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The 5 Things a Recipe Developer Always Buys at the Grocery Store

published May 21, 2020
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Credit: Local Haven

Talk about dream jobs: Ashley Marti is an in-demand food stylist, recipe developer, and the brains behind Local Haven, her Portland-based food blog where she gets creative with seasonal and local ingredients. She’s also a busy mom, so we know she has to keep her kitchen game sharp. We asked about the essentials that she’s never without.

Credit: Local Haven

1. Kale

“It’s safe to say that kale is the vegetable my family eats the most,” Ashley says. From morning smoothies and soups to fried rice and salads like her Clean Out the Fridge special, it’s a mainstay. “It makes for a great quick snack when chopped, tossed with olive oil and spices, and roasted until crispy. But the most requested kale dish in my house is Joshua McFadden’s kale sauce pasta. It’s simple, wildly delicious, and the kids love the bright green noodles.”

Credit: Local Haven

2. V8 +Energy®

After starting her day with coffee and hydrating with lots of water, Ashley reaches for a mid-afternoon drink that’s a little more fun. “I fill up a glass with ice and some lemon slices, then add Orange Pineapple V8 +Energy® and top it with bubbly water. It’s super refreshing, along with some energy powered by natural black and green tea.” Filled with B vitamins and no added sugar, it’s the ideal afternoon pick-me-up. (Or, skip a step and pick up V8 +Energy® Sparkling Orange Pineapple.)

Credit: Local Haven

3. Olive Oil

“Olive oil, I get in a panic anytime I am running low on you. You are my true number-one ingredient,” Ashley says. Beyond sauteeing and roasting with it, she loves to whip up fresh dressings and finish pastas with a healthy drizzle. “Everything is better for you and better tasting with olive oil. One of my favorite ways to highlight the beauty of olive oil is to confit just about anything — especially tomatoes.”

Credit: Local Haven

4. Lemons

“If I could grow a lemon tree I would — I even tried last year, and that Pacific Northwest weather just won’t allow it,” Ashley says. “When you can’t quite figure out what a dish needs, and you know it’s salted enough, lemon is the answer.” Juiced for salad dressing or caramelized with roast chicken, it’s one of her favorite flavors. (We’re bookmarking her Meyer Lemon Tart.) “Sweet, tart, perfect!”

Credit: Local Haven

5. Chickpeas

“I thought that pasta would be in my top 5, but really what my family eats the most of is chickpeas!” And we’re taking notes on her preparations: “Crispy as a snack, as a crouton substitute in salads, blended with tahini into hummus that we eat with everything. I also marinate with shallots, vinegar, olive oil, and a big handful of herbs that we eat as-is, toss with tuna fish, or spread on toast.”