Mind Your Meal Time

Grocery Shopping Tips from Crunchtime Food

grocery shopping tips crunchtime food!

While your inner locavore wants to embrace the slow food movement, the 9-to-5 grind means quick-and-simple meals are the order of the day.

To learn to make real food in real time, we asked moms Dr. April Otero and Sherri York of Crunchtime to help us get in and out of the grocery store — and on our way to a homemade meal.

Reality Bites
There’s nothing wrong with ambition, but filling your cart with too many perishables or new foods is a beginning chef’s turnoff. They suggest keeping meals simple to start — or you’ll likely give up.

Plan Ahead
They like to pick one or two main ingredients and fresh herbs each week to prepare several meal variations. For example, buy double your needs in chicken breasts, broccoli, and red potatoes. On the first night, roast all of the chicken and potatoes and blanch broccoli. Night two, stir-fry leftover chicken and broccoli with spices and add in another vegetable. On the last night, make a soup with remaining chicken and any vegetables you have on hand.

Map It Out
Start by shopping the perimeter of the store — that’s where you find fresh produce, dairy, meats, and fish. Otero and York venture in to center aisles only to replenish the pantry with oils, dry herbs, baking goods, grains, pasta, and beans.

Prep School
Make time to clean, peel, chop, and store your veggies before filling the fridge. They like to blanch tougher vegetables like broccoli and asparagus to get them ready for stir-fries, salads, and frittatas.

Kid Friendly
Finally, they suggest taking your little along to the store. You’ll be surprised by how much kids like Brussels sprouts or dragon fruit when they do the choosing.

For more tips and recipes, go to crunchtimefood.com.

Photo: Noel Hendrickson / Getty Images

this week in los angeles!

Lantern Festival

What: Stroll the re-created traditional village street fair featuring acrobatic performances, interactive workshops, arts and crafts, and brilliant lantern displays.
Why: Catch the glow-in-the-dark dragon.
When: Sat., noon-7 p.m.
Where: Chinese American Museum, 425 N. Los Angeles St., at Arcadia St. (213-485-8567). Admission is free.

Real Princess Story Time

What: This princess party has a nature theme. Decorate flower pots and plant flowers to take home.
Why: Her majesty will approve.
When: Tues., 3 p.m.
Where: Books and Cookies, 2230 Main St., at Strand St., Santa Monica (310-362-3103). Kids, $15.

Macro Collage Workshop

What: Kids ages 2-4 and their folks make a layered collage on canvas using paint, glue, fabric, paper, and yarn.
Why: Art that’s larger than life.
When: Today, 2 p.m.
Where: Play, 5814 W. Third St., b/t Cochran & Cloverdale Aves. Reservations (required) to 323-988-1189. Kids, $15.

Chinese American Museum
425 N Los Angeles St
@ Arcadia St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
2230 Main St
@ Strand St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
5814 W 3rd St
bt S Cloverdale & S Cochran Aves
Los Angeles, CA 90036