24 May Inside the Fridge: Amber Massey
Inside the Fridge welcomes Amber Massey. Amber is a personal chef and chief blogger of Chocolate Broccoli. Amber is a master of developing recipes that encourage her readers to get back in to the kitchen, tossing out the idea that taste and nutrition can’t happily coexist. Amber, a Registered Dietitian, is a constant encourager of avoiding the diet mentality and promoting appreciation of real food. She regularly contributes recipes to a variety of publications, including Taste of Home, Healthy Cooking, Simple and Delicious, and Country Women’s Magazine. After visiting her her blog, be sure to find her on twitter or facebook.
Below we ask her questions about her grocery shopping and food habits – with actual pictures from her fridge!
Inside the Fridge: Where do you shop for food?
Amber Massey: I shop multiple places to find the best deals. The majority of my shopping is done at Kroger (it’s closest to my home), I also shop for fresh meat and seafood as well as specialty items at Central Market. My husband and I also have a Costco membership for bulk items like cereal, frozen meat and veggies.
ITF: Do you love food shopping or dread it?
AM: I LOVE food shopping! I actually look forward to my Saturday mornings when I go (early to beat the crowds!) I can do all my shopping and be home before 10am.
ITF: What is the single most important thing on your mind when you are shopping for food?
AM: Minimal processing- fresh ingredients!
ITF: How often do you shop?
AM: I shop once a week (Saturday mornings) and purchase only what I need for that week, as well as usual items that are on my list every week.
ITF: What is your weekly food budget?
AM: Between my husband and I, we allot for between $150-$200/week. That sounds outrageous to some, but we eat at home for almost every meal, as well as bring our lunch from home- that means we have to have food for all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. So, it adds up!
ITF: How many times a week do you eat out? (based on 21 meals/week)
AM: Just about twice per week- usually a date night, and then always on Sunday after church for lunch.
ITF: How do you plan your weekly meals? Create a spreadsheet of fly by the seat of your pants?
AM: I don’t create a spreadsheet, but I print out all the recipes for the meals I plan to make that week (even if it my own original recipe, I still like to have a print out.) and keep them in a folder in my kitchen ‘junk’ drawer. I make my grocery list (s) from these printouts, and then have them for reference each night I cook.
ITF: What is the most coveted food in the fridge right now for each member of the household? Why?
AM: We LOVE dairy! (Low-fat/Fat-Free) Cheeses, yogurt, milk (of all varieties!), sour cream.. ice cream! You name it- my Fireman and I love it. While my husband will eat his weight in ice cream- he will occasionally enjoy strawberry Greek yogurt for dessert instead.
ITF: What is the oldest item in the fridge right now?
AM: The Soba Noodle Salad I made this past weekend for lunch.
ITF: Do you believe in leftovers?
AM: I do! My husband is a fireman and works a 24 hour shift every third day, leaving me home to figure something out to make for myself. Sometimes I confess to being lazy and eating cereal for dinner- but most of the time I’ll make a meal that will have leftovers the night before he works, so I’ll have something wholesome while he is away.
ITF: What convenience product can you not live without?
AM: Rotisserie Chicken! It is so versatile, and with one bird you can get 3-4 meals worth of chicken! I leave the boning job to him, though.
ITF: What cooking utensil/piece of equipment/appliance do you live for?
AM: My food processor. I got it for Christmas a couple years ago, a I use it for everything- from making homemade salsa, to grating up cheese. Something every home cook should invest in.
ITF: What are your go-to food/nutrition/culinary/cooking website/s, book or cookbook?
AM: I love Cooking Light (both the magazine and the website) as well as my William Sonoma cookbook (s), as I have several. But, nothing beats pinterest these days. I get overwhelmed with the choices when I’m meal planning for the next week!
ITF: What was the last meal you cooked from scratch?
AM: Last night I made my husbands favorite pasta: Farfalle with Mushroom and Bacon Cream Sauce.. My healthy version, of course!
ITF: If one person could cook for you tonight, who would it be?
AM: Giada De Laurentiis- I have met her a few times in the past, and I DVR her shows- such a sweet and beautiful woman
. Her love for food, cooking, and family inspire me to want to cook anything and everything that comes out of her kitchen! She is so talented.
Or.. Bobby Flay. He’s nice to look at. I would let him cook for me any day.
ITF: What words of wisdom or advice do you have for other folks who are doing their best every day to fill the fridge?
AM: Seek out whole foods and variety! Focus on trying one new thing at least once a month. Look up a recipes and try cooking it at home. In addition to heightening your culinary skills, experimenting with new foods expands your nutritional benefits. A diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and oils also includes lots of vitamins and antioxidants- So eating a variety of foods ensures you get the most benefits.
Thank you Amber!
If you would like to be featured on Inside the Fridge, please email RobinsBite Intern Laura Bartee – Laura *at* robinplotkin *dot* com