Shannon Crocker, MSc RD is a registered dietitian, avid cook and foodie with a passion for real food based in Canada. 

 As a writer, presenter, media spokesperson and kitchen coach, she translates science-based nutrition information into real life food advice to help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Shannon is a nutrition expert for Toronto Star’s regular food column, The Dish, which offers insight into popular restaurant fare. In the spin-off book Menu Confidential, Shannon provided expert review and has a two-page feature with tips for healthy grocery shopping. At home, she shares her love of good food with her family but battles her husband and two young sons about what constitutes a serving of vegetables.

Follow Shannon on Twitter @shancrockerRD, visit her website at www.shannoncrocker.com and watch video podcasts at www.goodfoodcast.com.  

Where do you shop for food?

I live around the corner from a large grocery store, so it’s super convenient for most of my basic staple food items. I buy all my meat from a local butcher, who raises cattle on his property just a couple miles from my house. For specialty items, I head to a tiny family-owned grocery store that has been in operation for over 100 years! In the summer months, I head to the local Farmers’ Market for fresh produce, local cheese, bread and the best honey ever!

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Do you love food shopping or dread it?

I love it! I could be in the store for hours. My husband has thought of sending out a search party for me at times. I actually seek out grocery stores when I head to the U.S. for holidays—it’s nice to go through the aisles to check out all the different products that we don’t have in Canada.

How often do you shop?

I usually shop two times a week plus a mini-shop (usually for milk and fresh berries). I have a small fridge and so I try not to overload it… but I do, pretty much all the time. There’s just not enough room for all the veggies and fruit I like to have in there!

How do you plan your weekly meals? Create a spreadsheet of fly by the seat of your pants? 

I’m somewhere in between. During the school year, when our schedule is more consistent, I plan for 3-5 days at a time. In the summer, I have almost no plan at all.

What is the most coveted food in the fridge right now for each member of the household? Why?

My husband’s loving the fresh, in-season berries and yogurt – he eats that for breakfast every day. Both my boys say they’re coveting the old cheddar cheese – they love the sharp taste. As for me, I think I’d have to say the natural peanut butter and crisp, tart local apples – I eat that pretty much daily right now as a snack.

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What is the oldest item in the fridge right now?

I have a bottle of champagne that someone bought us as a house-warming gift about 5 years ago. I keep forgetting it’s there!

Do you believe in leftovers?

Who doesn’t? Seriously, that’s one kitchen habit that makes life so much easier. I love making meals that I can reinvent into lunch or dinner for the next day.

What convenience product can you not live without?

Low sodium broth and bottles of strained tomatoes… oops that’s two. I use them often for starting soups and sauces.

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What cooking utensil/piece of equipment/appliance do you live for?

My blender. I bought a really good one last year and use it almost daily for smoothies, soups, avocado pudding, grinding seeds and oats… you name it!

How have your cooking/shopping habits changed over the last 10 years?

The biggest change is that about 5 years ago, I started buying all my fresh meat from a local butcher, and that means shopping at two separate spots each week. Plus, I have two growing boys so I go to the store to pick up milk a lot more than I used to 10 years ago.

What was the last meal you cooked from scratch?

I made dinner last night, which was grilled chicken, corn on the cob and Mexican chopped salad with avocado, fresh tomatoes, and lots of garlic.

What was the last meal you cooked from convenience products?

Last week, cheese tortellini in a light broth-wine sauce with baby kale and grape tomatoes.

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If one person could cook for you tonight, who would it be?

Joel Robuchon. My husband took me to Vegas for a milestone birthday (a girl never tells!) and we had a 10-course degustation menu at his restaurant in the MGM Grand. It was absolutely fabulous! My husband still says that the amuse-bouche was better than most restaurant food he’s had anywhere else.

 

Thanks so much, Shannon! 

 

If you would like to be featured on Inside the Fridge, please contact Aimme at aimme@robinplotkin.com!

 

 

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