28 Ingredients To Start Cooking From Scratch

Do you find yourself eating a lot of processed foods that come from a box and poison you one meal at a time? Are you looking to change it, stop eating junk food and start on your way to cooking fresh, healthy meals from scratch? This shopping list is going to give you a solid base so that you’ll be able to just shop for fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruit in the next 3 weeks or more. It’s not the answer to all your problems and you certainly need to look into a recipe or two but it will help you.

Take this list to the store with you and you’ll be all set to go! Find the list at the end of this post.

 

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Produce Section

Onion – this vegetable will keep for a very long time whether you keep it in the bottom of the fridge or on the countertop. It adds a good flavour to everything you cook. In my kitchen almost no savoury meal ever goes without onion.

Garlic – very similar to the first one. Also amazing in sauces, dips or butters.

Potatoes – they will keep for a long time if kept in the dark and they are an amazing part of many meals, very often the lazy ones, one-pot ones etc.

Fresh cucumber – it will not keep for long but that is okay because you will use at least half of it  it to make a simple salad to go with dinner today or tomorrow.

Lettuce – goes great in that salad I mentioned.

Bell peppers – they will keep slightly longer than the lettuce and they can go into a great one pot meal, so you’ll never be stuck with them. Consider this one-pot recipe.

Broccoli – it will keep a while but it’s the tastiest when you eat it earlier rather than later. It can be baked with cheese or steamed and added to almost any meal.

A seasonal fruit. Look at whatever is cheap and locally produced. Don’t buy a lot, just a couple, so you can eat it as a snack.

As you go on with your new lifestyle, you will buy many more things from the produce section but for now, this should do the trick.

hot milk & peaches

Dairy

Milk – I cannot live without milk so I use it for coffee, desserts, cereal etc.

Cream – get just a small container so it doesn’t go off before you figure out if you want to use it for a sauce, soup, cheesecake, or a fruit dessert.

Eggs – I  prefer eggs to be from free-range hens just because it means that their living conditions are better than the caged ones and their stress levels are much lower.

Cream Cheese – it keeps quite a while in the fridge and there are a thousand things you can do with it, from desserts, to sauces, bakes like this tuna bake etc.

Parmesan Cheese – everybody says that it’s an expensive cheese but it features some amazing levels of the umami flavour which will make just about any meal delicious without using a lot. Treat this more as a condiment as a little really goes a long way. Buy a chunk though, as pre-grated Parmesan loses its aroma.

spinach casserole

Dry Goods & Condiments

All purpose flour – even if you’re not planning to bake any cakes yet, flour is great for thickening soups or sauces and will keep well for a long time.

Sugar – I know everybody says that sugar is unhealthy but they mostly mean sugar in carbonated drinks and other sources, adding a little sugar to a sauce or a salad dressing will balance off the flavours.

Salt – You probably have salt at home but I’m putting it here just in case.

Black pepper with a mill – freshly ground pepper is so much more delicious than the already ground one. Try it!

A herb – let’s not start with a whole battery of a million things which you’ll throw out after a year or two. Pick oregano, basil or Herbes de Provence. Avoid ready mixes, they often have salt or sugar added and they will prevent you from learning about the flavours you like.

Brown Rice – it’s very healthy and I think it’s delicious. However, if you’ve never had it in your life and you’re afraid that you won’t be able to stomach it, get white rice as well, to have some kind of back up.

Pasta – it’s up to you what kind you’re going to buy. Wholemeal is healthier but it is a significantly different experience than white pasta, so take that into consideration. It’s better to ease yourself into cooking from scratch and stay with it than buy all the healthiest ingredients and fall off the wagon three days later. Good pasta shapes that go with many things are penne, spaghetti and macaroni.

Vinegar – white is good for the beginning, it will be handy for salad dressings.

Lemon juice – salad dressings and preserves when you get into that. 🙂

Canned corn – great for salads and many hot meals, amazing backup when you don’t have too many veggies.

Applesauce – if you can get it where you are, buy it. It’s the best thing ever. Read just about any recipe on my blog to find out why.

blackcurrant cake

Oils & Butters

Real Butter – I prefer unsalted but either way, real butter is the real flavour of homemade food. No margarine can ever replace this.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – for salad dressings and dips. Anything you’re planning to serve cold is made delicious with a drop of olive oil.

Rapeseed oil – use this oil for cooking. It’s pretty flavourless unlike the olive oil.

kluski

Meat & Fish

Chicken – I would start with chicken breast as it is easy to cook and there are thousands of delicious recipes on the internet.

