Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Good very rainy morning, Boulder. Let's just hope for no flooding, as last year's was obviously enough for a lifetime. In any case, we have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through August 9th. Plus, don't forget that with the double ad Wednesdays, today is the last day to catch 25% off all vitamins and body care at Sprouts. Here's what else is looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through August 6th, fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets remain good at $10.99 a pound, and they are advertising farmed Atlantic salmon for just $6.99 a pound. Bone-in New York steaks are $6.99 a pound, ground chicken is $3.49 a pound, but otherwise their meat and seafood sales aren't doing a whole lot for me. In organic produce, green curly kale is great at 98 cents a bunch, red or green grapes are $2.50 a pound, blueberries or blackberries are $2.98 each for a six-ish ounce container, yellow onions and russet potatoes are both 98 cents a pound, and dapple pluots are $1.50 a pound.

Elsewhere in the store at Sprouts, there's a buy 10 save $5 sale with a back to school emphasis, things like juice boxes and fruit cups, although some Santa Cruz organic products are also included in the promotion, and they are already starting at 25% off. Outside of that sale, Chobani Greek yogurts are good at $1 each, and personally hating coconut, I shiver to see a go crazy for coconuts sale with a whole lot of coconut products 25% off.

In the new sale at Whole Foods through August 12th, organic yellow nectarines are $2.49 a pound, organic heirloom varietal cherry tomatoes are $3.99 a pint, and organic blackberries are $4.99 each for a 12 ounce container, beating Sprouts' price on that if you break it down to the per ounce price. Their fine fresh (albeit farmed) Norwegian salmon fillets are $14.99 a pound, and crab cakes made with U.S. crab are $6.99 each. I've been getting my crab cakes when they go on sale for just $2.99 each at the Longmont Lucky's or $3.99 each at the Boulder one. Didn't note the country of origin, but Lucky's has been doing well on domestic fish. Don't yet know what's happening there this week, but those crab cakes are at those sale prices at least through today. Back to Whole Foods, Fage Greek yogurt cups are $1.25 each, Belgioioso ciliegine mozzarellas are $3.99 a container, Diestel smoked turkey is $2 off at $9.99 a pound, and Whole Foods' own black and blue crostatas are $7.99 each. That's only $1 off, but boy are they good.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

Here's what's going to be in the Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA delivery this week, always a good indicator of what you'll find at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well, and since I'm still dealing with veggies from last Thursday's abundant pickup, I'm so glad they provide the biweekly option we have. Are we half way already through veggie season???

This is the half way point folks – hope you’re enjoying your CSA share
Pickling Cucumbers
Pickling Cucumbers
This week we hope to bring you:
Regular Share
-Beets
-Carrots
-Onions
-Choice: Zucchini OR Cucumber
-Choice: Parsley OR Basil
-Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Chard OR Fennel
-Choice: Kohlrabi OR Potatoes OR Green Beans
Large Share Additions    
-Eggplant
-Zucchini AND Cucumber
-Extra Choice: Kohlrabi OR Potatoes OR Green Beans

Fruit
Sorry, No fruit this week :(

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Few Dinner Ideas

Since I made the decision to release myself from my self-imposed prison of posting our menus for every single day, every single week, I find I've not only returned to enjoying menu planning, but also returned to simpler cooking, no longer requiring links to recipes so that I'd have something to share. Dealing with the abundance of produce from our CSA this summer is further skewing my thinking away from ideas that might have broader appeal, and I'm posting this week's plans just to illustrate these points.

For tonight, the thinking is that we want something big to also serve as an easy midweek reheat, so with local Munson's corn now available and fresh wild salmon fillets $9.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday, I went in search of a chowder that combines corn and salmon, so this one actually does have a link, I settled on the salmon and corn chowder that's posted on Epicurious, although it will need a little lightening, as I wouldn't put a whole cup of cream in anything. I think maybe half that much, and using half and half instead, will give it plenty of creaminess.

The gigantic bag of green beans from our Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA this week once again has me thinking of the ground beef and green beans recipe from my beloved old copy of Jane Brody's Good Food Cook Book, and the very lean 93% ground sirloin Sprouts has for $3.99 a pound this week falls right into that plan. I'll work from the cookbook, but Allrecipes has posted a somewhat similar recipe here.

Tuesday will be our easy reheat, tonight's chowder, with a big salad on the side. Sprouts has organic on the vine tomatoes for $1.98 a pound to go into the salad. Also organic celery at 98 cents a bunch, and I need that for the chowder anyway.

