Shopping Guide

Learn more about Timaree's favorite ingredients used in her recipes! A note from Timaree: "I believe that our own gardens should be our first source for ingredients and then second, local farmers markets! When I do buy 'non-local' produce, I choose U.S. grown, organic, when possible."

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are one of the most nutrient dense sources of calcium! They can be purchased in bulk bins, bagged or in bottles. I keep them in my freezer and use them in a variety of recipes as well as in place of tahini (sesame seed “butter” – expensive). Black sesame seeds are fun to use and typically a bit lower in fat content than white sesame...

Chia seeds

Chia seeds provide protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, are flavorless and have the ability to thicken when stirred/blended with a liquid (in a dressing/sauce, to make a chia “egg”, or in a smoothie). I use them in many recipes They are sold in bulk and bagged and come in black and white varieties (no difference in nutrition – just color). They are very shelf-stable and don’t need to be refrigerated or frozen. They can be used whole or ground, unlike flax, which must be ground (and kept cool) to protect the omega-3 fatty acids and provide an opportunity for your body to access...

Sea vegetables – Seaweed – nori snacks and dulse

Seaweed snacks made from nori are showing up at many stores, from the local supermarket to Costco. Sea vegetables, including “seaweed” are very nutrient rich, especially when it comes to minerals like iodine. Dulse is another type of sea veggie that can be found powdered. Unopened packages should be put into air-tight zip-top bags so they retain their crispy texture. Both impart a “flavor of the sea” to...

Sausage – plant-based, store-bought options

There are several plant-based sausages available in the refrigerated area in the produce aisle at many grocery stores. While I don’t typically eat them (since they include oil), they are a “sometimes food” for my husband and kids, with one link flavoring dinner for all three of them (some of their favorite Pasta Foodie Bar combinations). Be sure to avoid varieties that include “isolated protein” as an ingredient. They freeze very well and Trader Joe’s tends to have the best price....

Aminos (Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and Coconut Aminos)

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and Coconut Aminos are flavorful sauces that are fun to experiments with. Coconut Aminos has a slightly sweet flavor, but 0 g of sugar, is made from coconut sap and contains ~113 mg of sodium per teaspoon. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos contains 320 mg of sodium per teaspoon. Coconut Aminos can be expensive, with the best price I’ve found...

Soy Sauce or Tamari

I buy “regular” soy sauce or tamari, instead of low-sodium and simply dilute it with water (this is cheaper way to go). Both soy sauce and tamari are made from fermented soy beans, with soy sauce incorporating wheat and tamari made with very little to no wheat (check the label if you have eliminated...

Salsa (store-bought)

While I love making my own salsa (See my Salsa Foodie Bar in the book), when I do buy it, this is one of my favorites (Costco).    

Curry Paste, Red Thai

This is a very taste paste without any scary ingredients! A little goes a long way in a soup or other savory dish. Refrigerate once opened.

Rice – Brown – Jasmin

Since all white rice starts off as brown (in the whole grain version), every variety that you enjoy can be found as brown rice (Jasmin/Basmati, etc.). I keep it in my freezer.  

Chard – Rainbow

This gorgeous rainbow chard was at our local Farmers’ Market, but our local grocery stores carry it as well.

Potatoes – sweet – orange colored flesh

These sweet potatoes are delicious and commonly labeled as “yams” – though true yams are very large roots, can weigh over a hundred of pounds, are white in color, and commonly grown in Africa, Asia or the Caribbean.  If you plan to roast them whole, but have had these orange colored flesh sweet potatoes and thought they were a bit stringy, try the light colored flesh varieties – as their texture is ultra creamy. Enjoy an easy recipe for Baked Sweet Potato Fries from The Foodie Bar Way or my website ( Experiment with steaming them for a few minutes (just slightly tender – not fully cooked), before seasoning them and putting them into the oven to get crispy. Keep them in a cool, dark cabinet away from onions until you are ready to use them, checking them daily to make sure they don’t soften and begin to...

Potatoes – Sweet – Light colored flesh

When many people think about sweet potatoes, they might picture a bright orange dish on the Thanksgiving table. However, these sweet potatoes with light colored flesh are VERY creamy when cooked (the orange colored flesh can be a little stringy, and are great when cubed or cut for roasted “fries”). If you haven’t tried them – do so right away! They are the star of our Southwestern Loaded Sweet Potato recipe in The Foodie Bar...

Potatoes – purple

Purple potatoes are bursting with phytonutrients, ready to protect your cells! These are available at our local supermarket, year-round. I will put a few pictures of whole purple sweet potatoes up once I get an opportunity to get to a Farmers’ Market in Sacramento, where I have purchased them in the past. Keep them at room temperature in a dark cabinet (away from onions), until you are ready to use them. The color is...

