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Healthy Tahoe: Safer grocery shopping with COVID-19 concerns

Kristine Travis, MS RDN
Veggie frittata
Getty Images | Monkey Business

While getting groceries to make food at home is essential, grocery shopping can be a high-contact situation these days. Passing by people in the aisles, touching food items that have possibly been touched by many other people, and navigating the checkout line could all increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and at the very least, cause extra stress. Fortunately, many local retailers are offering online ordering, curbside pick-up and even grocery delivery.

Before starting an online order for groceries, make a meal plan for at least one week ahead, including what ingredients you’ll need. In this plan, identify breakfasts, lunches or dinners whose leftovers can be stretched into other meals. With your meals planned, and a list of supplies and ingredients in hand, you’re ready to hop online for some virtual grocery shopping.

Here in Tahoe, Raley’s offers delivery services to your home. You can also use Instacart, the online grocery delivery service, to shop stores like Safeway and Smart & Final online.

Some small businesses like Overland Meat & Seafood Company offer customers the option of curbside pickup with orders placed over the phone. While living in a remote mountain community, we can still take advantage of these safer and more advanced methods to get our groceries.

Home delivery offers the lowest person-to-person interaction for grocery shopping. While retailers may have a service fee for delivery, it is a small price to pay if it helps to ease your anxiety and limit community transmission of the coronavirus.

Continue to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after unpacking your groceries. Discard disposable grocery bags, wipe surfaces of packaging with a household disinfectant and wash thoroughly all fruits and vegetables.

Excited to grocery shop online and receive your first delivery? Here’s a frittata recipe adapted from chef Mark Bittman, filled with vegetables which your body needs to maintain a healthy immune system. Add these ingredients to your online shopping cart, and use leftovers from your week’s meal plan to create this crowd-pleasing dish at home.

More-Vegetable-than-Egg Frittata

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil or butter

½ onion, sliced (optional)

Salt and ground pepper to taste

4-6 cups of any chopped raw, barely cooked, or previously roasted vegetables

¼ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped, or, ⅛ cup pesto

3-4 eggs

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

Put oil or butter in a skillet, turn to medium; when it slides across the pan easily when tilted, add onion (if using) and cook, sprinkling with salt and pepper, until soft, 3-5 minutes. If adding sliced root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, add now and cook about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the rest of the vegetables and cook till just starting to brown.

Turn heat to low and add the herbs or pesto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until herbs are wilted.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a bowl with salt and pepper and the cheese if using. Pour over vegetables, distributing evenly. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

Allow to cook until eggs are barely set, about 10 minutes. Put the pan in the oven on broil (if oven-safe) for a minute or two to set the top of frittata, if needed.

Cut into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.

Kristine Travis, MS RDN, a registered dietitian at Barton Memorial Hospital.


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