Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Whole Foods

I mentioned my trip to Whole Foods Market in Wexford, PA in my "weekly recap" blog on Sunday.  Since I spent nearly 2 hours in Whole Foods, I felt it warranted a blog all it's own!

Whole Foods Market (WFM) is a national grocery chain that provides mostly organic and natural foods.  My local Giant has 2 aisles of this (and a pretty great selection for such a small area), but WFM is an ENTIRE STORE of this stuff!

The closest WFM to me is near Baltimore, about an hour drive away, and it is a tiny market.  I trekked down there a few weeks ago and left the store with barely one bag.  It was also a Saturday, so it was crazy crowded.  The crowd plus such a small store made for a less than stellar trip.

The WFM in Wexford (north of Pittsburgh), however, was similar to some WFM I've been at in the Atlanta area.  It was the size of a regular grocery store.  Since I was in the Pittsburgh area for a conference, I packed myself a cooler and some baggies to fill with ice at the hotel in preparation for my trip!

Whole Foods Wexford

There are a few things I love about WFM - the wide selection of organic produce, organic brands of all kinds of food, and eco-friendly/natural/organic body care items are some of my favorites.  But the 2 things I love most are the bulk bins and the salad bar area.

Buying in bulk is very budget friendly, and WFM as everything from beans to rice to spices to granola to dried fruit to nuts in bulk.  I spent a good 20 minutes just reading all of the info they have about the bulk ingredients and deciding what to buy!  I was really pleased when I checked out to see that I got a good 2 cups of black rice for about $3!  It's a cheap way to try out new things, too!  (see more about my purchases below)

The salad bar at Whole Foods...oh my!!!  There were actually 4 bars at this particular market.  A traditional "salad" bar, a cold bar, a hot bar, and a soup bar.

My bar selections --  Clockwise from top left: kale salad with garlicky sesame dressing, some of cold noodle salad with peanut sauce, a grain (can't remember the name) primavera, curried broccoli, sweet and sour eggplant, mac and cheese (this was unbelievable!!), and sriracha sweet potatoes (must recreate at home!).  I also had some salmon and white bean bisque that was awesome!

And then there's this guy.  Whole Foods also has a pretty awesome bakery.  I chose this "Carmelita Bar".  It was a cookie crumble bar thing with chocolate, caramel, oats, and nuts.  It was so good - and probably not at all low calorie - but it was worth it!

So here's what ended up in my cart at the end of my trip!
Dry goods I came home with
- dark chocolate (Theo mint, Theo cherry, and Chocolove Ginger)
- black rice and sweet brown rice (bulk items in the brown bags)
- Cinnamon Puffins (my favorite cereal. 90 calories a serving - a great snack!)
- bath salts (they sell these in bulk too!)
- aduki beans (I'd never seen these before, I'm enjoying them in salads this week!)
- ginger chunks
- Quest bars (I keep seeing these on blogs and have wanted to try - they're good!)
- a small baggie of blue and red popcorn kernels (also sold in bulk)
- kettle corn popcorn seasoning
- truffle salt (at $50 a pound, I only got about a tablespoon to try!)
- lime salt
- freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter (to DIE for - they have a thing of nuts and you grind it yourself!)

Cold stuff I came home with:
- rainbow chard
- dinosaur kale
- power greens (a mix of baby spinach, baby kale, and baby chard
- Roasted Red Pepper dressing
- champagne mangoes
- cucumbers
- wild caught shrimp (hard to find in regular stores)
- SoDelicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk (you know I love my coconut milk, and I've never seen this kind before - but this purchase alone was worth the trip - it is SO GOOD!!!)


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