Have a look at the fresh fish, seafood, chicken and turkey. Don’t plan meat and fish for each day of the week. Remember, you just bought a truckload of vegetables, right? You don’t need meat every day at all. Actually, there is an amazing amount of research suggesting that eating meat everyday is unnecessary and probably unhealthy. Try to eat oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring twice a week though.

 

 

The Shopping List:

  1. Onion
  2. Garlic
  3. Potatoes
  4. Fresh Cucumber
  5. Lettuce
  6. Bell Peppers
  7. Broccoli
  8. One Type Of Seasonal Fruit
  9. Milk
  10. Cream
  11. Eggs
  12. Cream Cheese
  13. Parmesan Cheese
  14. All Purpose Flour
  15. Sugar
  16. Salt
  17. Black Pepper With A Mill
  18. A Herb
  19. Brown Rice
  20. Pasta
  21. Vinegar
  22. Lemon Juice
  23. Canned Corn
  24. Applesauce
  25. Real Butter
  26. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  27. Rapeseed Oil
  28. Chicken Breast

 

 

vegetable feast pie

 

 

 

 Happy Cooking!

 

 

 

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Be Bananas About Cake – best ever banana cake recipe

This is one of my favourite cakes. Bananas never go to waste in my house because I use them for this recipe. If I want to make the cake later, I just freeze the mashed bananas and defrost them before baking. This cake is wonderfully low in fat as you only use 1/4 of a cup of oil for quite a large cake.

banana cake

I enjoy this delicious cake with coffee or some green tea. My partner loves it with a glass of cold milk.

banana cake

Ingredients:

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup of sugar

2 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp dried ginger

4 eggs

4 mashed ripe bananas

3/4 cup applesauce (you can use oil if you have no applesauce but I recommend applesauce)

1/4 cup rapeseed oil

a handful of dried cranberries

banana cake

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F

In a bowl mix all of the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Once well mixed, add eggs, bananas, applesauce and oil.

With a spatula mix until blended and there are no more pockets of dry flour. The dough will not be completely smooth but that’s ok. At the end add cranberries and mix.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper or prepare in whatever your preferred way is and pour the dough over.

Bake for 1 hour and check with a cocktail stick.

banana cake

Depending on the exact size of eggs and how watery the applesauce is, it is possible that the stick will not come out clean yet. If this happens, bake for another 10 minutes or until it does come out clean.

banana cake

 

banana cake

 

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Green Tea St. Patrick’s Day Cake

St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner and I am going to celebrate it because I feel emotionally connected with Ireland. I lived there for quite a few years and that awesome island will always be dear to me.

What better way to celebrate than making something delicious?

 

This recipe is a green tea-flavoured cake so you won’t like it if you despise green tea. I really wanted to make something green without using green food dye because that just seemed too easy. I experimented a bit with spirulina and I considered spinach but green tea turned out to be the answer this time.

I’m using a green tea powder called matcha, which is a fine-ground type of green tea that is used in the Japanese tea ceremony. It’s used in many other things though, like green tea ice-cream, cakes and other treats, so using it for cake is not, in my opinion, blasphemy. You can get this tea in good tea shops.

It should not be on display as it’s supposed to be kept in a dark container but ask and hopefully they’ll have it.

green tea cake

Ingredients:

1/2 cup rapeseed oil

2 eggs

2 leveled Tbsp matcha green tea powder

1 1/2 cup applesauce

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

icing sugar for decoration

green tea cake

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

In a bowl whisk the oil and eggs together with applesauce, and while still whisking add matcha green tea powder and sugar.

green tea cake

In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder. Add these to the egg mixture and stir well.

Pour into a greased round pan and bake for 40 minutes or until passes stick test.

green tea cake

Once the cake cools, sprinkle with icing sugar.

green tea cake

 

green tea cake

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to Everybody!

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cheese Muffins for Lunch

This is a recipe for cheese muffins that can be taken in a lunch box to work. I like to eat them sliced and with salami or ham. I used partially the delicious Parmesan. Even though it’s expensive I always buy the real thing and never pre-grated. Parmesan loses its delicious aroma if it’s kept grated for a long time so I prefer to grate it myself. Also, a little Parmesan goes a long way, so I could easily top it up with some very mild tasting Norvegia, which is a Norwegian version of a Gouda-style cheese.

 

 

cheese muffins

 

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 c milk

2 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 cup tightly packed grated cheese, I used Parmesan and Norvegia which is a Norwegian cheese similar to Gouda; use what you like most

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

cheese muffins

In a bowl mix oil, milk and eggs with a spatula.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and dried thyme. Mix those well and then add to the wet ingredients.

Blend until there are no more pockets of dry flour.

Add cheese and mix again until evenly distributed.

