Food, healthy girl

HGHG: Kitchen Staples + Not So Low Country Shrimp & Grits Recipe

Hey pretty girl.  It’s time for another Healthy Girl tip post.  Last time I shared the new take on healthy girl with you and also a recipe.  If you missed it I hope you will check it out by clicking here.


Today we’re looking at our grocery shopping trips.

Do you ever feel annoyed when you open a cookbook, click a recipe blog, or watch a chef/cook’s show and they just expect you to have things on hand?  I get it we should have sugar, salt, pepper, butter, etc on hand.  I may understand it but I have had my fair share of times where I go, sh** sugar? 

Today I wanted to devote a blog post of what I do keep on hand and where I store it.  Trust me – this fits into our healthy girl mentality!

Things to stock up on

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – It’s the oil of oils, friends.  I cook and bake with it.  I may have an issue.  You should store this stuff in the fridge but it’s wise to keep a little out on the counter (because you never know when you will need to grab it and pour and cannot walk away from the stove top.)

Canola Oil – Please do not buy anything just labeled “vegetable oil.”  Be specific in your purchase.  I prefer canola because it’s quite versatile and goes well in anything I make where I do not specifically want the EVOO added in.  Plus, canola isn’t terrible for you like coconut.  Also, the flavor is light to nil.  That’s important!  Store it in your fridge.

Salt & Pepper – Sea Salt and pepper in a grinder.  Thanks.  Keep this out because if you’re like me you are handsy when it comes to these taste enhancers!

Spices – Stock up on these:  chili powder, paprika, cumin, ginger.  I also like to get a container of Italian Seasoning to have on hand at all times as well.  Always store spices in dark, cool, and dry areas.

Vinegar – I prefer balsamic, rice wine, and regular old white vinegar.  Everyone has apple cider vinegar, correct?  Place your vinegar in a cabinet out of the light to keep it happy.  Don’t worry about cloudiness or sediment in vinegar.

Grains – Rice, couscous, quinoa can all be stored in the freezer.  If your family eats a lot of these then do stock up and toss them in the old cryogenic part of the fridge.  If you are a pasta eater be happy that pasta is like honey and it never goes bad!

Sweeteners – Sugar is sugar.  You can buy raw sugar but sugar is still sugar.  No matter what kind it will not do you any favors but make you feel pretty good and pretty bad.  I don’t keep alternate sweeteners in my kitchen anymore.  Trust, I used to keep stevia like a champ but it was causing some headaches.  If you like it then go for it, sister!  I love to use honey as a sweetener so may I suggest you invest in some good and real honey!  We get our honey from a gentleman my husband works with.  It is so good.  I have a couple jars of off the comb and some still with the comb.  Remember honey never goes bad.

Dairy – I really agree with the thought behind if you are over the age of two you do not need whole milk.  However, in the kitchen whole milk is great for cooking.  Having said that I haven’t bought whole milk in ages so I try to keep 2% on hand for cooking.  Dairy allergies are understandable so here’s your fame claim almond milk!  Yogurt, though it is dairy, is one thing I buy weekly for my kids, husband, and even myself.  I am so bad in the dairy department that I have to force feed myself Greek yogurt.  (I cannot do traditional yogurt unless I freeze it.  Weird, yes.)  Cheese – well I’m a cheese snob.  The only exception is string cheese.  That I can slaughter.  Seriously, me eating string cheese is something no one should watch. Sometimes I savor it and pull the strings and sometimes I’m screaming get in my belly and going crazy.  When it comes to cheese I suggest you buy the good stuff.  Parmesan is worth spending more than usual because it is only good fresh.  Remember with cheese mold is nothing – you can cut it off and keep eating.  When you are cooking a Mexican or Hispanic dish buy queso fresco.  It’s the best stuff ever.  If you need shredded cheese then buy blocks and shred it yourself.  The pre shredded is coated in a waxy oily substance before it is bagged.  Gross.  Butter – buy butter or ghee but please do not buy margarine. Remember we want to eat real stuff not man made stuff.  When it comes to dairy you need not stock up.  Buy what you need for a week at a time.  Yes, you can freeze milk, butter, and cheese but really…I mean really.

