We’re happy to spend a Saturday cooking our way through every cookbook on the shelf. But when it comes to casual everyday eats holistic health coach, Pamela Salzman, is our go-to gal.

We’ve been taking cooking classes and grabbing healthful recipes from Pamela for years. Whether a grab-and-go gluten-free breakfast bar or a beautifully balanced salad, Pamela’s dishes are clean, practical and ones we come back to time and time again.

We asked Pamela to participate in our ‘In My Fridge‘ series, where we explore the healthy kitchens of wellness pros. Grab your grocery list and take notes! We’re getting inspired by her need-to-make nutritious snack ideas and best tips for buying ingredients…

Always in my fridge:

Homemade almond milk, free-range eggs, homemade vinaigrette, loads of veggies, a jar of peeled garlic, hot sauce, nuts and an assortment of whole grain flours (kept in the fridge to protect from oxidation).

7 recipe staples always on hand:

Cooked grains like brown rice and quinoa, frozen fruit for smoothies, unrefined olive oil and coconut oil, raw apple cider vinegar, homemade veggie or chicken stock, maple syrup, tamari.

Must-have munchies:

Dates stuffed with nut butter and raw cacao nibs, rice cakes or toasted sprouted bread with avocado, apple with nut butter and flaky salt, jicama and guacamole, frozen sweet cherries.

Fave condiments:

Maldon salt, hemp seeds (so good in salads, on toast, on smoothie bowls), sriracha or Gjusta fermented chile sauce, gomasio with seaweed, Herbamare.

Ingredient that makes everything taste better:

Flaky sea salt, crushed red peppers, lemon juice, good quality grass-fed butter.

Go-to proteins:

Wild salmon, free-range eggs, cooked legumes, quinoa.

Best bargain:

Ten percent case discount at Whole Foods, Thrive Market private label goods, bulk bins, making vinaigrette and chicken stock from scratch.

Best label-reading tip:

You have to read the ingredient list! Look for sugar, which can come in multiple forms, MSG derivatives and just avoid ingredients you can’t pronounce, except acai and quinoa. Check the serving size and sugar content. You might drink that bottle of juice in one sitting, but it probably has two (or more) servings worth.

Fave veggie + what you make with it:

Cauliflower! I think my cooking class students wouldn’t mind if I took a break from cauliflower recipes, but there’s nothing cauliflower cannot do and it is so nutritious. I rice it, roast it, puree it, cut it into “steaks,” add it frozen to smoothies and turn it into patties and pizza crusts.

Must-have pantry staples:

Ancient grain or gluten-free pasta, grains like quinoa, brown rice and barley, maple syrup, Jovial organic tomatoes in glass jars, unrefined oils (olive, coconut, avocado), ghee, onions, sweet potatoes, Vital Choice canned wild salmon, tons of ground spices (faves are cumin cinnamon, cayenne, chipotle powder, turmeric).

Craziest thing I buy:

Watermelon radishes – so much more expensive than regular radishes, but so gorgeous. They just make me happy! These are only crazy because I put them in our smoothies: sprouted tofu, frozen vegetables – cauliflower, peas, spinach and kale.

Sweets and other indulgences:

I have an unfortunate sweet tooth, so I try to keep a minimal amount of sweets in my house. Always on hand: organic dark chocolate, dairy-free ice cream, dried persimmons from the farmers market, Lakanto to sweeten smoothies.

Dairy or non-dairy faves:

Good quality feta from the farmers market, aged Manchego cheese, Pecorino and anything from Kite Hill, which makes amazing almond milk-based ricotta and cream cheese.

Skip labels that read:

Low-fat or light. Keep in mind, the best foods don’t come with labels.

Favorite splurge:

Sparkling rosé.

For last minute entertaining:

Quick crudités and cheese board with truffle marcona almonds and olives, whole roasted fish (so much easier than it looks), roasted or grilled seasonal veggies and mixed berries with dark chocolate shaved on top.

Favorite places to shop:

My local farmers market in Manhattan Beach. It is the perfect size and has great, dedicated farmers with really fresh produce. I also love GROW, a local grocery store with hard-to-find products like Rancho Gordo beans and Organic Pastures raw milk. And they deliver! ThriveMarket.com for non-perishables at discount prices. Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for everything else.

Simple go-to recipe:

Sauté garlic and crushed red pepper in olive oil or ghee. Add whatever vegetables you have, diced up and sauté until tender. Add a cooked grain or legume with salt and pepper and warm through. Finish with fresh basil and Pecorino or a dollop of pesto. Other variations will be in my upcoming cookbook, Kitchen Matters!

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