Grocery shopping is an impossibly irritating task. I don't like it. I don't derive any pleasure from the undertaking. And even with a thorough and well laid out list, I invariably forget something. Every time. Tonight I forgot chicken. How does this happen? Anyway, I wish all of the ingredients for my meals for the week would magically arrive at the house. But I've found a solution. It's Trader Joe's.
There is something special about Trader Joe's. I've only done two major shopping trips there so far, but both times it was great. I'm sure part of the fun is that it's new. The store isn't massive so it's a faster shopping experience. With fewer choices, making decisions is easier. Their packaging is appealing. Their prices are reasonable and I find something new and tantalizing every time I'm there. Plus the staff are so friendly and helpful. Instead of a surly 16 year old stock boy vaguely gesturing and mumbling at me to look in aisle 12 for the wheat germ, I get a cute organic 22 year old bearded man escorting me straight to the Cilantro Salad dressing and asking me what I'm cooking for dinner. Everything about Trader Joe's seems to be carefully thought out and controlled for maximum customer satisfaction. Shoppers look happy and satisfied as they wander through the aisles. I feel relaxed and excited when I'm there. And so I'm shopping at Trader Joe's as much as possible from here on out.
I'm reading Small Changes, Big Results by Ellie Krieger as a way to jump start my weight loss goals and to accompany it, I borrowed her So Easy: Luscious Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week cookbook from the library. Ellie Krieger is a Food Network chef and registered dietician. She's beautiful and seems very down to earth. I love watching her show. But instead of being one of those healthy cooking gurus who thinks light cheese tastes just as good as real cheese (which we all know is bullshit,) she creates recipes that are full of flavor, plenty of protein and vegetables, and makes lighter choices without sacrificing taste, or pasta or dessert. For the next few weeks I'm going to cook as many recipes as I can from her So Easy cookbook. So after stocking up at Trader Joe's tonight, I came home and made her Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Peas and Herbs.
I swapped out salmon for shrimp since we had some at home already and I prefer my salmon grilled. But other than that I stuck to her recipe pretty closely. This cold pasta salad has a zesty creamy flavor with a sauce made from Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest, a little mayo and salt and pepper. With scallions, sweet peas, shrimp and a little mock crab that we had on hand, and tossed with farfalle pasta, this was a light, creamy and satisfying meal. And the perfect way to kick off our healthy eating changes. I'll post more of her recipes throughout the week. This morning we had her strawberry banana smoothies, perfect. Tomorrow we are having sirloin steak with mustard sauce and homemade Parmesan steak fries. This healthier eating thing might not be so difficult after all.