Saturday, October 18, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Our Boulder Farmers' Markets are coming up shortly on what looks to be a lovely, mild fall morning. Here's what they say you can expect to find, and in addition to squash, squash, squash, there are lots of other options as well!

This weekend at the markets you will find: onions, potatoes, pears, apples, pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, Spaghetti squash, Delicata, tomatoes, spinach, arugula, beets, rainbow carrots, sweet peppers, turnips, garlic & mushrooms. 

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 10/18
  • On stage: El Javi
  • Boulder Valley School District locally sourced food truck breakfast
  • Art activity at BMoCA (all ages): Stop by the front steps of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (right next to the tea house) for a fun family art activity. 
Longmont Farmers' Market Saturday 10/18
  • On stage: Old's Cool Rock

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dinner Ideas For The Week (Almost)

Almost, because I haven't figured out next Thursday yet, but that's always something super simple like a salmon burger or pork chop. While I usually turn to the Boulder natural grocery specials for inspiration, other things factor in, and this week that includes using my final Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickup for the year, a forecast of lovely dry weather for the weekend, and the Daylight Savings change bearing down on us soon, all of which adds up to grilling for the weekend!

For tonight, some of the beautiful Norwegian salmon from Whole Foods' one-day sale today (look a few posts below for details) will go on the grill, along with some foil packages of organic fingerling potatoes that I captured Tuesday on the last day of Whole Foods' nearly half price sale, dressed with olive oil and a bit of parsley. I'm hoping to get some of our last ears of Munson corn for the season later today (haven't been out there recently, and I hope they haven't been hit by any freak frost).

Tomorrow will be back to the grill, this time with boneless NY strip steaks that the Lucky's Market in Longmont has for just $5.98 a pound this week. Sorry no time to check Boulder Lucky's, but I'd bet this special is limited to Longmont, as it's the "natural" meat they do there, as opposed to the "never ever" meats of the Boulder Lucky's. For a side, I'll try a new recipe from Bon Appetit, squash with dates and thyme, although if Whole Foods still has figs, I might already tinker with the recipe by substituting those. Brussels sprouts from the CSA pickup will also go nicely with the steaks.

Still needing something big on the weekend that will also serve as an easy midweek reheat, wanting something vegetarian after those steaks, wanting to give the family griller a break, and also needing to use the lovely collard greens from my CSA pickup, that absolutely calls for baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens from Cooking Light. With the oven going, I might try roasting my sunchokes from Red Wagon too (one last challenge from the CSA!).

I'm grabbing some smoked gouda from Whole Foods during this weekend's three-day sale with a favorite pizza in mind for Monday, barbecue chicken pizza from Bon Appetit. I have plenty of chicken breasts in my freezer from Lucky's excellent sale, but both Sprouts and Whole Foods are offering special prices on them this week (look below to the Wednesday sale post).

Tuesday will be our easy reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the baked rigatoni casserole. Salad on the side will keep it extra simple.

With a freezer full of batches of my own pesto, for Wednesday I want to try a new pasta recipe from Bon Appetit, pasta with pesto, shrimp and cured ham from Bon Appetit. Sprouts has some already peeled shrimp on sale through Wednesday.

So aside from having not yet planned Thursday, which is always something simple, that gets us through a full week and uses all the bounty of my final Red Wagon CSA pickup for the season.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

This week is my final pickup from my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA (sniff). But they are also offering an extension option and possibly a winter/spring option - more on those later if time permits. Here's what will be in my final pickup, always a good indicator of what will be at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well. Nice to see that kale, collards, and bok choi persist among the hard squash and root veggie choices.

This week we hope to bring you the following:

Regular Share
  • Winter squash
  • Choice: Brussels Sprouts OR Large Winter Squash
  • Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Bok Choi
  • Choice: Lettuce OR Braising Mix OR Arugula OR Spinach
  • Choice: Eggplant OR Sunchokes
  • Choice: Carrots OR Celery

    Large Share Additions

      • Extra Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Bok Choi
      • Carrots AND Celery
      • Cauliflower

      Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

      This weekend, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a nice one-day salmon sale for tomorrow only, plus several sales lasting all the way through Sunday. For tomorrow only, the 17th, Norwegian salmon will be $4 off at $8.99 a pound (it's farmed, but Whole Foods always has superior fish, and my understanding is that Norwegian is the best of the farmed). From tomorrow through Sunday, there will be two specials on local Justin's yummy peanut butter cups, singles at four for $5 and 10-packs $4.99 each. You could make some trick or treaters or maybe just yourself very happy with those. Also through the weekend, smoked gouda will be $5 off at $9.99 a pound, four types of Dr. Bronner's castile soaps (32 ounces) will be $9.99 each, and organic Fuji apples will be half off at $1.48 a pound.

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014

      Whole Foods Introducing Ratings For Produce

      Whole Foods already gives us lots of information about why their meats and seafood are responsibly obtained (and therefore command a higher price than at some of our other natural stores), and now they are extending responsibly grown ratings into produce and flowers. You can read the details from Whole Foods here.

