Friday, July 5, 2013

some favorites and a fail.

Trader Joe's is by far my new, favorite hang out!  Sad but true, I'd rather make the 35 minute drive once a week so I can grab all of my go-to foods!  Have you experienced Trader Joe's?  
I am often asked, why Trader Joe's instead of the local store and my answer is simple..
One, I go for the experience.  
Two, all of my healthy essentials are MUCH cheaper at TJ's.  I've seen many products that are more than $2 less at TJ than at local stores.
Three, the PRODUCE is amazingly fresh there!

First up, the coconut oil spray!  I use this in place of PAM or other non-fat cooking sprays.  

Yea, so miso soup is filled with sodium ( I know that!!) but I love it!  And their brand is actually lower in sodium than most.  The flavor is amazing and goes perfectly with steamed edamame!  

When you're in the mood for some steelcut oats but don't have the time to prepare on the stove?  Grab these!  Delicious, especially when you add your own berries! 
Some other TJ favorites that are not pictured...

Steamed Lentils and beets
Garlic chicken sausage
raw almonds
High Protein/High Fiber TJ O's cereal-this one is almost always out of stock :(
brown rice penne pasta-I make the boys my homemade mac and cheese using these noodles!
natural peanut butter
*crunchy cookie butter-for when I feel like choosing something not-so-healthy :)
any of their fresh produce-lettuce, string beans, artichoke, FRUIT-all, Brussels, eggplant-they were huge last week and so delicious
hummus, any of their 300 flavor varieties-they are all delicious!

When shopping at a new store, make sure you take time to browse.  
Although they carry many healthy products, you will still come across foods that are high in fat and calories.  
Happy shopping!!

Do you shop at Trader Joe's?  What is your favorite health food store and essential products?

And while most of my healthy meal experiences turn out fabulous...there are always food DISASTERS!  
This recipe is one of them :(  
and unfortunately, I can barely look at the picture without getting a bad taste in my mouth Ha!!  
Looks yummy, right?  A low-carb pizza variation so what's not to love?  
Oh my goodness, let me just say I'll be sticking to my cauliflower crust pizza from now on.

This crust is made by using 8oz cream cheese, 2 eggs, black pepper, and garlic powder.  You mix until combined and spread in 9x13 dish.  Bake for 12 minutes at 350 until browned.  As you're mixing, you'll think Wow! this is going to be incredible.  
Once crust is cooked, add toppings. 
This one is topped with TJ no salt sauce, TJ turkey meatballs, TJ garlic chicken sausage and a little low fat mozz and mushrooms!  Bake for another 10 minutes!  Serve and enjoy!

OR not?  
It had very little flavor, some of the crust was mushy while parts were crunchy.  The pizza toppings tasted better alone and the worst part:  IT DID NOT TASTE LIKE PIZZA AT ALL.  
I love the same toppings prepared on a high fiber tortilla that's been baked in the oven-turns out great as well as the cauliflower crust recipe I've shared on here several times.  Or those cheesy cauliflower sticks I made a while back to take the place of the fattening cheesy bread alternative?  Those are GOOD.  
Oh well, ya win some and ya lose some and this was definitely a kitchen FAIL :(
We ate it, but were all laughing as we choked it down!!  Hahaha!  

Moving on to almonds with a twist!
I love a handful of almonds when I'm in the mood for a crunch!  It's a great snack idea that's filled with protein to keep you going until your next meal.  Plus it's easy to grab and go, no preparation!  the "twist" here is the sprinkle of mini chocolate chips!  I'm not a huge chocolate fan but every now and then I'll get a sweet craving and this helps avoid it!

My picky eater is NO longer a picky eater...well for the most part!  Yep, that's a rice cake topped with natural PB, sprinkle of sunflower seeds and flaxseed!  ...and he loved it!
a few months ago this little guy ate very few fruits and vegetables, he'd sit at the dinner table crying at each meal saying it was gross, that he needed a piece of cheese and so on.  
Well I decided that our family will eat what is prepared.  
I will not spend time making each of us a separate meal PLUS I want my kids to enjoy variety and try new, healthy foods.  

So, for a few days he refused to eat the "sides" which included eggplant, zucchini, cauliflower mashed "potatoes", grapes, watermelon, apples.  
TODAY, this boy enjoys all of them!  He'll TRY anything but will voice his opinion on whether or not he'll eat it again. I truly believe that when he sees the three of us eating it and ENJOYING it, he becomes more willing to try.  The other night he ate an entire bowl of edamame with his brother when just a few months ago, he wouldn't have touched it AT ALL.  As he tries new things, he will look up at me and say, "Oh my goodness, this is good" "Why have I never tried this, Mom?  It's so good"
...and that makes me one, happy Momma!


Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I made that a rule at my house too, my kids might whine but they will eat whatever they get! The whine less and less as time goes on.

i want coconut oil spray! i didn't know they made that..awesome!

Mindy Bobe said...

I've never been to Trader Joe's...we don't have one near us. But I've heard great things about it! Bummer that recipe didn't turn looks super yummy from the picture!

Elle said...

When we are in the U.S., Trader Joe's is my favorite market. Sadly we don't have them in Canada so if we get to one, I fill up the car. They always laugh at the crazy Canadians who fill carloads of goods to take home. But how can you resist!

Tasha @Healthy Diva said...

I ♥♥♥♥ TJ's!!!! I am lucky to have one less than 2 miles from my house. My favorite snack item is the spicy hummus. It is awesome!

Mommy Run Fast said...

That is so inspiring about your son- way to go mama!! I've been going to TJs more often too... was just there today, in fact. I didn't know they had frozen steel cut oats, great find! Too bad I didn't run into you there! :)

*CaNdY FiT* said...

We don't have a TJs here...nor a Whole Foods! If ever I'm in a city where there's a WF..I make sure to stop in!

crunchy cookie butter <-- well if that doesn't sound delish!

Your crust sounds awesome too :)

jillconyers said...

I love TJs! It's a bit of an inconvenient drive to go on a weekly basis so most of my shopping is done at Whole Foods. Another shopping love :)

jillieb2 said...

All of the dishes look great. I'm fortunate to have a T.J.'s and Whole Foods near me. I'm going to check out the Whey. I need to get better at making smoothies!

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