After Farmer's Market, I usually go to a natural food store in my area to shop for the staple ingredients for my intended recipes. I make up a quick shopping list beforehand and once again begin to build my menu from what I can find on sale, keeping in mind the vegetables and fruits that I already purchased at Farmer's Market.
Sometimes a produce item is not available at the outdoor market, so I pick those items up first. I am always on the lookout for produce that makes up a variety of different salads, like dandelion, escarole, cabbages of varied colors, watercress, etc. I then scan my mind for ingredients I may need for salad dressings, as I like to make up dressings fresh and perhaps add white miso (replenishes the friendly bacteria in the body). By adding a variety of interesting ingredients and herbs to fresh dressings, they will enhance the dressing flavors, as well as, encourage eating more raw foods in your meals. Personally, I serve salads with all meals, except breakfast! In this case, the more fiber the better! Your body will love you for it!
Before I leave the store I make certain that I have the basic complex carbohydrates like potatoes, yams, whole grains, etc. along with everything on my shopping list.
Now that I have spent my shopping budget I head home to organize the foods I just purchased.
I start bagging vegetables in plastic Ziplock bags that I will store in the fridge and those fruits that need to ripen I place carefully in bowls outside the refrigerator, like tomatoes, avocados, lemons, etc. I generally wash a couple of heads of lettuce in pure water and allow them to drain and dry thoroughly. If the lettuce leaves are still damp, add a paper towel to absorb the moisture. Before bagging them, squeeze out all of the air. If they are put away in the fridge wet or damp they will not hold up well for storage. I only wash veggies that I intend to use in the next day or so.
I organize my fridge in a way that I keep fruits in one place and then store other items in the same location so that I don't have to continually wonder where the items are in a crowded fridge. Keep a note pad on your fridge to mark down the items you may need to shop for, as you run out.
I then start preparing a couple of varieties of salads that I place in a Ziplock bag for future use. This way when I get hungry I don't have to start preparing something – or later regret eating something because I was too hungry and tending to leave out my salads. I now have something that I call "fast foods" in my refrigerator to pull from.
I continue to organize my fridge and prepare simple dishes from my refrigerator and ingredients stock so that I can put together a simple meal in a few minutes for quick hunger pangs from my husband or myself.
It's now time to sit down and relax. It's been a busy day!