Grocery Meals June 12-18

I’m so happy this new series has received such a positive response. I love good food and I love saving money so sharing how to shop sales and optimize your weekly grocery haul at Whole Foods fills my heart.My hope is to not only share “recipes” and shopping lists but my process, so that you can learn how to feel confident creating meals specific to your tastes too.

The first thing I do is look through the weekly deals & sales. Each week Whole Foods has dozens of sale items throughout the store, but also special “Prime Member Deals” which are typically priced lower than you can find anywhere else. Prime members also save an additional 10% off all regular sale items so if you aren't already a Prime Member, sign up for a free trial and see for yourself.

When scanning the Prime Deals, pay special attention to proteins and produce. This week, Sustainable Wild-Caught Fresh Halibut Fillets and Made In-House Pork Sausages jumped out at me. They also continued the $2 off Rotisserie Chicken deal. To save money, I tend to stick to protein priced at $5-6/pound or less. The halibut is higher than I'd normally pay, but the lower cost of the pork and chicken offset it and I think it's worth it to treat yourself, especially when there is a deal like this. I then decide which fruits and vegetables suit my taste and start thinking about how I can pair them with protein for tasty meals.I then scan the rest of the sale items (or if in store, I walk down the aisles looking for yellow tags) and see if any of my pantry staples are on special.

This week, one of my very favorite products is on super sale. If you haven't tried Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauces, you are in for a treat. I don't know how they do it, but it's incomparable. It's a premium product normally priced at $8.99, but they really hook it up when sale rolls around as it's discounted to $4.49! If you take anything away from this weeks post, stock up on Rao's sauce. My favorite is the spicy Arrabbiata, but all the flavors are delicious. If you're keto, the sensitive formula omits onions which lends itself to a lower carb count. Bolognese made with ground beef is one of my favorite staples in regular rotation so I will definitely be making that this week.

As I continue this series, you'll learn that I always stock up on 1lb increments of ground beef when it's on sale. It's a lower-priced cut at regular price so don't hesitate to buy it for meals this week, but definitely stock up when pasture raised is a Prime Deal at $3-4/lb.

On the Menu this week:

  • Mediterranean Halibut with Tomatoes, Artichokes, & Capers
  • Tomato, Asparagus, & Feta Salad + Rotisserie Chicken
  • Ground Beef Bolognese with Noodles + Zucchini
  • Spicy Italian Sausage “Egg Roll in a Bowl”
  • Yogurt with Peaches & Raspberries

I cook for myself so the quantities I buy and discuss are based on meals for one person. I typically prepare 1 pound of protein and split into 4 portions, roughly 4oz each. With the Halibut, I am only buying 1/2 pound because leftover fish ain't exactly my jam. I will also cook them in the order listed above to optimize for what keeps longest. The beef and sausages can be kept in the freezer until ready to cook.

In my Cart this week:

PRODUCE

MEAT & CHEESE SHELF STAPLES SNACKS
  • Chocolove, Chocolate Bar Salted Almond Butter
  • Lundberg Family Farms Organic Wild Rice Cakes
STOCK UP & SAVE STAPLES
  • Sausage Pork Link Chorizo
  • Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce
  • Natural Calm Magnesium Supplement, 40% off

Mediterranean Halibut with Tomatoes, Olives, Artichokes, & Capers

I haven't made this exact recipe or combination before, but I stumbled upon it when googling to look for a baked halibut, tomato, and zucchini recipe I used to make. It was tasty, but this sounds better. I only have a stovetop these days, so I will be attempting to make this in my cast iron skillet. I really like to keep things simple for a variety of reasons and so I typically only glance at recipes for general timing or flavor guidelines. I haven't made this yet but I'll update with details when I do. Most people have an oven so if you aren't an adventures cook yet, I'd recommend following along the recipe linked above.

Tomato, Asparagus, & Feta Salad + Rotisserie Chicken

Summer is when you'll find the most flavorful tomatoes and we are just kicking off the season. Different varieties will continue to be on sale throughout the summer and I dreamt up this combination to pair with Asparagus, which is also on sale this week. I love to keep feta crumbles and shredded parmesan in the refrigerator. They last a long time and a little goes a long way in amplifying a simple dish.
  1. Whisk together dijon mustard, avocado oil, and lemon juice
  2. Add asparagus to salted boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes (A good friend recommends peeling asparagus to improve texture. I've never tried, but probably will this week and I'll report back!)
  3. Chop grape tomatoes into halves while the asparagus cooks
  4. Drain asparagus and rinse with cold running water
  5. Toss tomatoes, asparagus, dressing, and feta

