Sunday, July 31, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

It's Sunday, so time to think about the rest of the week's dinner ideas, but it's so darned hot, I'm about ready to boycott. Rather than completely abdicating my responsibilities, I'll turn back to Mark Bittman's 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics for something cool and easy for tomorrow, this time looking to number six, chicken bites to be breaded in either panko or cornmeal (no corn flakes in this house), a timely dish since boneless chicken breasts/tenders are $1.88 a pound at Sprouts and Sunflower through Wednesday. The celery he mentions as a classic side dipper can also be had for just 99 cents a bunch for organic at both Sprouts and Sunflower through then. Plus, we have plenty of Caesar potato salad with sugar snap peas left over to complete an easy, cool meal.

To stay on a roll with easy dinners, for Tuesday, we'll have our reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week will be the bacon-corn chowder with shrimp, featuring our local Munson Farms corn. A side salad, fresh bread, and that's it.

It will be time for pasta by Wednesday, and also time for something vegetarian, so I'm thinking about trying a new recipe from Cooking Light, linguine with two-cheese sauce. It calls for marscapone cheese, but I have in mind using the lite version of the cream cheese Sprouts has on sale instead.

With those boneless chicken breasts (Sprouts) and tenders (Sunflower) on sale for $1.88 a pound through Wednesday, I'll make sure I have enough to do Thursday's dinner, a new one from Bon Appetit, chicken breasts with tomato-herb pan sauce. This strikes me as a great summertime adaptation of a longtime winter favorite that requires baking in a hot oven, not so appealing at the moment. With green and wax beans everywhere at the Farmer's Market and the Cure Organic Farm store, those will be the perfect, summery side.

And that will get us through to Friday's planning, assuming I or my laptop don't melt by then.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores have a couple of special sales this weekend. Five ounce salmon portions are $4.99 each (their one-day sale yesterday on fresh wild coho for $8.99 a pound was waaaay better), and teriyaki chicken thigh skewers are $3.69 a pound, $2.30 off their usual price. Also, tickets will go on sale on August 1st for s special benefit concert on the 19th celebrating the grand re-opening of the Pearl Street store. You can read the details here.

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

Are you planning a stroll of today's Boulder Farmer's Market (perhaps after enjoying the pancake breakfast fundraiser in the Alfalfa's parking lot nearby)? Here's a list of the farm-fresh produce you can expect to see, from the Market's current newsletter:

At the Market

Greens
Arugula, Bok Choy, Braising Mix, Chard, Collards, Italian Dandelion Greens, Lambsquarter, Lettuce Mix, Heads of lettuce, Kale (Curly, Heirloom, Lacinato, Red Curly, Red Russian, Violet Wave), Mustard Greens, Salad Mix, Sorrel, Tatsoi

Herbs
Apple Mint, Basil (Cinnamon, Holy Basil, Lemon, Purple, Siam Queen, Spicy Greek, Thai), Borage, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Chocolate Mint, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic Chives, Parsley (Curly, Italian), Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Nasturtium, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Shiso, Tarragon, Thyme, Violas

Vegetables
Anaheim Chilies, Beets (Chioggia, Golden, Red Ace), Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage (Caraflex Mini Cone, Green, Napa, Red, Savoy), Celery, Corn (Peaches and Cream), Cucumbers (Japanese, Mini English, Pickling, Slicing), Carrots, Eggplant, Fava Beans, Fennel, Garlic, Green Beans, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Mushrooms, Potatoes, Okra, Onions (Bermuda, Sweet Spanish, Walla Walla), Peas (English Shelling), Scallions, Summer Squash and Blossoms (Costata, Cue Ball, Yellow Crookneck, Patty Pan, Zucchini), Sweet Bell Peppers (Greenhouse) and Hungarian Wax Pepper), Rat Tails (radish-tasting small beans), Rutabaga, Turnip, Yellow and Dragon Wax Beans

Tomatoes
Tomatoes (greenhouse - Early Girls Variety, Orange, yellow and red Beefsteak, Roma, Saladette, Yellow Cherry), (outdoor - Cherry and Grape)

Fruit
Cherries (Bing, Rainer, Sour Pie), Gooseberries, Peaches, Raspberries, Strawberries

Friday, July 29, 2011

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Today is Whole Foods' big one-day sale on coho salmon for $8.99 a pound, making tonight's dinner a no-brainer: coho will go on the grill. A good side dish for this heat will be Caesar potato salad with sugar snap peas from Bon Appetit. I've seen some nice organic local potatoes arriving (we now have both the Cure Organic Farm store and Munson's stand available at 75th and Valmont, in addition to tomorrow's Farmer's Market). Our snap pea season is done, but I'm hoping to catch the last of the local snow peas to use instead (that's a very long shot too, but store-bought will also work). Some Munson's corn on the side sounds perfect.

For tomorrow, with this prolonged heat only expected to get worse, I'm turning back to Mark Bittman's 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics, this time looking at number 88, shrimp and pesto on rolls. Both Sprouts and Sunflower have deals on cooked shrimp this week, skipping the step of even cooking it. For the pesto, I'll make it even easier by going with prepared. While there are lots of excellent brands of pesto out there, my preference is Whole Foods' own, which hides at the Pearl Street store next to the fresh pizza dough and other pizza fixings, far removed from the other pestos. With leftover potato salad that's filled with other veggies too, it's a non-cook night for a sizzling day.

By Sunday, we still need to do something big that will serve as an easy mid-week reheat, and I haven't begun to get enough of Munson's local corn, so we'll try a new recipe from the latest (August) issue of Cooking Light, bacon-corn chowder with shrimp. Both Sprouts and Sunflower have the organic celery for 99 cents a bunch, and Sunflower is doing well for the side salad too, with good deals on organic lettuce and cluster tomatoes.

And that will get us through yet another hot weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coho At Whole Foods Tomorrow

A reminder that tomorrow's one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores will be fresh wild Alaskan coho salmon for $8.99 a pound. It's troll-caught individually and certified sustainable, so this is fish with a very fine pedigree.

