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#grocerystoreobsessionsApril14

This is dedicated to two drinks you can find in the grocery store.

One with booze, one without.

Both magically delicious.

My latest grocery store obsessions:

1) V8 Protein Shakes

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As of late I’ve been on a mission to find a shake I can easily drink in the morning, in place of “breakfast.” Lets face it: breakfast, depending on what you make, takes time! When you just want to get up and go, a shake is an easy quick fix that fills you up before lunch. I wanted a shake I didn’t have to blend in the blender (which equals more time). Heading to the breakfast aisle at my local Kroger, I found a few options. The first few times I bought a favorite of mine as a kid, Carnation Instant Breakfast. I used to always have the powder you would mix in the milk (the vanilla kind), but now you can buy pre made bottles (which I would pick chocolate of course!). Out of that one, and the other one I saw (Special K), it had more protein, which was what I was hoping to find. I love Carnation Instant Breakfast and with 10 grams of protein in the ready to drink bottles, heck yes! But the one thing I saw that was NOT in the new V8 shakes compared to Carnation, was corn syrup. Another thing that brought V8’s new shakes to the forefront is more protein, 12 grams versus 10 in the other, along with having the equivalent to 1/4 cup of vegetables in the drink. While I will probably still buy Carnation drinks, I love the chocolate raspberry flavor of the V8 shake, it didn’t taste like V8 vegetable juice and it had more protein. Win! And with flavors similar to Carnation (vanilla, chocolate, chocolate raspberry), you will be sure to find a flavor you like.

2) Kahlua Vanilla White Russian pre mixed bottles

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I only discovered within the past few years how much I really love White Russians. And with Kahlua and vodka as two of the ingredients, can you blame me? Yum. Walking through Kroger‘s liquor section and came across pre mixed bottles of not only a White Russian with Kahlua, but VANILLA added to it. AMAZING. For a quick little nightcap, this is a perfect drink for you all, it’s not too big or small, fits in a small cocktail glass. And if you’re looking for other Kahlua creations that are premixed, they have a regular White Russian, a Mudslide, and Kahlua with milk.

Enjoy 🙂

COMMENT BELOW: Do you have a favorite breakfast shake that you drink in the morning? Please share! 

#grocerystoreobsessionjuly11

photo 3Take a good look at this picture.

**SCROLLING DOWN = SPOILER ALERT** 🙂

Take a good look at this picture. What do you see?

At first glance, it looks like breaded chicken cutlets, with broccoli and pasta.

As I have written in previous posts, sometimes I like to get my protein in other ways than meat.

Yes, there is pasta (Kroger Private Selection Gigli pasta), an easy butter sauce I made using Country Crock with calcium,  and broccoli (Green Giant Seasoned Steamers – Tuscan Broccoli), and shaved Parmesan cheese (which is from Kraft already pre-shaved).

This meal was made in about a 1/2 hour, using a combination of microwave and stove action.

But what looks like chicken cutlets, is not in fact, chicken.

It’s my latest grocery store obsession:

photo 1Meatless chick’n scallopini cutlets, lightly seasoned, by gardein.

I found this a few weeks back in the meatless frozen section in Kroger, and was very intrigued, especially at the fact that it says the protein is garden grown.

I also love the listing of the essentials: calories, protein, cholesterol, etc. on the FRONT.

Wondering what’s inside this masterpiece of “chicken” you see in the above pictures? Here’s the ingredient list from its website:

gardein chick’n: water, soy protein isolate*, vital wheat gluten*, expeller pressed/canola oil, organic ancient grain flour (kamut®, amaranth, millet, quinoa), natural flavors (from plant sources), modified vegetable gum, yeast extract, sea salt, potato starch, organic cane sugar, onion powder, vinegar, garlic powder, pea protein, carrot fiber, beetroot fiber, extractives of paprika and turmeric. rub: dehydrated vegetable (red bell pepper, garlic, onion), spices, organic cane sugar, salt. *non-genetically engineered soy and wheat.