Ground Beef Bolognese with Noodles + Zucchini

I've made this so many times that I could probably make it in my sleep. It's my number one go-to meal and using Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata Sauce is my favorite way to do it. Spaghetti and meat sauce is mega comfort food for me and I've poured this sauce over all kinds of vegetables and pasta with equal delight. It's great with zoodles and lately, I have been experimenting with different types of noodles mixed with zoodles. The base recipe couldn't be easier:
  1. Brown ground beef in large skillet or pot
  2. Feel free to drain excess fat (I don't) or add spices (sometimes I add Simply Organic Italian Seasoning — If you use Rao's, it doesn't really need it.)
  3. Optional step: Add chopped mushrooms or vegetables and saute for a few minutes. You can also do this after the next step. There really is no wrong way to do this.
  4. Add a jar of marinara sauce. Again, you know what I use and I'd suggest you do the same. Other sauces are fine too, but once you use Rao's I doubt you'll go back.
  5. Add a little water to the jar and shake it around to clean the jar and use all the sauce. I typically reduce the heat to a simmer and leave it on the back burner for half an hour or more. It's not necessary, I just think it infuses the meat and vegetables with the sauce. This could be totally in my mind, but this is what I do.
Because I cook in 1 pound increments with meat, I typically divide this into 4 servings and often freeze 2 to keep on hand for times when I don't feel like cooking. As I've been experimenting with adding in more vegetables, I have been stretching it to 5 or 6 servings, especially if I am eating it over pasta instead of zoodles alone.I use the original spiralizer to make zoodles and I love it. I know there are many more styles available on the market now, but I've been using this one for nearly a decade and it still works as well as the day I bought it.The MOST IMPORTANT tip for zucchini noodles is to salt them and let them rest for about 10 minutes. This releases the excess moisture and makes for a more noodle-like texture that doesn't leave you with a watery sauce.I was on a Banza chickpea spaghetti kick for awhile because I love the flavor and consistency, but I've finally admitted that chickpeas make me bloated and gassy so this week I experimented with Modern Table Complete Protein Vegetable Beet Rotini. I really enjoyed it and because it is on sale, I will buy an extra box to keep in the pantry. Spicy Italian Sausage “Egg Roll in a Bowl” You can hardly call this a recipe because I literally brown the sausage and then add in chopped cabbage. I am a simple woman and the spices in the sausage season the cabbage well enough for me to enjoy. On occasion, I will get fancy and add in sesame oil or soy sauce, but I don't think it needs either. This is also called “crack slaw” and tastes especially delicious reheated in a skillet with an egg.

Yogurt with Peaches & Raspberries

I've been slowly adding fruit back into my diet and it usually shows up at breakfast. Last week I bought an extra Siggi's Whole Milk yogurt when it was on sale. The expiration date isn't until the end of the month so I will eat it again with sliced peaches and raspberries this week. I don't always want to eat breakfast but like to have an option if I wake up hungry or feel like a snack in the afternoon. One large container is typically 4-5 servings which lasts me a week.

Thanksgiving with Whole Foods Market 365

It's my favorite time of the year and I am excited to share more quick and easy tips in collaboration with Whole Foods Market 365. Growing up, I shopped at the original Whole Foods Market and it has been incredible to watch my local health food store evolve from humble roots to leading the way in offering high-quality food, standards, and service at an accessible price. With streamlined stores offering a more simplified shopping experience and additional savings for Amazon Prime members, Whole Foods Market 365 makes healthy living easy.

I am all about convenience anytime of year so I thought I'd share some of the ways that I save time and money while staying healthy and enjoying the holiday season. Because Whole Foods Market 365 is a smaller store with a more curated experience, it's easier to get in and out with what you need.

I was recently in Portland and met a long-time “insta-friend” in real life. She hosted a Friendsgiving dinner and introduced me to her community of strong and supportive women. I introduced her to Whole Foods 365 Lake Oswego, where we were in and out in 10 minutes and picked up their grab n' go cheese board, simple mills crackers, marinara sauce for meatballs, and 365 holiday s'mores chocolate bark. The pre-made cheese board was a huge hit, and I loved how it included a board and markers to indicate the types of cheese. All items sold at Whole Foods follow quality standards which means there are no artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, and hydrogenated fats.

Back home, I headed to my local Whole Foods Market 365 in Concord to shop for the week leading into Thanksgiving and put together a few ideas to make meal-times streamlined and flexible for all the leftovers to come. I love my local 365 store, as it's a bright and beautiful with a huge selection of grab n' go items, prepared foods bar, in-house taqueria, and more. I decided to create my own take on turkey dinner leftovers using sweet potato toast as a base and traditional toppings like turkey and cranberry sauce as toppings.

I am a huge fan of turkey, but the idea of cooking an entire bird for myself was a little intimidating. Fortunately, the hot bar at Whole Foods Market 365 stocks juicy turkey and all the fixins like stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. I picked up several sweet potatoes, pre-pack sides including organic cranberry sauce, garlic parsley green beans, and plenty of staples for simple dinners throughout the week.