Pancake Breakfast At Alfalfa's

Anybody else been around here long enough to remember the pancake breakfasts that the original Alfalfa's used to have? (Dog washes, too, and all for very good causes.) Well, the pancake breakfast will make its grand return this Saturday, the 30th, from 7 to 10 am in the Alfalfa's parking lot, as an all-you-can-eat benefit for Community Food Share. Fill up for a worthy cause before heading to the Saturday Boulder Farmer's Market, practically next door. Here's what Alf's says:

"Alfalfa’s is reviving its infamous tradition of the Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser! All proceeds will benefit Community Food Share, the official food bank for Boulder county, providing free food to children and families in poverty. So, give back and get back at the same time!

There will be music, love and piles and piles of eggs, sausage, and of course, pancakes galore - from buttermilk and blueberry, to gluten-free & vegan options too! All you can eat! Adults $7, kids 10 and under just $3. (cash only, pretty please)

Special thank you to our partners who will be donating food and helping to make this fundraiser possible:

• Beeler's
• Bob's Red Mill
• Coombs Family Farms
• Earth Balance
• EcoProducts
• Eldorado
• Fresh Pack Produce Company
• High Meadow Organic
• Lillabee
• Madhava
• Napa Valley Naturals
• NestFresh Eggs
• Organic Valley
• Ozo"

Local Foods Featured At Pearl Street WFM

This Saturday, the 30th, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will be highlighting local breakfast foods from 11 to 5. When you think about it, there really are a lot of them. Here's what they say:

Saturday, July 30th
Start your day like a Local!
11 am - 5 pm

The Locals really know how to start their day!
Join us as we demonstrate our favorite Local breakfast products from coffee to granola.
Local Yum!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Boulder Farmer's Market This Afternoon

Check out the Boulder Farmer's Market's hot-off-the-press current newsletter for what you'll find at today's market (open until 8), plus a nice feature on one of my favorite places, Munson Farms.

New Deals At Whole Foods

Whole Foods' new sales were most uncharacteristically not up when I was looking at the new sales this morning, but here's what I see now in their new deals that last through August 16th (yikes, that's almost September!). I'm liking organic yellow nectarines for $1.99 a pound, a full pint of organic blueberries for $3.99, and organic heirloom tomatoes for $3.99 a pound. I have a weakness for their Market Made salmon burgers, and this time it's the lemon thyme ones that are on sale for $7.99 a pound. Their outstanding Hatch chile tequila lime burgers are $2 off at $3.99 a pound (hold the phone - does that mean the new crop of Hatch chiles is already arriving?). Greek Gods yogurts look good at $1 each, and hot weather picnicing is helped by Sonoma chicken salad at $9.99 a pound, or already made into a wrap for $4.99 each, and Diestel herb roasted turkey breast also looks good at $9.99 a pound. Finally, the big jugs of my fave 7th Generation 2x liquid laundry detergent are a good price at $11.99. Improve that with the $1 off coupon either online or in the hard copy Whole Deal at the store (hurry for either, since they'll both disappear at the end of the month shortly, while the coupon in the Whole Deal is good through the end of August).

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

For those of us who are not standing in line waiting for the opening of the new IKEA this morning, it's time for the new natural grocery sales in Boulder. We have new sales at Sprouts and Sunflower. Whole Foods should have a new one starting today too, but at the moment, they still have the flyer that expired yesterday posted. Meanwhile, the current sales at Alfalfa's and Vitamin Cottage continue (click those links for my prior reports). Here's the best of what I see in the new sales (with Whole Foods still to be added). Addendum: Whole Foods' new sale is now up, and you'll find my highlights here.

Chicken wars: boneless skinless chicken breasts (value pack) $1.88 a pound at Sprouts, boneless skinless chicken tenders (family pack) $1.88 a pound at Sunflower, both through August 3rd.

At Sprouts through August 3rd, in addition to the chicken, I'm very enthused about 25% off their entire health, beauty, vitamin and supplement department - stock up time. I'm also liking fresh wild caught Alaskan sockeye salmon for $9.99 a pound, beef stew meat for $3.99 a pound, and boneless ribeyes for $8.99 a pound. The fresh wild caught California white sea bass intrigues me for $8.99 a pound, but I need to learn more about it. In organic produce, bananas are 67 cents a pound, blueberries are $2.99 for six ounces, black plums are $1.29 a pound ($1.49 at Sunflower, except for today, last day at just 99 cents), a three pound bag of Granny Smith apples is $3.99, three-packs of romaine hearts are $1.99 each, and celery is just 99 cents a bunch (same at Sunflower). I'm also liking the whole Back to Nature line at 20% off, Tillmook cheddar at $3.99 for a half pound bar, and Sprouts' own cream cheese (including the lite variety) for $2.99 a pound.

At Sunflower through the 3rd, in addition to the chicken, I like their ground pork for $2.99 a pound. They're advertising fresh salmon fillets for a low $5.99 a pound, but the ad doesn't specify wild or farmed. In this wild fresh salmon season, that's the only type I'd buy right now. Organic produce looks good as usual, with one-the-vine cluster tomatoes for $1.99 a pound, celery 99 cents a bunch (same at Sprouts), green cabbage 99 cents a pound, red or black plums $1.49 a pound (black $1.29 at Sprouts), red or green leaf or romaine lettuce all $1.50 a bunch, and jewel yams 99 cents a pound. Select Seapoint Farms edamame veggie blends are $2.50 a bag (if it includes the Oriental blend, that makes a great, lightning quick stir-fry dinner), 60% double cream brie or aged extra sharp cheddar are both $6.99 a pound, and select Luigi Vitelli pastas are 99 cents a bag (wonder if including the whole wheat I always buy). Also, select Stonyfield organic frozen yogurts are $2.99 a pint. Once you try them and compare the calorie count (not to mention the cholesterol) to premium ice creams, I bet you'll join me as a Stonyfield fan.