Pickles – (sandwich slices)

Start looking at ingredient labels when shopping for pickles and you’ll find that nearly all varieties at local supermarkets use food coloring. However, Trader Joe’s organic kosher pickles do not. Keep them in the refrigerator once opened.


It seems that relish and peperoncini’s are very difficult to find without added food coloring. Mezzetta is a very popular brand and has a “natural” line – called “Jeff’s Naturals” – so food coloring! Yippee!! I believe that I found these at Sprouts (supermarket). Ask your local market to carry them.  Keep refrigerated once...

Peanut Butter

Your peanut butter should have 1-2 ingredients – peanuts (and maybe salt). That is it! No other ingredients are needed! I usually buy peanut butter, at Trader Joe’s (organic if they have it in stock). We like the chunky variety. If you are used to the “no-stir” kind, full of unwanted ingredients, don’t worry – this will only take mixing it initially, then keep it...

Noodles – Shirataki

Shirataki noodles are extremely low in calories and made from either soybeans/tofu or Japanese konjac yam. They are usually sold in a bag filled with water, in the refrigerated area of the produce aisle (with the tofu, wonton wrappers, miso, etc.) and will last unopened for up to a year. They are flavorless, but may have a “fishy” odor when the package is opened. Rinse the noodles well in a strainer or sieve and then dry the noodles by placing them in a dry pan over medium heat until they “squeak.” Then they can be used in a variety of recipes from a fun Pasta Foodie Bar to rice paper rolls (will be in the next Foodie Bar...

Pasta – You have options!

My Pasta Foodie Bar includes many different noodle options – some of which are pictured below: Whole Grain (durum wheat), Edamame & Mung Bean, Edamame, Quinoa & Corn. Also look for noodles made from black beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and lentil. The ingredient list may surprise you… (some only have 1...

Parsley – curly – fresh

I buy the biggest bunch of parsley I can find each week for my Crazy Salad Base (in The Foodie Bar Way or on my website When I get it home from the market, I plunge it into a big bowl of ice water and then remove the large stems and use my salad spinner to remove excess moisture before wrapping it in paper towel and puttin it into a produce bag. Italian parsley (flat leaves) also works in nearly any recipes that calls for parsley. The exception that I can think of is Tabouli (see video of me making it on TV) – I have only made that with curly parsley, as it has a lighter texture when finely chopped than does Italian...

Pine nuts

Unless I find them for a great deal, I only keep a small amount of pine nuts in my freezer (they can be expensive) – use walnuts in their place. (Trader Joe’s also sells pine nuts).

Cashews – raw

I buy raw cashew pieces (they are cheaper than whole cashews in the picture, as this store didn’t offer that option) at Trader Joe’s or at my local supermarket it bulk. Keep them in the freezer. I do not buy nuts that are roasted in oil.


When I can’t find local almonds at our Farmers’ Market, I usually purchase them at Trader Joe’s. I store all nuts in the freezer.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is sold in bags, bulk or round containers as flakes or powder (either will work for the recipes in The Foodie Bar Way), at supermarkets like Sprout’s, as well as from online retailers and has a nutty/cheesy flavor. This is not to be confused with active yeast (for bread making) or brewer’s yeast (a byproduct of beer production). Store it at room temperature. This is a MUST HAVE ingredient for making Our Favorite Cheezie Sauce (incredible). Different brands have slightly different flavor profiles, so try different brands, (bulk section makes it easy to buy a small amount), and find the one that you enjoy the...

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are tasty and a phenomenal source of the mineral Selenium. In fact, you wouldn’t want to eat too many, and put yourself at risk for developing a toxicity! 4 a month (at one sitting) have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. You can also make my Brazil Nut Parm recipe and sprinkle on your favorite pasta dish. We keep them in the freezer (as we do with all nuts, and most whole grains and seeds). Trader Joe’s has a good price and sometimes you can also find these in bulk, but make sure they are fresh (and don’t taste...

Almond Butter

I use almond butter (either creamy or chunky) in our Granola Foodie Bar and Scot’s Granola. I either purchase it at Trader Joe’s or Costco for the best price. Keep in refrigerated after opening.


My daughter and I love all different types of mustard! There is wonderful research that even just a pinch of mustard powder added to greens can boost the health promoting power! Be sure that you purchase a mustard without any food dyes. Trader Joe’s has quite a selection of very reasonably priced mustards. Once open, keep in the...

