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A Foodie invades Whole Foods

Look out, Whole Foods!

Sadly, I must admit that all self-restraint flies out the wide-open window whenever I go to Whole Foods.  On each trip to the healthy-food haven, I always manage to bring home at least one new product I don’t really need! Last week’s trip saw me leave with two new products. Okay, three new products. But who’s counting?

I incorporated two of them into my dinner a few days ago:


Started with a huge serving (1/2 bag) coleslaw with tahini dressing.

Then: White Bean Salpica dip (new product 1) and roasted kabocha with raw walnuts and goji berries (new product 2). The goji berries, I ended up picking off. I didn’t realize you’re supposed to soak them first! They were beyond chewy (i.e. inedible). At least I know for next time!

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Although I liked the Salpica dip, the flavor was a bit too strong to eat much of it on its own. But I later discovered that this dip tastes incredibly yummy on veggies—especially brussels sprouts. It also makes a delish pasta sauce. And if you want to incorporate the two tasty ideas together, you’ll get my lunch yesterday (well, part of my lunch, anyway):

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Salpica white bean dip, mixed with High-Protein Spaghetti and sprouts.

Published on November 19, 2010

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  1. Tangy says

    NO, I do not have self-restraint in certain places. Target, Sephora, Ulta…I walk in planning to spend $20 and walk out $100 later wondering what happened. I have to avoid those stores 😛

    I’ve never been to a Whole Foods (never even seen one, actually!) but I’m sure I could go a little crazy in there as well!

  2. Lauren @ WWoB says

    I had no idea you were supposed to soak them!
    But I did find fresh goji berries at our farmers market, and they were soo much better. Except they were 5 dollars for a tinyy container…

  3. Cecilia says

    Oh gosh, I think we are all the same with $$ spending. I literally have to tell myself “No, Celia!’ out loud at the shops the other day. I’m pretty sure anyone next to me thought that I’m a nutzo. 🙂

  4. Gloria says

    I hear ya. Whole Foods and I have a love/hate relationship. I get so lost in the magical healthy product (and free sample!) wonderland until I’m standing in the checkout line with 6 new jars of nut butter and $200 worth of produce, thinking of my already packed fridge and pantry and wondering “where the heck am I gonna put all this stuff?!”

    PS – had banana walnut boatmeal yesterday. topped with almond butter. I’m in love 🙂

  5. Lisa C. says

    The salpica dip sounds delicious. I get the best ideas from your blog :). I’ll have to look out for it! And I still haven’t seen that spaghetti :(.

  6. fitchocoholic says

    Oh wow, I could spend HOURS in Whole Foods. Actually I could spend some time in ANY grocery store, but Whole Foods is the best! Too bad its like 45 minutes away from my house……..

  7. Sarah@sarahnotsoplainandtall says

    Surprisingly I have pretty good self restraint when shopping…I usually have to Love it before I buy it :). But I agree, when it comes to whole foods I usually end up with a few extra items in my bag :). I’m even worse in a natural foods store though…EVERY isle has something I want to try 🙂

  8. VEGirl says

    I have no self-restraint when getting new products; or I wouldn’t if I didn’t spend so long in the store in the first place :)! I’ll tally up the money total in my head, wander around the store for I while, get in and out of line five times…. yeah, there is no such thing as a short grocery trip for me!

  9. couchpotatoathlete says

    I have gotten much better at self restraint — paying off loads of credit card debt helped Jason and I learn self restraint — now we budget for things and we stick to it! It sucks sometimes, but now that we’ve paid the credit cards off we have more “wiggle room” which is great!

  10. eatinglikeahorse says

    I think if there was a proper American Whole Foods anywhere near me, I’d be broke! I first went to the Kensington one when I was in London the other week. It’s got nowhere near as much as the American ones and I STILL came out about £40 poorer! That wouldn’t have been too bad had it been a week’s food shopping but none of it was essential.
    I’m just the same with new things and although I’d love a proper Whole Foods nearby, in a way I’m kind of glad there isn’t one 🙂

  11. Stefanie says

    It depends on my mood. Sometimes I don’t care and will buy what I want. Mostly I do not buy everything I want because I try to practical. Saves money in the long run and I do not miss what I did not buy. Whole Foods is my weakness though. That is why I limit myself to going there no more then twice a week. 🙂 Thanks to you, I am on a Brussels Sprouts kick.

  12. Ilana says

    being broke and no longer on your parent’s dime is a really good way to learn self-restraint 😉 before I was a spendaholic, now I’m learning to save and not buy every cool tasty new treat I see. It’s hard,but part of it includes NEVER going to Whole Foods!!

