Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's Happening At The Boulder Farmer's Market

Batten down the spinach! The Farmer's Market was a wild scene earlier this morning, with produce and even vendors' tents flying around in the wind. I'm pleased to report that green garlic was back on the scene, along with some new appearances like radishes, turnips, and lovely braising mix. Black Cat Farm has returned too, with their more exotic offerings like chervil. It was too bitter to permit leisurely strolling when I was there, but the wind seems to be dying down considerably now and the sun is shining, so get out and enjoy!

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our four local Whole Foods stores are holding another weekend sale for today and tomorrow, with a duo of specials. Organic avocados will be $1 each, $1.49 off their usual price (but if you aren't picky about organic when dealing with avocados, remember conventionals are 3 for $1 this week at Sunflower). Also, 95% lean ground beef is $3.99 a pound for the weekend, $3 off. So what's with these blue skies and sunshine this morning, instead of the expected rain/snow mix? Maybe it's a weekend for grilling burgers topped with avocado after all.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Enough with the royal wedding, it's time to think about dinner at home. I'm focused on the Meyer Angus ribeye steaks that Alfalfa's has on sale for just $9.99 a pound through Tuesday and am looking for some outdoor grilling time. Since the weather this weekend is not supposed to be so great, I guess it's going to have to be tonight, if the winds hold off sufficiently. We'll grill foil packages of seasoned diced potatoes (from last week's organic russet sales) on the side, and with asparagus reliably $1.99 a pound for the next couple of weeks at Whole Foods, maybe some simple grilled asparagus from Gourmet magazine.

With tomorrow's possible rain/snow mix, we'll retreat indoors and warm up with a spin on smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. Both Sprouts and Sunflower have great prices on the shrimp, and I'd substitute the sale cod at Sprouts for pricey halibut, which would be underappreciated in this dish anyway. For the side salad, Alfalfa's has organic spring mix at a stunning $1.99 a pound (and I saw the Pearl Street Whole Foods was matching that a couple of days ago, yay for the competition), plus organic on-the-vine tomatoes for $2.49 a pound, and organic green onions 50 cents a bunch. I'll grab a loaf of bread from either Alfalfa's bakery or from Whole Foods, where their own olive bread is on sale for $2.79 a loaf.

For Sunday, we need to start thinking spring again, even though it will be on the chilly side, so we'll go with pasta with peas, asparagus, butter lettuce, and prosciutto from Bon Appetit, possibly trying the organic greens mix mentioned above instead of the butter lettuce, plus more of the sale asparagus from Whole Foods (where they also usually sell cooking prosciutto at a much better price than the version thinly sliced for you). The green onions are just 50 cents a bunch at Alfalfa's, or if tomorrow's weather doesn't discourage a Farmer's Market trip, the market should be brimming with them. Another salad done as mentioned above, or with spring greens from the Farmer's Market, will go on the side.

And that will at least get us through the weekend, with more planning to do.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Revised Deal On Boulder Kitchen Tour

As I suspected, the BoCoDeal announced this morning for this weekend's Kitchens Are Cooking tour was faulty (see two posts below for the start of this). They have now revised their description to say that you get a pair of tickets for $18, not just one as it originally appeared, and indeed, that becomes a really good deal. See this link through tomorrow evening to purchase tickets for this weekend's tour, then get remodel ideas/enjoy cooking demos/go green with envy touring fine kitchens in Boulder, all for the I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder County.

Organic Strawberries Under $2 A Pound!

Tomorrow only, Whole Foods will be offering organic strawberries for the extraordinary price of $1.99 for a whole pound. Dip them in creme fraiche and pretend it's clotted cream for the royal wedding?

Boulder Kitchen Tour This Weekend

A benefit for the "I Have A Dream" Foundation of Boulder County, ten of Boulder's finest kitchens will be open for voyeurism and cooking demonstrations at the Kitchens Are Cooking tour this weekend. Their ad published in the Camera says that tickets are $18 each or two for $35. In a mysterious twist, today's BoCoDeals is offering tickets for $18, which it says is half price. That would be fine if you get two tickets with your purchase, but I don't see that anywhere in the description.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Salmon Burgers And Good Belly

Don't forget Whole Foods' excellent sale just for today on all their Market Made salmon burgers and also on Good Belly probiotic drinks, details here. Since the reception following Friday's much-hyped royal wedding is expected to feature canapes, grab a bunch of Whole Foods' wonderful salmon burgers, re-form them down to canape size before cooking, then waltz around your living room doing passed appetizers on Friday. Or not.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods all have new specials starting today in town, and here are the deals that look good to me.

Raw shrimp wars: $3.88 a pound at Sprouts, $3.77 a pound at Sunflower, both for 41/50 count size through May 4th.

Baby back ribs wars: $3.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower through May 4th.

At Sprouts through May 4th, other deals looking good include a Vitamin Extravaganza, with 25% off all health and beauty, vitamin and supplement products. Alaskan cod is $7.99 a pound and sockeye salmon is $10.99 a pound, while chicken sausage or pork loin roast or chops all look good at $2.99 a pound. In organic produce, Braeburn or Pink Lady apples are 99 cents a pound, loose yellow onions are just 69 cents a pound (or pay more per pound at $2.50 a three pound bag), baby carrots are very good at $1.50 a one pound bag, Valencia oranges are $2.99 for a four pound bag, and cucumbers are $1.50 a pound. I'd also check out their own line of organic spices all at $3.49 each, 20% off the entire line of Annie's products, and three types of Ezekiel breads for $2.99 a loaf.

Through May 4th at Sunflower, new deals I'm liking include jumbo sea scallops for $10.99 a pound and six types of ground beef, chicken, or turkey all at 40% off. Avocado lovers are rejoicing to see conventional Hass avocados at three for $1 (happy Cinco de Mayo). In organic produce, Fuji or Braeburn apples and three kinds of melons are 99 cents a pound, and chard or leaf lettuce look good at $1.50 a bunch (Alfalfa's has the same sale on the chard, where I got a beautiful bunch yesterday). Garden of Eatin' mini tortilla chips are just 99 cents for a 7.5 ounce bag, Amy's lasagna is $2.99 for select packages, and hot pepper cheese is just $2.99 a pound ($3.99 a pound at Sprouts).

In Whole Foods' new sale that runs through May 10th, I like knowing I'll be able to get conventional asparagus for $1.99 a pound for two whole weeks. Their fantastic Market Made Maryland crab cakes are $10.99 a pound, and tequila lime salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound (don't forget today's fantastic one-day sale on their entire line of salmon burgers for $6.99 a pound). Their own olive bread is nearly half off at $2.79 a loaf, Laughing Cow Babybel cheese is half off at $2.50 a 4.5 ounce package, Market Made large cinque formaggio pizzas look great at $7.99 each, and I'd grab select Oikos Greek yogurt cups at $1 each.