Potatoes & Onions – Will keep in a cool, dark, dry place.  I buy a bag per month of each.  I have friends that keep them in the refrigerator.  I haven’t stored mine in there but she reports that they last longer before going bad or sprouting.

Beans & Nuts – There’s no need to stock up on these.  Buy what you need.  This is why:  Beans that you store for six months to a year will take longer to cook.  Nuts will get a bit stronger in taste (you can freeze them to reduce this issue!)  Just buy your beans as you go.

And this post is long.  I’m so sorry but I wanted to share this because I felt like a lot of people are more interested in cooking during the start of the year and why not give out some of my own little grocery tips for cooking in the kitchen!

Would you like a recipe?

shrimp n grits

The other Carolina is famous for their Shrimp ‘n Grits.  I love a good bowl of shrimp and grits but I also try to eat it a little bit healthier than it can traditionally be served.  I was playing around in the kitchen a few weeks ago and made a lighter shrimp and grits that my husband would appreciate more (he hates tomatoes and most times shrimp and grits is served in heavy tomato based sauce) and my kids would want to at least try.


1 1/4 cups of milk

1 1/4 cups of water

2T butter

1 cup of of stone ground grits

4 – 8 ounces of “turkey” kielbasa

1 onion chopped

1 green bell pepper chopped

3 celery stalks chopped

2 teaspoons of minced garlic

5 calmari tomatoes chopped or diced

Salt & Pepper 

Kitchen items you need for this:

Small sauce pan with lid

Small sautee pan

Spoons, spatula

  1.  In the small sauce pan (heat level medium high) pour your milk and water, and in a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil.  When it boils pour in your grits. Stir to reduce lumps.  Reduce heat down to a simmer, cover with the lid, and let them cook for about 15 minutes.
  2. In your sautee pan (heat medium high) place your butter.  When it has melted add in your turkey kielbasa.  Let it cook gingerly.  Then place in your onion, celery, and green pepper.  Let this cook until your veggies are soft.  It takes my vegetables about seven to eight minutes to get nice and soft on my stove top.
  3. Next up season your vegetables and kielbasa with some salt and pepper then place your tomatoes in the sautee pan.  Just mix them around a bit and then let them cook out.  The goal is to cook out the tomato juice (you won’t have much after chopping these guys.)  I let them cook for about three minutes.
  4. After the tomatoes are cooked and mixed in well add your shrimp and cook until they are nice and pink.  (Five minutes on my stove top.)
  5. Your grits should be cooked and ready to go into the bowl.  Grab four bowls, spoon grits into each bowl, top with your shrimp, kielbasa, vegetable goodness.

Eat up!  This is good!  My husband enjoyed it, my daughter ate it up, and my son ate all his shrimp HA!

All real food – all good for you!


I’m going to link this post up over at The Blended Blog today!  Check it out!






10 thoughts on “HGHG: Kitchen Staples + Not So Low Country Shrimp & Grits Recipe”

  1. My mom keeps her potatoes and onions in the fridge and it weirds me out for some reason. I keep them in a basket at the way back of my pantry. I never knew to keep olive oil in the fridge! I keep a bit on hand for “raw” purposes like salads and what not and use avocado oil for cooking because of smoke point. Thanks for the tips!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree on the whole milk thing too. The hubby thinks it’s delicious and I am all like Ummm…. NO! I have bought it before and just added water to mine. I’m not sure how that really works out for me, but it didn’t taste terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I could not live with out cumin and chili powder! haha…I feel like I use it almost every day. I’ve swapped cooking with milk in some dishes for whole fat coconut milk and once I found the right one that wasn’t sweet it has been a win.

    Liked by 1 person

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