With all chicken sausage $3.99 a pound at Sprouts, that originally had me thinking of a simple pasta dish involving sausage, onion, peppers and good quality jarred pasta sauce for Wednesday. But we always have salad on the side with a pasta dish like that, and with a refrigerator full of Red Wagon non-salad veggies, the sausage pasta idea morphed into a southern New England classic of sausage, onion and pepper grinders, using one of the fine baguettes from Whole Foods (their organic "Everything" baguette is $2 through the 29th, and that would make for quite a taste explosion). Somehow I can't serve kohlrabi or beets on the side with pasta, but with what's essentially a sandwich, that seems okay.

With a beautiful bunch of collard greens from the CSA also still in the fridge, that was my starting point for Thursday. The aforementioned Jane Brody cookbook has a simple recipe for sauteing chopped greens with a bit of garlic or whatever, and mixing in canned cannellini beans to make it both your veggie and starch in one pot. Don't know if they are still doing it, but I recently found an unadvertised special on Eden Organic's cannellinis (plus the rest of their beans) at the Pearl Street Whole Foods at three for $5, incredible since they usually run closer to $3 each. For a protein to go with it, I can grab some of the chicken breasts on sale at the Longmont Lucky's for just $1.97 a pound through Wednesday. The Boulder Lucky's is offering ones with their "Never Ever" standards for a higher sale price, and Sprouts also has value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday.

Which gets us through a week that uses up almost everything from the CSA except the grilling onions, but I can pretty easily find a way to incorporate those. Uh oh, also whichever remains, kohlrabi or beets. Enjoy a week finally in the 80s and maybe even just the 70s for the latter half, with a good chance of rain every day!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Markets Today

Just a reminder about our local Farmers' Markets Today, 8 to 2 in downtown Boulder and a bit briefer out at the fairgrounds in Longmont, but also starting at 8. Here's the news from BCFM about what you'll expect to find today. Me, I got so much from my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA, I'll be trying to optimize the use of that all week, plus a few trips to the Munson Farm stand for sweet corn. From BCFM:

Keeping up with BCFM
The weekly haps     

This week at the market: carrots, sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, kale, mushrooms, raspberries, potatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, garlic, beets, onions, pork, beef, eggs, eggplant, sunflowers and lilies. 

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 7/26
  • On stage: Fox Feather 
Longmont Farmers' Market Saturday 7/26 
  • On stage: Jimmy Eads
Boulder Farmers' Market Wednesday 7/30
  • In the beer garden: Left Hand Brewing Company
Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market Wednesday 7/30
  • Family Night: family farmers' market scavenger hunt, edible art with LiveWell, chalk art on the farmers' market truck, live music and more! 
  • In the food court: Longmont's Georgia Boys BBQ
  • On stage: Patty Cummings - swing/folk/jazz

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Grand Opening Sales At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's continues to celebrate the opening of its store in Louisville with specials available both there and at the Boulder store. In this week's sale through July 29th, an 11 ounce pint of organic blueberries is $3.50, beating Whole Foods' current sale of $3.99. Julie's organic ice cream is better than half off at $2 for a 16 ounce container, and in this prolonged stretch of heat, ice cream is starting to sound like a good idea. Alfalfa's housemade Italian fusilli pasta salad is $4 off per pound at $3.99 a pound, made with organic ingredients, and again, a good option for beating the heat. Coleman pork tenderloin is nearly half off at $7.99 a pound, organic grape tomatoes are just $1.99 for a pint, Horizon's organic mac & cheese is half off at $1.50 for six ounces, and Back to Nature crackers are $2.50 a box, among other specials.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weekend Sale, Part Deux

Thank you Whole Foods! Now I can get through to see what you're offering us for tomorrow through Sunday only, which is Tom's of Maine toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash all at 40% off, and their made in house roasted chile corn salsa for $4.99 each, which is $3 off. The size isn't specified, but that salsa sounds right up my alley.

Weekend Sale A Mystery

Looks like Whole Foods is planning something for a three-day weekend sale as usual, but when I click on the link for it in their email, I get a page about the site's security certificate having expired with a dire warning about the dangers of proceeding. Dear Whole Foods - hope you can get this fixed. We want to know about weekend sale!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through the 29th and at Vitamin Cottage through August 9th. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through July 30th, the big news to me is the return of the Vitamin & Body Care Extravaganza, with everything in the department 25% off. This is a great time to stock up on your favorites that you know don't otherwise generally go on sale. I'd been hoping this was coming, as I nearly paid full price for Avalon Organics cleansing milk a couple of days ago, but diluted mine with a bit of water to stretch it out instead just in case this would be the week of the sale. Good karma.

