This month in Citiscapes Magazine, I photographed a piece featuring Jennifer McMurray. Jenn is a single gal with a saw, hammer, & paint brush in hand remodeling one ugly, neglected house at a time. She is currently working on Flip #5, which is a house near the downtown area of Springdale, AR. Jenn really takes pride in her homes doing most of the work herself & she is the realtor- Girl Power! Her style is amazingly eclectic, just like mine, so we had a lot in common to talk about. Take a look inside her wonderful work at this house & else she has in store on her blog! She takes you along for the ride on every flip she completes. You never know, you might want to purchase a home from her!
On a beautiful sunny day I like to work from the Whole Foods patio, and utilize the free WIFI. Today after work I went shopping for items to make a quick and easy dinner, that wouldn't dirty many dishes. The first stop is always the meat case to see what is on sale. This week the breaded chicken breasts were $3.99/lb. I chose the Parmesan/Rosemary crusted chicken breast, but there were about 5 other flavors available. My chicken breast was $2.37!
I went to check out the produce to see what deal I could find. Broccoli was $2.49/lb. I grabbed a head that was just enough for myself. It came out to be a whopping .52 cents.
Next stop was Cheese Palace- I always pay a visit to the "cheese under $4" bins. This allows me to try lots of different cheese for cheap, and if you don't like it then oh well! I grabbed a small wedge of Gabietou Herve Mon for $2.10. It is a sheep and cow’s milk cheese. The texture is amazing and just melts in your mouth, the flavor lasts so you can really savor every second.
Lastly, I took a stroll down the frozen aisle to look for my favorite bag of veggies- Tommy's Superfoods. The bags are usually $4.99, but were on sale for $3.99. They have packages of several different variations, I chose the Root Fusion. Root Fusion is a mixture of Fuji apples, beets, turnips, and carrots and the flavor is out of this world! I never knew I enjoyed beets until I had them roasted.
Dinner prep was simple- I tossed the bag of frozen Root Fusion into an oven safe pan and tossed with olive oil, cut the broccoli up and placed it in the steamer. The chicken got a slight makeover by cutting diagonal slits and adding the cheese I bought. YOU WILL WANT TO DO THIS TOO! The chicken and vegges went in the oven at 375' for 30ish mins, while the broccoli steamed on the stove. The mess was minimal, the food was delicious and my total cost was $8.98.
When shopping at Whole Foods I try to find the best deals and sales. I use the Whole Foods app along with the Ibotta app to save money. Both are great ways to shop smart and save!! Download Ibotta here https://ibotta.com/r/kxxqlxi Many people are scared of Whole Foods due to the prices, and yes some items are on the pricier side. I also may be a little impartial to Whole Foods, since I have photographed several and know my way around them very well. So I am here to change your mind about shopping at your local WF, and each teach you smarter ways to shop at Whole Foods. By all means still shop at other grocery stores, I do, but give Whole Foods a shot too!
If you walk into a Whole Foods blindly you are going to spend way too much money and have buyers remorse- we don't want that! A few things to to keep in mind while browsing the aisles- 365 brand is Whole Food's own brand like Great Value at Wal-Mart. I always choose 365 products and the prices are similar to Great Value. The hot bar, cookie island, and the bbq hot bar (each store varies) will get you in trouble really fast. Each of those stations are weighted and you are charged by the pound, and yes you are going to fill that box with WAY more food than you need and there's no turning back. Another pay by the pound option is the prepared food case, just be conscience of what you're buying. Sometimes it is ok to be lazy, but you can make those dishes at home and spend way less.
This Sunday I went to get a few groceries for the week and ran across some items on sale that I wanted to try. Rice cauliflower was on sale for $3.99 and yes I have tried to grate a cauliflower before to make mashed cauliflower. Let's just say it didn't turn out that well! I wanted to go the fried rice route this time. Cece's Veggie Noodle Co. also offers other great veggie alternatives to several carbs. Check them out!
I like to grab several veggies for the week and my go to veggies are peppers, avocados, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. Most of those veggies tend to be on sale several times throughout the month. This week yellow, green, and red peppers were on sale and they had avocados 5 for $5 and they are GOOD! Super fresh and full of flavor!