Check here for highlights of sales continuing at Alfalfa's, and here for the very long lasting ones at Vitamin Cottage.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will have a duo of special sales for tomorrow only, and it's a good one. All varieties of their fabulous Market Made wild sockeye salmon burgers will be $6.99 a pound, $3 off (they usually have one variety on sale for $7.99 a pound, but this is all of them at an even better price). Also Good Belly probiotic drinks will have a stunning sale at 3 for $4, for both quarts and four packs, savings of as good as two thirds off the usual price.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Big Deal From Cheese Importers

If you're familiar with Cheese Importers in Longmont, you know they have a pretty vast walk-in cooler filled with many, many types of cheese, and a lovely European-influenced market as well. They're also today's Living Social deal for Boulder County, offering $30 worth of goods for $15. You can read the deal details here. The one thing I don't see is when the coupon would expire, if you buy it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

It might be Easter, but the rest of the week's dinner plans are calling. Actually tonight's beautiful Beeler ham from Alfalfa's is going to make the rest of the week's planning a cinch.

For tomorrow, since tonight's feast will be heavier than usual, we'll counter with a vegetarian dish, celebrating spring with a risotto of spring veggies. It can be easily improvised, starting with a base of sauteed shallots, leeks, or onions (too bad there was no green garlic at yesterday's Farmer's Market!), rice added on top of that and cooked with broth, then veggies of choice added when they'll just barely get cooked, topped with a bit of grated parmesan. For a more structured approach, you could do something like risotto alla primavera from Bon Appetit.

Our Easter ham will make for an easy reprise on Tuesday, with slices heated on the grill pan or saute pan. For variety, we'll bake yams in lieu of russets on the side (organic yams are 99 cents a pound at Sunflower), with some other green veggie also going on the side (organic chard is $1.50 a bunch at Alfalfa's). While the grill pan is out, we might give a quick heating to some pineapple slices to go with the ham (conventional pineapples are $1.25 each at Sunflower).

For Wednesday (the last day of the current sales at Sprouts and Sunflower), we'll divert to Asian cuisine. Looking to finish off my giant bag of spinach from the Farmer's Market (only about half will fit in tomorrow's spring risotto), I'll turn to a recipe in the current issue of Cooking Light, stir-fried rice noodles with beef and spinach. It calls for a hefty amount of green onions, which were all over yesterday's Farmer's Market and are also on sale for just 50 cents a bunch (organic of course) at Alfalfa's. You can slice the top sirloin as instructed (top sirloin $5.99 a pound at Sprouts) or take a speedier and cheaper approach, using pre-cut stew beef instead ($3.99 a pound at Sunflower).

To finish off the planning through Thursday, I expect the remainder of tonight's wonderful ham will still be haunting me, and a good way to finally finish it off will be a spin on Mark Bittman's more vegetable than egg frittata from the New York Times, adding in diced ham along with the veggies. If you're looking to minimize the cholesterol impact of this, although it only calls for a couple of eggs, a product like Nulaid's cage free ReddiEgg makes a fine substitute. I've found it every time I've looked for it in a natural grocery store in town.

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning. Enjoy the day and hope for more rain tonight!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Today's Boulder Farmer's Market Report

If you don't care for the usual crush of people at the Farmer's Market, today's your day to get there, especially since the snow has stopped and the sun is starting to peek out. Not much news to report in terms of additions to the spring greens season at my favorite organic farm vendors. The disappointment was that I couldn't find green garlic at any of them, although the guy at the Isabelle Farm stand cheered me with news that garlic scapes (those wild, curly creatures) should be coming in shortly. Red Wagon Organic Farm has the most sumptuous display today, with scallion bunches piled high, and turnip greens, sorrel, and sunchokes, in addition to the usual suspects like spinach and arugula. There's also an arts and crafts fair going on next to the market, so there's plenty of shopping to be done.

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Today and tomorrow only, our local Whole Foods will be doing a quartet of special sales. Organic broccoli will be great at 99 cents a pound, and salmon lovers will be interested in sockeye (product of USA/Canada) for $10.99 a pound (without further info, I can't compare it to the previously frozen Bristol Bay Alaskan sockeye that's $7.99 a pound at Alfalfa's through May 3rd - nothing is fresh right now except farmed). Also, Australian cheddar will be half price at $4.99 a pound, and "pharmaceutical grade" Natural Factors Rx Omega-3 Factors 250 count will also be half price at $24.99 each.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Ham Price Smackdown

Well maybe not exactly a smackdown, as there are so many variables among hams, and lengthy names to describe them, too. As always, read the labels. That said, I hope this gives you some general ideas for what's available at the natural stores around Boulder.

Alfalfa's (seen today on opening day, yeay!):

Beeler's uncured boneless half or whole hams, $6.99 a pound.
Beeler's uncured bone-in spiral sliced ham, $5.99 a pound.
Fresh hams (big, in the 18 pound range), $3.99 a pound.

Sprouts (from their sales flyer through 4/27):

Heartland spiral sliced ham, $2.49 a pound.

Sunflower (from their sales flyer through 4/27):

spiral cut ham, $1.77 a pound.

Whole Foods (seen at the Pearl Street store today):

Niman Ranch applewood smoked uncured spiral ham or Wellshire all natural spiral semi-boneless cooked seasoned uncured ham, both $4.99 a pound.
Niman Ranch applewood smoked uncured petite ham (a half ham), $8.99 a pound.
Wellshire Farms Black Forest ham nugget, $10.99 a pound.

Free Shopping Bags For Earth Day

If you're looking to expand your reusable grocery shopping bag arsenal, Earth Day is usually a good day to do it, with some stores giving them away on the spot to cart home your purchase. True to form (bless their hearts), Vitamin Cottage, aka Natural Grocers, is giving away the really nice big ones that hold a ton of groceries and last nearly forever. Across the parking lot, the Pearl Street Whole Foods is also attempting to give away bags, in their case the sturdy but smaller size that's best for toting a few items or lunch. However, they'd run out of bags at the registers shortly before noon, and were trying to get restocked with the intention of lasting through the rest of the day. Happy Earth Day!

Alfalfa's Is Open!!!