In meat and fish at Sprouts, the good news is that fresh wild Alaskan coho salmon fillets are $9.99 a pound, although I slightly prefer sockeye to coho, previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound, all chicken sausages are $3.99 a pound ($1 higher than the sale price used to be), stuffed chicken breasts are also $3.99 a pound, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are a bit meh at $2.99 a pound, ditto stew beef at $4.99 a pound, but there's also a grass-fed organic roast sale, with select boneless varieties all $5.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, I'm liking on-the-vine tomatoes at $1.98 a pound, five pound bags of carrots $2.98 each, celery or gold beets with tops just 98 cents a bunch, red, green or black grapes all $2.50 a pound, Bartlett pears just 98 cents a pound, and one pound containers of strawberries $2.50 each. Elsewhere in the store, Voskos Greek yogurts are 99 cents each, but the big news to me is that vitamin and body care sale.

I can't make a habit of adding in Lucky's as I just don't have time, but since I've taken to shopping there pretty frequently, here's a very quick look. As usual, the stores differ, with the Boulder one looking stronger to me in organic produce, while the Longmont one offers better sale prices on meat and seafood (although generally not the "Never Ever" standards ones). This week, the Boulder store again looks great in organic produce, while in meat and seafood, wild sockeye fillets are $9.99 a pound (the flyer doesn't specify fresh/frozen), beef kabobs are $7.99 a pound, housemade crab cakes are $3.99 each, and boneless chicken breasts with Lucky's "Never Ever" standards are $4.99 a pound. At the Longmont store, you'll find those crab cakes for $1 less at $2.99 each, the kabob offerings instead are chicken at $3.99 a pound and tuna at $6.99 a pound, and boneless skinless chicken breasts are just $1.97 a pound, but these are "all natural" as opposed to the "Never Ever" standards in the Boulder sale. However, Lucky's tests all its meats to make sure they are antibiotic-free at the time of their demise.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

My Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickup is always a good indicator of produce you can expect to find at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well (plus the Farmers' Market has non-Boulder options like Palisade peaches), and this week's CSA is getting very interesting as we advance through summer. Last time I took up the challenge and selected the fava bean option, which much to my surprise turned out spectacularly well. This week, Red Wagon is really throwing down the gauntlet to me by offering kohlrabi, which I've never tried and they also spell kind of weirdly, but given the success of the fava beans, I'll continue working into unfamiliar territory. Evidently the peeled bulb is even good raw, which sounds like the start of an interesting salad, and the greens can be treated like any other greens. That will present another challenge, as the pickup will also include beets, the greens of which I love to cook, so that will be lots of highly perishable greens to deal with quickly. Here's this week's ever-interesting list from Red Wagon, complete with a pretty squash blossom picture (unfortunately I won't be able to get both the blossoms and the kohlrabi, since that's a choice between them):
Regular ShareSquash Blossoms

-Beets
-Fresh Garlic
-Grilling Onions
-Green Beans
-Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Chard
-Choice: Zucchini OR Cucumber OR Parsley
-Choice: Kholrabi OR Fennel OR Squash Blossoms OR Potatoes

Large Share Additions

-Extra Fresh Garlic
-Extra Choice: Zucchini OR Cucumber OR Parsley
-Extra Choice: Kholrabi OR Fennel OR Squash Blossoms OR Potatoes

Fruit Share

-Cherries

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Deals At Vitamin Cottage

We have a new sale at our Boulder Vitamin Cottage lasting all the way through August 9th, and there are some attractive deals to be had. Six ounce packages of organic blueberries are $2.69 each, a very nice price for a prolonged period of time for our organic blueberry fans (and a blueberry is something I'd never eat in conventional). Half pound bags of organic chia seeds are $3.99 each, very nice for organic ones of this current cult superfood. Stonyfield organic nonfat Greek yogurts are $1.15 for the individual serving size or $3.19 for 16 ounces, and for my friends avoiding gluten and/or dairy, Amy's gluten free rice mac & cheese or dairy free "cheeze" are $2.69 a box, while the original mac & cheese is even lower at $2.39. Late July multigrain chips, a favorite in this house with hummus, are $1.99 a bag, Crunchmaster gluten-free multi-seed crackers, even more beloved, are fantastic at $2.29 a bag, the big 25 ounce size of Westbrae organic canned beans is $1.99 each, as is the big 28 ounce size of Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes. And of course being Vitamin Cottage, there are plenty of specials on supplements.