These sweet potato turkey patties are a protein packed side dish, awesome alternative breakfast option or even great on top of a salad for a healthy lunch or dinner.
A few weeks ago, I got to visit the ALDI headquarters just outside of Chicago. We spent two days sampling their products, learning about putting together healthy, inexpensive meals using ALDI products with chef Brigitte Nguyen and registered dietician, Tara Gidus and then visited a local store to get the full experience of shopping at ALDI and learning a bit about how the store and company operates.
I’ll admit, we have a local ALDI store and although we’ve lived here for almost 6 years, I’ve been in it just a handful of times. I knew it was supposed to be a discounted store, but its atypical layout, store name only products and (my biggest pet peeve) cash/debit only system kind of kept it off my radar when it came to regular food shopping. I have to say, all that changed after this trip.
The first thing you notice when you walk into an ALDI store is the layout. Instead of 15+ aisles of stuff like a typical grocery store, there are maybe 4-5 max. Displays aren’t set up with individual cans placed perfectly on the shelves, but rather kept in the box they shipped in from the warehouse and stacked on top of each other. You won’t find 10 different kinds of ketchups, or any other food item for that matter because in ALDI stores they only sell their own brand (minus a few special exceptions like Coca-Cola when it comes to soda). Did you ever stop to think about how much time you probably spend in the grocery store weighing the pros and cons between brands of the same item? If you’re my husband (the worst shopper in the world), it’s probably a good 20 minutes each trip. Having all those choices taken away from you is actually quite freeing. The appearance of the store is definitely a bit jarring at first but it’s all for one simple purpose: to keep costs down.
There are also cool efficiencies like big bar codes on each product package (all designed in-house) so that when scanning, cashiers never have to waste time looking for the bar code or re-scanning. There are no bags provided either at checkout. Not only is it a cost-savings they can then pass on to the customers, but it’s a great incentive to force you to bring your own reusable bags, something I’m so incredibly bad about even though I have tons hanging on my pantry door. Quarters are needed to get a cart and you only get the quarter back when you bring the cart back to the front of the store and lock it into another cart. Think of how many labor hours that saves of employees needing to chase carts around parking lots. All of these things take some getting used to but if you can push the usual grocery store amenities aside, you stand to save a whole bunch of money.
The thing that struck me the most was how many awesome organic, whole food products ALDI carries and their ridiculously low prices; organic coconut oil for $4.99 a jar, corn tortillas that were $0.33 a pack, 12 ounces of nitrate free bacon for $3.99, organic packaged baby spinach and kale for $2.99 and on and on and on. So many times discount stores equal horrible quality products and when it comes to food, that can be a scary thing. Knowing there are so many good quality food items at ALDI for prices you’d be shocked to see for conventional quality let alone organic, makes it all worth it.
More on what we learned from chef Brigitte and Tara next time but these turkey sweet potato patties were adapted from a recipe they shared with us in an attempt to get people to eat more protein for breakfast. I will say, these make an excellent addition to breakfast, but I found myself eating them for every meal of the day; topped with Greek yogurt in a salad, in a wrap or, on a bun like a burger, they make a great lunch and dinner option too. I changed a few things in the recipe (like using turkey instead of chicken) but with all ingredients purchased from ALDI, the cost per serving for the original recipe is $0.61. Insane right?
*This post is sponsored by ALDI. All content and opinions are my own.