And that will do it for this week's new sales.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will give us a special deal on grated parmesan for tomorrow only, the 27th, when four ounces of Organic Valley Farms grated parm will be $3 each, half off their usual price.

Plan Now For Salmon Friday

How's this for an ahead-of-the-game news flash. Our local Whole Foods stores will have fresh, wild coho salmon, MSC-certified sustainable and selected per Whole Foods' impeccable standards, on sale this coming Friday, the 29th, for $8.99 a pound. Here's what they say about it:

"Wild Alaska salmon season is in full swing – what better way to “catch it while you can” than a one-day-only sizzling summer deal for $8.99/pound at Whole Foods Market on Friday, July 29?Coho salmon fillets from a Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified fishery are on sale. They’re hand selected by Whole Foods Market’s Alaska port buyer who spends the summer at Alaska’s port openings choosing the freshest salmon to send to our stores—within 48 hours or less of the catch! The blue and white “Certified Sustainable Seafood” MSC seal ensures that the salmon are abundant and come from a well-managed fishery. And, having our own port buyer means that only top-quality salmon that are bright-skinned with a firm texture are chosen. Quick and easy to grill, bake, broil, poach or sautĂ©, orangey red-hued coho is a full-flavored salmon that makes a perfect canvas for the amateur cooks and professional chefs alike."

Monday, July 25, 2011

A Timely Fruit Salad Recipe

We're surrounded by good deals on organic stone fruit these days. Sunflower leads the pack, with organic peaches and nectarines for $1.99 a pound and organic red or black plums for just 99 cents a pound through Wednesday. You'll also find organic red or black plums for $1.49 a pound at Sprouts through then, and Alfalfa's matching Sunflower's $1.99 price for organic peaches and nectarines all the way through August 2nd. I was pleased with the fruit salad I tossed together last Friday, just a simple mix of chopped peaches, nectarines, and plums with a squeeze of lemon, a crack of pepper, and a few ribbons of fresh basil from my herb garden. If you're looking for something a little spiffier, I just encountered the perfect recipe in the current issue of Bon Appetit, stone fruit slaw.

Greenhouse Scholars Event At Pearl WFM

This Wednesday, the 27th, the Pearl Street Whole Foods store will be cranking up the fun as part of its 5% day for Greenhouse Scholars. A bike ride, a bbq, live music, and even bike tune-ups. Here's what they say:

Wednesday, July 27th

5% Day Festivities in honor of Greenhouse Scholars
5-8pm

On Wednesday, July 27th we're celebrating in honor of our 5% Day beneficiary, Greenhouse Scholars. Join us for these fun events:

Bike ride with the women of Venus De Miles. Ride is open to both men and women and riders of all abilities. Meet at Whole Foods Market Pearl St. at 5:30pm

Wednesday Night BBQ on the patio- enjoy an amazing meal deal from our prepared foods department. Just $10 per person for an entree, Grilled Corn on the Cobb with Lime Chipolte Butter, Citrus Cilantro Slaw and Pearl St. Truffle Chips.

Live music on the patio with our friends the Greg Harris Jazz Trio

Bicycle tune-ups courtesy of Bicycle Village

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Good grief, how did it get to be Sunday morning already. Time for the rest of the week's dinner ideas.

For tomorrow, with identical chicken tender sales ($2.99 a pound) and organic broccoli sales ($1.49 a pound) at both Sprouts and Sunflower through Wednesday, I'm thinking about chicken, asparagus, and broccoli stir-fry from Bon Appetit. I also saw asparagus for just $1.69 a pound at Sprouts yesterday (think it was $3.99 a pound at Sunflower).

For Tuesday, with a forecast high of 97, I'm glad we'll just do our easy reheat of something big made over the weekend, which in this case will be our celebration of the arrival of local Munson's corn, the summer squash and corn chowder from Cooking Light. A side salad of local greens, some bread from the Whole Foods bakehouse, and it's dinner on a hot night.

I'm impressed by the 100% grass-fed organic ground beef Sprouts has on sale for $3.99 a pound through Wednesday, so I'll catch it by then to do an easy weeknight favorite we haven't made in a while, chipotle sloppy Joes. Rather than serving it in hamburger buns, I microwave organic russet potatoes and top them with the burger mixture.

We'll want a pasta dish by Thursday, and with the arrival of Boulder's local corn this week, we'll celebrate it with zucchini, corn, and basil fusilli with bacon from Gourmet magazine. That's a festival of summer in a bowl. (I cut way back on the bacon to lighten it up. Remember that at Alfalfa's and Whole Foods, you can buy just the number of wonderful house-made bacon slices you want. No need to deal with a giant package of leftover bacon.)

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning. Stay cool out there.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Local Corn Is Here! Munson's Is Open!

Let our local corn season finally begin, delayed as it was by cool spring temperatures (hard to imagine that now). Munson Farms has their wonderful "peaches and cream" sweet corn at today's Farmer's Market in Boulder, and today is opening day for their farm stand at 75th and Valmont (right across the street from the Cure Organic Farm store - what a combo). The corn is definitely young (read: small), but undoubtedly super tender. It's also selling at three ears for $2, which strikes me as an increase from last year, but what else is new. Yahoo, yahoo, fresh, local corn!

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

There are some special sales for today and tomorrow only, the 23rd and 24th, at our local Whole Foods stores. St. Louis style pork spareribs are half off at $2.99 a pound (and is this sizzling weekend ever the time to be grilling), Rumiano colby jack cheese is nearly half off at $3.99 a pound, 365 six ounce feta crumbles are better than half price at $1.99 each, and you can make the weekend festive with a "summer big bunch" of flowers for $8.99, $3 off.