Today's the grand opening of the reinvention of Alfalfa's at its first location, Broadway and Arapahoe, and they've re-envisioned it with style. It's a splendid store, with everything you'd expect from it, and more. It contains the usual suspects, like handsome stations for charcuterie, pasta, and cheese, coffee and tea, juice, and a tempting bakery and salad bar. It also has features that blew me away for an independent, local store of its size, like the Il Forno station for wood fired pizzas and other goodies, and a sustainable sushi bar, bringing Sushi Zanmai right to the shopping cart. But the one that totally got me was the artisan-produced oil and vinegar station as the eye-popping entrance to the bulk aisle. Beautiful offerings of oils and vinegars, mostly organic, from around the world, yours to pour into your own container or the reusable bottles they sold there at the super reasonable prices of $1 (smaller) or $2 (large for the uber-oil consumer, since you'd want this to stay fresh). I hope they continue to have an active sampling program there, as they were doing this morning, since the rich variety of choices deserves to be tried before taking home.

The store itself is pleasant, with a bit of a flashback in placement of certain departments like produce, meat, frozen, and the restrooms. I'd agree with a comment I heard from one shopper, that it's much more open, with wider aisles, than the old store. I was also happy to see many familiar faces at work, with many returning managers, and also the staff, including the nicest produce stocker I know. Seems like a statement there, with so many former employees wanting to return.

As for prices, that will take a little while to judge. My initial gut reaction is that they might edge closer to Whole Foods than to something like Sprouts or Sunflower, but the experience and selection also headed in that direction too. I did get a beautiful bunch of organic rainbow chard for $1.50 (sale pointed out by my favorite produce guy), and I saw Meyer Angus ribeyes on sale for the very good price of $9.99 a pound. The fish counter was too tempting though, so I sprang for a gorgeous piece of fresh swordfish at a pretty reasonable price instead. Their printed sale flyer (good through May 3rd) had just arrived as I was leaving, and I see deals definitely worth returning for. Organic spring mix is stunning at $1.99 a pound, as are organic on-the-vine tomatoes for $2.49 a pound, and organic green onions 50 cents a bunch (there's tomorrow's salad right there!). The aforementioned chard and ribeye deals are in the flyer, as is previously frozen Bristol Bay wild caught sockeye salmon for $7.99 a pound, plus some other good looking deals. They supposedly have their own wine, beer, and spirits section, with deals advertised in the flyer, but I wasn't able to locate it in the store. Perhaps a separate entrance is required for such a thing, or it has a secret door, or maybe I just missed it.

They're doing sampling and drawings for gift baskets and the like, but no special bag giveaway today, which is probably appropriate. We have to remember that this isn't the opening of the umpteenth store of a chain stretching across the country; this is the opening of our one and only Alfalfa's. And it's a good one.

Weekend Dinner Plans, Including Easter

If it's Friday, it's time to get going on some dinner plans. For tonight, I'm hoping to do an "Alfalfa's surprise," some impromptu idea I expect to get while surveying the goods at the grand opening of the new Alfalfa's sometime today. Failing that (which I doubt), I'm also thinking about the haddock that's on sale for $5.99 a pound at Sprouts. It would make a fine scrod, and with so many runners in this town returning from the Boston Marathon earlier this week, scrod strikes me as a suitable way to fete them. It could be done in a pretty classic New England style, such as scrod with herbed breadcrumbs from Bon Appetit. I'm also intrigued by a heretical spinoff from Gourmet, scrod with chipotle butter and black beans baked in parchment, which is a hilarious play on the classic fish with a side of baked beans.

Moving on to more solid plans for tomorrow, I'm doing a preemptive strike against a potentially heavy Easter dinner Sunday by going vegetarian with Cooking Light's much lightened, yet very delicious version of fettuccine Alfredo. With a quick side salad, you have a wonderful dinner.

For Sunday, we're thinking of going with a classic ham, although where it's coming from I haven't decided yet. (I'd love to do a price smackdown across stores on hams, but that might not happen, between time constraints and the number of choices each store will offer. Just remember to check the labels for potential preservatives, if that's a concern for you, as they can be found in some of our natural stores.) Cooking the ham should require no further guidance than checking the label or consulting a basic cookbook like Bittman's How To Cook Everything or even my antique Joy of Cooking. For the sides, I'm planning on golden potatoes with caper brown-butter crumbs from Gourmet magazine. This is equally fabulous with organic russets instead of the Yukon Golds called for, and you can find russets on sale at both Sunflower and Whole Foods this week (cheaper by the five pound bag at Sunflower this week, details here). I'd never (sigh) make it with the stick of butter called for either, substituting Earth Balance as a great no-cholesterol alternative to lighten it up. I'm also considering asparagus with balsamic tomatoes from the current issue of Cooking Light, and radish, arugula, and red onion salad with tangerines from the current issue of Bon Appetit. Arugula will certainly be available at tomorrow's Farmer's Market, and maybe radishes will have made their appearance as well (failing that, the stores will serve just fine for them). Since dessert doesn't figure much into our plans (see this post for help in that direction), that will get us through the weekend.

More to come soon for weekday ideas.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Free Bike Tunes At Superior Whole Foods

Wow, Whole Foods just tweeted that they'll be doing free bike tune ups at their Superior store today until 4 pm. I am not making this up. Here's their exact quote:

"Free bike tunes? Yeah, we got that at our Superior store until 4pm today. Come on by and get your bike ready for summer!"

Alfalfa's Opening Tomorrow

Don't forget the grand opening of the reinvention of Alfalfa's tomorrow, on Earth Day. It's located where the original store of the 80s and early 90s was, Broadway and Arapahoe, and is set to open at 7:30 am according to the Daily Camera article about the opening (the one that includes a crazy little interview of me). Regular business hours are noticeably missing on Alfalfa's website, something I'd think they'd want to correct pretty quickly. Let's see what Alfalfa's looks like in the 21st century!

Aprill 22nd update: thoughts on the new Alfalfa's, now open, are here.

Earth Day And Easter At Pearl Whole Foods

Lots of doings at the Pearl Street Whole Foods store tomorrow through the weekend, first celebrating Earth Day, then moving on to Easter. Here's what they say:

"Friday, April 22nd
Earth Day Celebration
Join us on our favorite day of the year; Earth Day! -We will be giving away fabulous reusable shopping bags and more! -Join us for live music and a cool recycled kid's activty! -Our friends from Boulder B-Cycle will also be on hand for the fun.

Saturday, April 23rd - Sunday, April 24th
Easter Weekend
Bring your family together for a fun Easter Weekend at the Pearl Street Whole Foods Market. On Saturday, April 23rd we will have live music throughout the day and the Easter Bunny will be roving around 10-6 giving away Easter treats! Join us for a fabulous Easter Brunch 7:30-1pm from our Hot Bar venue. We will be featuring Eggs Benedict, Crab and Spinach Quiche, Banana French Toast and many more of your Easter favorites! The Easter Bunny will be on hand 10-2 giving away treats!"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

Finally, finally a chance to look at today's new Boulder natural grocery prices from Sprouts and Sunflower, with Whole Foods continuing their sale from last week, and Vitamin Cottage still with their very long lasting sale. Here are the sale items that look especially appealing to me, for one reason or another.

