Chobani… Cafe? ya, it’s a real thing, y’all! it’s a big deal in New York, and i for one am ecstatic that Chobani chose the Woodlands, Texas for their 3rd cafe location. what an honor! i’m originally from the north side of Houston and even though i got hitched and moved out west towards Katy, it was worth the almost hour drive Kosi and i took to get there. hey, it’s a heck-of-alot closer than NY, right 😉this particular location is housed inside a super cool, high-tech, brand spanking new, neighborhood Walmart. providing healthy snack/lunch options before or after grocery shopping is a wooooonderful idea! as the young girls say, #ImHereForIt two of the sweetest, most gracious hosts, Lauren (l) & Blair, showed us around the new spot and fed my face!Lauren handles all the PR for Chobani, and Blair is the senior communications manager.so many amazing flavor combos and things to choose! they explained the menu thoroughly and urged me to try at least one option from every section. wut? music to my EARS. here’s what i went with:i started with the incredibly dreamy Citrus Ginger Carrot Drink (plain greek yogurt + fresh pressed juice) which is a blended combo of apple, mango, banana, carrot, fennel, ginger, turmeric, and lime. from the Sweet Creations section, this simple, classic fresh fruit + granola combo was calling my name! berries, granola, plain greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey. someone got hungry watching me taste all this food! it was her turn to eat lunch, so i whipped out my Milk Snob cover and let her do her thing.it was the perfect time to step outside the box and try some savory yogurt. they swore by it and i see why! i devoured the Mango + Avocado from the Savory Creations section; it was served with blue corn tortilla chips. Simit Sandwiches!! it’s different and it sets them apart from the rest. it works. i’m a simit first timer and Laura described it as a larger, but thinner bagel. i went with another classic combo and all time fave of mine, avocado and turkey breast. they slather the toasted simit with a savory yogurt spread which ties the sandwich flavors all together. SO.GOOD. my girl my girl Adaeze lives in the area, so i told her to meet me at the Cafe so she could say hi to Kosi! Lauren and Blair were so kind and let her try out a few things on the menu too! these tables though! how about i need them in my home kitchen so when Dego spills his juice it won’t get all over the chair and floor! #genius it’s all coming together beautifully! they are scheduled to open very, very soon. they even sent us away with goodie bags!inside was some grape and strawberry yogurt for my boys, they threw in a few Turkish Nazars for my boys which are believed to protect one from the evil eye in Eastern Mediterranean culture. you wear them on your arm just like bracelet. cannot wait to come back and use that gift card!also, there was some clover honey,EVOO,and this cool fitted cap that i’ll never see again now that it’s in Chiso’s hands! spring break is almost over but we still have more stuff to cross off our list 🙂
i know… squash and gourds are two different things, but they are both from the same fam. the Cucurbita family! and come on, that title is super catchy. let me make it.
so when i get up before the crack of dawn i usually aim to get two things outta the way:
my workout (yes, you need this coffee cup and you know it),
and grocery shopping (when it’s time).
sure i love shopping and snacking on samples with these two crumb snatchers every chance i get, but truth be told they make me stray from my list and i go way over my budget sometimes. (and my daily sugar intake).
speaking of my grocery budget, i was asked what the heck it is from an IG supporter! i go about 3 times a month and i’m still able to stay under 300 bucks total for the 4 of us. keep in mind this is strictly for food, not other household items (detergent, cleaners, paper towels, toiletries, etc.). here are my top tips:
only buy seasonal, on-sale produce and meat (chicken breast, fish, beef, etc)
i tailor my recipes for the week to whatever is on sale. if it’s not on sale, i leave it and don’t force it.
get your Google on 🙂 there are a ton of coupon sites out there and most of them are free upon signing up. i use this one most frequently.
local store fliers (HEB, Sprouts Farmers Market, Central Market, Trader Joes, Whole Foods)
always check online first! HEB is the first store i’ve ever seen to have produce coupons *starts a slow clap*
buying in bulk
do the math and make sure it’s worth it! my mom used to whip out her calculator while we shopped at Sam’s growing up. memories. i usually buy our mixed nuts (almonds, cashews) and snacks in bulk (chocolate covered raisins, plantain chips, trail mix, dried fruit for the boys, gummy worms, etc.)
use store brands when possible
this won’t always apply, lol! some items i buy brand name because the quality & taste is worth it. trial and error.
minimize waste at home as much as possible
this one is hard with young kids.. if they ‘one & done’ something new (take one bite and don’t eat anymore) i’d rather eat it myself than throw it away… but i don’t always want to 🙁 freeze and use leftover jars of stuff as often as possible. don’t throw it away! then you’ll be back in the store quicker than you anticipated.
