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    Hey! I'm Beth - a 27 year old foodie living and working in the Washington, DC area who has lost almost 90 pounds through Weight Watchers. I love good food, wine and getting creative in the kitchen, and then balancing that out with running, The Shred, and yoga. Please feel free to browse around and hopefully you'll find some ideas, recipes and motivation!

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Menu Plan Monday

I finally got it semi right this week, not only posting my menu plan on Monday, but also doing a little planning before going shopping. I’m on a roll.

For shopping this week, I actually went to THREE different stores. I know that might seem crazy, and it definitely feels a little crazy, but I did the main trip on Saturday to Trader Joe’s to get most of what I needed, but then I found myself in Fairfax, VA near a Wegmans yesterday so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. After that, I ended up at Target to run some other errands and scooped up a few things I’d forgotten at the other stores. Just slightly crazy.

First up, here’s the menu plan I came up with.

Breakfast Lunch Snacks Dinner Workout
Monday English Muffin w peanut butter and banana Grilled Tuna (Sat night) Salad, mango, strawberry, goat cheese, sunflower seeds Grapes, Apple, Cottage Cheese Lentil and Quinoa Patties The Shred
Tuesday Wheat Berries, Greek Yogurt, frozen fruit Lentil and Quinoa Patty leftovers, grapes Hard boiled egg, apple, banana Leftover Mexican Casserole (Sunday night) Running Intervals
Wednesday Protein Smoothie w frozen fruit, peanut flour, greek yogurt Leftover Mexican Casserole + salad Greek yogurt w frozen fruit Quesadilla w Brie, Provolone + sliced apple, salad Elliptical
Thursday Pb oatmeal with banana + apple Open face Tuna Salad Sandwich Greek yogurt w frozen fruit Sun dried tomato Calzones and salad rest
Friday Greek yogurt, rolled oats, fruit, cinnamon Leftover calzone + salad Hard boiled egg, cottage cheese, apple Dinner out after the 5k Crystal Run 5k Friday

I’m actually pretty excited about the menu this week and looking forward to having some things I haven’t had in a while – calzones and mexican casserole – plus trying some new things! It should be good.

Trader Joe’s

On Saturday, I did the main part of my shopping trip spending $47.80 at TJ’s. I mostly stuck to my list and had to stock up on protein like tempeh and tofu, but also picked up a few impulse buys (cough*edamame hummus*cough). Here’s everything I came home with:

  • Lite Mexican Blend Cheese
  • Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • Whole Wheat Mini Pitas
  • Whole Grain Flour Tortillas
  • Shallots
  • Extra Firm Organic Tofu (x2)
  • Organic 3-Grain Tempeh (x2)
  • Edamame Hummus
  • Pineapple Salsa
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar
  • Semisweet Chocolate Minis (99 cents for the pack of 12 – steal!)
  • Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • Roasted, Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
  • Bell Peppers
  • Spring Mix
  • Frozen Herbs (up close below)

I’d seen these many times in the store and have been tempted to buy them, and then finally took the plunge this weekend. I picked up Cilantro, Garlic, and Basil, and they keep in the freezer for several months. They are separated into teaspoon sized portions, so you can use them in soups, sauces, or whatever else you can think of. Here’s what the other side looks like:

You basically just pop them out into whatever you’re cooking and they’re supposed to flavor the dish just like fresh herbs would. I’m pretty excited to try them!

Wegmans

Though I definitely could have made do with what I got at Trader Joe’s, when we realized we were right by the Wegmans yesterday, I couldn’t resist checking it out. Have you ever been to one? It’s seriously like heaven if you love grocery shopping. I was pretty impressed with the self control I exercised while I was there. Here’s what I managed to limit myself to:

  • More spring mix
  • Bananas
  • Red Grapes
  • Spanish Onions
  • Raisins
  • Wheat Berries
  • Part-skim Mozzarella

Total damage: $16.18

Final stop, Target.

