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Food Finds & Other Fun Stuff

When mother nature ushers in a change of seasons that also means we usually change up what we are cooking and eating.Variety is the spice of life they say and it’s so true when it comes to what we choose to eat. Have you been grocery shopping recently? It’s fun to see how the landscape in the produce department is changing right now. I’m loving winter squash like butternut, acorn and kabocha, slightly sweet, wonderfully creamy eaten as a side dish or added to soups and stews. I can’t pick a favorite as I like them all. Let’s talk apples especially Honey Crisp apples -super juicy and crisp – a perfect snack or dessert as is – no work required. In addition to those exceptional produce finds here are a few more things that found their way into my shopping cart.

Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats

Yes this is a giant bag of Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats – 7 pounds worth! This was purchased at Costco. When I buy these huge bags of oats I put some in a sealed container in the pantry and freeze the rest to preserve it’s freshness. Steel cut oats have a chewy texture compared to good ole regular rolled oats. So if you like more texture to your hot cereal this one is for you. The quick cooking steel cut oats are cut differently from their longer cooking steel cut cousins and they are flattened a bit so they cook quicker. It only takes about 5- 7 minutes on the stove top.

Steel Cut OatsI go ahead and make 4 servings at a time, divide them up into individual servings then pop them in the fridge. In the morning all I have to do is heat up the precooked oats with some almond milk or water, add a banana, chopped apple, apple sauce or canned pumpkin, currants, some ground flax meal and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg – microwave for a couple of minutes and breakfast is served. It fills me up until lunch and is so easy. I only have to cook the oatmeal on the stove twice a week so it’s a time saver! Of course if you don’t want this giant bag of oats check your grocery store or health food store for a smaller bag.

Field Roast Deli SlicesThe Field Roast vegan grain products are new to me and I am so delighted to have found them at Whole Foods. They carry a wide variety of grain based sausages, hot dogs and these yummy deli slices. This brand can be found in many health food stores.

Field Roast Deli SlicesWe find that two slices for a sandwich is perfect with some fresh greens, red onion and mustard. These would also be great for a vegan panini sandwich with hummus. The texture is very similar to cold cuts – how do they do that? The flavor is light and delicate – if you like a hint of sage you will like this product. Hubby Tom says it tastes meaty. Two thumbs up from him!

Winter Vegetable Soup & Field Roast Sandwich

Soup and a sandwich is one of my favorite lunches. Have you made this Winter Vegetable Soup yet? It makes a big pot full and luckily I have some in my freezer. It makes good use of butternut squash so be sure to check out the recipe.

Onions CostcoThis is a 10 pound bag of yellow onions from Costco – now don’t think I have gone crazy. It seems like a lot of onions especially when you know I am mostly cooking for two people these days. I use a ton of onions in soups, stews and other recipes and we can usually go through this bag before they go bad. When there are some that need to be used but I don’t need them immediately for a recipe I will chop them up in my food processor and freeze them in quart size freezer bags. Since I don’t ever use them raw this works out perfectly. Plus what a bonus to have already peeled, diced onions ready for a recipe. I also do this with celery and bell peppers. I buy the large bags of organic celery at Costco and the organic bell peppers at Trader Joe’s, clean, chop, bag and freeze. It’s much cheaper to buy the large quantities.

Trader Joe's Roasted Red Peppers

These are oh so handy to keep in the pantry and of course if you don’t have a Trader Joe’s check your grocery store for another brand. I use them in quite a few recipes as the work is all done for you. Of course they do have added salt and bit of sugar but the entire jar is only 80 calories! Perfect for soups, chili, enchiladas, sauces and salad dressings.

Costco Calphalon Grill PanThis time of year be sure to browse through the housewares section of the big box stores like Costco and Sam’s club. They are well stocked for the holiday season with a huge variety of items for the kitchen and for entertaining. I couldn’t pass up this 11 inch grill pan made by Calphalon. It was only $29.99 which is a great price. Since I just bought it I haven’t used it yet but wanted to share with you while they stores still have inventory. It will be awesome for making panini sandwiches, grilling veggies and maybe even some tofu!

Lasagna Pan Martha Stewart

For quite some time I have been looking for a lasagna pan then here a while back I was looking around the housewares department at Macy’s and discovered this Martha Stewart deep baking dish. I have used it a few times already and love it! It held a vegan lasagna without spilling over. It was also perfect for the Enchilada Casserole with Rosted Pablano Cream. It cleans up so easy and I love the deep red color on the outside which makes it suitable for a variety of holiday recipes.

Costco Chopping mats

This was my other awesome find at Costco – a bamboo cutting board with 7 colored chopping mats. The flexible chopping mats are my favorite because you can pick them up and transfer your chopped items right into the pot or bowl. The down side is that they can be slippery and can move around while you are chopping. Not with this bamboo holder – the chopping mats fit in the recessed top which contains them while you are chopping. The rest of the chopping mats are stored underneath! I love it.

