I’ve never been one to really stick to a certain diet per se, for that long.
The word diet itself can be cringeworthy.
I’ve never been one to really stick to a certain diet per se, for that long.
The word diet itself can be cringeworthy.
What do you think of when you hear the words “beef jerky?”
Dried meat, yes.
A protein-rich snack, most definitely.
High sodium content? For some, yes.
Beef jerky is said to have been around since as early as the 1500’s. A South American tribe, called the Quechua, named it “jerky,”(well, really it was called “ch’arki,” translating to “dried meat”) and was a form of preserving meat. Jerky was used as fuel for this tribe when they went out on long journeys!
Fast forward to today: it’s a snack devoured by many all over the world. And it’s not all about the beef either! There are MANY different kinds of jerky to choose from.
One company, based in Chicago, is looking to shake up the jerky game.
There’s a place I discovered via my uncle that I absolutely adore.
Nature’s Grill is all about taking fast food and making it healthier. From protein packed meals, to smoothies and juices, EVERYTHING is fresh, and good for you too!
Tonight, once again, I am in love.
There are restaurant where you are drawn to them like a magnet.
Where you go once and you’re hooked, and out of new habit, frequent.
That’s the case at Thai House in Smithtown, Long Island.
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:
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.
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.
COMMENT BELOW: Do you have a favorite breakfast shake that you drink in the morning? Please share!
“Jumping on the bandwagon” is the phrase that comes to mind tonight when it comes to my latest grocery store obsessions.
And these two items are innovative, fun and delicious.
1) Dole Kale Caesar Salad Kit
Browsing Kroger a few nights ago, I came across this gem, with the “New” on the packaging. Was so excited, and thought to myself two things:
1) Why didn’t they think of this before?!
2) They’re jumping on the kale bandwagon!!
I’ve always been a big fan of its lettuce Caesar kits as the dressing has awesome flavor and its SO easy to make. But now, with kale?! In. Love.
And here’s what’s jam packed inside this particular bag according to Dole:
“Another way to enjoy Caesar, a new way to love Kale: shaved Parmesan-Romano cheeses, roasted garlic croutons and DOLE’s All-Natural Caesar Dressing are tossed with bold baby kale, tender baby spinach and crunchy shredded broccoli. A delicious way to get vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium, it’s everything you love, and more.”
Chock full of vitamins, plus kale, according to webmd.com, helps fight off CANCER along with promoting eye health, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels and lowering risk for heart disease.
This salad took minutes, yes minutes, to prepare, and loved every bite. The dressing had a good amount of tang and spices, and along with the crunch of the garlic croutons and the crunchy baby kale, spinach and shredded broccoli, it was having a restaurant Caesar salad with even more health benefits and minus the prep work / fancy presentation. As kale has been such a huge craze, it’s exciting to see it being implemented into salad bags. Its already implemented into its chopped salad bags (another new favorite of mine from Dole), check those out here.
2) VitaminWater‘s line of sparkling water
I said the same two things to myself after seeing these in the water aisle, next to a similar product that’s been out for some time now, Sparkling Ice.
I have found myself guilty of drinking A LOT of diet soda over the years. I love the taste, and at zero calories, it’s a great cold refreshing drink.
Sparkling water versus seltzer to me is HUGE. The taste of seltzer is acquired. It can be bitter. Sparkling water, depending on the one you have, tastes like fruit flavored soda, minus that hard seltzer taste. Can I get a YUM!?
Which brings me to VitaminWater on the sparkling water bandwagon. It’s awesome.
I’ve had the strawberry kiwi flavor, and it tastes just like its still version, only carbonated. Zero calories. Delicious. Not overly sweet, just the right amount.
After doing a little research, its sparkling water has been around for a bit. However, the new packaging reminds me of Sparkling Ice, which makes me wonder if they’re trying to compete with them.
Regardless, so glad both parties in today’s post are on the bandwagon, and if you try either of these products, please let me know what you think!
**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:
Meatless 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
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.
I love grocery stores.
I’m fascinated by them.
Ever since I was younger, I’ve always loved to browse the aisles for unique items.
As I’ve said before on this blog, for the most part I like to eat cheap, and eat out of convenience.
Sometimes that can get tough when you feel the need to jump on the healthy train.
But I’m on my latest healthy kick, and I’ll tell you, I have found some guilt-free items at the grocery store I am full on OBSESSING over! And if you tried them, I think you would too.
Without further ado, here they are:
1) SKINNYPOP – Ultra Lite White Cheddar flavor
POPCORN. It’s the movie time staple we all know. But when doused in a ton of movie theater butter (I’m guilty of this, trust me), calories can add up. But this popcorn is a guilt-free gold mine. If you love cheese, this is the popcorn for you. It’s just enough of a cheesy taste to fulfill a craving, but it doesn’t overdo it (and you won’t get orange or white powder on your hands!). According to its website, the ultra lite white cheddar has a serving size of 3.5 cups, which is generous! And at only 160 calories, 9 grams of fat and 95 mg of sodium per serving size , guilt-free is definitely the word. And as it says there’s “no artificial anything,” as well as zero trans fat and a good source of fiber, I say DIG IN and bring this to your movies (or try it as a snack anytime).
These are something that if you offered it to me as a kid, I would’ve said no. Brussels sprouts! The ultimate healthy green vegetable that you either like, or pass on. I grew into liking these green morsels in recent years, and came across these frozen ones at Kroger recently. Very easy to make, just microwave and when you open the bag they’re hot, steamy, and perfectly seasoned with the salt and pepper. The serving size is 3/4 cup at 3 grams of fat. The only thing to watch would be the sodium (at 250 mg). But according to whfoods.com, brussels sprouts have special cholesterol-lowering benefits, and is also a great cancer protector!
3) KIND Bars
Have you ever had a protein bar? I’ve tried different kinds, from PowerBars to CLIF, and while not all of these are “protein” bars, they’re amazing for breakfast or as a dessert to resist eating sweets (and I’m a chocoholic, I love sweets!). In fact, it says on the bars’ packaging that “A recent study conducted by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center found that two KIND bars a day can curb appetite and even help prevent weight gain.” The company is all about using ingredients you can actually pronounce, i.e. nuts. But many have nuts in them, so if you don’t like nuts or are allergic, be cautious at the store. There are so many sweet/savory combinations to choose from, but two of my favorites right now are Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew + Antioxidants and Dark Chocolate Chili Almond.
So much so that as soon as I finished the first pack I bought a few days ago, I went out and bought another one tonight at Kroger. Right now they’re situated near the vegetable section.
Now you’re probably thinking, Vampire Killer?!What’s up with that!
I’m a huge garlic lover, and that’s exactly what Brad set out to do in this chip, bring out the garlic and cheese with a good crunch.
Woohoo!If you’re looking for something fun to munch and crunch on guilt-free, this is IT. And to give you an idea of the fat content, serving size is 1 ounce, 7 grams of fat and 116 mg of sodium.And Brad’s story on the website is inspiring in itself, please check it out. Brad, if you read this, I give you MAJOR kudos to an awesome chip. —What are your current #grocerystoreobsessions?Comment below or tweet at me, @kathleenhessman!