  • Light Sour Cream
  • Mini Chocolate Chips
  • Light Ricotta
  • Chunky Salsa

Total spent: $8.78

Between the three stores, I ended up coming in just under budget at $72.76, which is not bad considering all the stuff I got. I could have definitely spent less (slash went to less stores) and stuck to the list a little more, but it also could have gone largely the other way when I found myself in Wegmans, so I’m not sweating it. Plus, I’m really excited about my menu this week, so it’s worth it!

Do you use herbs a lot in cooking? Dried, fresh, frozen or a combination? Any recommendations on using those frozen ones a certain way? Which is your favorite? The only herbs I’ve really mastered are cilantro and basil, and I use the word master loosely to mean semi-know how to use and can recognize from afar. 🙂

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40 Responses

  1. I had that edamame hummus in my hand yesterday and put it back. You must tell me how it is!!! I already have hummus in the fridge, so I really did not need it. Plus, I gave up impulse shopping for Lent.

    I also got the frozen cilantro cubes yesterday. I already have the frozen basil cubes and used one of them in a recipe last week. I always keep a jar of minced garlic in the fridge, so no need for the frozen garlic!

  2. I have never seen those frozen herb cubes — but what a good idea! I hope you keep us posted on how you like them!

  3. I use herbs all the time. I especially use fresh herbs in the summer when I have a little garden. I like to take basil/oregano/rosemary/thyme/garlic and chop it finley and mix with panko bread crumbs and dredge fresh fish into it then pan fry it. It’s not an everyday thing, but a nice little treat. The herbs add so much to the breadding.

    I will also throw fresh and dried herbs into whatever pasta dish I am making.

  4. I LOVE the frozen herbs! I have a horrible habit of buying fresh herbs and then forgetting about them until it’s too late and they have broken down to something resembaling pond scum. So yeah…the frozen ones are perfect for me.

    And Wegmans? I saw an article in the Washington Post about the new store in Laurel – aparently it’s quite the pick up spot! There was even a wedding there! Love that place.

    • A wedding!! How funny. I am really bad about using fresh herbs, too. I did hear that at Whole Foods you can buy any produce you want in whatever quantity you want – so you can have them divide a bunch of herbs up and only get half or a third. I’ve never done it, but its good to know!

  5. I went to school in Rochester, where Wegmans are everywhere. Our graduation speaker was one of the Wegmans, lol. It is the best grocery store in the world and I miss it so much.

  6. I love herbs and definitely prefer fresh ( much easier in the summer, when I can grow them myself ) , but the Dorot frozen ones from TJ are AWESOME! I bought the cilantro a few months ago and would randomly throw a couple cubes into chicken soup, curry, stir fry, etc. I think you will be happy with them.

  7. I wouldn’t feel too bad about shopping at three different stores 🙂 My hubby and I regularly shop at 3+ stores because we have a few really good natural/organic stores here and we shop the sales!

  8. Hey Beth – new to you blog and I love it! I have a question though – I am also doing WW and I love PB, but I find that it is so high in points for such a small amt. Is there a particular brand that you’re using or a substitute (almond butter?) Thanks for the tip!

    • Hey Emily! So glad you found my blog and are enjoying it so far. I use reduced fat peanut butter (1 tbsp = 2pts+) OR, what I do most of the time, is use dried peanut butter – PB2 or Peanut Flour mixed with some water and vanilla extract. It’s not exactly the same, but you get SO much more and its way lower in points+.

  9. I use dried herbs a lot. Since I’m not usually one to follow a recipe while cooking, I just open my spice cabinet and try to guess what goes good together!

    Sometimes it turns out much better than others…

  10. Frozen spices??? I have not seen these, I will have to pick these up! I usually use dried, I wouldn’t use the fresh ones up before they went bad and I hate wasting food.

    • I’ve heard you can actually freeze your own herbs, right on the stems, and they hold up well. I haven’t tried it yet but I’m planting some herbs for the summer this year so I’ll be experimenting with that later this summer!