Sweet Potato Toast

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut sweet potatoes into 1/4″ slices
  • Place on baking sheet or rack.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes, until just soft. You may need to adjust for your own taste and depending on if you will eat them all immediately or toast and reheat later.

Sweet Potato toasts can be refrigerated and stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days and reheated in a toaster like a traditional slice of bread!

I am looking forward to making more sweet potato toast with Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. The turkey with cranberry was a delicious combo and I think it will be next-level with the addition of mashed potatoes, stuffing, and gravy on Black Friday.

This is one of my tried and true recipes. I've made this with pears and peaches, though I think it's next-level with Honeycrisp apples If you aren't already a fan, you soon will be. In my opinion, Honeycrisp is THE most delicious apple variety, sweet like honey with a crisp bite. This is also an excellent way to use fruit that doesn't ripen as cooking naturally softens and sweetens.

Cinnamon Apples with Pumpkin Spice Latte Pecans

  • Heat 1-2 tbsp of butter in stovetop skillet
  • Slice fruit into wedges and arrange evenly
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon
  • After about 3-4 minutes (this varies by fruit, but generally you'll know it's time to flip when the underside is a beautiful caramel brown)
  • Add a handful of pecans. You can also use walnuts or sliced almonds if you prefer. For this recipe, I used Whole Foods 365 Pumpkin Spice Latte Pecans

During the week leading up to Thanksgiving, I'm often short on time so I stocked up on a few Whole Foods 365 Grab n' Go Soup Kits to batch cook so I can easily reheat a bowl for lunch or dinner. Want to see my entire cart haul and a tour of my local store? Follow me on Instagram and watch the 365 stories on my feed!

Cauliflower Gnocchi with Basil Pesto & Blistered Tomatoes

As Fall sets in, it's the perfect time to savor the last of the summer produce. I'm always looking for easy options to throw together a quick and tasty dinner, especially as the calendar fills up and days get shorter. This meal couldn't be more simple, taking only 5-10 minutes from start to finish, and is easily adaptable to suit your tastes and ingredients on hand.

I picked up all four ingredients from Whole Foods Market 365 –– a streamlined grocery store evolved from Whole Foods and their 365 Everyday Value product line. I've been excited to try this cauliflower gnocchi since they launched their extended line of frozen fresh pasta and sauce. With tomatoes at their peak and abundant in gardens and markets, they are a natural choice to add flavor to this easy weeknight meal.

Preparation is super fast and flexible. Both the cauliflower gnocchi and pesto sauce are found in the frozen section and can be stored in the freezer or refrigerator, depending on how soon you'll use them. I left mine to thaw in the refrigerator overnight so they'd be easier to work with when I was ready to make dinner.

Ingredients

  • Frozen or fresh gnocchi
  • Frozen or fresh pesto
  • Fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Shaved parmesan cheese
  • Avocado or olive oil

Start by heating oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet and then filling a pot with water to boil. Once the water is on the burner, add the tomatoes to the skillet. If you don't have tomatoes on hand, try swapping for another vegetable. Some of my favorites include spinach, squash, peppers, and eggplant. The key to this meal is simplicity so get creative and use whatever on sale or what you have on hand.

Once the water is boiling, gently place the gnocchi in the pot. It only takes 2-3 minutes to cook, depending on if started from frozen or thawed. Either way, you don't need a timer –– it happens quickly, so be prepared to remove from the burner. You'll know it's done when the gnocchi floats to the top of the water. Once they've risen, pour into a strainer and return to the warm pan and mix in a few spoonfuls of the pesto sauce. If you don't have pesto on hand, try adding a simple tomato sauce or even just some butter –– it's hard to go wrong with this cauliflower gnocchi as the base. Once you've folded in the sauce to the warm gnocchi, top with your blistered vegetables, parmesan, and you're done! It's really that simple.

When I shared this on Instagram last week, many of you were excited about to try it yourselves, asking where to find it in store. Most of you are familiar with the 365-brand of items carried at Whole Foods, but many were unfamiliar with the 365 specialty stores, which are opening up around the country. Whole Foods Market 365 is a special branch of Whole Foods with its own branded stores. I shop at the Concord store, which is the first in the Bay Area. These they are popping up in cities around the country and you can find your nearest local store here!

Keto Pizza Frittata (Low Carb)

Frittata's are one of my favorite egg dishes and this Pizza Frittata is one of the most tasty I've ever concocted. Although a bit more complicated than a simple scramble or omelette, the results are far more impressive. Fritter's are also a great way to use miscellaneous scraps from your refrigerator so get creative. I came up with this recipe to satify my craving for pizza and it's absolutely worth the effort.

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