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

It's another warm, fine day for cruising today's Boulder Farmer's Market, open 8 to 2 pm. Here's the fresh produce you're likely to see, from the market's current newsletter. It's an ever-growing list as we head into the height of summer, with lots of tomato and squash varieties. Corn hasn't made the list yet, but the Farmer's Market tweeted on Thursday that you should find it if you get there early enough. A stampede probably expected over the first corn of the season. Drama at the produce stands, who knew?

This Week's Produce


Greens
Arugula, Bok Choy, Braising Mix, Broccoli Raab, Chard, Collards, Italian Dandelion Greens, Lettuce (Heads, Mix), Kale (Curly, Dinosaur, Heirloom, Lacinato, Red Curly, Red Russian, Violet Wave), Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Salad Mix, Shingiku, Sorrel, Spicy Salad Mix, Spinach

Vegetables
Asparagus, Beans (Fava, Green, Yellow Wax), Beets (Chioggia, Golden, Red Ace, Broccoli, Cabbage (Caraflex Mini Cone, Green, Red, Savoy), Carrots, Cauliflower, Chilis (Anaheim), Cucumbers (Japanese, Mini English, Pickling, Slicing), Eggplant (Asian), Fennel, Garlic, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Muchrooms, New Potatoes (Blue, German Butterball, Rose Red, Viking), Onions (Bermuda, Sweet Spanish, Walla Walla), Peas (English Shelling, Sugar Snap), Peppers (Sweet Bell-Greenhouse), Potatoes (Yukon Gold), Radish (Cherrybell, Esater Egg, German Beer), Rhubarb (Heirloom), Scallions, Summer Squash & Blossoms (Costata, Cue Ball, Yellow Crookneck, Patty Pan, Zucchini), Tomatoes (Early Girls, Orange, Yellow and Red Beefsteak, Roma, Saladette, Yellow Cherry), Turnip (Japanese Salad, Hakuri, Scarlett Queen)

Herbs
Apple Mint, Basil (Cinnamon, Holy Basil, Lemon, Purple, Spicy Greek, Thai), Borage, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Chocolate Mint, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic Chives, Parsley (Curley, Italian), Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Nasturtium, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Savory, Shiso, Tarragon, Thyme, Violas

Fruit
Apricots, Cherries (Bing, Rainer, Sour Pie), Gooseberries, Peaches, Strawberries

Friday, July 22, 2011

Weekend Dinner Ideas

It's hot here in Boulder. It's hot now, it's been hot, and it will continue to be hot. With temps expected to be in the upper 90s today, we're going to turn back to Mark Bittman's wonderful 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics for hot weather foods tonight. I'm looking again at number two, the pesto chicken rolls, with a continuum of three ideas in mind, depending on my ambition level. With boneless chicken tenders on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower for $2.99 a pound, it could be done as written by grilling the chicken as the first step, but there's no way I see these wraps getting made in twenty minutes if the first thing that happens is getting out the grill. Taking it down an ambition notch, the wraps could be made with the excellent Applegate Farms oven roasted chicken breast that's on sale at Whole Foods for $9.99 a pound. But if the heat sucks absolutely all ambition out of me, there's the third option of just buying the pre-made smoked turkey wraps with basil pesto that are on sale for $4.99 each at Whole Foods. Regardless of the wrap approach, it will be accompanied by a glorious mixed organic fruit salad, using the organic peaches, nectarines, plums, and strawberries that are all at excellent sale prices at Sunflower this week. I think diced organic fruit needs nothing more than perhaps a squeeze of lemon to be declared a salad.

For tomorrow, we'll definitely go back to the grill outside. If we've burned out on the wonderful fresh wild salmon we have around right now, we'll switch to beef for variety, inspired by Sunflower's sale on top sirloin steak for just $2.99 a pound. A favorite way to grill that around here is ginger-soy grilled steak from Bon Appetit. If you're looking for a good deal on soy sauce, Whole Food's own 365 organic soy sauce has a low everyday price, which becomes exceptionally low when you team it with the $1 off coupon that's in the current Whole Deal newsletter. (When I bought it, even the cashier at Whole Foods said "wow, that's a deal!")

For Sunday, we still need something big that can serve as a midweek reheat. We've also been waiting impatiently for this year's weather-delayed crop of Munson Farm's wonderful fresh corn, and since their website says it's currently expected between the 23rd and 25th, I'm going to go out on a limb and plan for it, doing a nicely seasonal summer squash and corn chowder from Cooking Light. Perhaps we'll see corn at the Munson stand at tomorrow's Farmer's Market if you get there early enough (the Market said as much in a tweet yesterday), and I'm hoping their farm stand at 75th and Valmont will be open by Sunday. The market should also supply the squash, as well as the lettuce we've had since spring, plus (I'm hoping) local tomatoes for the side salad. A local, seasonal cornucopia (ouch, I guess that's a corn joke, sorry).

And that will get us through the weekend, with fingers crossed regarding the corn.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Health Fair At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower will host a "Health Fair" this Saturday, the 23rd, from 11 to 2 pm. I don't have any further details, but if you're there, continue the healthy theme by picking up some of organic fruit they have at great prices this week. With organic yellow peaches and nectarines at $1.99 a pound, a whole pound of organic strawberries going for $2.99, and organic red or black plums at just 99 cents a pound, you can make yourself one heck of a mixed organic fruit salad for practically nothing. The fruit I picked up there yesterday does need a little more time to ripen, but that's fine if you plan accordingly.

The Corn Is Coming! The Corn Is Coming!

News flash - the Boulder Farmer's Market tweeted this morning that corn is expected at Saturday's market. Here's what they said: "Rumor has it you should get to Saturday's Farmers' Market early.....the CORN is coming!!"

