Cheesy Bacon Chicken & Waffles

Cheesy Bacon Chicken & Waffles

This sweet and savory recipe is perfect for Father’s Day breakfast!

 

You can get the full recipe here!

 

Essentially yours,

Erika

Organic Finds at BJ’s Wholesale Club

Organic Finds at BJ’s Wholesale Club

Most days it feels like I’m feeding an army at home. Just as soon as I buy it, (poof) it’s gone, and I’m back at the store.. again. Some weeks I feel as though I live at these grocery stores, it just doesn’t seem worth it. I finally got hip to the game and tried a free trial 3-month membership to BJ’s Wholesale. What a game changer, wholesale is where it’s at folks, especially for my brood. To be fair I’m not sure if two kids constitutes a “brood,” but they sure eat like one.

BJ's Wholesale

 

 

With fun summer holiday weekends quickly approaching, wholesale seemed the most logical way to shop. Although, what we save by shopping BJ’s Wholesale is logical all year-round. You can’t beat the prices, and it reduces stress on having to provide additional groceries on top of the already existent grocery bill, especially if you’re frugal like me. Even if you aren’t you can’t deny the good deal that comes from buying large quantities for a fraction of the cost at local grocer’s, and lest we forget the convenience of not having to go shopping every week. Less stress, more fun with the family.. makes sense to me! I once heard Suze Orman yell at the camera, “if you are a family and not shopping wholesale for groceries, then you are just throwing your money away!” She was totally right, so /i decided to try the convenient free-trial membership to see which wholesaler had the food that my family liked.

Having this membership means nothing if we don’t like the product, and being a mostly organic buying family it was especially important for me to be sure my family could still eat a healthy and nutritious diet. I was wowed by the growing amount of organic options at BJ’s (this was the deciding factor for me). I know that (like me) most organic families shy away from wholesale for this very reason, so I decided to share all of my fun organic find from shopping at BJ’s! You know, in case that free-trial membership is just calling you.

Dairy

Organic Dairy

There are a few items we haven’t been able to find that are certified organic, and I’m well aware of the “dirty dozen” list. However, dairy is one space I refuse to take chances. All of our dairy and meat is certified organic, humanely raised, and grass-fed if possible. I was impressed with the different brands that BJ’s carries, aside from the house brands (Wellsley Farms & Berkley Jensen) which is growing by the day, each time I go I find a new organic option.

Produce

Organic Produce

One of the trickiest parts of an organic diet is finding the right responsibly sourced produce. Lots of big chain grocer’s claim to sell all organic produce, and don’t. It’s all a part of the “green-washing” that the organic industry is currently facing. Supply must meet demand, and unfortunately now that folks are demanding to eat food that are free from harmful pesticides, the snakes are moving in for the kill. They want their customers back and they’ll say or do just about anything to get them.

Fun fact: All organic produce sku numbers start with  the number 9, if it doesn’t, then it isn’t really organic.

There is a wide variety of organic produce options at BJ’s, enough to get a good deal of groceries and fill in where you have to. Anything from greens, fruits, and veggies are available in their own organic section that is clearly marked and easy to find.

Organic Produce

Both frozen, and fresh produce is available for your convenience. I tend to buy a mixture of the two, frozen for the items we don’t consume as often (because it may spoil), and fresh for the everyday items that we need.

Organic Produce
That’s a lot of broccoli…

Boxed / Canned Goods

While most of our groceries are fresh, there are items we need to buy boxed, and a select few that are canned. I like how the organic options are directly positioned next to their non-organic counterparts, so it’s easy to locate. We buy mostly pasta, tuna, rice, flour, beans, maple syrup, sugar.. You know, the necessities. All organic, and all within reach. Buying these in bulk really helps to drive down the cost, and keep me at home with my family (instead of at the store).

Organic Coffee
Come to mama…

The spice selection is growing by the day, making it easier to access all of the ingredients to cook all of our homemade meals.

