By Sue Knorr
But what do you really eat? This is the universal question asked time and time again, both by my friends and by people who are new to the Zone way of life. What better way to find out than to take a quick tour of my refrigerator? Let's be honest, success in the Zone really comes down to the foods you choose to eat every day. And, speaking of honesty, I'm going to give it to you straight. This is somewhat of an act of bravery I'm about to embark on. I don't know exactly what is filling every distant corner of my 26.6-cubic-foot, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, but we're about to find out.
Our tour today begins on the top shelf of the refrigerator where right smack in front we see a bottle of Dr. Sears Zone SeaHealth Plus (great stuff!). Surrounding that are some unsweetened low-carbohydrate chocolate soymilk, chicken broth, leftover tuna salad, olives, a jar of minced garlic, guacamole and pasta sauce, which I use to top some homemade tofu and zucchini lasagna. By the way, more than three-quarters of our food is organic: The fish is wild caught, and almost all of the meat is raised without the use of antibiotics. At the back of the shelf are raw almonds, slivered almonds, almond butter, a bag of unsalted diced macadamia nuts (they make a delicious topping for baked haddock), kosher dill pickles, apple cider vinegar, feta, low-fat plain yogurt, and an open box of baking soda. Have to keep the environment fresh in there!
Moving on to the middle shelves, there are several packages of various brands of non-GMO reduced-fat tofu. Tofu mashed with a little lemon juice is a nice substitute for the ricotta in lasagna. It's also excellent for adding some protein to a fruit and yogurt shake. Now things are turning a little scary back there under my make-shift extra shelf, which is really an elevated cooling rack I no longer have need for.
After saying goodbye to a few leftovers, it looks like smooth sailing where I keep the peppered uncured turkey bacon, sliced reduced-fat cheeses, cottage cheese, salsa, and a staple at our house, an absolutely-to-die-for mashed cauliflower. The secret is to lightly steam the cauliflower florets, add a generous amount of plain yogurt and minimal seasonings. When you think it's pureed enough, puree it some more. Mm-mmm good! These two shelves finish up with a can of premium crabmeat, smoked salmon, hummus, fresh fennel bulbs, zucchini, three dozen eggs, and a small squirt jar of real mayo for those times when nothing else will do but real mayo.
Now onto the fruit and veggie bins, where we have oranges, red raspberries, pears, peaches, onions, red peppers, avocados, baby bella mushrooms, more zucchini, eggplant, lettuce, and few small potatoes. I, yes, that's me, the Zone girl for almost 18 years now, made a real potato salad for the 4th of July. Next, we can't forget the door, a catch all for the overflow. It holds some 1% milk, low-fat cream cheese, a stick of butter, whipped light cream, deli-style turkey, more reduced-fat cheese, soy mozzarella, mustard, ketchup, pure maple syrup, two heads of cauliflower, and to add a little island flair, one Red Stripe beer, my husband's favorite from his Peace Corps days in Jamaica.
The freezer section is a feast in itself. Up top are my remaining cherished all-but-extinct Zone foods, which include a few pizza crusts, bagels and cinnamon buns among them. Traveling south we come to the bags of blueberries, raspberries, cherry and berry mix and frozen banana chunks used for my ultimate breakfast, an anti-inflammatory chocolate, berry and banana smoothie, aptly named brownie batter by one of our daughters. Ok, I confess, there are also 2 boxes of "Gone Bananas", chocolate covered banana slices. Like it says on the package, "One bite at a time!" Everyone has to indulge a little bit. Next come the ingredients at the heart of many of our meals, chicken tenders, veggie sausage patties, salmon fillets, haddock fillets, flounder, shrimp, seafood mix (calamari, shrimp and scallops), fat-free ground turkey breast and grass-fed ground beef. Oops, that package of shrimp has definitely been in there for a while. Last but certainly not least is the freezer door, complete with bags of grilled asparagus, green beans, deli-style ham, French onion soup, chili lime chicken burgers, grated Parmesan, another box of baking soda and a collection of ice packs to use for everything from keeping your lunch cool to soothing a bump on the head.
Hopefully this has given you a few ideas for you next meal or trip to the grocery store. I think I'll take one of those boxes of "Gone Bananas" out of the freezer now, but before I do, here's one last thought. What's in your fridge?