photo via The Pioneer Woman
How is it Friday again already? This week the boyfriend moved to a new apartment and my week became consumed by all things moving. One task I took on was to be in charge of meals for the week. We had long since packed up his entire kitchen and fridge so my kitchen became the hub for this week’s meals. While I didn’t have any time to create a new recipe for you, I wanted to share the two meals that I made this week- the kicker is that neither requires a recipe!
The first meal that I made is one of my all-time favorites to make during the week: crock pot bbq chicken. It is SO simple! All that you need to do is put a seasoned whole chicken into the crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Voila! Beautiful pull apart tender chicken with practically no effort that lasts for days. My main cheat during a busy week (besides reaching for the crock pot) is using a store bought bbq sauce. My current favorite is Trader Joe’s Korean BBQ sauce- yum! It reminds me of a general tso’s sauce. If you have a TJ’s near you, you must try it! I served the bbq chicken as sandwiches with a broccoli slaw as a garnish. This meal is so tasty and so perfect for a hectic week!
My second meal I threw together was baked tilapia filets topped with Trader Joe’s Bruschetta. Can you tell where I do all of my grocery shopping? The great thing about baking fish is that it is so fast and you can rest assured that you are giving your body the lean protein that it needs. I paired it with some baked sweet potato wedges and haricot vert beans. While you may be thinking that bruschetta topping (which is made up of tomato, garlic, and basil) seems an unconventional choice for white fish, it is something that I saw and ate a lot of while living in England. I haven’t really seen tomato paired with cod/tilapia/halibut here but trust me, it is a winner! Again, the time saver is using a delicious pre-made sauce that I can trust is full of nutritious ingredients and saves me the extra step of preparing it when I simply don’t have the time.
One thing I want to point out when using pre-prepared sauces and foods is to always take a peek at the ingredients list before purchasing. This may seem like an obvious thing to do – we all hear this in the media about how bad processed food is -but I only really started to realize just how many foreign ingredients there are in many things. I recommend shopping at a store that you know you can trust to have healthy options. For me this is Trader Joes but for you it might be Whole Foods, a co-op, or even the organic section of your grocery store. I don’t buy things anymore if I can’t recognize the ingredients and I feel better for it. To start I’d recommend making small changes- try subbing out a no sugar organic tomato sauce into your pasta sauce or go for the organic and grass-fed beef for your weekend bbq. I know it can be a bit more expensive but knowing exactly what you are putting into your body is worth paying slightly more for. I do what I can within my budget. When I made the switch to making my own tomato sauce for pasta with just tomatoes, basil, garlic, and olive oil rather than a bottled sauce chalk full of indiscernible ingredients I couldn’t believe the difference! Typically after eating a red sauce I get heartburn and feel bloated- this sauce left me with no burn and feeling light and comfortable. If a change as easy as that can make such a difference then I know subbing out other non natural ingredients will only make me feel that much better!
I’d love to know if you have made any changes to your diet in the past year and have you seen results? What is your favorite Trader Joe’s item?