Mushrooms – fresh

Fresh mushrooms can be purchased at any grocery store, though I buy a 24 oz container of them at Costco each week for my Garlic Mushrooms (recipe in The Foodie Bar Way) and on my website ( When choosing white button mushrooms, always look for the package with the largest mushrooms, (most health-promoting power). If I am lucky enough to find them at Farmers’ Market (see below), then I certainly pick some up. Keep them cool (right into the fridge, not left on counter), to maximize nutrient content.      ...


Molasses is a rich source of iron and calcium and I often add include it in my Oatmeal Foodie Bar and on my Pumpkin Oatmeal ( I keep it in my pantry at room temperature and it lasts for...

Miso – paste (refrigerated)

Miso paste is typically made from fermented soy, but can also be made from other legumes (chickpeas, etc.). While there are different varieties, any will work for the recipes in the book. I usually find in the refrigerated section of the produce area near other related products (tofu, wonton wrappers, shirataki noodles, etc.) Keep it in the refrigerator and it will last for at least a year! You can use it in dressings and several recipes in The Foodie Bar Way, as well as make your own miso soup (will be in my next Foodie Bar cookbook). Be sure to choose organic or non-GMO miso.  ...

Marjoram – dried herb

Marjoram is a dried herb related to Oregano (but with a milder flavor). I typically buy it at Cost Plus World Market, but can also be found at a local supermarket.

Marinara (tomato) sauce

Growing up in an Italian family, we always made our “red sauce” from scratch, so I am pretty picky. While I love to make my Quick Tomato Sauce (in The Foodie Bar Way), I always have a few jars of Trader Joe’s Organic Spaghetti Sauce with Mushrooms on hand. Not only is the flavor great, but the ingredients are organic, it does not contain any oil (quite uncommon), the mushroom pieces are super tiny (a plus for my son who doesn’t like to eat mushrooms when he can see them) and it sells for less than...

Maple Syrup – the real stuff!

Although I prefer to use Date Syrup (see recipe in The Foodie Bar Way) and on my website (, when I do use maple syrup, I made sure that it is not a “maple flavored imposter” made with coloring and flavor agents. Costco seems to have the best...

Liquid Smoke

I use a few drops of Liquid Smoke in a few recipes. A small bottle will last a VERY long time and does not need to be refrigerated. If you are interested – here is some interesting info/research about liquid...

Lentils – Red Split

Red split lentils are great in the Seasoned Lentils recipe, or in a marinara sauce, as they get very soft and completely lose their shape. Do not use these red split lentils in the Cauliflower Lentil Filling recipe (Nacho Foodie Bar), as the texture (very soft) will disappoint...

Lentils – green – whole

While there are a variety of lentils, these green whole lentils are perfect for the Cauliflower Lentil Filling in The Foodie Bar Way’s Nacho Foodie Bar, because they hold their shape. Do not substitute red split lentils, as the texture (very soft) will disappoint you. Red split lentils are great in the Seasoned Lentils recipe in the cookbook, or in a marinara sauce, as they get very soft and completely lose their...

Jicama – fresh

Jicama is one of my favorite veggies! I love making my Jicama Chips (in The Foodie Bar Way cookbook and on my website – Be sure to peel the skin completely, including the layer underneath the outer peel- texture slightly resembles a light version of the outside of a coconut. The jicama should be very hard and heavy for it’s size. I have never had luck with jicama covered in a waxy coating, so find a grocery store that sells them without any wax. Depending on the weather, whole jicama will typically be ok on the counter for a few days, but as soon as you cut into it, the pieces will need to be kept...

Italian Seasoning – store-bought

Costco started selling larger containers of organic Italian seasoning. Although I typically make my own (recipe in The Foodie Bar Way and on my website, this is nice to have on...

Oregano – dried herb

I buy organic oregano at Trader Joe’s or Cost Plus World Market and sprinkle it on my salads, into dressings and in a bunch of other recipes!

Mint – fresh herb

I buy fresh organic mint every week, either at the supermarket, or at Trader Joe’s (if I am planning a trip there). I pop open the containers and am careful to get the best looking leaves, as some have molded in the packages. The organic mint that I have purchased at Trader Joe’s always seems to last longer, esp. when I keep it in the crisper drawer in the garage...

Basil – dried herb

I typically purchase dried basil at either Trader Joe’s or Cost Plus World Market, very reasonably priced, though it is also available at local supermarkets, as well.


Hazelnuts (a.k.a. Filberts) can be found bulk at some supermarkets (Sprouts in our area), as well as in one pound bags at Trader Joe’s. Keep them in the freezer, (for longest life: if you have a vacuum sealer – make small packets to store frozen).

