New Trader Joe’s Finds

Kale and Spinach Bites: These warm, cheesy, nutrient packed bites make for a satisfying snack. Serve them as apps when you have guests over or snack on them as a savory treat. 140 calories for 4 bites. Can I say anymore?

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Cookie and Cocoa Swirl: I am obsessed with TJ’s cookie butter, I put it on everything. When I saw cookie butter AND hazelnut spread in ONE jar there was no question it wasn’t coming home with me. This is pure happiness in a jar. Oh, it’s 90 calories per tbsp which is less than peanut butter. This is a no brainer.

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Vanilla Ice Cream Bon Bons: These are just pure heaven. Side note: when I think of bon bons I think of Peggy Bundy. The best thing about them is that they are 60 CALORIES PER PIECE! OMG… I sometimes don’t believe it myself. You’re welcome.

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Green Tea Mochi: They are exactly the same as the mochi you get at Japanese restaurants for except you can eat them on your couch. With 100 cals per mochi, they make for a great after dinner desert.

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Pumpkin Butter: I love to spread it on toast, add it to my oatmeal, or spread it on crackers.

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Chicken Sausage Egg White Frittata

fitttI’ve been posting a lot of frittata recipes lately because it’s J’s favorite. He loves the combination of egg whites with greens, cheese, and some kind of protein. Isn’t my man so healthy?! This frittata is very filling, if you make this for two you will definitely have leftovers.

Chicken Sausage Egg White Frittata 

ingredients:

  • 1-16oz carton of egg whites
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 chicken sausage links (I used TJ’s brand)
  • 1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese

directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. In a heavy, ovenproof 10-inch skillet, heat oil for 30 seconds. Add sausage and cook for 2 minutes, until lightly browned.

3. In a medium bowl, combine egg whites, sausage, spinach, cheese, and salt & pepper to taste. Pour into baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

4. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and you can see the cheese oozing out. Optional: Broil the last 2 minutes of cooking.

DSCN2833You can make this ahead of time, cut it in quarters, and eat it all week. This makes a perfect breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack. It’s delicious hot or cold!

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Video: New Trader Joe’s Finds

Item’s Mentioned in Video:

Coconut Oil Spray

Spicy Soy & Flax Seed Tortilla Chips

Cowboy Caviar Salsa

Three Cheese Tomato Sauce

Breakfast Trek Mix

Mango Honey Shave Cream

Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I absolutely love that Trader Joe’s has pre cut, peeled, and washed veggies. It is the best time saver ever, especially since sweet potatoes are a pain to prepare.

J was so nice to take me to the grocery store so I told him to pick out whatever vegetable he wanted for dinner. Sweet potatoes are his favorite! They also have pre cut butternut squash as well. I was all out of brown sugar so I used raw sugar instead. I used just enough to sweeten them up to help bring out their natural flavors.

Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Sweet Potatoes

 ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s pre cut sweet potatoes OR 3-4 sweet potatoes peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

directions:

Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil, spray with non stick cooking spray. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, and cinnamon. With clean hands, toss all ingredients together so the potatoes are fully coated.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes flipping them half way.

I love roasting vegetables so they caramelize and all of the natural flavors come out of them. They are fantastic when they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Feel free to  modify this recipe, this would be great with a little pumpkin pie spice!

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Blondie Bars

I apologize in advanced for posting this unhealthy recipe.

But these blondies are soooooo easy to make and they were a hit when I made them for my baby cousin’s baby shower a couple of weeks ago. Best thing of all, they are from a box mix- I just added some extra love with toffee bits. The chocolate chips came with the blondie mix.

I always like to keep box mixes on hand, you never know when you’ll need it… and who likes store bought deserts? Not me! Even though these blondies aren’t made from scratch, I still took the effort to make and assemble them. To me, that means way more then going to the store and picking up some brownies no matter how good they are.