Disclaimer – I purchased all of these products with my own money and wasn’t asked to write any of these reviews. This is just me sharing some of my shopping fun with you!

Nutmeg Notes

Yesterday I made another pot of Chef AJ’s Red Lentil Chili in the pressure cooker – you can also make it in a slow cooker. It’s really one of our favorite chili soups – so thick, creamy and full of flavor. Today we had it for lunch again with a Field Roast Deli sandwich.

I have been getting extra exercise in the form of raking leaves and netting leaves out of our pool! It’s only the beginning of what will be weeks of leaf duty! It does give me lots of extra steps on my fitbit which is always fun. Oh did I tell you all that my fitbit had an impromptu “cleanse” – that’s right, I left it in a pocket and it went through the wash cycle! Luckily it seems to be working  just fine. Hubby Tom couldn’t find his for a few weeks and then he discovered it in a pocket of a pair of jeans that had gone through the laundry. The first couple of times he used it the stats seemed to be a bit off but now it appears to be working fine. I guess I need to check our pockets better before doing laundry. We do still enjoy wearing our Fitbits and tracking our steps, miles and calories burned.

That’s all I have for today my friends.

Tami

I love reading your comments and questions – keep them coming!

Have any new food finds or product finds you want to share?


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  1. Sue says:

    As always, I enjoy your food and non-food finds. Earlier in the month I had noticed that Costco had some new styles of exercise clothing, but I passed on them because I didn’t think the pants would look good on me (I’m at goal weight, but still have a tummy). After your previous shopping post I went back to Costco to purchase them and give them a try. They fit great and are so comfortable. I think they have some tummy control built in.

    1. Tami says:

      Sue sometimes we are our own worse enemy- I am so glad you went back to Costco and tried the exercise pants. Spandex works wonders doesn’t it? I think it takes a long time for the mind to catch up to the body after weight loss – we still think we are bigger than we really are. I find that photos really help me to see the truth. Happy Shopping! :)

  2. Jody - Fit at 55 says:

    LOVE honey crisp apples!!!

    Costco has so many great items that are organic & more now – I have to be careful walking thru there! :)

    I need a couple new pans so best check that out! :)

    I love this time of year for the season but not so much as it gets busier & the lack of funds to do certain things… BUT it is fun… lots of bdays in our family too :O

    1. Tami says:

      I do have to watch myself in Costco as well Jody – so many things are tempting me in every aisle! Love the prices and the variety they offer. If we make the holiday season more about being with our family and less about “things” we are all better off. After all it’s our relationships that really matter. :)

  3. Veronica says:

    I love that bamboo board with the chopping mats! I use those but don’t have a holder – how nice that would be! We don’t have a Costco so I’m going to see if I can find it online.

    1. Tami says:

      Veronica I found a link for the bamboo cutting board set https://www.sevilleclassics.com/cutting_boards.

  4. Beverly says:

    I love these posts! It reminds me that I should cook up a bunch of steel cut oats. Not sure why I didn’t think of putting individual servings in the fridge for quick breakfasts. Duh! Thanks for the helpful hint. :) I have yet to make it to our new Costco. The lines for new memberships had 1-1 1/2 hour waits, so I bought my membership online and just got the cards on Saturday, so off my hubby and I went, only to find out they close at 6 p.m. What?! I (wrongly) assumed they would have the same hours as Sam’s. I have never washed my Fitbit, but glad to know if I did, it “might” still work. I love seeing any number of 10,000 when I take it off each night. I thought about wearing it to bed to track my sleeping – have you done that? I recently purchased a Polar HRM and am LOVING it. I love to get in the “zone” and know to stay there and not go over (or under). Happy Halloween!

    1. Tami says:

      Beverly I don’t like Costco hours as much as Sam’s Club which is open earlier and stays open later. I hope you get to go there soon! I have never heard of the Polar HRM – will have to google it. Isn’t it great to have these little gadgets that encourage us to be active and make healthy choices! Happy Halloween :)

  5. Kim says:

    The chopping board from Costco looks wonderful! I am going to have to check that out and perhaps ask Santa to swing by Costco for me. :) Happy Halloween!

    1. Tami says:

      Great idea for a Christmas gift Kim! You know how Costco is – you have to buy things when you see them because if you wait and go back they will be sold out. Happy Halloween! :)

  6. Katy Beth says:

    Looks like I need to go shopping!

    1. Tami says:

      Yes you do! :)

  7. Bernardo I. Sharp says:

    We had so much fun at the Golden Spurtle, that we began The Spar for the Spurtle™: the ultimate oatmeal throw down so we could share the fun with our customers. Spar for the Spurtle™ asks customers to submit their recipes using steel cut oats for a chance to win a trip to Scotland to compete in the Golden Spurtle Championship on our behalf. Learn more about this fun competition at http://www.sparforthespurtle.com and throw your hat in the ring!

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