At Sprouts through April 27th, chicken tenders are low at $1.99 a pound, and fresh ground chicken breast is also good at $2.99 a pound. Waiting for the start of the fresh wild salmon season, you can get farmed for $8.99 a pound, and flash frozen wild caught haddock looks good at $5.99 a pound. If you're short on time for your grilling, they have a variety of prepared items like chicken kabobs, pollo asado, or burgers already set to hit the grill for $3.99 a pound. I don't usually buy conventional produce, but a whole seedless watermelon for $1.50 sounds like a whopper. In organic produce, Fuji or Gala apples are 99 cents a pound, and green onions are great at 69 cents a bunch. Organic red or jewel yams are $1.29 a pound (better at Sunflower, 99 cents a pound), yellow onions are $2.50 a three pound bag (same as Sunflower's sale), and cherry tomatoes are $2.99 a dry pint. The entire Horizon Organic line looks great at 25% off, and my fave Crunchmaster gluten free crackers are $2 a box, yahoo.

Deals looking good at Sunflower through the 27th include a 50% off chicken sale focusing on the lean cuts like boneless skinless or ground breast, tenders, and cutlets, boneless pork loin chops or roast at $2.99 a pound, and beef stew meat for $3.99 a pound. They're matching Sprouts' price on fresh salmon, $8.99 a pound. Conventional pineapple might be irresistible for that Easter ham at $1.25 a pineapple, while in organic produce, they beat Sprouts on yams at 99 cents a pound, and match them on three pound yellow onion bags for $2.50 each, and two kinds of apples (Braeburn and red delicious) for 99 cents a pound. Also looking good in organic produce, five pound bags of russets are $2.50 each, grape tomatoes are $2.50 for 10 ounces, and red or green Bartlett pears are 99 cents a pound. Other good deals include Nut-Thin crackers at $2 a box, 20% off the entire Bob's Red Mill line, select Annie's Naturals dressings at $2.50 each, Mozzarella Fresca 8 ounce fresh mozz cups for $3.99, and my favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts are great at 50 cents each.

Highlights of the sale at Vitamin Cottage, which lasts all the way through May 28th, are available here.

Whole Foods continues last week's sale through the 26th, where one pound packages of organic strawberries look great at $3.99 each (compare Sprouts' sale of $2.99 for just 8.8 ounces). Other good deals to me include organic yellow onions or their handsome organic russet potatoes for 99 cents/lb (although if a 5 pound bag of potatoes works for you, it's better at $2.50 at Sunflower) and organic lemons at $2.99 for a 2 pound bag. Organic zucchini is also pretty good at $1.99 a pound. Whole Foods' own yummy havarti and dill wild salmon burgers are $7.99/lb, certified sustainable Alaskan coho salmon is $12.99/lb, and you can get Ford Farm Seaside cheddar for $8.99/lb, $4 off. Also looking good are three kinds of Alba Botanica sunblock for $6.99 each and select Sigg water bottles at 30% off (but a whopping 50% off for today's one-day only sale at Whole Foods, and Sunflower is also doing a 25% off sale).

Getting To This Week's Sales

My apologies, very busy day ahead, and I'm not sure if I'll get to looking over all the new (and continuing) Boulder natural grocery deals today. (From the preview, I can see that at Sunflower, conventional pineapples will be scooped up at $1.25 each and Cascade Fresh yogurts will be very good at 50 cents each, in addition to the usual suspects.) Meanwhile, you can check out the flyers yourself, finding them here:

Lucky's Market (sometimes updates later in the day)

Sprouts (click on the basket that says "Weekly Ads)


Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers)

Whole Foods Pearl Street

Another Compost Give-A-Way

This time it will be the Superior Whole Foods getting into the act, fittingly on Earth Day. Here's what they say: "Friday, April 22nd Earth Day Compost Give-a-Way 7:30am-7:00pm Free Bring your shovel, your own container and get your garden ready for planting! We will have compost out in our parking lot for anyone who would like to come and pick some up!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, we have a trifecta of special deals at our local Whole Foods stores. Looking especially good, one pound logs of Crave Brothers mozzarella will be $4.99 each, $4 off. Whole Food's 365 Everyday Value laundry liquid soap in their $14.99 size will be $9.99, $5 off. And Sigg water bottles in all sizes will be a whopping 50% off, so jump on that if you need one.

Easter Celebration Ideas

Planning an Easter brunch, dinner, egg decorating party?'s Easter Eggs-travaganza will give you loads of ideas, including recipes for those leftover eggs! Also check out Bon Appetit's extensive Easter Guide and the Easter recipes from Saveur magazine.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Another Cooking Class In Superior

The Superior Whole Foods will hold another Health Starts Here cooking class tomorrow evening, this time featuring healthy pizzas. Here's what they say:

Tuesday, April 19th
Health Starts Here- Cooking Class
6:00pm Free

Join Cheryl in our Café as we kick off Earth Week! Come and learn how to make a healthy pizza. Cheryl will be preparing three different sauces including pesto, sun dried tomato and cashew cream sauce. Since it is Earth Week and as always, we will be using as many local ingredients as possible. You will also learn how to make a whole grain, no oil, no sugar pizza crust. Using Local reduces carbon footprints- support our Local Farmers! Please sign up at our Customer Service Desk to reserve your space today!

My 15 Minutes Of Fame?

More like 15 seconds, if any. Today's Daily Camera quotes me about the opening of the new Alfalfa's that's coming up on Friday. You can read the full article here (blushing on my part). I only have a couple of quibbles about the quotes, so I'd say it was done surprisingly accurately.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Happy Sunday, time to get going on dinner plans for the rest of the week.

For tomorrow, with Sunflower's 50% off pork extravaganza, I'm thinking about trying another new recipe from the current issue of Cooking Light, chipotle pork tacos. Frequent readers know I love all things chipotle, and you can always have it ready to use by following the tip in this previous post. The magazine recommends accompanying this with a quick, delicious-sounding radish and fennel salad (sliced radishes and fennel combined with some chopped celery and olives, tossed with a lemon-olive oil dressing).

For Tuesday, we always have something available from the weekend's cooking for an easy midweek reheat, and this week, it's the potato and root vegetable chowder with bacon. A side salad, maybe some bakehouse bread, and you're done.

For Wednesday, since rice hasn't appeared in our menus yet this week, we'll go with shrimp risotto with baby spinach and basil from Bon Appetit. The spinach will be the remainder of the big organic bag from the farmers' market, and the shrimp will be from the sales at either Sprouts or Sunflower.