You’re getting your soy in there yes, so a.k.a. some tofu-like qualities. But tofu, you do NOT taste in this, in fact this was one of the first meatless items besides meatless chicken tenders/nuggets where it actually had a similar texture to chicken (now not 100 % obviously, but similar). I’m impressed to see there’s quinoa in this as well, along with pea protein, carrot and beetroot fiber. I don’t know about you, but this product alone has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for QUICK meal ideas (and you know I love eating out of CONVENIENCE!).

And here’s how you cook it:

-Put some of your favorite cooking oil (I’ve used olive oil or vegetable oil) in a frying pan.

-Heat stove to medium high heat

-Cook by itself or in the picture up top, I cooked mine dredged in flour, and some herbs/spices (lemon pepper, paprika, garlic powder, etc)

-Saute on each side for about 2-3 minutes

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And voila!

The picture you see at the top of this post.

Now this may not be for everyone, I understand. I’m no vegetarian, but I do consider myself a vegivore from time to time.

But this find is exciting. And as you peruse Gardein’s website, you’ll find not only meatless chicken, but beef, fish filets and even holiday meals!

Bam. Easy, quick meal ideas.

**SIDENOTE: Another meatless #grocerystoreobsession I have right now, not pictured (because I ate them all!) are Kroger Simple Truth Meatless Chicken Tenders. Heat them up in the oven for 20 minutes and boom. Chicken minus the chicken. Delicious.

DAYTON: #grocerystoreobsessionsJune10

I eat out of convenience a lot of the time.

If it’s easy, quick, and delicious, I’m all in.

I’ve been keeping a slight (slight) distance from frozen foods. Not that I don’t like frozen foods, I do. But for a little bit now, I’ve been either eating meals from restaurants, or cooking myself.

But this week, I decided to head down the frozen meals aisle, and take a gander at what’s new. I was at my local Target store, and came across a line of foods that after making one of the meals just now, it’s become one of my grocery store obsessions.

The brand? Evol.

As soon as you pop on its website, you can tell the company is taking a completely different approach to the standard frozen dinners.

Its motto? Taste rules!

Its mission: “Inspire people to care about where food comes from and how it is produced by making real food that tastes delicious. Love what you eat.”

Amen to that, right?

The mission, motto, and packaging are very promising.

A selection of its Skillet Meals for 2. photo credit: groceryheadquarters.com

And based off of the grilled chicken Parmesan skillet meal for 2 (butttt I made mine for one), it delivers.

Several things I’m blown away about with this meal:

The meal in my skillet. From frozen to dinner in 10 minutes. evolfoods.com
The meal in my skillet. From frozen to dinner in 10 minutes.
evolfoods.com

1) From cooking the pasta in the skillet, the pasta did NOT turn soggy!

Sometimes this happens with frozen food, if you overcook, the pasta turns into mush. This was not the case today.

2) It had good flavor!

3) The meat looked and tasted good.

Sometimes with frozen meals I find the meat looks and tastes weird ! Do you ever find that? The chicken in this meal tasted really light, tender and fresh.

Evol has TONS of options for you to try, including another one I bought and am anxiously awaiting to try, truffle Parmesan mac and cheese, butternut squash and sage ravioli, a handful of fun breakfast sandwiches, and several gluten free items too.

If you’re looking for something cheap and very easy to make, try out Evol.

My second obsession comes from a recent trip to the salon.

I’m getting my hair colored one day, and my hairdresser offers its drink selection to me, one option being wine.

Every time I’ve gone there so far, I’ve always opted for a Diet Coke, or a coffee.  But that day, I decided to ask about it, and she told me there was a blackberry Merlot.

“Ooh!” I said excitedly.

And lo and behold, it was a wine brand I hadn’t really drank before until now: Arbor Mist.