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Never? As in ever? Ah, Ilana, I need some of your self-restraint!
      I’m really good with clothes and things, though. In fact, my mom is usually the one saying, “Oh, you need this. Let me buy it for you.” And I’m the one saying, “No, I really don’t need another shirt/dress/shoe/pretty plate/etc.” 🙂

  13. spoonfulofsugarfree says

    I love goji berries!!! I like to mix them with cacao nibs for a high-antioxidant energy snack…

    I have a little too much self-restraint while shopping. I hate spending money…I must have something against spending because I walk out of a lot of stores empty-handed…

  14. Kiersten says

    Sometimes I have a hard time restraining myself. It depends on what kinds of items I am looking at. If it’s something I’ve been dying to try, or something I already love, there’s no way I can control myself. We took a trip at the beginning of October to Florida and stopped in a Whole Foods there (we don’t have one here). You should see how much stuff I brought back!

  15. Matt @ FaveDiets says

    I’m the same way with Whole Foods. I always go there expecting to buy a few select items but I always end up with more than I need. They have great selection, but their prices are ridiculous. There’s a reason my co-worker calls it Whole Paycheck!

  16. Amber Shea @Almost Vegan says

    I have a hard time with shopping restraint too! I just wrote about visiting this little gourmet market where I was jus going to browse around – no, really – but walked out with $40+ worth of stuff. But hey, I got a free baguette! So it’s ok, right?

  17. thedelicateplace says

    yep! but that’s because i can’t afford to go crazy at the grocery store! i’d rather have food to eat than 1-2 fancy products so i usually buy whole, unprocessed veg & fruits that i cook myself

  18. Meg says

    Self restraint? Define that for me please? I have NO clue what it is…. 😉

    I’m actually venturing to Whole Foods tomorrow with Sana! I’m super excited to load up on the hot bar and other goodies! Checking out that crack sauce of yours right now btw…

    Love ya!

  19. Fi says

    Oh no, I have no restraint whatsoever! And I’ve no shame about iit either! 🙂 I bought two nutbutters in the last two days, just cause they were new brands, along with organic honey, again- just cause! Xxx

  20. Vegyogini says

    I never soak goji berries, but I suppose you could to reduce the chewiness! I’m curious about the salpica dip; that’s new to me.

  21. Kristinefitness says

    I loooove goji berries, I grab a handful of (non soaked) berries every now and then and just slowly nibble on them 🙂 Awesome sweet treat 🙂 I sooo wish we had a Whole Foods where I live!

  22. Claire says

    Self-restraint? I think that word suddenly vanishes from my vocabulary when I go to Whole Foods or Leo’s (one of the many foodie heavens in Australia). Funnily enough I’m paying them a visit today after a farmers market (another one of those said heavens :P). Going to start buying some vegan products and begin the change 🙂
    If you could recomend one vegan product/food/meal to an omnivore what would you pick?
    Oh also, do you ever make muesli, energy bars or granola? If so you could pop some of the goji berries in them (I don’t soak mine for this purpose, but we could have different brands), they add a nice colour contrast and flavor to breakfast I find 😀

    • Chocolate-Covered Katie says

      Hmmm… oh gosh, that’s hard. I guess if it’s a skeptical omni, I’d go with something like spaghetti or chocolate chip cookies. You know, something not scary ;). And skeptical omnis (a.k.a. my friends!) seem to like Purely Decadent soy ice cream, as well.
      But obviously I’d recommend coconut butter to everyone! And chocolate Jocalat bars, microwaved for a few seconds. I guess it depends on your tastebuds. Mine always say “CHOCOLATE! COCONUT!” Oh, with a few “broccoli”s thrown in for good measure :).

      • Claire says

        Haha, first thing I went hunting for was the coconut butter! I made the coconut (and hot chocolate butter) melties for my family and let’s just say we’re all hooked now 😛
        Pretty sure we’re all thanking you for this invention 😀

  23. Krystina (Basil & Wine) says

    I never soak my goji berries, I love the crunch!

    Tip: Search your local Asian market for goji berries. I found a pound bag of them for $5.99!

  24. gemlily5 says

    When I go food shopping,I almost always buy more than I really need. I admit I end up buy some non vegan, non organic stuff. My weakness- pastries, chocolate. It can be so hard.

    Two blocks from my apt. building is a large supermarket that does not have much vegan food at all. It’s really a shame.

  25. bloomingbuzz says

    My mom and I were just talking about this! Not sure if I’m exactly the norm when it comes to this but…I would MUCH rather splurge on a nice meal out with friends or family than on a material item. I know the food doesn’t last but I’ve found I enjoy the experience so much more than when I spend alot of money elsewhere!

