I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and Mariano’s.
If you’ve followed my journey thus far, then you know how important it is for me to find healthy and delicious foods that fuel my workouts and help to assist me in losing weight. That’s where Mariano’s – a Chicago grocery store – comes in. With healthy options, a full produce section, and plenty of fresh options, Mariano’s is the perfect complement to my healthier lifestyle. I have even recently been inspired by one of their top Tastemakers, Chef Carrie Nahabedian, in her own weight loss journey of losing over 150 pounds! She offers excellent tips for keeping those cravings at bay and finding great options at Mariano’s for any dietary plan. She inspires me not only on a cooking level, but on a personal health level as well! My progress is not always quick, but the numbers on the scale are going in the right direction!
Before heading out for a visit, I always peruse their website to find sales, local store information and to see what else their Tastemakers are up to. Much of what Chef Carrie focuses on centers around the expansive produce section that Mariano’s offers – with a full line of organic options and fruit and vegetable variety, you can find just about anything you’re looking for.
I love following along with the Chefs chosen as Tastemakers because not only do you gain insight into their own restaurants, but you also learn a bit more about key ingredients that can be versatile in recipes you’d like to put together. In this case, I was inspired by Chef Carrie’s desire to maintain health and keep recipes tasty, but low-calorie. I opted to create a salad that will not only wow your tastebuds, but will help minimize that waist line.
One of the great elements that Chef Carrie focuses on are FRESH ingredients! Delicious, plump berries were an easy choice and help combine vegetables with fruit in this highly nutritious combination. A wide variety of options for greens can either be put together from the original source or chosen from #MyMarianos selection of bagged lettuce varieties, such as this 50/50 Spring Mix. #CollectiveBias
I went on to find some delicious Feta cheese in the extensive cheese section – from soft to hard cheeses – Mariano’s offers many options to enhance a dish you are creating. In fact, I recently used a sharp white cheddar with dried cranberries that was a real hit! For this recipe, I chose a basic Feta and knew this would be the perfect addition to my salad.
The dressing was a bit more complex, but still focused on original fresh ingredients – strawberries, poppyseeds, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey keep this dressing simple, light, and flavorful.
Since the salad is relatively low-calorie, add a slice of sourdough bread. Worried about eating the whole loaf? Mariano’s offers a wide-variety of bread options, including small bread bowls that are perfect for slicing just what you need without overwhelming you with its size.
I love shopping at Mariano’s because while my son travels around in a police car shopping cart, munching on popcorn, I can grab everything I need relatively uninterrupted. We frequently eat lunch at the in-store mini-restaurants or finding a sweet treat to keep little mouths happy. With plenty of options and extensive grocery choices, I always know I’m going to find what I need to make the perfect recipe that I know my family will love and in my case, sticks with my health plan to keep me happy and healthy!
- 1 bag of mixed greens
- 1 c. of strawberries, washed and halved
- 1 c. of raspberries
- 1 c. of blueberries
- ½ c. feta cheese (or cheese of your choose)
- ¼ c. olive oil
- ¼ c. balsamic vinegar
- ¼ c. honey
- 1 tbsp. poppyseeds
- 1 c. strawberries, washed and halved
- Wash and rinse all produce and toss in a bowl with feta cheese.
- Set Aside.
- Blend together oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and strawberries.
- Add poppyseeds and mix well.
- Toss salad in homemade vinaigrette or dressing of your choice.