This past month was quite a busy one for me—growing long runs each weekend, work starting to pick up in school/lab, taking a trip home to see family, and trying some new, random food products! Because of the random nature of the photos I collected, it only made sense to feature these products in a single post as my “foodie finds” for the month. Enjoy!
Saturday Night Dinners
Saturday night dinners this month have been on the simple-side, only because my Saturday evenings in general have been all about resting up for Sunday morning lonnnnnng runs. Simple means popping in a microwave steam-able bag of veggies, pairing it with a new-to-me carb-o-licious side, and rounding off the meal with dessert before heading to bed at a time no later than 10pm.
I did have a pretty busy Saturday the first week of the month though, and because of the duration of the event I was volunteering at, I came home right at dinner time. Fortunately, I was able to do my grocery shopping the Friday before since class was cancelled, and “planned” what I wanted to have ready for my simple dinner.
I found this at Sprouts during that Friday afternoon grocery trip, and resolved to try something new as part of my Saturday night dinner—Garden Lites Kale and Quinoa Souffle!
I looked forward to the prospect of trying a product from the Garden Lites brand for the very first time. The souffle was fit snug in a recyclable plastic tray, and I popped it in the microwave with the plastic seal still on (as per box instructions) for about 3 1/2 minutes. After that, I heated it for another minute, and then flipped over the tray so that the souffle sat perfectly atop some steamed veggies.
The souffle texture was quite soft, and fell apart easily. I also feel like it may have needed to be heated for a longer time since it wasn’t cold, but not exactly hot ‘n’ fresh either. The surface that was facing the microwave (but now face down on the pile of veggies!) had a crispier taste to it since it had more exposure to the heat, I suppose. To be honest, this souffle actually reminded me of some Dr. Praeger burgers I had a while ago—they even look like them close-up!
The following Saturdays kept with the same food theme, but during these weekends, I used the opportunity to try some new-to-me burritos.
I’ve had plenty of Amy’s Kitchen items in the past, but this was the first time I tried one of the ‘Light in Sodium’ products…specifically the Cheddar Cheese Burrito!
I microwaved each side for ~45 seconds, and the tortilla ended up being pretty flimsy after the microwaving (which is not surprising). I planned on unwrapping it anyway so I could mix the bean + cheese filling with bites of my steamed veggies.
The other ‘burrito of the month’ was this one that I picked up on a trip to Sprouts:
It was my first time trying a Sweet Earth product, and was intrigued by the eco-friendly, brown sandwich paper wrap packaging. It easily warmed up after 1 minute in the microwave on each side, and the spicy filling mixed well with my side veggies. If this flavor is a true representative of their other products, I think I’ll be eating my way through some of their other flavors in the future
I picked up this South Beach Diet box-o-bars only because I had a freebie coupon for it from Ralph’s for their Friday Freebies promotion (I also redeemed a free Chobani yogurt on the same shopping trip !). Out of their South Beach Diet bar selection in the particular Ralph’s I visited for my grocery shopping that week, I was intrigued by this flavor:
I had it as fuel before my 18 miler (the toughest long run of my marathon training plan…), and they proved to sustain me through that ordeal, even though I didn’t “properly” fuel during the run. Texture/flavor-wise, I love how I could taste the chocolate coating AND pieces of coconut mixed into the “crunchies” part of the bar. I would say that these bars were definitely one of Ralph’s best Friday Freebies
Keeping with the theme of chocolate and protein, I was able to reach my protein requirements for each day this month with a little help from this canister:
My Dad found this Naturade brand of protein powder at Grocery Outlet for about $8, and was thoughtful enough to bring it down for me when he was in the city back in January. I saved it for after I annihilated my jar of PlantFusion powder, and I actually found myself to prefer this protein powder over the prior.
I found it easy to mix into yogurts and milk…which is pretty much what I used it for . Each serving is about 140 calories, 3 rams of fat, and 20 grams of protein. A serving a day, plus 2 Quest bars, certainly helped with getting in my protein this month
Another (cheap) protein find from Grocery Outlet was this Nature Valley Protein Oatmeal. Since they were 2/$1, my Dad surprised me with two cups of the mixed berry crunch flavor for those days when my protein goals were just out of reach.
It was actually quite easy to prep. Each cup comes with a pack of granola that is separated from the oatmeal within the cup. You fill the oatmeal with milk or water, microwave for about 45 seconds (or you can steep it), top with granola, and then enjoy! For some added fats, I included a dollop of almond butter when I tried it for the first time.
I love the fact that there were actual, plump dried cranberries in the oatmeal, and since I don’t like my oatmeal with too much liquid, I was able to enjoy the mix of oats and granola without having the risk of getting a “soggy spoonful”. Annnnd, the almond butter…how can you go wrong with oats and almond butter ?
My final ‘fun find’ of the month was hard to resist opening as soon as I bought it! I like to have one open jar of a nut butter/spread at a time, so when I bought this Trader Joe’s brand Cookies & Creme cookie butter, I made sure to have at least a spoonful of peanut butter every day from the jar that I was currently making my way through at the time, just so I could open this gem:
When the time had come, I rejoiced! Haha…by rejoice, I mean slathering it on Quest bars, using it as a spread and making sweet paleo bread sandwiches, adding it to yogurts, brownies…and of course, eating straight out of the jar.
Trader Joe, you did good here
Cause I’m a Yogurt Collector…
…I definitely did not miss the opportunity to try some new yogurts this month!
A while back, I bought some Voskos yogurts since there was a promotion going on at Ralph’s. When I opened one of the cups I had bought however, I noticed a mold spore…and the cup still had two more weeks till it’s ‘best by’ date!
After sending an email to the Voskos folks, they kindly apologized, and sent me some VIP coupons to make up for it. So as a result, I ended up being able to try some new-to-me flavors for free! And the one flavor I absolutely fell in love with was this one:
This Fruit on the Bottom Coconut Cream yogurt rocked my world! I used it to fuel up before my 16 miler, but I had tried it once beforehand with one of the coupons I received. It literally has dessicated coconut medium on the bottom (the jelly-looking substance, haha) and the 6 oz. cup is packed with 15 grams of protein! I guess I owe a thank you to that mold spore ?
When I went back to visit my family during President’s Day Weekend, I didn’t leave without stopping by Grocery Outlet. I was able to pick up three new Chobani products—Chobani Oats Apricot Ancient Grains, and two new limited batch flavors (Grape and Green Tea)!
Out of the three, I would say the Grape flavor matched up most with its name. It had a somewhat sour/tangy taste, but at least it reflected it’s title. I can’t say that about the Green Tea flavor. To me, to tasted mostly like pain vanilla yogurt. After looking at the ingredients, I can see why since the only green tea in this cup was captured through its “essence”, haha.
Because there was no noteworthy flavor to try and taste, I decided to mix the Green Tea flavor with some of my Naturade Chocolate Pea Protein powder.
The Apricot Chobani Oats didn’t blow me away either. Apparently the ingredients list chia seeds as being in a cup, but I couldn’t detect them when mix with the grains. At least I could see some apricot chunks?
What were some of your February Foodie Finds?