Next stop was the meat case- not only was I out of meat, but there is a cute butcher so it is a win win! I like to see what is on sale to make my menu for the week. Sirloin was on sale this week at $7.99/lb, so I decided to go for steak fried rice as one dish. I explained to the butcher how I wanted to use the sirloin, so he trimmed the fat and sliced it up for me! I was able to get more bang for my buck by trimming the fat. I would not want that for the fried rice, so it did not make sense to pay for it. I also got some thick cut pork chops on sale for $3.99/lb. The meat is always fresh and never frozen, and you can tell the difference!
Fried rice calls for sesame seed oil, so I ventured off down that aisle. I found the sesame oil and other deals! Saffron Road has simmer sauce packets in 4 different flavors- they were 2 for $5! Why not add something else new to my delicious meal? Steak fried rice quickly turned into a Korean Stir Fry/Fried Rice fusion. If you're wondering, these sauce packets are $2.69 at Wal-Mart, so it was a good buy.
Last stops were some essentials, Milk-365 brand milk, my favorite cold brew coffee-High Brew Cold Brew 4 Packs @ $7.99 which is cheaper than Wal-Mart at $2.19/can or WF often sells them 2 for $4, and my go to breakfast sandwiches- Evol. I can only find these at WF's and they are often 2 for $4 too. I was spending way too much money and calories on a coffee and breakfast pastry every morning, so I have my morning routine down to half the cost and calories.
I am excited to help you learn, while I learn, how to shop smart! Each week I will blog my tips and what is on sale! I'll be posting the Korean Stir Fry/Fried Rice fusion recipe soon!
- Evol https://www.evolfoods.com/our-food/breakfast/breakfast-sandwiches
- High Brew https://www.highbrewcoffee.com/collections/coffee
- Cece's Veggie Noodle Co. https://www.cecesveggieco.com/products/
- Saffron Road https://saffronroad.com/our-products/
- All other images were taken by Kerri McMahon Photo for Whole Foods Market.
Three days of Roast... typically I cannot make myself eat leftovers on day 2, but I am really maximizing the roast. Tonights dinner took a spin off last night and became my version of a Buddha Bowl. What is a Buddha Bowl? According to Martha Stewart “It's more of a general formula than a hard-and-fast recipe, since you can swap out different ingredients for variety and to make use of whatever you have on hand." I am not sure if mine falls under the "super healthy" umbrella, but you get the point. Buddha Bowl- a good balance of the different foods you have available.
My Buddha Bowl ingredients were rice, roast, sweet peppers, corn and avocado- topping it all off with that cream cheese sauce again and Sriracha. There was one pupusa left and it was calling my name, so I put it in the frying pan. What will be in your Buddha Bowl?
Finding the right balance in life can be hard sometimes, but I bet if you take a step back you will be able to find the balance you need to succeed.
On Sunday I made a delicious beef roast in the crock pot. This time I added Sriracha, Worcestershire sauce and sweet peppers for a twist on the typical Roast.
I always struggle with leftovers and what to do with it all. Yes, Buddy gets try some, but there is still several helpings left. Monday I had planned to make tacos with the meat, but I wasn't really looking forward to it for some reason. So after a quick trip to Whole Foods my tacos turned into the best creation I have ever made. In the freezer section I found frozen pupusas. A pupusa is a traditional Salvadorean dish of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with a savory filling. At Whole Foods they offered several different fillings and I chose the green chile & cheese. My very favorite pupusas are from Las Americas in Fort Smith, Arkansas and it has been hard to find some similar in NWA. If you too have been on the pupusa search- look no further! These were amazing!
Let's get started- I put some roast, peppers and onions from the crock pot into a frying pan to reheat and caramelize a little. While my meat was heating I warmed my pupusas. The packaging says to cook for 4 minutes on each side, but I like mine a little crispy so I went ahead and cooked for a bit longer. I had a package of creamy chicken rice in the pantry, since that doesn't quite fit with my theme I decided to freelance. Instead of boiling the rice in 2 cups of water- I boiled the rice in 2 cups of juice from the roast. It made it very flavorful! Cheese! I must have cheese! I only had cream cheese in the fridge, so I made a lime cream cheese sauce. I melted about 2 tbs of cream cheese with a splash of lime juice. You can also add a little milk to make it runnier. Once the pupusas were golden and crisp I topped them with the roast-peppers-and onions mixture, drizzled the cream cheese sauce over the top and cut up some avocado. If you like spicy add some Sriracha for more of a kick!