i put my items on the belt in this order every time (thanks, Mom!)
cold items, produce, refrigerated / packaged / bottled items, bread, eggs.
i’ll break down the prices for this particular trip; i am able to stretch this for 1-2 weeks until i return. KEY: S = sale, C = coupon.
cold items: $49.28
S unsweetened vanilla almond milk (2) – 6.98
orange juice – 2.39
wallaby yogurt – 4.99
S wallaby yogurt individuals (5) – 5.00
S boneless, skinless, chicken breast – 4.78
S turkey / chicken sausage(2) – 7.00
cheese (3) 9.00
S strawberries (2)(finally on sale!!) – 4.00
S butternut squash – .88 per lb – 2.27
S acorn squash (2) – .88 per lb – 2.87
S red, yellow peppers (4) – 5.00
S nectarines – 2.89
cilantro – .50
S carrots – 1.50
S grapefruit (4) – 1.00
S avocados( 3) – 2.04
unrefrigerated / packaged / bottled items: $33.12
marinara – 2.99
chipotle honey marinade – 2.49
S gummy vitamins – 10.99
veggie pasta – 1.79
chocolate peanut butter – 3.99
C sun butter – 3.99
buttermilk pancake mix – 4.89
honey chipotle bbq sauce – 1.99
whole wheat bread(2) – 4.00
C flour tortillas – free
18 ct eggs – 2.99
GRAND TOTAL: $102.32
obviously we need different things at different times, and this is actually on the high end of my normal bill! i am normally able to keep it under 100 every time.
really this was the only thing i was excited about eating 🙂
this was my first time seeing strawberries on sale this entire winter. glad they’re on the way back! .88 cents per lb for the gourds is a great price; i was ready to create something with them soon as i got home.
of course you could eat your yogurt out of a regular bowl…but that’s no fun! give this Acorn Squash Yogurt Breakfast Bowl a try next time.
meanwhile, i marinated that chicken breast in the chipotle honey marinade for a couple of hours for dinner later.
once marinated, i threw the chicken breast into a baking pan and into my 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. das it.
one thing i love about gourds is that they are so versatile!! (sweet potatoes, hellur!) they have both sweet and savory profiles, and i wanted something savory to go with the chicken.
the chicken’s flavor was INcredible. marinating your protein is always a good idea. Sonny loved it too. to make the savory squash, i took a pre-baked half and stuffed it with some spinach from monday’s meal prep.
topped it with some shredded monterey jack cheese and after 7 minutes under the broiler on high heat, BAM!
share a grocery shopping tip or two below!
… i KNOW i am not alone, hahahaha!
“hmm… let me think about it. thank you.” *speeds off* #no
he is going.to.town. sample stations make for great shopping experiences when you’ve got the little ones in tow. long as they like what’s being served of course. my 4 yr old is crazy picky but Dego is my little garbage disposal and eats literally everything. ironically, i’m more likely to pile my basket full of stuff i don’t even need when i’m snacking & shopping. never fails. clever marking nontheless, HEB. #here #takemymoney
even after all that snacking i hit the salad bar for the ride home.
while there, i got a few fresh salmon fillets, and then i asked the fish monger to ground up a couple pounds for me as well.
she removed the skin and did just that. depending on where you shop, it may or may not be a free service. just ask!
Chobani wants us all to get creative with their #madewithChobani campaign and of course i jumped right on in! the key ingredient and binder for these bangin’ burgers was plain, 0% Chobani greek yogurt. it’s a not so little secret that greek yogurt can be swapped for mayo and sour cream in recipes which means added protein and less fat. it’s a healthier trade off and the flavor is not compromised. win-win!
the yogurt combined with my favorite HEB organics whole grain mustard
plus all these other fresh ingredients you most likely have in your fridge and pantry made inevitable, delicious magic.
the longer these flavors hang out together the better. 20 minutes was all we could stand.
cook the patties for 5-7 min on either side of your griddle (mine was set to 375),
then dress them up however you’d like! i added fresh lime wedges to squeeze over the patties before devouring and more whole grain mustard for slathering.
make a sandwich on whole grain bread, pile them high with veggies, or eat them as is.
chef hat off, mommy hat on, kitchen closed.
recipe is below; enjoy these burgers, fit friends! happy early fridaaaaay!
Q: have you ever actually cooked with yogurt other than eating it cold? what’s your all time favorite yogurt flavor?
all Chobani products were purchased by me; no compensation was given for this post and all opinions are my own. challenge accepted and conquered!