Free Cooking Class At Superior WFM

You can learn how to eat locally in a free cooking class at the Whole Foods store in Superior next Tuesday from 6 to 8 pm. Here's what they say:

Tuesday, July 26th
Chow Down Cooking Class- Eating Local 101
6:00pm-8:00pm
Free

Join our healthy Eating Specialist, Cheryl as we shop the store for “Local” ingredients and create “Local” dishes in the CafĂ©. This class will focus on how to buy, cook, and eat with seasonally, local produce. The class will cover a range of cooking techniques to help you prepare what the season has to offer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Boulder Farmers' Market This Afternoon

Ah, Wednesdays are such wonderful days for the Boulder foodie. We have new natural grocery sales, the Cure Organic Farm store reopens for its Wednesday through Sunday hours, and the Boulder Farmer's Market is on from 4 to 8 this evening (the one in Boulder - seems redundant, but there's also a Boulder Farmer's Market on weekends in Longmont, and I'm a fiend for accuracy). I harvested the first of my cherry tomatoes at home a few days ago, so it looks possible that we'll have local tomatoes at the market this week? Check out their current newsletter for a list of fresh produce expected (including tomatoes!), along with much more news from the market.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have a new set of sales out today for our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while previous sales continue for Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage, and Whole Foods (click those links for my prior reports). Some weeks are better than others in terms of deals, and this is a week to get enthused about. Here's what's particularly appealing to me, IMHO as always.

Wild caught salmon wars: fresh Alaskan sockeye fillets $7.99 a pound at Sprouts through July 27th, fresh/frozen not specified king salmon fillets $10.99 a pound at Sunflower through the 27th, fresh wild sockeye $14.99 a pound at Whole Foods through the 26th.

Chicken tender wars: $2.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower (family pack) through the 27th.

Chicken sausage wars: $2.99 a pound at both Sprouts (Italian only) and Sunflower (all) through the 27th.

Organic produce wars: multiple warring prices listed below.

In addition to the wars above, Sprouts has several deals through the 27th that get me particularly enthused. 100% grass-fed, organic beef is looking very good, with ground beef $3.99 a pound and tip roast, steak, or stew meat $4.99 a pound. Their very good pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, big 26/30 count raw Mexican shrimp are $6.99 a pound, and I'm curious about the fresh, wild caught California white sea bass that's $7.99 a pound (I'd make sure it's sustainable). Organic produce looks good, with red or black plums $1.49 a pound (but just 99 cents a pound at Sunflower), a whole one pound clamshell of strawberries just $2.99 (same at Sunflower), broccoli $1.49 a pound (ditto at Sunflower), cantaloupe 69 cents a pound, celery just 99 cents a bunch, and cherries $3.99 a pound (but if you're in the neighborhood of Safeway between the 22nd and 25th, they're $2.99 a pound, club price). I'm also liking Amy's burritos at $1.50 each, Laughing Cow six ounce cheese wedges for $3, and all Kiss My Face moisture shaves at 20% off.

At Sunflower through the 27th, avocado fans are rejoicing to see Hass avocados at 50 cents each (they're conventional but you'll peel it anyway). We've had a long dry spell on a decent avocado price. Harris Ranch top sirloin steak looks very good at $2.99 a pound, raw e-z peel 41/50 count shrimp are $3.99 a pound, and beef stir fry is $4.99 a pound. I'm interested that they have several Farmland fresh pork cuts at $4.99 a pound, and the ad is notable for promising no antibiotic growth promotants, in addition to the usual suspects. Organic produce looks great, with red or black plums just 99 cents a pound ($1.49 at Sprouts), romaine lettuce 99 cents a bunch, one pound of strawberries or raspberries $2.99 each (Sprouts same on the strawberries), broccoli $1.49 a pound (matching Sprouts), and yellow peaches and nectarines at $1.99 a pound. Organic brown Turkey figs are $3.99, but that's only for eight ounces (last I looked, Whole Foods had a better per pound regular price and also a $3.99 a pound sale on organic Mission figs). My favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts are great at 50 cents each for select varieties, and select Annie's mustards are $2.50.

Wow, that's a lot to work with. It's a good week for sales enthusiasts!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will hold another one-day sale tomorrow, the 20th, with a trio of good deals to be had. Greenlees' incredible cinnamon bread will be half off at $4 a loaf. If you've ever wanted to taste an $8 dollar loaf of bread (okay, technically $7.99), this is your shot to do it at an actually reasonable price. And in my last experience with it, it kept for quite a while in the fridge, probably because of its decadent sugar content. Orchid fans should note that 4" pots of orchids will be half off at $9.99. Also, previously frozen wild sockeye salmon fillets will be $8.99 a pound, $6 off their usual price. Shoppers should note that Sprouts this week (through tomorrow, and who knows what their new sale might bring) has fresh, not frozen, wild caught Alaskan sockeye for $9.99 a pound. Whole Foods' previously frozen fish does carry the pedigree of being certified sustainable, and I've never met a Whole Foods fish I didn't like.

New Deals At Vitamin Cottage

Our local Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers) has another long-lasting sale, this time running through August 13th, and there are good deals to be had, as usual. My favorites include organic red or green seedless grapes for $1.99 a pound (how nice to know we can get organic grapes at a good price all the way through the middle of August), fresh ground almond butter for $3.49 a pound, Knudsen spritzers at just $2.49 for a four-pack, Bobo's three ounce oat bars (not the gluten-free) for $1.49 each, some great prices on chips and crackers, good deals on Annie's organic mustard ($2.59) and ketchup ($2.79), and a great price on the 15ish ounce size of Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes or pizza sauce. At $1.19 a can, you can stock up on this one. And of course, being Vitamin Cottage, they have lots of great deals on supplements.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Supper Club At Superior

The Superior Whole Foods is keeping a busy calendar this days. They'll be doing a Supper Club this Thursday, the 21st, sounds like an excellent deal on a four course vegan meal. Here's what they say:

Thursday, July 21st
Supper Club
6:30pm-8:30pm $10.00

Join us out on the patio with Chef Bridgette and our Healthy Eating Specialist, Cheryl and enjoy an unforgettable evening featuring a four course vegan meal. Please sign up at the Customer Service Desk to reserve your space today!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

It's Sunday already, so time to get planning the rest of the week's dinners. For tomorrow night, since Sprouts has all their chicken sausage on sale for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday, and we still have beautiful organic greens around, I'm planning sausage risotto with spring greens from Bon Appetit. You can make this with any mix of organic greens you might have picked up at the Farmer's Market, and I particularly like to do it with the wonderful braising mix from Cure Organic Farm. In addition to being at the Farmer's Market, Cure has a farm store at 75th and Valmont that's open Wednesdays through Sundays (check their site for the times).