WOW, friends.

photo credit: totalwine.com

If I had to choose between sweet or dry wine, I would choose dry, and that I have my parents to thank because they love a good Chardonnay, and so do I.

But the blackberry merlot is magic. It has a little sparkle to it, tasting not overly sweet, and has the nice blackberry tangy flavor.

This experience led me to me driving to the local drive thru liquor store and trying other flavors, which were also delicious (Mixed Berry Merlot and Strawberry White Zinfandel).

If you’ve never swung towards Arbor Mist until now, I say go for the gold and try it. You will NOT regret it, and at its good price,  get the magnum!

Have you had any of these two products? If so, please let me know how you liked them!

 

 

Cool Article(s) of the Week 2/23-3/1

HAPPY MARCH!

Today I have four very cool articles that will absolutely knock your socks off, foodies.

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The first one having to do with a snack most of us have eaten in our lifetimes: popcorn.

But I’m not talking movie theater popcorn, I’m talking the microwave popcorn bags you buy at the store and hope you don’t either under cook (with lots of unpopped kernels left in the bag) or overcook (blackened popcorn).

Photo Credit: whirlpool.com
Photo Credit: whirlpool.com

Michigan-based Whirlpool has come out with a new microwave that actually listens to the sounds of cooking to tell when something is done.

The article I found from The Daily Meal describes the microwave’s AccuPop technology for popcorn, that “can help the microwave adjust just by listening to and counting the time, between kernel pops.”

How cool is that?!Read on to find out what else it can do, and how you can buy it yourself!|||||One of my favorite quotes of all time: “If music be the food of love, play on.” Shakespeare truly has it right, and it goes along with the next article I’m sharing with you.
Food Network is holding its first EVER concert, as I discovered in an Eater article.

Photo Credit: foodnetworkinconcert.com
Photo Credit: foodnetworkinconcert.com

And it involves both music and food events!They’re taking on the concert scene at Ravinia, which is a music festival just outside Chicago.Headlining the music portion: JOHN MAYER.And there will be food demonstrations too throughout the day, from Food Network personalities such as Anne Burrell, Alex Guarnaschelli, Jeff Mauro and Marc Murphy. This foodie/music lover is quite excited about this and if you are too, click here to sign up via Food Network to get additional information about tickets, which go on sale in April.

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Have you ever been to a grocery store that is just, magical?Stew Leonards is that place for me. Growing up in Connecticut I always had so much fun wandering down the maze of an aisle that is Stew’s, with the really cool animatronic characters that would sing to you throughout the store (I know the songs – “We’re Dole fresh vegetables we’re good for you!”). It truly is the Disney World of grocery stores as many say.eatalyjpegEataly, a really cool Italian market in New York City serving up fresh Italian goods, is planning to build a theme park in Italy, which is indeed all about food, according to an article from Eater. And it’s being called the “Disneyland of Food.”Can we say awesome?! According to the article, “The nearly 20-acre park will build “restaurants, grocery stores, food labs, and an aquarium” on grounds that are currently occupied by unused warehouses.”Eataly’s planning to call the park Fico Eataly World, and according to the article, is hoping to open in November 2015. |||||And for my Dayton friends, EXCITING news this week from the fabulous guys of Fusian.

Photo Credit : fusian.com
Photo Credit : fusian.com

Fusian, the customizable sushi spot in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus just announced officially this week they’re going to open its newest location in Washington Township, O.H.!Zach, Josh and Stephan write on its website that they’re coming to the brand new Oak Creek Crossing retail development that will also house the brand new Whole Foods Market.

The guys also go to add, “We love Dayton… it’s where we grew up, and it’s where we consider home. Our continued efforts to bring our food and our company to new markets would not be possible without supportive communities, a great team, and amazing customers!”

So more awesome sushi is coming to the Dayton area, get excited! I am.

-Exciting news all over. Eat, drink and be merry 🙂

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