This is a vegetarian shopping list that covers all the essential nutrition you need to stay healthy (some vegetarians live on only cheese and bread). Let me know some of your favourites to add to the list?
It’s a treat to be able to buy fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables from Maurizio, who runs the best market in Rome close to the Colosseum.
Nature is incredible, it grows exactly what we need for each season. So in autumn we have citric fruits packed with vitamin C to combat colds, in spring we have asparagus and other bitter greens to flush your liver after the heavy meals of winter. Eating seasonally gives your body a cycle and ensures you get a range of nutrients and vitamins.
Try to find a local farmers market, and avoid supermarkets if you can!
- Condiments and other necessaries
- Honey (unpasteurized)
- Olive Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Coconut milk
- Sea Salt, coarse and fine
- Pepper and other spices such as cumin, fennel seeds, etc
- Herbs (including basil, sage and parsley)
- Vegetable stock cubes (ideally without monosodium glutamate)
- Yoghurt (with live cultures, like Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Check the ingredients.)
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Mozzarella (buy it fresh, the color should be pure white)
- Rice (Basmati is fragrant and easy to digest, but try others like “fobidden rice” or Jasmine rice)
- Flax seeds (Flax oil is not an ideal source of Omega 3 and 6)
- Pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted (yummy snack)
- Almonds, roasted and salted
- Almonds, unsalted
- Any nuts you enjoy snacking on
- Beans or Legumes:
- 2x cans of Borlotti beans
- 2x cans of Canellini beans
- 2x cans of Chickpeas
- 1x bag of dried Lentils
- 1x bag of dried Mung beans
- 1x bag of dried Fava beans
- 1x bag of frozen green Soya beans
- 1x bag of frozen green Fava beans
- Baby spinach
- Kale and any other green like cicoria or rapini
- Tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are a favourite and flexible)
- Other seasonal vegetables such as pumpkin, asparagus or fresh beans. Ask your greengrocer to explain which produce is in season, and purchased locally. They’ll probably love to share their knowledge with you, and will have tips for how best to cook the vegetables. Maurizio is my verbal cookbook!
- Apples (we like Fuji but green apples are great for cleaning your liver)
- Pineapples (there a post dedicated to cutting these tasty monsters)
- Other seasonal fruit. We’ve just been through strawberry season, and gorged on roast strawberry ice cream (recipe to follow shortly).
Everyone has items that they feel are essential, please share them – it may be useful to other people reading this.
Rule-of-thumb: buy fresh, buy local and buy seasonal. And try something new, it will keep you excited and passionate about eating a living diet.