Start with Good Ingredients Then Don't F*** Them Up
This is one of the most important pieces of advice I offer in my classes. The key to every great dish is the ingredients that go into it. All too often people will shop with the focus entirely on checking off the list that they brought with them instead of the quality of the items they are putting into their cart.
Some people are shopping for ingredients for a specific recipe that they want to make and they have to get everything on the list (at all costs). Or, maybe, you are shopping on autopilot and there are some ingredients that go into your cart on every trip to the store. Regularly, people are willing to accept the idea that they have to settle for sub-standard ingredients because they need to complete their list.
When I shop my list (if I even bring one), it's short and only consists of things that I have to bring home (toilet paper, salt, my wife's coffee...). I look for the ingredients that look the best. I let the ingredients inspire what I am going to make. I bring home fruits that my family can eat today, tomorrow, and the day after. I don't believe in investing my shopping dollars in future fruit that I have to ripen on my counter top for some indeterminable amount of time in the hopes that when they do become edible, they will, also, actually taste good.
Here's the thing: good ingredients already taste good! If you start off with good ingredients your only job is not to fuck them up. My advice is to find the ingredients that look the best, and then look for recipes that will compliment what you purchased, not the other way around.