To get us through Thursday, I'm thinking about a quick saute of pork chops finished with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, no recipe needed. The chops will be bought by the end of the current sales Wednesday, coming from either the Sunflower 50% off sale, or the boneless center cut chops that are $3.99 a pound at Lucky's. Baked yams make a great side, and organic ones are 99 cents a pound through Wednesday at Sprouts.

And that will get us through this week's planning, with it all starting over again on Friday.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Passover Seder Ideas

Looking for ideas for your Passover table? Check out's Ultimate Passover Meal Planner and Bon Appetit's Passover Guide.

Lots of Fun Choices Today

So many fun natural food-related events happening around Boulder on a beautiful day today. Of course we have the Boulder Farmers' Market from 8 to 2 -- get your organic spring greens fix. We also have two holiday tastings to choose from, with the Boulder Sunflower doing a "Hopping Holiday Sampling" from 11 to 1, and the Superior Whole Foods planning a "Spring Tasting" from 1 to 4. And don't forget about Whole Foods' attempt to break its own parmesan cracking world record at 1. Check with your local store for potential tastings and festivities surrounding the event. A fun day for the foodie.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will have a trifecta of special sales for tomorrow and Sunday, and they look especially good. Parmigiano Reggiano (the real thing) will be on sale for $14.99 a pound, $5 off per pound. (I'd assume this is in celebration of their big parmesan cracking event tomorrow, details previously reported here.) Also, organic cluster tomatoes look fabulous at $1.99 a pound, $4 off their usual price per pound (which I'd find for cheaper elsewhere if they were full price). Finally, assorted Frontera chips can be had for $1.50 a bag, nearly half price. Very good deals all around.

Happy Birthday Boulder Sunflower

The Boulder Sunflower's calendar says today's their birthday. How many years already? Two? Maybe even three? I still prize my special opening day grocery bag I was lucky enough to snag by being in line early enough. Which leads to wondering what Alfalfa's might have in the works to celebrate their opening day coming up soon on the 22nd. Oh, the choices we enjoy in Boulder...

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Friday comes around so quickly, time to get going on dinner plans. For tonight, since grilling looks possible, we'll opt for salmon on the grill, simply done with a squeeze of lemon on the side. Bearing in mind my post just below about the state of the wild salmon population, we'll go for the certified sustainable Alaskan coho on sale at Whole Foods for $12.99 a pound. If you can use lots of lemon, Whole Foods has two pound bags of organic ones for $2.99 each. With organic zucchini a good deal this week ($1.50 a pound at Lucky's, $1.99 a pound at Whole Foods, just $1.29 a pound for "Italian squash" at Sprouts), we'll include a favorite side from Bon Appetit, shaved zucchini salad with parmesan pine nuts. For tomorrow, we'll put one foot back into winter with a nice warming chowder inspired by the current sales on organic leeks and potatoes, making potato and root vegetable chowder with bacon from Bon Appetit. I'll trek north to Lucky's to stock up on organic leeks for just $1.50 a pound, and organic russets are on sale at good prices at both Sunflower and Whole Foods (russets work just fine instead of the Yukon Golds the recipe calls for). Tomorrow's farmers' market will surely give us some spring inspiration for the side salad, with baby spring greens, arugula, and spinach, plus there's also the organic lettuce sale at Sunflower for $2 a head (both leaf lettuce and romaine). For Sunday, we'll use more of those sale organic potatoes and leeks for a quick Sunday supper, experimenting with a new recipe from the current issue of Cooking Light, fingerling potato-leek hash with Swiss chard and eggs. Organic russets again should be a fine substitute. All Sprouts brand eggs are 20% off right now, and I'm hoping to find young Swiss chard at tomorrow's farmers' market (if not, organic is available at all our stores). And that will get us through the weekend plans, with the rest of the week still to come.

Pacific Salmon "Dead Fish Swimming"?

Those of us who have long enjoyed eating wild salmon have watched fearfully as wild salmon has gained legions of enthusiastic fans, creating logjams at the fish counter as people claw their way to get their catch from the latest cult river during the fresh season. Now comes news of a possible leukemia-type virus that's further threatening the Pacific wild salmon population, in an article appearing in today's Daily Camera. The statement saying "the salmon industry is in a state of collapse" is especially disturbing. All the more reason to look for fish with a designation that it is certified sustainable, and to follow the recommendations of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Tastings This Weekend

This Saturday will be a good day for getting some spring-like Easter dinner ideas, with our local Sunflower planning a "Hopping Holiday Sampling" from 11 to 1, and the Superior Whole Foods hosting a "Spring Tasting" from 1 to 4 (check out the parmesan cracking at 1 while you're at it). Enjoy!

Electronics Recycling At Whole Foods

Our Pearl Street Whole Foods is offering a great opportunity to recycle your old electronics for free tomorrow and Saturday (note the hours of 4 to 7 only). Here's what they say:

"Friday, April 15th - Saturday, April 16th
FREE E-Recycling
4pm-7pm ONLY FREE

Your Pearl Street Whole Foods Market wants to help you responsibly dispose of your old electronics (computers, cell phones etc).

In partnership with Techno Rescue we will be collecting electronics between 4-7pm only.

Please note we cannot collect items before or after 4-7 pm on April, 15th and 16th."

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More Good Deals At Lucky's

Frequent readers know that although I adore Lucky's Market in north Boulder, I don't usually cover them because they are geographically out of my usual shopping range (and as befits a local independent store, presumably without a 24/7 webmaster, their new sales usually aren't posted to their website when I look at the newest sale prices early Wednesdays). But my Daily Camera today included a hard copy sales flyer for them, something of a rarity, and I've been pondering all those good deals ever since. So here's a quick summary, for those of you lucky enough to be close to Lucky's. Their organic produce is stellar, as usual, with on-the-vine tomatoes for $1.50 a pound (!), Valencia oranges 50 cents a pound (!!), and many other good organic deals, like leeks or zucchini for $1.50 a pound, baby carrots $1.50 a one pound bag, and red or green leaf lettuce $1.50 a head. Their boneless center cut pork chops (promising no antibiotics in addition to the usual suspects) look good at $3.99 a pound. There are lots more intriguing specials, and you can check out the now-posted flyer here.

Another Parmigiano Cracking Coming Up

This Saturday, Whole Foods stores across the country will be trying to beat their own Guinness World Record for simultaneous cracking of Parmigiano Reggiano wheels. The cracking here should take place at 1 pm in our Mountain Time zone. It will be surrounded by festivities, including cheese samples. Check with your local store to see how early their festivities will begin and how late they will extend, as last year they varied from store to store. You can read more about the big cracking challenge here.