Chocolate Chip & Toffee Blondie Bars

Made from Trader Joe’s Blondie Bar Baking Mix 

ingredients: 

  • 1 box Trader Joe’s Blondie Bar Baking Mix
  • 1 stick of butter, unsalted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Heath toffee bits (optional)

directions: 

Melt the butter in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until melted. Beat the egg and add to the blondie mix with the melted butter. Mix well. Add the toffee bits. Spray a 9×13 brownie pan with non stick cooking spray. Press the batter evenly into the pan, bake at 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them since all ovens are different.

I like mine to be a little under baked so they are gooey on the inside and chewy on the outside. YUM!

New Grocery Finds

Good morning, hope you had a great weekend! I am exhausted this morning, it was impossible to get out of bed. I snoozed my alarm at least 6 times. I really tried hard to make this beautiful collage for all of you- next one will be even better! I’ve been meaning to post the new grocery store products I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks. All of the products below are low calorie and absolutely delicious! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do :-)

 1. C20 Coconut Water

2. Mojo bars

3. TJ’s Vegetable Samosas

4. TJ’s Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt Dip

5. TJ’s Japanese Style Fried Rice

6. Morningstar Veggie Meatballs

*TJ’s = Trader Joe’s 

 

My First Summer BBQ & Easy Entertaining Tips

Last night I hosted my first BBQ this summer! It was so much fun to have my friends over and grill on my balcony. The way I entertain is to have food out and ready for my guests. I like it when they walk in the door and food is waiting for them. I also like to serve a variety of options especially since so many people have dietary restrictions. I can’t wait to have my friends over to BBQ again!

Appetizers:

Shrimp cocktail

chips & guac

hummus & pita chips

pigs in a blanket

For appetizers I like to have a variety of finger foods. I’m a big fan of dips and if you want something healthy make sure you have veggies for dipping.

I highly recommend buying at least one appetizer from Trader Joe’s. They always have something that my guests will enjoy. My rule is that at least one item must be homemade- who wants to eat all store bought appetizers!?

Main Course:

Turkey Burgers

Salmon

My main course is typically a protein of some sort. I ALWAYS get my meat from Whole Foods. Typically I choose what is the freshest or what’s on sale. I like to keep my main courses as simple as possible but with some thought involved. Since I made turkey burgers I made sure to have toppings (lettuce, tomato, & onion) along with a hot toasted bun. Since I don’t eat poultry I also made grilled salmon with a miso glaze.

Sides:

Salad (romaine, corn, pistachios, and dried cranberries)

Cornbread Casserole

Cole Slaw

Roasted Potatoes

Pasta Salad

Grilled Veggies

This is the best part of the entire dinner! My friends are incredible chefs and brought the side dishes below. I like to have at least one type of vegetable, a mixed green salad, a variety of starches (pasta salad & potatoes), and other delicious dishes that can please any crowd.

I absolutely LOVE entertaining and having my friends over for dinner. A lot of people tell me how they can’t cook or they don’t know how to entertain. The hardest part is balancing your time in the kitchen and entertaining your guests. Although it can be a lot of work, I have some tips to make entertaining easy and seamless.

Organize: If you need to search for recipes, do that a few days in advanced. Then make a grocery list of everything you need. That way your not running around trying to find everything last minute.

Prep ahead of time: If there are certain dishes you can make ahead, I highly recommend you do so. You can even make some of your dishes a week in advance and freeze them. For example, lasagna is a great dish to make in advance and freeze. If you are serving appetizers, make sure they are out and ready before your guests arrive- one less thing you have to do after they get there.

Use Shortcuts: Buy your veggies already cut up (it’s more expensive but a HUGE time saver). If you’re baking use boxed cake mix and add other ingredients to make it taste homemade. Choose recipes where you only need to assemble the ingredients for example hummus dip, six layer greek dip, or chili cheese dip.

Clean as you go: This is also a big time saver. When you notice the dishes piling in the sink, throw them in the dishwasher to prevent a giant mess.

 The key with entertaining is to have fun and enjoy yourself. Try not to stress yourself out. If it’s your first time entertaining, your friends will understand if things aren’t perfect. If all else fails, order in some pizzas… at least you tried and you guests will appreciate the effort!

