After a couple of weeks in 2020, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite new, and in some cases, newly discovered, supermarket items from the past year. As I’ve previously mentioned, I hope and pray Mississippi’s local retailers stay viable. I’m still not sure how purchasing food items online without comparing prices and similar shelf items is doable.
Here are a few products that landed on my supermarket radar in 2019.
Some may not be available in your local store, but don’t hesitate to ask the manager to order them. Most are more than happy to accommodate shoppers nowadays instead of losing them to online shopping. In 2020, go out and explore your local supermarket for these and other items. I promise it’ll be more fun than pressing the “send” button.
1. I should probably save the best for last, but I can’t wait to introduce this amazing product. I love dips – any type, kind, and variety – so I was excited to find a new line created by Philadelphia Cream Cheese. You just know anything with this name on the label has to be good. After sampling the spinach and artichoke dip, I was an instant convert. Other flavors are buffalo style with celery, jalapeño cheddar, and caramelized onion and herb. Find it in the dairy section near the mothership, regular cream cheese. If your supermarket doesn’t have it, ask for it. Trust me. You’ll thank me.
2. Everybody loves a burger and, of course, there are a plethora of dishes made with ground beef or chuck. For a healthier take, try Morningstar Farms veggie burger alternatives. The meatless patties have been in the freezer case for a while but a new find this year was the brand’s Grillers Crumbles. It’s hard to tell the difference between this vegetable-based product and actual ground chuck when making tacos and spaghetti dinners. Enjoying a flavorful Italian dinner without “real” meat was not something I thought possible. Even better, the crumbles contain 75% less fat than regular ground beef and have 9 grams of protein, a welcome veggie addition to almost any dish.
3. Kellogg’s Off the Grid Protein Waffles– While you’re in the freezer case, reach for Kellogg’s healthier breakfast offering, waffles with 12 grams of complete protein per serving. Off the Grid Protein Waffles come in three flavors—Vanilla Buttermilk, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, and Wild Blueberry. Unless you douse them with maple syrup, you’ll start the day on a healthy note.
4. Another breakfast item on my list is Fiber One Strawberries and Vanilla Clusters. Known for its healthy cereal, Fiber One has created a delicious one containing 9 grams of protein and over one-third of recommended daily fiber intake per serving. With less than 200 calories per bowl, it’s the breakfast of champions.
5. Another new favorite breakfast (or snack) item is Dave’s Organic English Muffins. I’ve long been a fan of Dave’s health bread and bagels, but now he’s taken English muffins to a healthier level. Power-packed with five super grains (quinoa, spelt, rye, millet, and barley), with no bleached flour or high fructose corn syrup, this is a bread splurge minus the guilt.
6. Snacking has long been a secret vice, but now there’s no shame in reaching for a Sargento Balanced Break. A variety of creamy natural cheese pieces are paired in a compact container with crunchy roasted nuts and sweet dried fruits. Look for these easy-to-eat snacks in the dairy case. Break time will never be the same after you’ve sampled one.
7. Angie’s Boomchickapop snack products have been on shelves for a while. However, the bags of ready-to-eat popcorn and other salty snacks were a little pricey for my taste. Discovering less expensive microwave popcorn was a delightful find. Angie’s omits the unpronounceable ingredients, adding just popcorn kernels, oil, and sea salt into a hot, fresh microwave variety to for a guilt-free snack at 35 calories per popped cup.
8. I’ve long been a fan of vanilla-flavored almond milk. It’s delicious over cereal, but the flavors don’t meld well in my baking products. That’s when I discovered Horizon Organic High Protein Milk. With 12 grams of organic protein in each 8-ounce glass, it’s the perfect way to incorporate a healthy element into a not-so-healthy dessert. High-protein milk has 12 grams of organic protein in each glass.
To kick off 2020, I decided to share my favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. It’s delicious with ground chuck or my new favorite find, Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles.Here’s to a great year ahead as we uncover new food finds and learn a few new things about food, dining out, and enjoying life along the way.
Favorite Pasta Sauce
(can be used in lasagna or served over pasta)
1 pound lean ground chuck or Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles
1/2 pound Italian sausage (either link sausage, chopped fine, or ground)
1 small onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
6-ounce can tomato paste
1 carrot, grated
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup water (optional)
Cook sausage, beef, onion, and garlic in a skillet until browned. Drain any fat. Add remaining ingredients (minus water), and simmer uncovered 30 minutes or until thickened. Add water as needed for the texture of sauce you desire.