I have a confession to make… I’m kind of a grocery store snob… or at least I was. Every once and awhile, as a blogger, an opportunity comes along that requires me to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new, and you guys, this was one of those opportunities. Until recently, I had always been under the impression that shopping at a “discount” grocery store meant shopping for brands that I have never heard of, and limited options, but after a recent trip to a Grocery Outlet store, I stand corrected.
Like everyone else in America, in the new year, we have been making the effort to eat a healthier diet. In addition to this goal, I am also trying to be better about budgeting… a task that is not normally my forte. I do love a good challenge though, so I told myself that I was going to try something different for a change, and give a so-called discount grocery store a whirl. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. Immediately after entering a Grocery Outlet, I was greeted by their NOSH department. NOSH being the acronym for Natural Organic Specialty Healthy. This section of the store boasted some of my family’s favorite healthy brands at fraction of the price… think KIND bars, Newman’s Own, Annie’s Organic, and more. I was totally blown away by the amount of name brands that were there, and even more shocked by the low prices. SO much good stuff found it’s way into my cart. While there, I stocked up on some pantry essentials like olive oil, quinoa, canned tomatoes, and more. The best part… I was even more impressed by the total of my healthy haul when it came to checkout time. Apparently, shopping for healthy and organic groceries doesn’t have to cost a fortune… who knew!
In an effort to challenge myself even further, I wanted to see if I could come up with a recipe that used the healthy items that I purchased at Grocery Outlet. The end result? This recipe for one my family’s favorite healthy side dishes, cranberry pecan quinoa. This dish is hearty, healthy, packed full of flavor, and as an added bonus, it’s super simple to make. I like to pack in the flavor by cooking the quinoa in chicken (or vegetable) broth over water. The sweetness of the cranberries perfectly compliments the crunchy pecans and the savory garlic, and it’s the perfect side for chicken or fish. Sometimes I even eat it alone for lunch!
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 1.5 cups of water or broth
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 dried cranberries
- 1/4 chopped pecans
- 1. Cook quinoa in a saucepan, according to the directions on package.
- 2. In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- 3. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant (about a minute), add pecans, and stir to toast slightly.
- 4. Add cooked quinoa and cranberries, and reduce heat to low.
- 5. Stir until combined and warm.
Have you ever shopped at a Grocery Outlet? What great items did you find there?