For Tuesday, we always have something big made over the weekend that serves as an easy midweek reheat, and this week it will be smoky shrimp and halibut stew. Remember that organic leaf lettuce is on sale at Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods for the side salad.

For Wednesday, the ground pork at Sunflower that will be on sale through that day for $2.99 a pound is making me think about a dish from Laos and Thailand that is variously called laap, larb, or laab. The spicy ground pork mixture is great wrapped in lettuce leaves (remember those organic leaf lettuce sales), making this diet-friendly as well. I like to serve a little rice on the side with this, and am currently infatuated with Lundberg's Black Japonica rice, which is "a gourmet field blend of black & mahogany rice." (Remember that all Lundberg products are 20% off at Sprouts through Wednesday.)

For Thursday, I'm a bit on the fence. We haven't had a pasta dish yet this week, so I'm thinking about catching Sprouts' shrimp sale by Wednesday to do spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light. Or I might just take the last of the boneless skinless chicken breasts from the Sunflower sale ending Wednesday, saute them breaded with a little herbed panko, and microwave some organic russets for "baked" potatoes on the side (plus a veggie, of course).

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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Local Tasting Tomorrow At Superior WFM

The Superior Whole Foods Market will be highlighting local vendors tomorrow, the 17th, a chance to sample some fine local products. Here's what they say:

Sunday, July 17th
2:00pm-6:00pm Free

Shop Whole Foods Market this Sunday and meet some of our Local vendors. Local Vendors will be set up and in the aisles of our store, with samples and information about their products. This is a great way to try before you buy! Support your Community- Buy Local.

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

It looks like a great day to get out and join the crowds strolling the Boulder Farmer's Market. If you like to plan ahead, here's the ever-growing list of fresh produce (peaches this week!) you can expect to see at today's market, from this week's market newsletter:

This Week's Produce

Greens
Arugula, Bok Choy, Braising Mix, Broccoli Raab, Bulls Blood Beet Tops, Chard, Collards, Italian Dandelion Greens, Lettuce Mix, Heads of Lettuce, Kale, Komatsuna, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Radicchio, Salad Mix, Shingiku, Sorrel, Spicy Salad Mix, Spinach

Vegetables
Beets, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumbers, Fava Beans, Fennel, Garlic, Green Beans, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Mushrooms, New Potatoes, Onions, Peas, Pinto Beans (dried), Radish, Scallions, Summer Squash, Squash Blossoms, Sweet Bell Peppers, Turnip, Tomatoes (greenhouse)

Fruit
Apricots, Cherries (Bing, Rainer, Sour Pie), Gooseberries, Peaches, Strawberries

Herbs
Apple Mint, Basil, Borage, Catnip, Chervil, Chives, Chocolate Mint, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic Chives, Parsley, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Nasturtium, Oregano, Rosemary, Sage, Shiso, Tarragon, Thyme, Violas

Friday, July 15, 2011

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Tomorrow and Sunday, the 16th and 17th, our local Whole Foods stores will be offering some special sales. Laurel Hill potato chips will be $1.50 a bag ($1.29 off each), chicken teriyaki breast kabobs will be $4.99 a pound ($3 off per pound and good for the grill), and you can pick up a Fresh Herb Company mixed bouquet for $12.99. Happy shopping.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

It's Friday already, time to get going with dinner ideas for a pretty warm Boulder weekend. I'm looking at the chicken breast sales and thinking that if our never-ending evening rains finally hold off tonight, we'll be able to grill, doing grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit. Sunflower has the boneless skinless chicken breasts for a very good $1.99 a pound this week. (If you prefer to grill bone-in chicken, Sprouts has those for just 88 cents a pound.) The ratatouille makes a nice big salad on the side, and Whole Foods has organic zucchini for $1.49 a pound.

For tomorrow, the fact that Sprouts has great prices on both shrimp and fresh halibut this week spells smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. Because the halibut hails from California, it tends to be on the smaller side, but the fish guy told me a couple of days ago that they also had some thicker pieces available. I'd hope they'd be willing to skin it, since having a pro do it would save a whole lot of time. I'd cut back on the amount of bacon called for to lighten up the dish, and I'd turn to either Alfalfa's or Whole Foods for it, both having fantastic smoked bacon that you can buy in just the number of pieces you need. For the side salad, both Sprouts and Whole Foods have organic leaf lettuce for around $1.50, and Sunflower has it for 99 cents a head.

For Sunday, we'll turn back to the grill for some of the wonderful wild salmon of the season, which is on sale at Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods (see the top of this week's deal post for a price comparison, and I'd be sure to buy fresh salmon). With the very first of the season's peaches promised at tomorrow's Boulder Farmer's Market, I might do an adaptation of grilled salmon with nectarine salsa from Bon Appetit, using peaches in place of the nectarines. Foil packages of diced organic sweet potatoes will also go on the grill, and for a side, I'm thinking of sauteed zucchini, cherry tomatoes, olives, and basil. Organic zucchini is a great price this week at Whole Foods, Sprouts has pints of organic grape tomatoes (basically the same as cherry) at the excellent price of $1.99, and my own herb pots are overflowing with basil and rosemary.

