I’ve shared many photos of my fridge throughout the last few years, many of which reside in this Instagram Highlight. It’s interesting because I don’t eat gluten, dairy, soy or refined sugar and yet I have not once felt deprived as though I’m living under some strict set of rules when I’m food shopping. I realize this is astonishing at best to many people whose entire life revolves around those food groups, but it’s true.
Yes, my life may be vastly different from the average person but I love what I eat and the journey of creating delicious foods from simple ingredients has made me a more curious, adventurous woman.
It feels like magic when I’m in my kitchen. It certainly didn’t start this way many years ago but I was sort of forced to figure this whole thing out back in 2009 when I realized my body was not happy eating any other way.
If you’ve read my first book, Eating Clean, well then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Pizzas, cookies, brownies, ice cream, burgers, muffins and so forth line these beautifully colored pages and continue to keep many of you happy and satisfied. If that’s not enough, my former website, The Healthy Apple, has fourteen years of hearty recipes tucked inside.
While the recipes I’ve created over the years have changed drastically because I now have the energy to make a full recipe, cook it and eat it (something I couldn’t do for awhile), my food philosophy has stayed the same. I line the shelves of my fridge with whole one-ingredient foods. That’s it. Very simple.What’s in a lemon? A lemon. What’s in an apple? An apple. What’s in an avocado? An avocado. What’s in a walnut? A walnut.
You get the picture. Because my body couldn’t tolerate anything out of a box for my 20’s and 30’s, I resorted to one-ingredient whole foods and made it a point to figure out how to make them taste really, really good.
The photo I’m sharing above is a snapshot of what I’ve shared on social media – bits and pieces of what’s often lurking in this chilled box I call my fridge.
Before I share a glimpse of what you’ll find inside on an average day, I want to share two incredible resources I created a few years ago. They outline a few of my favorite food brands as well a what tools to use in my kitchen. If you’re on a healing journey of your own (or if you’re simply looking for healthier food options), you can start here.
Now, onto my fridge. Here’s what I like to keep inside. I’ll break this down into fridge and freezer for you because as you’ll see, my freezer is just as valuable as my fridge.
When you open the large stainless steel door to my fridge, the first thing that usually catches your eye is the amount of fresh vegetables I have lining each shelf. Now, there are only three shelves in here but I really pack them in. I enjoy all vegetables but my favorites are cauliflower, yellow carrots, bell peppers, orange cherry tomatoes, leeks and eggplant. So, just picture an enormous amount of vegetables falling off of the middle and bottom shelf and you pretty much have my fridge.
The top shelf I like to dedicate to homemade condiments as well as olives, which I always have a few types on hand: usually kalamata and a few varieties of green olives – some stuffed with garlic, others stuffed with red bell peppers. I love salty – not so much sweet, however, unsweetened cinnamon applesauce lines the top shelf along with buckwheat (yes, this is gluten-free), lentils, quinoa, almond butter and sunflower seed butter.
I tend not to buy store bought condiments because the refined salt always makes me feel awful – instead, I use the condiments chapter in Eating Clean, which is the largest chapter in the book and houses everything from homemade ketchup and mustard to sriracha sauce and more. I store homemade condiments and leftovers in Weck Jars of all sizes.
There’s always a dozen organic Omega-3 brown eggs on hand. I couldn’t eat eggs for most of my 20’s and 30’s so I have been making up it. I’m loving how much easier it is to bake with eggs rather than using an egg replacement like chia seeds! Ahhh, the little things in life that make me so darn happy. When my body needs a bit more animal protein, you’ll find a freshly wrapped bundle of grass-fed ground beef on the second shelf or a large glass jar filled to the brim with organic roasted chicken.
I don’t enjoy making full recipes with animal protein, which is why all of my recipes focus on vegetables. I prefer keeping my animal protein simple: roasting, steaming, sautéing with olive oil and sea salt, then adding it to my vegetable based recipes. This may change but for now, I enjoy getting creative with vegetables and sharing those recipes with all of you since that is the bulk of what I eat day-to-day.
There are two drawers at the base of my fridge, one is always filled with half a dozen red onions – my favorite to caramelize at least once a week, as well as avocados, lemons, limes and other veggies that can’t fit on the shelves.
The door is lined with my favorite fresh leafy green herbs dipped in these glass jars and filled with water. Parsley, mint, chives, basil and oregano are the usuals.
Below the fridge resides my freezer, which acts as my warehouse for when I’m recipe testing and can’t fit any more food into my fridge. I store everything in these sealed glass jars and they’re nestled in between the plethora of frozen vegetables, which I must admit, are my favorite thing to make with a splash of olive oil and Celtic sea salt. Frozen asparagus, frozen broccoli, frozen butternut squash and frozen cauliflower are my favorites.
Lastly, all of my nuts and seeds are housed in my freezer so that they don’t go rancid or accumulate mold. I love walnuts, pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almond flour and hazelnut flour. (Note: You’ll see some nuts in my fridge in the above photo because I ran out of room in my freezer from recipe testing. This is just a temporary place for them until they go back into the freezer).
And I can’t forget frozen fruit. Frozen berries such as blueberries, raspberries and cranberries are tucked inside one of my freezer drawers, as well as the unsweetened coconut flakes I love to snack on or add to recipes.