Millennial Grocery Guide

Sweet Chili Salmon Bowl

This Sweet Chili Salmon Bowl is a healthy, quick, and easy weeknight meal. |

How this guide works: Ingredients are broken down into approximate location in the grocery store, by order that you'd usually purchase them (start in produce, then head over to dry goods, and stop by the seafood counter). There is also a cost of ingredients scale ranging from $ (very cheap) to $$$$ (extremely expensive - I'm not sure any of my recipes even have an ingredient like this yet). 

About Millennial Staples:
These are items you should always keep stocked in your fridge, freezer, or pantry. It will make throwing together a quick dinner easy and simplify grocery shopping. It allows you to purchase food on sale, and all these items are extremely unlikely to go bad before you use them!

From Your Pantry

  • Salt, pepper, and olive oil


  • Broccoli $ Fresh or frozen will work - you're doing a simple steam. Substitute: Any other veggie you like - try snap peas or bok choy!
  • Edamame $ Fresh or frozen will work. I buy mine from Trader Joe's frozen and quickly boil them. Substitute: Any other veggie you like.

Dry Goods

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice $ Millennial Pantry Staple 1/2 cup dry rice will yield 1 cup cooked. Substitute: Any other base you'd like - try brown rice, jasmine rice, or quinoa.
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar $ Add a little bit of flavor to your rice. Optional
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) Sweet Chili Sauce $$ My mom swears by the Iron Chef brand. It's just the right amount of heat without being too spicy. Any brand will work, though. If you're feeling adventurous, you can make your own Sweet Chili sauce.

Seafood Counter

  • 1 serving of salmon $$ for frozen, $$$ for fresh I could write a lot about buying fish - and I will in a future blog post! If you subscribe to the blog you can read it! But for now, the short version: Fish can be expensive. But it is also a healthy protein source. And you can buy it smart, which is what I do and will teach you to do, too! My advice is to buy frozen, pre-vacuum sealed fish (most commonly found in the freezers next to the seafood counter, or the general freezer section of the grocery store, but not in the "fresh" seafood section itself). You can defrost in single servings (great for millennials). It took me a long time and a lot of research to be convinced that frozen fish is the better choice for millennials - unless you are buying fresh, never frozen fish, which is 1) rare in the industry 2) harder to get access to 3) too damn expensive. I will admit that for this recipe I got fresh fish from a fish market in Boston - it was definitely a treat yourself purchase but we've been really good about our grocery budget and not eating out so we were excited for this dinner! If you're buying fresh fish, be sure to clarify that the fish has never been frozen. For this recipe, I picked up my salmon from the fish counter at the Boston Public Market. It's sushi grade fish, so the flavor is so fresh and a world of difference from salmon that has been previously frozen and re-thawed at the typical grocery store seafood counter. I'm not saying you have to buy your salmon straight from the source (though it's worth it if you can), but I definitely recommend thinking twice about where you're buying your fish - buying fish that remained frozen or was never frozen in the first place are your two best bets. If you're really into food knowledge like me, check out this article for a primer on buying salmon.