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How to Make a Healthy Meal from Your Bodega
1. Look for whole foods. Stick to things with three to five ingredients on the label, and none that you can’t identify. Gravitate towards items with natural color: brown rice, yellow bananas, red tomatoes.
2. Avoid anything that comes with its own sauce.
3. Find some herbs or spices. Just one can take your flavors a long way. You’ll have the best luck if you buy ethnic ingredients in keeping with the ethnicity of the bodega owners. Mexican? Tortillas. Indian? Pappadam.
4. Read labels. Anything called “juice drink” where the first three ingredients are water, corn syrup and color is not something you should actually drink. Check the nutrition panel to see if there’s anything useful in there, like protein or vitamins.
5. Keep a well-stocked pantry at home so that if you do have to grocery shop at a bodega, you can still drizzle some fancy olive oil on top and make it all taste better.Ella Nemcova is the Founder & Chief Faux Grapreneur of Regal Vegan Inc., makers of Faux Gras.