Kelly the Culinarian: Back on Track with Mariano's Health Key System

Friday, December 27, 2013

Back on Track with Mariano's Health Key System

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

The past two weeks have been a total whirlwind. Between beaching it up in Mexico and celebrating the holidays multiple times with our families, my healthy eating resolve has been a little less resolute. So I was pretty psyched to get invited to try Mariano's health key system this month. Basically, I need to cut back on this:
#MyMarianos #cbias #shop

And increase this:
#MyMarianos #cbias #shop
Because the Ironman waits for no one. I treated December as a bit of an off season, doing my workouts and enjoying the best treats of the season. But now it's time for dedication and focus. I gained roughly eight pounds during my self-prescribed down time, so I'm ready to get back to business and peel this weight off before the training gets hot and heavy. Every pound I can lose now is weight I don't have to carry 140.6 miles come September. Enter, the Mariano's health key.

It's a wellness program aimed at streamlining your shopping process to make it easy to make healthy choices. There are color-coded tags throughout the store identifying options for a variety of specialized dietary needs, like vegan, gluten free, organic and lean. I relied on the tags as I zipped through the store.
#MyMarianos #cbias #shop

It's a shame I was working on posting a PR for grocery shopping speed, because I feel like I could waste an afternoon here. It's like my Candyland - there's a build your own trail mix bar, a huge array of spices, a salad bar, a sweet microbrew selection and the most amazing bakery case. Be still, my heart, and look away.
#MyMarianos #cbias #shop
 #MyMarianos #cbias #shop

But not before the samples. Always, samples.
#MyMarianos #cbias #shop
 #MyMarianos #cbias #shop

I set out to create a healthy, protein-packed dinner with enough leftovers for the next day. I ended up with a chicken breast entree with a crunchy quinoa crust held in place by a dijon mustard and dill glaze. The quinoa provides and awesome texture and holds in the moisture of the chicken.
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#MyMarianos #cbias #shopI paired it with a Brussel sprout slaw, which let me tell you, was damn adventurous for me. I have never, ever had a Brussel sprout. But when I saw them in the store for $2 a pound, I figured now was the time to try it.

I shredded the sprouts in the food processor, then threw in toasted walnuts from the bulk bins and fresh Parmesan I bought at the cheese counter. I made a little vinaigrette to go with it and I'm pretty impressed with my culinary prowess on this one. It's crunchy and tangy, thanks to the dressing, and held up well for leftovers, too.
#MyMarianos #cbias #shop
Ta-Da, it's dinner

I was actually really impressed with Mariano's and the health key. For whatever reason, I've never ventured into one of their stores, despite the fervent loyalty the establishment garners here in suburbia. I think I was under the impression it was an expensive option, but my dinner ingredients cost less than $20 with plenty leftover for lunches and perhaps another chicken dish.

Thanks to Mariano's and Collective Bias for this opportunity!

On to the recipes:

healthy chicken recipe with quinoaQuinoa Crusted Chicken Recipe
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon dried dill
4 chicken breasts, pounded to flatten
Cooking spray

Start by spread out the cooked quinoa in a baking dish and toasting in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes or until dried and brown. While that bakes, combine the mustard and dill in a shallow dish and flatten out the chicken breasts. You don't need to make them completely flat, just a uniform thickness to aid in even cooking.

Once the quinoa is toasted, spread the mustard mixture evenly over the chicken, then roll in the quinoa and place on a baking sheet. Cook for 25 minutes at 425 degrees or until cooked through and browned on the outside.
Healthy brussels sprout salad with dijon mustard dressing

Brussel Sprout Slaw Recipe
1 1/2 pounds Brussel sprouts
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

After washing the sprouts, shred using a food processor. Mix in the walnuts and Parmesan. Place remaining ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Top the slaw with the dressing and add salt and pepper per your taste buds.

Want more recipes like mine? Connect with Mariano's on Twitter and Facebook, or check out their community page, which has new content weekly.


Unknown said...

Have you seen Guy's Grocery Games on Food Network?! You should try out for that show! I personally hate grocery shopping but enjoy watching the shenanigans!

I haven't spent much time in Marianos, but they're building one a half mile from me so I'm sure I'll be there soon enough!

KellytheCulinarian said...

I actually get invitations to try out for those shows pretty frequently. I don't think I'm great on camera and always feel ill prepared for these things. I'd love to have a cooking show, if I could get over my nerves!

Losing Lindy said...

which Marianos did you go to? We love it there.

Unknown said...

Yum! Looks delicious!

Valerie said...

I literally CANNOT wait until the Mariano's in Gurnee opens. I could spend a long time there...between the baked goods, the endless build-your-own-everything bars, samples, etc.! I thought it was a high priced Trader Joe's at first, but then I saw their prices on some regular items and was pretty impressed!

PS- I agree with Lauren- you'd be fantastic! What invitations have you received? I can give you a little on-camera advice...(being a former TV show contestant myself ;-) I totally think you should go for it!

Dawn620 said...

Looks really good, Kelly! Like you, I'm not a Brussels sprout fan, but perhaps, raw is the ticket. Mariano's bought out our local Dominick's so I look forward to checking it out soon!

Dawn620 said...

Looks really good, Kelly! Like you, I'm not a brussel sprout fan, but perhaps, raw is the ticket. And toasted quinoa as a crumb coating is genius! Mariano's bought out our local Dominick's so I look forward to checking it out soon!

KellytheCulinarian said...

I was invited to audition for a commercial, which I went through with and did not enjoy. I've also received invites to audition for two separate reality TV cooking shows. I can't remember the titles, but I was intimidated because one had Anthony Bourdain as a judge and the other included Gordon Ramsey. Scary stuff! What show were you on?

Unknown said...

I still haven't been to a Mariano's but now that Dominick's is closed I think I'll be giving it a shot. Plus there is one opening up on my way home from work.

This Christmas season has not been nice to me and my pants. I need less cookies and more vegetables.

KellytheCulinarian said...

Right there with you, friend. We'll just burn it off training, right?

Alicia said...

I've never heard of using quinoa as a coating on chicken, yum! Good luck on your Ironman quest:) #client

LittleTechGirl said...

That sounds yummy!!! I don't believe I have had quinoa, or if I have I do not remember. I love the way you used it as crust. And I LOVE brussel sprouts so that part sounds delicious! #client