their beans with kombu, which decreases the gas-causing component of beans. Yes! A fart comment! I said it!
- Plantain chips or sweet potato chips
- Fruits like apples and bananas double over into this category as well
- Flavor staples – all of these food suggestions are great but come on, they need to taste good too! I like to buy flavorful things that can double as a sauce or salad dressing to save myself a step. Try to keep these winners around to flavor your world:
- Jarred pesto (check the oils and make sure it’s olive oil only!)
- Olive tapenade
- Sun dried tomatoes in oil
- Mustard (without sugar) or this mayo that is incredibly addicting…thank God it’s expensive or else I’d have a serious consumption problem
- Fermented vegetables (yes, chipotle sauerkraut makes the best salad dressing)
- Pickled vegetables – like fermented vegetables, a great way to flavor + get a shelf-stable vegetable option.
- 2 Tbs medium heat oil
- 1 packet Trader Joe's frozen quinoa
- 4 pre-cooked sausages, sliced
- 1 apple, sliced
- 3 handfuls pre-washed baby kale
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- raw sauerkraut, for garnish
- In a saute pan over medium heat, add oil, frozen quinoa, sausage, apple, kale, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook until quinoa is defrosted and kale is wilted, about 4 minutes.
- Serve topped with sauerkraut.