Mixed Greens – (a.k.a. Salad Greens)

I buy triple washed organic salad greens (16 oz container) every week for my Crazy Salad Base. I am very picky when I choose the container, and every once in a while, I will find leaves that have already started to decay. I will typically throw away a few leaves, but if many are in bad shape, I will return the container and get a replacement. (Yes, this is a hassle, but less frustrating than picking through each leaf and wondering if my lunch salads are going to go bad before I get to enjoy...

Kale – Red (or Purple) – fresh bunch

Kale is also available with purple stems, with the color also integrated into the leaves. Color, especially deep purples, let us know that these greens are full of important phytonutrients that protect our cells. Same procedure with these – rinse to remove any visible soil, soak in ice water bath to remove additional debris, then spin in salad spinner to remove excess moisture before wrapping in paper towel/clean dish cloth and refrigerating in a bag in the crisper drawer.  This type of kale, along with a bunch of lacinato kale, are two key components of my Crazy Salad...

Kale – Lacinato (a.k.a. Dinosaur) – fresh bunch

Lacinato or Dinosaur kale is typically very dark green and the leaves are shaped like large feathers with a very bumpy texture. They are easy to clean and chop and are a staple in my weekly Crazy Salad Base. After they soak in a large bowl of ice cold water, I remove much of the water by ripping the long leaves in half and placing them in my salad spinner. If I am not going to use them right away, I’ll wrap them in paper towel and then into a produce bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. I do not remove the stem before stacking them up on top of one another on my cutting board and then finely chopping/shredding (goal: confetti...

Mango – Organic – Frozen

Fruit will have the highest level of phytonutrients when it is perfectly ripe, so buying frozen mango only makes sense (as the mangoes sold fresh in the store are picked unripe, or else they wouldn’t travel well).

Edamame – frozen – ready to cook

I buy organic edamame (soy beans) out of their shells for our Un-Fried Rice Foodie Bar. They are ready after being cooked in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.

Peas – frozen

Peas are a great source of protein and an extremely tasty addition to any salad (you’ve might have been missing out all of this time)! I keep several bags of organic peas in the freezer, so I can add them to any recipe on the fly.

Mango – Dried

Trader Joe’s sells dried mango (without sulfur or sugar). They are chewy and delicious!

Pineapple – dried

Trader Joe’s sells wonderful dried pineapple, without any sulfur or added sugar. I like using this dried pineapple when making a carrot cake version of my oatmeal cookies!

Raisins – organic

Costco sells organic raisins (no sugar added) in a box, which contains 2 bags. They are a staple in my husband’s Crazy Lunch Salad!

Pears – organic

Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I always check to see if they have any bags of organic pears (2 pounds/bag). I let them ripen on the counter until the stem end gives to a little pressure and then I keep them in the bottom drawer of the fridge.

Fruit Spread – organic strawberry and raspberry

Trader Joe’s sells these tasty organic fruit spreads that are sweetened with juice, unlike most jam/spreads (sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or white sugar). Use a clean knife, being careful not to contaminate the spread in the jar (esp. with a knife used to spread nut butter or cut...


Ginger root can be purchased fresh in the produce aisle and kept in the freezer, or powdered in the spice/baking aisle.

Goji Berries – dried

I add goji berries to my Crazy Lunch Salad and Apple, Chia, Goji Oatmeal recipe. They are sold at many grocery stores with the other dried fruit or in the natural foods area. However, I typically buy them online.


Quinoa can be purchased at most grocery stores, in boxes, bags, and in the bulk bins. Costco also sells 4-5 pound bags of uncooked quinoa. I keep the quinoa in the freezer. (Trader Joe’s also sells quinoa.)

Collard Greens – fresh

I can always count on our Farmers’ Market and our local grocery store to have gorgeous, fresh collard greens. These are perfect to steam and use as a wrap!

Kale – Curly – organic

There are several types of kale, this one is called “green curly” kale and is part of my Crazy Salad Base. (Trader Joe’s also carried kale, already chopped, but the pieces aren’t small enough for my salad mix, so I would have to “re-chop” them, but they are perfect for soups or to...

Frozen Greens (Kale and Spinach)

I always have a few bags of organic greens tucked away in my freezer to have ready to add to any recipe! Be sure to check out my tips for using a food processor to chop these greens while still frozen, it makes all of the difference! (Scrambled Tacos… coming to your kitchen soon!) Any brand of organic frozen greens will work (including store...

Pepitas/Pumpkin Seeds

Raw Pumpkin Seeds (also known as Pepitas) – buy in bulk and keep in freezer. Sprouted pepitas are great if you can find them (Costco used to carry them).