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

My thoughts on the best of this week's new natural and organic grocery deals in Boulder:

Raw EZ peel shrimp wars: $4.99/lb at Sprouts, Sunflower wins with $3.99/lb, both for 41/50 count through 4/20.

Ground turkey wars: $3.99 for 20 ounce Zacky Farms 93% lean ground turkey at Sprouts, $2.99/lb for all natural ground turkey at Sunflower (get out your calculator to compare that one), both through 4/20.

Fresh chicken sausage wars: $2.99/lb at Sprouts (apple or basil) and Sunflower (hot or mild Italian) through 4/20.

Organic strawberry wars: $1.99 a half pound at Sunflower through 4/20, $3.99 for one pound at Whole Foods through 4/26 (effectively same price, just depends on how much you want)

At Sprouts through 4/20, other deals that look appealing to me include boneless skinless chicken breasts at $1.99/lb for the value pack and USDA Prime (not just Choice) boneless ribeyes for $12.99/lb. They're also doing a Choice roast round-up with four roasts at $3.99/lb. In organic produce, Braeburn or Pink Lady apples and red or jewel yams are all 99 cents/lb, Italian squash is $1.29/lb, yellow onions are $1.99 for a three pound bag, romaine hearts are $2.50 for a three pack, and sugar snap peas are $2.99 for 8 ounces (you might find better than $6/lb buying from bulk elsewhere). The Greek Gods Greek yogurt looks good at 99 cents each (6 ounce size, also 24 ounces for $3), bulk muenster cheese is $2.99/lb, and all Sprouts brand eggs are 20% off.

At Sunflower through 4/20, in addition to the warring deals above, I'm liking their pork extravaganza with all sorts of cuts 50% off, New York style sirloin steak at $6.99/lb,, and top sirloin at $5.99/lb. In organic produce, you'll find the strawberries mentioned above, and I also like leaf or romaine for $2 a head (very good for romaine), baby carrots at $1.50 for a one pound bag, and Valencia oranges at $3.49 for a 4 pound bag. Organic russets are also $3.49 for a 5 pound bag, a good price, but we've seen lower. Twelve packs of Seventh Generation bath tissue are stunning at $4.99 each (compare around $10), as is the 50 ounce jug of their laundry detergent, and their three packs of paper towels are $2.99 (happy Earth Day!). Select Earth Balance spreads look good at $3.49 (even better if you have the Mambo Sprouts hard copy coupon (not online) for $1 off), select Barbara's Bakery shredded cereals are very good at $2.99 a box, and select Frontier spices are 20% off.

At Whole Foods all the way through the 26th, in addition to the organic strawberries above, good deals to me include organic yellow onions or their handsome organic russet potatoes for 99 cents/lb (although if a 5 pound bag of potatoes works for you, it's better at $3.49 at Sunflower through 4/20) and organic lemons at $2.99 for a 2 pound bag. Organic zucchini is pretty good at $1.99/lb, but organic Italian squash is better at Sprouts through 4/20 at $1.29 a pound. Whole Foods' own yummy havarti and dill wild salmon burgers are $7.99/lb, certified sustainable Alaskan coho salmon is $12.99/lb, and you can get Ford Farm Seaside cheddar for $8.99/lb, $4 off. Also looking good are three kinds of Alba Botanica sunblock for $6.99 each and select Sigg water bottles at 30% off.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Tomorrow only, our local Whole Foods stores will have a duo of special sales. Think spring with fresh long stem artichokes, which will be half off at $1.50 each. Also, tray packs of Bell & Evans boneless, skinless chicken breasts (air-chilled, no antibiotics) will be $4.99 a pound, which is $2 off per pound. A spring dinner in the making.

Free Ice Cream At Ben And Jerry's

Yahoo, today is Free Cone Day at all Ben & Jerry's scoop shops. Get yourself to the store on the Pearl Street Mall between noon and 8 today, and enjoy a cone for free as they celebrate their 33rd anniversary. Details here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reminder Re Whole Foods Sale

Just a reminder that the current set of sales at Whole Foods lasts only through tomorrow. One that looks particularly good to me is the big bottle of Seventh Generation 2X liquid laundry detergent. Its sale price of $11.99 in the flyer is quite good on its own, but you can improve on it with the $1 off coupon you'll find in the current hard copy of the Whole Deal that you can pick up in the store, or print from their online coupons (scroll down about three quarters of the way to find it).

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Thinking about some easy dinners for tomorrow through Thursday, it will be time for something involving pasta, so for tomorrow we'll head towards spring with penne with asparagus, spinach and bacon from Cooking Light. Sprouts has the asparagus for $1.99 a pound this week. For the spinach, we've already seen organic at the Boulder Farmers' Market (yeay!), and Sprouts also has it in bulk at a good price. To classy this up, you could consider using a little pancetta instead of the bacon.

For Tuesday, we of course make a pot of something big over the weekend that serves as an easy midweek reheat, and this week it's the smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. A green salad on the side, perhaps some fresh bread, and you're done.

For Wednesday, we'll turn to the terrific sale Sprouts has on center-cut pork loin chops ($1.99 a pound) and do them simply sauteed with some baked organic yams (back to the Sunflower sale) on the side. The organic chard also on sale at Sunflower makes a great side, sauteed in olive oil with a bit of garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

To finish up with Thursday, we have yet to do a rice dish, and I'm inclined towards shrimp risotto with peas from the New York Times. It seems like we always have raw shrimp on sale somewhere, and maybe Wednesday's new sales will bring something besides the jumbo shrimp currently on sale at Sprouts. For the frozen peas, if not already stocked in your freezer, I'd hope they're among the "select varieties" of excellent Cascadian Farm frozen veggies that Sunflower has on sale through Wednesday. This recipe would be great with a little green garlic from the Farmers' Market added in, and maybe some spinach from there as well. Needless to say, for a weekday meal, I'd skip the step of making the shellfish broth, substituting boxed organic broth instead (Sprouts has Imagine's excellent broth at $2.50 per box through Wednesday, if they can keep it on the shelves with the demand).