  26. Namaste Gurl says

    I have NO self- restraint when it comes to shopping at Whole Foods. I’m lucky to get out of them under $50. In fact, the people who work at Whole Foods treasure my trips there as I give help them stay in business 🙂

  27. kristisn says

    I never can show restraint when I’m shopping. I make a list, but while I’m walking around I always see something that I’ve wanted to try or something that I heard about, and it always finds it’s way into my cart.

  28. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says

    I used to have ZERO restraint at WFs but life has changed, and I do now 🙂 I truly don’t go in there anymore…with the exception of veganaise b/c they carry it and my reg groc store doesnt. Other than that, I buy at the reg groc store, order everything i can online b/c it’s about half price at amazon or iherb and although it’s not as “fun” that way…the impulse $8 jars of nut butter dont happen anymore…haha!

  29. microwavinmaven says

    That pasta looks awesome. And btw I ALWAYS spend to much at the store. Now I have to have a list and stick too it. Otherwise I want to try almost every new healthy option I see. Thank god whole foods is not near my house

  30. Frances says

    i have NO restraint when it comes to food shopping. I am ridiculous. I spend top dollar on local veggies and fruits, as well as extravagances from Whole Foods or the two food co-ops in town…raw foods bars, fancy balsamic vinegars, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar drinks…. but i guess i don’t spend much on things like clothing, movies, makeup, or booze, so…maybe it’s ok to splurge on food?

  31. Moni'sMeals says

    Yes I have self control only because I stock up mainly at the Farmers Markets to load up. 🙂
    I still can’t get my hands on the balck bean noodles. 🙁

    Did you see Potter yet? I am tommorrow!

  32. BroccoliHut says

    I’ve gotten so much better about restraining myself when food shopping–I even went to Fresh Market last night and DIDN’T buy anything. How’s that for will power?!

  33. hungryforbalance says

    Honestly, I have the hardest time holding back when shopping at a great health food store. There are just so many goodies I want to try! Good thing my kale chips and coconut butter don’t cost as much as a pair of shoes otherwise I’d be in trouble 😉

  34. Serena says

    I’m not big on self-restraint in most cases but in Whole Foods I totally lose it! 🙂
    I’m not a big goji berry fan, except in tea, but I have tried that bean spread and love it on veggies! 🙂 It’s good as a dip for raw carrots as well. 😉 I really like that brand in general, though. Their salsas are all really good, too.

  35. GirlonRaw says

    I’m hearing ya on the Wholefoods self restraint and I DON’T EVEN LIVE IN THE U.S. hehe.

    I used to get over there frequently for work but now that I am no longer flying I can just live vicariously through you! Boo hoo!

  36. Kim says

    I totally understand! We don’t have Whole Foods but I live in a city that has a lot of healthy food stores. Even the regular groceries usually carry a decent selection! I’ve always been an adventurous eater too so yeah, I frequently bring home something I’ve never sene before.

    I had to say something about Goji berries though! I bought a big bag recently and had no idea how to prepare them either. I don’t mind their chewy texture dry but I can’t stand the flavour! They taste like silly putty to me. I have cooked them into porridge with raisins and can’t taste them. My friend managed to whip some into a fruit smoothy and that was also good. But the best use I’ve found for them is as a treat for my chinchilla, who thinks they’re the best thing since raisins…and that’s saying something!

  37. Emily Elizabeth @ Kisses for Breakfast says

    I’m afraid I do the same thing at Whole Foods, I go in for an eggplant and some sprouts and leave with a cart full of veggies, coconut butter, coconut oil, a raw food bar (or three), raw & sprouted organic sunflower seeds, coconut nectar, organic shampoo… you get the idea. I also spend way too much on Amazon – I have a whole pantry shelf dedicated to Navitas Naturals products alone (chia seeds, raw cacao, hemp powder, gogi berries, cacao nibs, etc), then another for huge bags of Legacy Valley Oat Bran and Rolled Oats, and another for tons of bags of gluten free whole grain flours. I love Amazon! 🙂

  38. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear says

    Uhhuh, no restraint here when it comes to whopping food! and I’m going to London in Dec and I think I go wild in Whole Foods 😀

  39. vogelstar says

    I know this is outdated by now but yes I do always splurge at health food stores and Whole Foods is the worst. It’s such a seductive world in there, so many choices. I go there intending to pick up some veggie burgers and coconut butter but leave with all kinds of things and wonder how my bill got to be so high. But what pleasure when I get home.

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