At the Checkout

Name: Laura Martinjak Store: Save-On-Foods, Southpoint Exchange (3033 152nd Street, Surrey) Items: Bagged veggies, Earthbound Farm organic spring mix Where it’s headed: To make a stir-fry with either chicken or tofu, to go over either rice or noodles, before she heads off to her son’s hockey game. To drink: “We drink a lot of water.” Never buys: Pop, and “anything with hydrogenated oils”. Guilty pleasures: “Chocolate and potato chips, but only ones with no trans fats.” Childhood favourites: “I love making lasagna, and I have always really enjoyed tofu.” On grocery shopping: “I don’t come here on Sundays because it’s always too busy; I prefer to go when it’s quiet.”
Name: Kara SolmundsonStore: MarketPlace IGA (110–909 Burrard Street)Items: Local apples, organic bananas, tomatoes, peppers, nonfat yogurt, lime PerrierWhat's for dinner? Stir-fry with eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, garlic, ginger, and tofu or shrimpNever buys: "Store-bought cookies or red meat; I only eat chicken, fish, and seafood." Guilty pleasure: "Pretzels, or anything crunchy. I also love Chapman's frozen yogurt in Triple [Mixed] Berry, and my husband loves the chocolate-cappuccino with espresso flakes." On food: "I can eat a lot of food because I used to be a full-time athlete," Solmundson says. "I believe that when you eat healthy foods, you feel more energetic. If I eat a lot of lousy foods and don't exercise, I'm going to feel lousy." On grocery shopping: "I shop when I have time; IGA is great because it is open from 7 a.m. to midnight, so we can drop in whenever."
Name: Rebecca Seary, 25, painter and counselling student Store: Central Gourmet Produce and Deli (1901 West 1st Avenue) Items: Anchovies, Asiago cheese, romaine lettuce, organic buns Where it's headed: She'll combine the lettuce, anchovies, and cheese with capers, olive oil, and garlic at home to make caesar salad. The buns will be transformed into homemade croutons. "I have to call my grandmother and make sure I remember the recipe correctly," she notes. Seary enjoys cooking from scratch. "People tell me I'm a good cook." She would never buy: "Processed cheese”¦and boxed stuff, like Rice-A-Roni or Chef-mate." On shopping: Seary normally shops at Central Gourmet. "I have an account here, so I don't have to give them any money until later." On food in general: "I love food. Food is great. I'm lucky that I'm not enormous," she says with a laugh.
Name: Tony Hird, 27, art director for an advertising agency Store: MarketPlace IGA (2030 West Broadway) Items: Package of six pork chops, plain stirred yogurt, bunch of bananas, bagged organic baby carrots, Honey Nut Cheerios cereal, apple-cinnamon instant oatmeal, and carton of mango-pineapple-veggie juice What’s for dinner? “I don’t know yet! Yogurt-and-banana pork chop surprise?” Hird says, laughing. Thinking for a moment, he adds: “I’ll probably put the pork chops on my George Foreman grill.” He received it a year and a half ago as a gift. He’ll throw a little seasoning salt on the chops, pour himself a glass of mango-pineapple-veggie juice, and presto, there’s dinner. Guilty pleasure: Sundaes, yogurt-banana smoothies, and barbecued steak. “I don’t know how to barbecue, which can be a problem,” he admits. What he avoids: “Any spray or canned cheese.” But Hird is not averse to all brightly coloured orange foods. “I love mangoes,” he exclaims. “They’re tropical!”
Talking to Lyndsay Sieger at Choices Market (2627 West 16th Avenue)
Name: Bharat Joshi (left), cancer researcher. Shopping with his wife, Pragna Joshi (centre), and friend Trupti Soni Store: Punjab Food Centre, 6635 Main Street Items: Mango pickle chutney, jaggery (solid unrefined palm sugar), eggplant, snap peas, big bunch of mint, canned patra (spinachlike colacacia leaves) Where it's headed: Mint for tea and mint parathas; jaggery to sweeten curries. "Indians like their food a little bit sweet as well as spicy, so we add it instead of sugar to food," Bharat says. For the patra: "You take the patra and add chickpea flour, cilantro, spinach, green chili, and roll it, dice it, and then steam it." What's for dinner? Home-made chapatis, snap-pea curry, dal, rice. "We cook Indian and Italian at home. We eat Indian food almost every night. Once a week we'll go out for Italian or Mexican." what they avoid: "We are vegetarians. We never buy meat." Guilty pleasure: They buy Indian sweets once in a while, but not often because "they're not very healthy." Occasionally, they'll buy butter. "We don't use it every day." On shopping: Bharat says they live around UBC but shop on Main Street because that's were they find the ingredients they want.
Name: Mehzabin Patel, 15, and Rajwinder Sandhu, 16, students at John Oliver secondary Store: Buy-Low Foods (6095 Fraser Street) Items: Chocolate-chip cake mix, cream-cheese frosting, pink and white sprinkles, pink and white cupcake liners, bakery apple pie, pecan tarts, canned whipped cream, Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion and All Dressed chips, Nesquik ChocoCaramel syrup Where it's headed: Slumber-party snacks for nine. "We're going to make cupcakes and decorate them ourselves and eat chips and watch a movie," Patel says. "And play truth or dare," Sandhu adds. They'll rent Saw I and Saw II, "and maybe a funny movie". To drink: Pop, milk, and apple juice. "We love apple juice," Patel enthuses. What's for dinner? Patel's aunt and sister are making macaroni with chicken and vegetables as well as butter chicken for the party. Sandhu's mom usually makes chicken pasta, lasagna, and roti. Patel says her mom usually makes "Indian food. I don't know their names."
Name: Jackie Dagg, 32, communications and resource-development manager for VanCity Community Foundation Store: Donald's Market, 2342 East Hastings Street Items bought: peach-mango tofu, Avalon one-percent milk, Panda black licorice, olive oil, Amy's canned organic lentil veg soup, organic nut-raisin granola, yellow peppers, spinach, green beans, organic bananas Where they're headed: The peach-mango tofu is for smoothies. "I make them every day for breakfast. Tofu, yogurt, banana, a bit of frozen fruit, and juice. It's really fast." What's for dinner? "I'm a vegetarian, but my partner's not”¦.He cooked a roast last night, so he'll eat that and I'll have a frozen veggie pie. Then we'll have mashed potatoes and broccoli or beans." Guilty pleasure: Chips and chocolate. But Dagg says she buys whatever she wants regardless of whether it's good for her or how much it costs. "I try to go healthy. I do look at fat and protein content, but it doesn't stop me." She says she loves black licorice, and it's fat free. On shopping: "I'm usually in and out in a half-hour. I rush in and get it all, and then leave. Donald's isn't a big store, so it's easy."