  11. I love the frozen herbs! I mainly just use the frozen garlic though. They’re great for when you’re in a pinch!

  12. I love cooking with fresh herbs but they can be expensive and not a long “shelf-life.” So typically I end up using dried. I have a very large spice collection.

  13. I prefer to use fresh herbs, but if a recipe only calls for a little bit, I’ll go with frozen or dried. If you consider garlic an herb, we always use that fresh (we use so much of it, it never has time to go bad). We keep the Dorot silantro and basil in the freezer since we use those a lot but not enough to always justify buying fresh – I hate that you have to buy an enormous bunch if you want them fresh! I wish they sold them by weight like other produce. For stuff we don’t use often (thyme, oregano, etc) we usually just go with dried.

  14. Wegman’s is the greatest place on earth. Period. 🙂 I also meant to tell you I absolutely LOVED your points vs. calories post!!! So interesting!

  15. Oh how I miss my Wegmans:( The grocery stores here in the Midwest stink!

  16. I recently discovered how much better FRESH herbs are in recipes! It makes a world of difference and I try not use dried now.

  17. I do have a Wegman’s by where I live. That’s my regular grocery store. I do love the variety they have there. I could stay in there for hours just looking around.

  18. Hey Beth! I’m also new to your blog and love it! Keep up the great posts.

  19. I saw those frozen herb cubes and was tempted to buy them, but ended up putting them back, let me know if you like them!

  20. Love the frozen herbs! The garlic is the best.

    That edamame hummus is fantastic too.. Yum-my!

  21. Ohh I miss Wegmans! I live in California but grew up in upstate NY and went to college in Syracuse. We LIVED at Wegmans! They have a great food court type area that we seriously would eat dinner at once a week. When we end up back in the area, we ALWAYS stop at Wegmans!
    Love TJ’s whole wheat pizza dough! I always have one or two in my freezer/fridge! My new thing is to cut it in half and use it for 2 thin crust pizzas. It totally is enough dough and it cuts half the calories.

    • We actually ate lunch there before shopping so that we had a better chance of exercising self control, and it worked! I had two sliced of mushroom and spinach white pizza… SO GOOD!

      My plan with the dough is to use it for the calzones, and I want to try to get 4-6 out of it, cook them all, and then freeze the ones I don’t eat. We’ll see how it goes!

  22. ohhh i’ve not seen the frozen herbs, but totally dig it that woudl be really handy!

  23. Those herb things look cool. Be sure to share how you like them!

  24. I went to Wegman’s in Baltimore once. It’s like the Disney World of grocery stores! It is probably for the best that I don’t have one nearby! I’d be broke!

    I use fresh herbs on occassion if I am making a special recipe. Then what I don’t use goes bad in the fridge. Normally I used the minced garlic in the fridge and dried herbs/spices. I’d love to try frozen though! That would be handy!

  25. I totally want to get some of those frozen herbs! I have never seen them out here….man, oh man I hope Germany has some good shopping when it comes to food!!! You shopping goods always look so yummy and fresh…both are super important 😉 I also really want to try a LaraBar…hopefully soon!!

  26. I love using herbs – both fresh and dried! I cant wait until I have a working herb garden!

  27. I am obsessed with cilantro and basil! Not sure I use them right, but if it tastes yummy…it’s right to me! On a side note…I was browsing your blog the other day and came across your recipe for a chocolate cherry bomb. Oh my…I think it may be my new obsession. seriously tasty!

  28. I work at Wegmans and I swear I end up spending half my paycheck there! It is a really great grocery store though compared to all the other ones in our area. The frozen herbs are really interesting I don’t think I have seen them before. This post has left me craving chocolate chips! 🙂

  29. I love those frozen seasoning packs! I primarily use them in Italian dishes, but they are so handy.

  30. Those frozen cuties are so handy! I make my own, but I would so love the convenience of these. Come join me for What’s On the Menu Wednesday whenever you can. Headed your way in late May.

  31. […] Meal Planning Mondays. Check on this one! You can see week one, two, three, and four. I planned out my meals for the week and posted my grocery loot each Monday. I […]

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