      This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

      Happy Wednesday, food day. Although my stupid computer needing to install 14 updates this morning delayed me by more than an hour getting to this, I'm still in a really good mood, but the delay means must be quicker than ever. We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through November 1st (check the index of posts at the lower left to find that one). Here's what's looking good to me now.

      At Sprouts through October 22nd, fresh wild Pacific salmon fillets are still amazingly being offered at a very low price, $5.99 a pound. I wonder how they taste this late in the season. Fresh tilapia fillets are $6.99 a pound, previously frozen Jonah crab claws are $5.99 a pound, and 31/35 count peeled and deveined raw shrimp are $9.99 a pound, for those who like to pay a little more for that peeling convenience. In meat, we're back to our $3.99 a pound sale prices for chicken Italian sausage, stuffed chicken breasts (they're quite good), and boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders (not such a great sale price but improved by the fact that it's any size package, not just the really big ones).

      Organic produce is looking good as usual at Sprouts, with Gala or red delicious apples and butternut squash both 99 cents a pound (although you can find a good organic hard squash deal by throwing a stone towards any Boulder store right now), green curly kale is just 99 cents a bunch, two pound bags of heirloom rainbow carrots are just $1.50 each, D'Anjou pears are $1.50 a pound, and red, green or black seedless grapes are trending upwards but still decent at $2.99 a pound. Elsewhere in the store, they are doing a big sale on Sprouts' own brand, found in all sorts of departments. All sorts of products with pumpkin are also being featured, along with a pumpkin picture contest involving Instagram.

      In Whole Foods' new sale through October 28th, I'm liking organic red Bartlett pears and organic Granny Smith apples both $1.48 a pound, organic red, green or rainbow chard all $1.50 a bunch, and organic Yukon gold or red potatoes just 98 cents a pound. Whole Foods has also been doing a rather remarkable job of lowering their regular prices on organic produce recently (organic broccoli now a reasonable price, I think $1.97 a pound, every single day for example). Back to the sale, Amy's frozen pizzas are considerably off at $5.99 each, and I'd be tempted to pay $2 more per pound to get Whole Foods' Market Made chicken cordon bleu (respnsibly raised, etc., etc.) at $5.99 a pound rather than the stuffed breasts $3.99 at Sprouts. Ditto boneless skinless chicken breasts also $5.99 a pound. Whole Soy dairy-free yogurt cups are $1 each, and the big size of San Marzano tomatoes (28 ounces) are $3 each, but I did much better stocking up on San Marzanos that were organic too for just $2 each in the sale at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago.

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014

      Plant Based Fall Cooking Class

      Finally, some news in the events calendar that isn't a twitter chat. I just checked calendars for Whole Foods on Pearl and in Superior, and all they list are twitter chats for the entire month of October, but the Whole Foods at Baseline and Broadway actually has some interesting news for Thursday of this week. Here's what they say:

      Baseline Cooking Class: Plant Based Meals for Fall

      Thursday, October 16th
      6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
      Baseline Cafe, Free

      Join us on Thursday, October 16th from 6:30p-8p for our next Plant Based Cooking Class. Learn easy and comforting fall recipe ideas where meat is not the center of the plate. Sign-up at any register or email: M'Lissa Baker

      Monday, October 13, 2014

      Whole Planet Foundation Joins Hunger Games

      Here's a great combination from Whole Foods to help alleviate poverty:

      Whole Planet Foundation is excited to announce our partnership with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I to raise $1 million for global poverty alleviation. Join the #CourageofOne sweepstakes starting October 17th and enter for your chance to win prizes including premiere tickets and Whole Foods Market® gift cards. Be sure to bookmark this page, you won't want to miss it!

      NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  Void wherever prohibited by law.  Click here for Official Rules (available 10/17/14). Open to legal residents of 50 US/D.C., Canada (excluding Quebec) and the United Kingdom who are of the age of majority in their state/province/territory/country of residence at the time of entry. Promotion Period: October 17 – December 15, 2014. Sponsor: Whole Planet Foundation, 550 Bowie Street, Austin, TX 78703. Motion Picture Artwork TM & © 2014 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.

      Sunday, October 12, 2014

      Tough Night For Plants Ahead

      Boulder's low for tonight is sounding like 33 degrees, and our house usually sees frost much earlier than downtown does. Being mid-October, I'm ready to say goodbye to my beloved basil plants this year. Yesterday I basically stripped them of just about all remaining leaves, yielding three more containers of freshly made pesto for the freezer. Hint: the nice guys at the deli at the Pearl Street Whole Foods will give you those small plastic containers that are the perfect size for freezing pesto portions if you just ask them.

      Flatirons Food Film Festival Coming Up

      And it's not just movies about food. There will be dinners, tastings, demos and other fun stuff starting this Wednesday, October 15th. For all the details, go to the Food Film Festival website.