And that will get us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Cooking Class at Superior Whole Foods

This coming Tuesday, the Whole Foods store in Superior will hold a Health Starts Here cooking class, featuring healthy Easter side dishes. Here's what they say:

"Tuesday, April 12th
Cooking Class: Health Starts Here
6:00pm Free

Come join our Healthy Eating Specialist, Cheryl, and learn to create Easter Sides using no oils, sugars or salt. Menu will feature:
Roasted Asparagus
Kale Waldorf Salad
Spinach Strawberry salad with avocado/orange dressing
Green Beans with pecans and orange dressing
Mashed potato cauliflower"

Beautiful Morning At Boulder Farmers' Market

It's a glorious day to get out and enjoy food, entertainment, and the freshest organic veggies around at today's Boulder Farmers' Market, in the second week of the new season. There are several spring greens to choose from, like spinach, arugula, baby leeks, and green garlic. At Red Wagon Organic Farm, I bought my first sorrel of the season, yeay! In addition to their gorgeous veggies, Cure Organic Farm is also offering their own locally raised pork. The food court is also in full swing, and has been joined this year by West End Tavern, with a tempting menu of sandwiches, ribs, salad, and a bbq breakfast slider, no less. You have until 2 today to get out and enjoy the fun.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will have a weekend-only sale tomorrow and Sunday, with a quartet of deals. Diestel turkey burger will be $3.99 each, $2 off their usual price. Wild caught, fresh Alaskan true cod will be $8.99 a pound, $4 off per pound from the usual price (that sounds like an excellent choice for the fish chowder I'm planning to make this weekend, as reported in a post below). 365 Everyday Value Pleasant Morning Buzz coffee will be on sale for $4.99 each, $3 off, and selected Udi's gluten-free bagels will be 2 for $6 (I'd think that would be for packages), half off the usual price. I'd go for a pleasant morning buzz and a bagel. Saturday update - WFM email said the cod would be fresh, but that was a goof. No surprise, it's previously frozen, but very good looking nonetheless.

Alfalfa's To Open On Earth Day

We've been waiting for this for months, and now it's official: the reincarnation of beloved Alfalfa's market will open two weeks from today, fittingly on Earth Day. You can read today's Daily Camera article about the opening or visit the new Alfalfa's website for more. The original Alfalfa's got me hooked on natural and organic foods to begin with, so I'm really looking forward to seeing its reinvention. There is however a little dread in terms of adding one more store to my shopping territory. Variety and competition are great, but a body can only shop so much.

Dinner Plans for the Weekend

To get started on weekend dinner plans, for tonight I'm thinking about the really big sea scallops on sale at Sprouts for $10.99 a pound, which would be great in grilled sea scallops and tomatoes with olive vinaigrette from Gourmet magazine. Note that the "grilling" only requires a grill pan, very easy. For the tomatoes, I usually buy organic, but this week I'm impressed with the Eurofresh cluster tomatoes that are on sale at Sunflower for $1.77 a pound, because they are certified as pesticide-free.

For tomorrow, we'll get out the real grill, Boulder wind permitting. Not sure yet which meat sale at Sunflower I'll succumb to: the country style ribs (bone-in $1.99 a pound, boneless $2.99 a pound) or the Harris Ranch boneless ribeyes for $4.99 a pound. The organic yams also on sale at Sunflower (99 cents a pound) make a great side, sliced into chunky spears and grilled as well.

For Sunday, we'll lighten back up with fish, this time doing a spin on smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. The fresh halibut season is just beginning, but if you'd rather not spend in the twenty dollar a pound range, you can always substitute something like the fresh tilapia currently on sale at Sprouts. I also recently saw nice looking cod there at a good price. I'd also never make this with the half pound of bacon called for; either cut it back significantly or substitute a veggie-based bacon.

And that get's us through the weekend's planning.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pearl Street Whole Foods Demos

The Pearl Street Whole Foods store has some interesting presentations coming up, including one on sustainable seafood today, and "chicken 101" on Saturday. Here's what they say:

"Thursday, April 7th
Sustainable Seafood Presentation and Demonstration
3-6pm FREE
Whole Foods Market works diligently sourcing only sustainable seafood from around the globe. Learn more about our Seafood Ranking program and taste some delicious fish in our newly renovated department.

Saturday, April 9th
Chicken 101
12-3pm FREE
Want to learn how to break-down a whole chicken? Ever wonder what different cooking techniques are best for different cuts of chicken. Get tips from Boulder's best meat artisans!"

More Good Deals At Lucky's

Many thanks to my friend Ms. A. for pointing out that Lucky's Market in north Boulder (out of my usual range) has some outrageously good deals this week, particularly in organic produce. Organic broccoli for 49 cents a pound and organic bulk spring mix for 99 cents a pound are jaw droppers. Lots of other good organic produce deals, and in meat, consider my fave antibiotic-free Rocky Jr boneless skinless chicken breasts for $3.99 a pound. You can read the whole sale flyer here (prices good through 4/13). Darn, if I only got to north Boulder more often...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

We have new deals today at our local Sprouts and Sunflower, while the longer lasting sales at Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods continue. (Remember that Sprouts and Sunflower also have last week's sales through today, their "double ad Wednesdays.")

In Sprouts' new sales, lasting through April 13th, I'm liking boneless center-cut pork loin chops at $1.99 a pound, chicken sausage for $2.99 a pound, fresh tilapia at $6.99 a pound, and colossal sea scallops (U-10 count) for $10.99 a pound. Conventional asparagus is $1.99 a pound, and the organic produce specials look good: red or gold delicious apples for 99 cents a pound, Bartlett pears for $1.29 a pound, baby carrots at $1.50 for a one pound bag, green onions 69 cents a bunch, Valencia oranges at $2.50 for a four pound bag, and russet potatoes $2.99 for a five pound bag. Also looking good are roasted almonds for $3.99 a pound, bulk Jarlsberg cheese for $5.99 a pound, Imagine organic broths at $2.50 a box, and three types of Ezekiel breads for $2.99 a loaf. They also have flash frozen Alaskan sockeye salmon for just $6.99 a pound, but I'm inclined to wait at this point for the start of this year's fresh season in a few more weeks.

At Sunflower through April 13th, they're testing my meat-reduction resolutions with bone-in country style ribs at $1.99 a pound ($2.99 a pound for boneless) and Harris Ranch boneless rib eye steaks for $4.99 a pound. In non-organic produce, with tomato prices generally running high at this time of year, I'm very interested in the Eurofresh Farms on the vine cluster tomatoes at $1.77 a pound, since their website proclaims their tomatoes to be certified pesticide-free. In organic produce, I like jewel and garnet yams, red and yellow onions, or gala apples all at 99 cents a pound, and chard for $1.50 a bunch. Also looking good are Imagine cooking stock for $2.99 a box (the broth is $2.50 at Sprouts), Cascadian Farm organic frozen veggies at $2 a bag, WholeSoy yogurts for 79 cents, Brown Cow Greek yogurts for 99 cents, and select Annie's mac & cheese at $1.25 for the 6 ounce box.

