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Friday, July 31, 2015

Aldi Gourmet: 5-day Supper Challenge (DAY 5 and Wrap-up)

We have reached the end of the Aldi 5-day Supper Challenge!  For me, it's been fun and a little intense...lots of cooking and writing!  But those are both things I love to do.  I hope you had fun reading about my experiences and that you cook some of the things I cooked this week!  Feel free to tweak the dishes to suit your preferences.  Welcome to the final day of my challenge.

Day 5-Friday

The Aldi Loaded Salad with or without Grilled Chicken

Everything you'll need from Aldi:
(not pictured: raw chicken strips-again, who wants to look at a pic of raw chicken?)
The List:
Romaine Lettuce
Baby Carrots
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
Unsalted Sunflower Seeds
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

The Recipe:
The only thing precise about this recipe is the vinaigrette.  Other than that, chop everything that needs chopping, wash the Lettuce, drain and rinse the Garbanzo Beans, cook the Bacon, and mix as much as you want of each ingredient in a large bowl for your family to serve themselves from.  Top with the vinaigrette.
Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 teaspoons Honey
Note:  I'm not a fan of very vinegary vinaigrettes, so I don't add a lot of the vinegar.  You can add more if you like.

Grilled Chicken Strips
For another protein-filled topping for your salad, pan-grill some chicken strips.  Marinate however many you're going to cook in Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper, in a Ziploc bag, in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Then cook in a pan over medium to medium-high heat until done.  No pink Salmonella, please!!  Cut into one when you think they might be done, to make sure.  Add to salad.

One more supper idea:
Remember the Pasta Salad we made on Wednesday?  Throw some in the microwave, spread some more arugula on a plate, top with pasta salad, grilled chicken, more fresh mozzarella, more red onion, and finish it off with a drizzle of the  Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. Yum!!
My Birmingham friends know about the Pasta Salad Special at Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe!  Good stuff!  That was my inspiration for this supper idea.

My son loves snacks from Aldi!

Almond Butter and Apple Slices

Aldi Challenge Wrap-up and Lessons Learned:

Something I love about shopping at Aldi is, what you see is what you get.  There are not thousands of choices to pick from for basically the same item. (I hope that sentence made sense.)  I don't feel overstimulated and stressed like I do in other grocery stores.  The reason for this is because they don't spend a lot on advertising and attention-grabbing.  That is part of the reason the groceries are discounted prices.  My kids are more well-behaved in Aldi than in other grocery stores as well...the overstimulation thing, I'm sure...I understand!  I realized throughout the week that I was using the ingredients I bought over and over in several recipes.  I was pleased with that because there will be minimal waste.  I still have more ideas for the produce that is left.  Hurray!  That means there will be no slimy Arugula pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten about until next week!  That is cause for celebration!  Haha!  
My main goal in doing this challenge was to show you that discount grocery shopping can be fun and delicious.  We all want to save money, right?  I hope I reached my goal this week!  Love to all.