Organic Spices

Snacks / Kids

Organic Kids

Fruits and veggies are our main source of snacks for the kids, but occasionally we will splurge on some organic treats which has the potential to get pricey. Our boys are a big fan of the organic brands at BJ’s so it’s a win for us. They love coming with me on these kinds of grocery runs. The fun carts, double seating, and multiple snack stops along the way make shopping here bearable for my hungry boys.

Organic Snacks

 

Body Care

I think I was most surprised with the amount of toiletries that were offered that we actually use. I was pleased to see I could buy these items in bulk seeing as how you have to pay more for aluminum free deodorant, and fluoride-free toothpaste.

Organic Toothpaste

There is something for everyone at BJ’s is my point, and if you’ve been curious to check it out. Now is a great time to test it out with their three-month trial membership here (no other wholesale retailer offers this).

Essentially yours,

Erika

Summer Key Lime Crostini

Summer Key Lime Crostini

 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EchaleVida #VidaAguacate #CollectiveBias

Eating a nutritious diet is very important to me. There are many roads to nutrition, and no two paths are the same for everyone. I’d like to share a bit about my experience going vegan in the past. I once went vegan for six months, I’ve never felt better. Believe it or not, as a self-professed carnivore for over twenty years, I didn’t miss meat at all. In place of dairy I substituted fortified soy beverages (soymilk) and other plant-based substitutes.

I’m no longer nursing and often dream of trying a vegan diet once again. This time with a little experience under my belt, I think I would take a slower approach and eliminate items one at a time. I think some people get discouraged from their vegan goals due to lack of knowledge, options, and recipes. This time around I would start off by eliminating red meat, and then eventually transition to an all vegetarian diet. Once I have a good collection of vegetarian recipes, I’ll feel more confident to start eliminating items and go full vegan with my diet. Although I am not currently vegan, there are many ways to lead a more conscious lifestyle, and adding nutritious ingredients to my dishes is one of them.

Fun Fact: There are plenty of ways to go vegan in your life if you are interested. I use mostly vegan makeup products and switched over all of my makeup brushes to vegan a few years ago.

One of the recipes I’ve been working on is a pescatarian spin on a classic recipe, by substituting mayo with avocado. If you follow my blog, then you know I’m pretty obsessed with avocados and feel they can go with pretty much any recipe. Avocados From Mexico are always fresh, and always delicious. Plus they make a pretty delicious addition to any recipe. Avocados From Mexico are always in season, making it perfect for any spring or summer recipes. This is the perfect recipe to bring for sharing at a gathering outdoors.

Crostini

I’m getting ready for summer with a few bright and fresh recipes, and avocados are a great substitute for many other options that may not be as nutritious. I come from a Latin family and meals are taken seriously. Only fresh ingredients to be eaten often, and together, preferably outdoors. I love introducing my family to more nutritious options while enjoying the richness of my heritage. The smooth texture of Avocados From Mexico make it a great substitute, and can turn any meal into a fresh and hearty experience. Adding tuna and micro greens only upped the yum factor on this easy and quick recipe.

SUMMER KEY LIME CROSTINI

Crostini

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 CAN OF SOLID WHITE ALBACORE TUNA
  • 2 RIPE AVOCADOS FROM MEXICO
  • 1/2 LB OF CHERRY TOMATOES
  • 2 TABLESPOONS OF MICRO GREENS
  • 4 KEY LIMES
  • COARSE SALT
  • 1 LOAF OF SOURDOUGH BREAD, SLICED ON A BIAS

DIRECTIONS

Drain and shred tuna and add to bowl. Mash two Avocados From Mexico in a separate bowl and add to the tuna bowl to mix. Toast bread and spoon on tuna avocado mixture. Add sliced tomatoes and microgreens. Drizzle key lime over toast and sprinkle with coarse salt and enjoy!

This recipe is equal parts creamy and crunchy. The mixture of tuna and key lime is both bright and fresh, making this perfect for spring and take you right on into summer.

Key Lime Crostini
Enter here to win the #EchaleVida Sweestakes, there’s still time! #EchaleVidaSweepstakes (5/16 to 6/27)

Essentially yours,

Erika

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