And that will get us through a warm, hopefully drier, Boulder weekend.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Healthy Grilling Class Coming Up

The Whole Foods store in Superior will host a free Healthy Grilling Class 101 this coming Tuesday, the 19th. Here's what they say:

Tuesday, July 19th
Healthy Grilling Class 101
6:00pm-8:00pm Free

Join our Healthy Eating Specialist, Cheryl as she teaches you how to make a healthier version of your summer grilling. We will grill a little of everything! This class will teach you how to make the perfect seasoning mix and marinades for grilling meat, veggies, and fruit. Please sign up at the customer service desk to reserve your space.

Bastille Day Menus

Happy Bastille Day, everyone! If you're looking for ideas for a French-inspired dinner, check out the Bastille Day Menus at Epicurious.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Peaches At Boulder Farmer's Market?

This week's brand new newsletter from the Boulder Farmer's Market promises that peaches will be appearing this week. That should mean from Colorado's western slope, oh yum. I wonder if any will be organic, and if any will be at this afternoon's market, starting at 4. Check out the right column of the newsletter for the ever-growing list of produce to be found at the market as we enter mid-July.

Olive Oil Tasting Class At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's will host a free Artisan Olive Oil Class and Tasting this Friday, the 15th, from 4 to 6 pm. With the store's fantastic collection of olive oils available in bulk dispensers, what a great chance to learn more (darn, and I can't get to the class). I'm loving their Tuscan herb oil, perfect for drizzling on practically anything. Here's what they say about the class:

Become an artisan olive oil connoisseur in less than 2 hours! You’ll get to experience the dynamic flavors of 3 award-winning olive oils, learn how to pick out the very best oils and you’ll get some fabulous cooking tips and more. Please RSVP with Guest Services so we can make sure to save you a seat ;) - guestservices@alfalfas.com- 720.420.8400

Women's Ride And Grilling At Superior WFM

The Superior Whole Foods will host a women's ride followed by a $5 a plate grilling this evening. Here's what they say:

Wednesday, July 13th
Venus de Miles Grilling
5:30pm-8:00pm
$5.00 per plate
Join the Colorado’s only All- Women’s Road Ride. Meet at the Superior Whole Foods Market for a mini ride and come back to our patio and enjoy a grilled dinner for only $5.00 which will benefit Greenhouse Scholars!

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, while Alfalfa's current sale continues. Looks like Vitamin Cottage has a new sale too, which I'll need to check out. Here's the best (IMHO) of the advertised sales in front of me right now.

Wild salmon wars: fresh Alaskan sockeye $9.99 a pound at Sprouts through July 20th, fresh/frozen not specified sockeye $8.99 a pound at Sunflower through July 20th, fresh sockeye $16.99 a pound at Whole Foods through July 26th.

Sprouts has a lot of deals that appeal to me through the 20th, in addition to the salmon above. They have fresh wild California halibut fillets for just $7.99 a pound. When I checked out last week's halibut deal, the fillets were much too thin to grill, but my friend Ms. A. later got a nice thick cut there, so who knows. The price is so good, it's worth another look. Bone-in split chicken breasts are stunningly low at 88 cents a pound (value pack), pork spare ribs are very good at $1.88 a pound, and 41/50 count ez-peel raw shrimp are pretty good at $4.99 a pound. All chicken or pork sausage is $2.99 a pound (pork the same price at Sunflower), and boneless ribeye steaks are $9.99 a pound. Applegate Farms' excellent deli meats are all 25% off, and my favorite stuffed clams are a super price at just 99 cents each. In organic produce, celery is great at 99 cents a bunch, as are grape tomatoes for $1.99 a pint, red or green leaf lettuce $1.49 a head (but just 99 cents a head at Sunflower), Cameo apples 99 cents a pound, and yellow onions $1.99 for a three pound bag. Blue Diamond Nut Thins are $1.99 a box (matching Alfalfa's), bulk mozzarella cheese is cheap at $2.99 a pound, and the whole line of Lundberg's excellent rice products is 20% off.

At Sunflower through July 20th, I'm liking boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 a pound (family pack), very big 16/25 count broken (broken?) raw gulf shrimp for $5.99 a pound, and ground pork for $2.99 a pound. In organic produce, red or green lettuce hits a stunning low at 99 cents a bunch, while red delicious apples or cantaloupe are 99 cents a pound, and red seedless grapes are $2.99 a pound. Select Wallaby yogurts are 79 cents each, and Lundberg's addictive rice chips are $1.99 each (20% off the entire Lundberg line at Sprouts). Bulk Monterey jack cheese is $3.99 a pound, and eight ounce Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozzarella balls are okay at $3.50 each, but have been better.

At Whole Foods through July 26th, London broil is nearly half off at $3.99 a pound. In organic produce, a whole pound of strawberries looks great at $3.99, as does zucchini for $1.49 a pound. Organic Colorado grown red or green leaf lettuce is $1.50 a head (lettuce sales at Sprouts and Sunflower mentioned above). In bulk, organic whole almonds are nearly half off at $5.99 a pound, and in the bakery, I'm in big trouble, because my favorite Two-Bite brownies are just $3 a tub. Picnic fixings look good with Market Made smoked turkey wraps with basil pesto at $4.99 each, Applegate Farms roasted chicken breast at $9.99 a pound, and Laughing Cow 4.5 ounce Babybel cheese half off at $2.50 each.

I'll check out and report on Vitamin Cottage's new sale shortly.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quartet of special sales for tomorrow only, the 13th. Yarra Valley Dairy marinated feta will be way better than half price at $2.99 for 6.35 ounces, regularly $6.99. Whole Foods' 85% lean ground beef will be $2 off per pound at $2.99 a pound, and Camelbak's 20 ounce insulated "better bottles" will be half off at $9.99 each. But the deal that is tugging at my heartstrings is Justin's organic peanut butter cups for $1 each, 80 cents off. Will power, where are you?