Check here for the longer lasting sale at Whole Foods, and here for the even longer one at Vitamin Cottage.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will be doing another one-day sale tomorrow, this time a double one. Looking good to me are their Whole Catch cod fillets, which will be $6.99 for a 12 oz package, $3 off their usual price, something to keep in stock in your freezer for a quick, healthy meal. They will also have Honey Stinger protein bars at $1 each, which is 89 cents off, something I need to check out.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Chautauqua Fundraiser at Whole Foods

Our Chautauqua is a Boulder gem, and all four of our local Whole Foods (Pearl, Superior, Baseline, and Ideal) will support it this Wednesday with a "5% Day." Here's what they say:

"Wednesday, April 6th

5% Day for Colorado Chautauqua

This April all Whole Foods Markets of Boulder are hosting a 5% Day for the Colorado Chautauqua. The Colorado Chautauqua has been an integral part of the Boulder Community since July 4th 1898. With a mission of enhancing its community and values through cultural, educational and recreational experiences, the Colorado Chautauqua is a true community partner. On April 6th, shop at any Boulder Area Whole Foods Market and 5% of our net sales will be donated to the Colorado Chautauqua."

Reminder Re This Week's Hot Deals

Just a reminder that if you'd like to see the best of this week's Boulder grocery deals (IMHO) presented in a readable fashion, go to this post. With html run amok, the list to the left is pretty hard to get through. Also, look just below for some great new, long lasting deals at Vitamin Cottage.

New Deals At Vitamin Cottage

The current set of specials at our local Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers) lasts all the way through May 28th (!). Gads, that's practically to summer. So you have lots of time to enjoy specials like organic bananas for 69 cents a pound, Boulder Natural six packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $5.99 a pound (many virtues, including raised without antibiotics), four types of Rudi's Organic sandwich breads at $2.99 each, lots of Cascadian Farm organic boxed cereals, granolas, or granola bars at just $2.49 a box (wow), most of my fave Pamela's cookies for $2.49 a box, my super fave Nut Thins crackers for $1.89 a box, 10 ounce bags of Cascadian Farm organic veggies for $1.69 a bag, great prices on the smaller size can of Muir Glen organic tomatoes, jars of Muir Glen organic pasta sauce for just $2.49 each (and watch for attached coupons for $1 off a purchase of two), six ounce packages of Applegate Farms organic sliced turkey for an astonishing $3.99 each, and more!!! Plus lots of specials on vitamins and supplements, of course. What a wonderful sale to have running all the way through May 28th.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Thinking about the rest of the week's dinners, while I'm in the mood for spring, the weather sounds like it wants to head back towards winter. We'll therefore start the week off tomorrow with our winter-like easy reheat from Friday, the cod, potato, and fennel casserole from Gourmet magazine.

It will be time for a rice dish by Tuesday, and I may be jumping the seasonal gun here, but I'm going to go for sausage risotto with spring greens from Bon Appetit. We'll have more options for the greens a little later in the season, but anything will do in the meantime, including the braising mix that's usually available in the produce department at the Pearl Street Whole Foods. Both Sprouts (parmesan) and Sunflower (basil) have a type of chicken sausage on sale that would be fine for this recipe.

Looking for something super quick for the middle of the week, we'll turn to the chicken breast sale at Sprouts to do an easy saute of boneless, skinless chicken breasts dressed up with a breadcrumb and herb coating. The organic yams also on sale at Sprouts will get roasted on the side, either whole as a type of baked potato, or cut into spears like fries.

To finish off this round of planning, we'll want a pasta dish by Thursday, and I'm thinking of a fun adaptation that will straddle the winter/spring sensibilities. We'll start with a recipe from the New York Times, pasta with winter squash and tomatoes, planting us firmly in the winter camp (Sunflower has organic hothouse tomatoes for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday, and their organic romas are sometimes cheaper). Then we'll spin it towards spring by adding some asparagus pieces to the squash and tomatoes as they cook (asparagus being a $1.77 a pound at Sunflower through Wednesday, but somebody always seems to have a good price these days).

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Boulder Farmers' Market Is Open!

Yahoo, it's opening day for the Boulder Farmers' Market, and the place is already buzzing with activity. I was thrilled to see most of my favorite organic farms already represented, like Abbondanza, Cure, Red Wagon, Isabelle, and Pachamama. Early spring greens are already available, with spinach, arugula, salad mix, mustard greens, and baby chard on offer, as well as onions, garlic, and seeds. At Red Wagon's stand, I bought my first green garlic of the season!! The market is already well filled out for this early, with the Canyon Street wing and the food court both in full swing. With temperatures expected to be near 80 today, what a great day to get out for a farmers' market stroll (open until 2). Don't forget your shopping bags!

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores are offering us a quartet of sales for today and tomorrow. Annie's Mac & Cheese will be 2 for $5, regularly $3.39 each. Since the size isn't specified, I wonder how this relates to the Annie's Mac & Cheese that's 4 for $3 in the current two-week sales flyer, where the size also isn't specified. Back to the two-day sale, organic blueberries will be half off at $2.50 for a half pint, Canyon Bakehouse mountain white bread will be $3.99 each ($2 off), and Blue Moose spreads will be $2.50 each, 89 cents off.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Seventh Generation TP At Sunflower

Perhaps for Earth Day/Week/Month, whatever, our Boulder Sunflower is giving us an excellent "manager's special" on the big 12-packs of Seventh Generation toilet tissue. You'll usually find them selling in the ten dollar range around town, but Sunflower's sale is for $5.99, and it lasts all the way through May 5th, according to the sign. I'd grab it while it's there, since at that price, it will probably out-of-stock.

Speaking of earth-friendly concepts, Sunflower will host "earth friendly cleaning suggestions" tomorrow from noon to 2.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Getting started on this weekend's dinner ideas, for tonight I'm thinking about the cod on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower, and going for a favorite last-of-winter type of casserole, cod, potato and fennel casserole from Gourmet magazine. With the oven going, some of the stuffed clams on sale at Sprouts would be a delicious starter. For tomorrow, with temperatures in the mid-70s, I'm hoping to think spring (especially after tomorrow's opening of the Boulder Farmers' Market) by grilling some wild salmon, albeit of the previously frozen variety. I picked mine up during the excellent one-day sale this week at Whole Foods, but it's also on sale all week at both Sprouts and Sunflower. For a side, with asparagus $1.77 a pound at Sprouts, I might go for another round of roasted asparagus with browned butter from Cooking Light. With rain predicted to move in by Sunday evening (yeay!), we'll stay indoors but still think grilling by doing spicy turkey burgers from Bon Appetit, using the ground chicken breast on sale at Sprouts instead of the turkey. The organic yams also on sale at Sprouts would be a great side as spears roasted in the oven, a better version of "burger and fries." And that will get us through this weekend's planning.