 

New Grocery Store Finds

I’m feeling so tired from the weekend and I need to wake up fast. Today is optional to come into work because of the NATO Summit but since I’m such an over achiever I figured, why not take advantage of the office being dead and actually get work done! When I say work I mean blogging about the new grocery store finds I stumbled upon this weekend.

80 cals per square! I love these for a small sweet treat.

Don't even get me started... this stuff is amazing.

 1. Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolatefound at Whole Foods

2. Smartfood Selects, Parmesan and herb popcorn

3. Nature Valley Granola Thins

4. Kashi Peanutty Chocolate layered granola bars

5. Smartfood Multigrain cinnamon sugar pop chips

6. Ciao Bella lowfat greek frozen yogurt

7. Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter

8. Trader Joe’s S’mores ice cream Sandwiches

9. Trader Joe’s ready to drink coffee beverages

 have a great day!

 

Fatass Friday

I guess I should tell you what I’ve been up to the past few days.

I’ve been dog sitting my parent’s chocolate lab Chloe. I actually grew up with her. We got her as a puppy when I was 14 and we’ve been BFF ever since. My siblings think Chloe likes them the best, but we all know I’m her favorite.

just chillin with my girlfriend

I’ve been spoiling her rotten with a day at the spa (aka Petco), long walks, and giving her all the cookies she wants, although last time she stayed with me Jan told me she got fatter. I just love to spoil my Chloe!

Speaking of fat, look what I found…

 Trader Joe’s LAVA CAKES!

360 calories per cake

ooey gooey chocolatey goodness

Then it was time to whip out the vanilla ice cream = dangerous.

This is a very easy desert to have on hand. All you need to do is pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds and you have a warm chocolate molten cake. Texas boy and I shared one last week and it was amazingly good!

An Ode to Trader Joe’s!

I will be picking a winner for my beauty giveaway this afternoon, stay tuned!

  Have a fab weekend!

 

What I Ate Yesterday

I never talk about what I actually eat on the day to day basis. Not because I don’t want all of you to know exactly what I’m eating, I just really didn’t think anyone would care to know, until people started to ask me.

Yesterday was Monday, and Monday’s are what I like to call detox day. This is where I punish myself for being an absolute fatass on the weekend. I also go to Barre Burn every Monday, I don’t EVER miss it unless I have a valid excuse. I eat SUPER healthy, sweat out all the toxins I endured over the weekend, and pretty much make myself suffer (I said no to the birthday cake yesterday). Sorry, through the lips and to the hips.

I also do not eat meat. This is a new thing, I’ve been doing this since….yesterday. It’s called Meatless Mondays.

Breakfast:

Trader Joe’s frozen oatmeal, I love the texture and flavor.

I use half a pack of Justin’s Nut Butter (great for on the go or for the office) with 2 packets of truvia.

Lunch:

This has been the hardest for me lately. I can never decide what I want. Do I bring my lunch? Do I go out? If I brought my lunch what would I bring? Constant lunch insanity! The Beauty Detox Solution had some excellent, healthy, ideas that are easy to pack.

Brown rice with steamed veggies. I used Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Ready Rice with Green Giant’s Health Blends. I love that they are portable and steam right in the bag. I put 1/2 the bag of rice on my plate and poured all the steamed veggies over the rice. It was the perfect, satisfying lunch.

Snack:

Peanut butter and strawberry Kind Bar.

Dinner:

This black bean bowl was comforting, filling, and packed with tons of protein.

Here’s how I made it:

1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup of frozen corn

1/4 cup of reduced fat cheddar cheese

1/4 cup of salsa

Seasonings {a pinch of each}: salt, pepper, onion powder, and red pepper flakes.

Saute the corn until tender and cooked through. Add the beans and seasonings, saute until the beans, corn, and seasonings are incorporated. Transfer to a bowl and top with the cheese and salsa.

I enjoyed this on my couch as if I was eating a bowl of mac and cheese.

I didn’t allow myself any desert. After dinner the kitchen is closed unless I’m cleaning.

What did you eat yesterday?

 

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