This is a sponsored post as part of the ALDI Brand Ambassador Program, but all opinions expressed are my own.
I was invited to visit the ALDI test kitchen for a Healthy Living Event in Batavia, Illinois. This California girl had no idea where that was. Thank you, Google! It’s a town about an hour away from Chicago. One plane flight and several layers of clothes later, I found myself tasting and hanging out with some of my favorite food bloggers.
One of the reasons you save big bucks at ALDI is because they create many of their own products.
We sampled several of the ALDI exclusive-brand products and compared them to the leading brand products. Is A better than B? This was SO SO hard!
In the end, the ALDI exclusive-brand products were just as good (even better) than the leading brands. The craziest part was when they told us how much you would save if you shopped for these items at ALDI! If you’re in Southern California, have no fear. ALDI is coming to our neck of the woods very soon. Hip Hip Hooray!
Then, we got to hear Chef Brigitte Nguyen and Registered Dietitian Tara Gidus. How cool is that?!! Chef Brigitte even made us some of her yummy recipes. My favorite was this Tuscan Shrimp with Beans and Quinoa. She gave us an excellent tip on defrosting shrimp too. Just lay out frozen shrimp on a metal pan covered with aluminum foil, and they will defrost faster. Love it! I also got some healthy alternatives to mayo and butter. Chef Brigitte suggested using hummus as a binder for tuna salad. Now why hadn’t I thought of that?
My favorite tip that day, though, was by far from Tara Gidus. Protein in the morning will keep you going longer than eating a bunch of carbs, she said. My husband, Dr. Christopher Vogelmann, had been telling me this for years now, but who pays attention to their husband? Ha! Since the Healthy Living Event at the ALDI Test Kitchen, I’ve started eating more smoked fish in the morning, protein smoothies, even beef jerky instead of my usual cereal. And sure enough, I stay fuller longer. Sometimes, you just need to hear from an unbiased party and not the Speaker of the House.
You got a bunch of food bloggers in the room. You might as well put them to work. We had a friendly salad-making competition. I’m sure you’ve seen salads in mason jars by now. If not, add dressing to the bottom of the mason jar, then fill it with the veggies for your salad. When you’re ready to eat, shake, shake, shake … and VOILA. Makes taking lunch to work so much easier.
We took what we learned from Chef Brigitte and Tara Gidus and made our own mason jar salads. Someone even put together a breakfast salad! I made a Chicken Limon Ensalada with a ranch-based dressing, spinach, corn, tomatoes, and of course, chicken. Yummy. Yummy. Y muy delicioso.
Lastly, we did more eating at dinner. We sampled more dishes from ALDI even some of their wines. You can find the recipes on their website: CLICK HERE. Trust me. I was very, very full that day. But, after all, a full tummy is a happy tummy. 🙂