 

cheese muffins

 

Bake for 25 minutes until the muffins are a golden colour.

cheese muffins

 

 

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cardamom Carrot Muffins

This is not exactly the carrots’ natural season anymore but they are still not expensive and since it’s still winter here, it will be nice to warm yourself up with some winter spices. If you want to feel a little bit Norwegian for a day, don’t skip the cardamom in the recipe or even increase it slightly. Its warming qualities are very much appreciated here.

I hope you like them and enjoy them with milk or coffee. Carrot cakes and bakes are always happy in the company of cream cheese, so you can make a very simple frosting by mixing some cream cheese with icing sugar until sweet enough to your taste and ice your muffins with that. Remember to wait for the muffins to cool before icing. In my house that usually means there are some muffins missing before I get to the icing stage. 🙂

This recipe makes 12 muffins.

carrot muffins

Ingredients:

DRY:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of ground ginger

a pinch of ground cardamom

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

WET:

2 eggs

1/4 cup rapeseed oil

1/2 cup applesauce (you can use oil instead but I much prefer it with applesauce)

1 1/2 cup packed grated carrot (that’s around 200g or two and a half medium carrots)

carrot muffins

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

In a bowl mix all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and baking powder. Once mixed well, add eggs, oil, applesauce and carrot. Stir with a spatula but only so that there are no more dry flour pockets, don’t continue mixing after that.

Line the muffin pan and fill 12 cases.

Bake for 30 -35 minutes. Check with a skewer or cocktail stick.

 

carrot muffins

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Oven-baked Applesauce Rice

When I was a little girl my Grandma used to make a similar dish in a remoska mini oven that we had. She continued always making this particular dish in the remoska even though we already had a standard oven, so when the remoska was out of the cabinets, I knew the delicious cinnamon smell would soon fill the whole house. Ah, the childhood memories!

You can check out what a remoska is here. I can see the nostalgia is not only mine and the remoska seems to be making a brilliant comeback as an electricity saving oven. Well done! Maybe I’ll get one too?

We ate this as a normal dinner. Maybe you’ll like it better as a lunch or even dessert! This was back under communism when eating meat everyday was just not how things were, so rice with apples seemed like a very good dinner idea. We were not obese back then, so sometimes I look back into these times to see if I can find any more healthy recipes. Now, bear in mind that this is not diet food either as it has sugar.

I now adapted this recipe to my lifestyle and more modern likes (like brown rice instead of white) and this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy!

applesauce rice

 

 

applesauce rice

 

 

Ingredients:
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup applesauce (mine has very little sugar)
2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 apples
a handful of dried cranberries
a pinch of dried ginger
a pinch of dried cardamom

an oven-safe dish with a lid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

Wash your rice in a sieve and dump in the baking dish, add water, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, salt and stir to evenly distribute all the ingredients.

Add applesauce and stir again.

applesauce rice

Cut apples into slices, I cut them widthwise and just remove the middle to save time. Place apples on top of your mixture and press lightly to submerge them in the sweet, spiced water.

Sprinkle with cranberries.

Put the lid on and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the rice is done. Brown rice likes to take its time 🙂

applesauce rice

This amount serves 4 for a light and delicious meal.

Enjoy!

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

5 Free Cooking Resources You Just Can’t Go Without

This is what I find important and useful. It could be something totally different for you but do have a look and maybe you’ll like these gems below.

 

1. A Free Online Course on Child Nutrition and Cooking

This course took me two weeks, including all of the recommended reading. It has 5 hours of videos and a couple of quizzes.

It is issued by Stanford University and that is enough for me to trust it completely. It is accessible at any time (you don’t have to wait for a start date etc.).

I learnt some good general information about nutrition and the recommended reading had some great articles about the food industry and food production.

There are also quite a few recipes in there, shown in video form.

 

2. The World’s Healthiest Foods

This is a website I use a lot to read about vegetables and fruit. There are also articles about meat and grains.

There is a lot of information here about any new research done on a particular vegetable or nutrient.

This one is a bit nerdy but that’s why I love it.

 

3. Cup to Gram Conversions

Prepared by Allrecipes.com this offers conversions on butter and dry goods.

 

4. Volume Conversions Chart

A handy chart showing you how many tablespoons in a cup etc. Might come in handy if you don’t have the right measuring tool on hand.

 

5. The Nutrition Source

This is a website ran by Harvard School of Public Health. It provides evidence-based information on diet and nutrition. This is a great tool for me, since I cook to stay healthy and as much as I have a lot of recipes for cake and muffins on this blog, I try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and this website helps me decide what to make for dinner.

 

 

 

© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.