New Deals At Alfalfa's

Yahoo, Alfalfa's has a new set of sales, running through August 2nd. (You can see the flyer in their photos section on Facebook.) Their produce department continues to impress me, both in breadth of organic selections (their flyer notes that "on an average day, our produce department is 97% organic") and price, a tough combo. Looking especially good from that department right now are organic peaches or nectarines at $1.99 a pound, and organic watermelon for 49 cents a pound. Orange juice fans, note that 59 ounce cartons of Organic Valley orange juice are BOGO at $5.79. In their deli, Diestal turkey pastrami looks very good at $8.99 a pound, real parmesan reggiano is also good at $14.99 a pound, and they have several varieties of Andrew and Everett bulk cheese for $6.99 a pound. While on the premises, I definitely grabbed a box of my fave Blue Diamond Nut-Thins for $1.99, and while I'm not much of a chip eater, their lineup of sales on chips from Boulder Canyon, Late July, Garden of Eatin', Lundberg, Frontera, and Terra Chips is impressive.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Boulder Whole Foods On Google+

It's gonna be a whole new world out there, my friends. Google+ is only in a limited field trial right now, closed to new participants, but our local Whole Foods stores are already there. Check out this post for a taste of something that might give Facebook a run for its money. New toys are fun, but it eventually boils down to food (hopefully organic) that goes into a real mouth.

Facebook Whole Foods Coupon

I don't know how long this will go on, but if you "like" Whole Foods Market of Boulder on Facebook, you'll get a coupon for a free half gallon of Whole Foods 365 organic milk (dairy, soy or almond). Good deal for a click on a place you probably really do like anyway - I just did!

Munson's Corn Is Coming

News flash - Munson Farms has tweeted that "sweet corn will be on or about July 22nd!" Finally, their wonderful corn is in sight! You'll find them at the Boulder Farmer's Market with other produce now, and also at their farm stand at 75th and Valmont, once the corn is available. Several weeks ago, Bob Munson told me at the Farmer's Market that the cool weather was delaying the crop. While they're sometimes able to open the stand as early as the 4th of July, this year is requiring patience for their delicious corn. But it's now visible on the horizon!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Goodness, it's Sunday already, so time to get the rest of the week's dinner ideas in order. We'll be in the mood for pasta by tomorrow, and with organic spinach just $1.50 a bunch at Whole Foods through Tuesday, I'm planning on penne with asparagus, spinach, and bacon from Cooking Light. When a bunch of organic spinach is such a good deal, I don't mind ripping it up myself instead of buying bagged. I also want to enjoy asparagus while it's still around (although there aren't any particular sales on it this week, I have a raincheck from Sunflower's stellar $1.27 a pound sale).

By Tuesday, something based on rice, and also vegetarian would appeal, so I'm thinking about a new recipe in the current issue of Cooking Light, summer lemon-vegetable risotto. This would also make a lovely side dish for something like the teriyaki wild salmon burgers on sale for $7.99 a pound at Whole Foods through Tuesday. For the risotto, our organic squash is starting to be local, although local snap peas are on their way out. As for the asparagus, again I'll be buying from that raincheck, sorry about that.

By Wednesday, we'll want to capitalize once more (as we're doing tonight) on Sprouts' excellent price on chicken tenders for $1.88 a pound, so my plan is to do yet another Cooking Light recipe, chicken paprikash. I seem to be on a roll with Cooking Light this week, even though I more often cook from Bon Appetit. The caraway seeds called for in this recipe really make the dish, and if you don't have or want a whole bottle of them, they're often available in the bulk spices, where you can buy just the teaspoon needed. This dish is great served over wide noodles, which 99.9% of the time are egg noodles, which pack a cholesterol wallop. If that's something you watch, I'm thrilled to report that Whole Foods, at least at the Pearl Street store, now carries a yolk-free brand.

Since it will be warm all week, and Thursday is currently predicted to be 94, we'll turn back to Mark Bittman for hot weather foods with his 101 20-Minute Ideas for Inspired Picnics, ideas that serve as easy dinners, too. This time, I'm aiming for number eight, cold peanut noodles. Its name doesn't exactly appeal, but believe me, it's delicious. I make it with sobas instead of the Chinese egg noodles called for, thereby adding the benefit of whole grain buckwheat while subtracting the previously mentioned downside of the cholesterol of egg noodles. There will be new sales by Thursday, but Sunflower has 31/40 count cooked shrimp on sale for $7.99 a pound through Wednesday.

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

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

It looks like a good day to get out with the crowds at the Boulder Farmer's Market, open 8 to 2. Check out their current newsletter for the ever-growing list of veggies, herbs, and fruits you can expect to find today. The newsletter includes other goodies, like a seasonal squash recipe, vendor profiles, and info on musicians.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Sounds like our local Whole Foods stores will be offering a number of specials for tomorrow and Sunday, the 9th and 10th, instead of the usual two or three. Here's part of what they say:

"We hope you're having as great of a summer as we are. This weekend we have lots of great items on sale including our Ground Turkey Breast for $4.99/lb (save $2). It's great for making burgers or using on salads. And to compliment that burger or salad we have Rumiano Mild Cheddar for $3.99/lb (save $3)."

They also mention Late July snack chips, half price at $1.50 a box, Boiron Arnicare almost half off at $3.99 for 1.5 ounces, and a special on fresh flowers. But don't forget to get your fresh organic cherries at today's one-day sale for just $2.99 a pound, too. Cherry nirvana.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Sort of, since they're not quite as elaborate as my usual plans, which are pretty simple to begin with. It's hot, it's humid, the halibut fillets I was so excited about turned out to be thinner than I like, and the family has hit a wall on grilled salmon; we're just burned out. So this will be a weekend of informal, hot weather plans, and for that, I usually turn to the guidance of Mark Bittman.

Bittman recently reminded us of the beauty of grilled veggies in his NYT article, Throw Another Melon on the Barbie. Since we're burned out on fish and don't eat lots of meat, his idea about a grilled portobello mushroom burger sounds perfect for tonight, provided the rain stays reasonably away. I'm not sure about his idea of grilling cabbage, but organic is 69 cents a pound this week at Sunflower. We frequently grill organic yam spears as a side dish, and maybe we'll grill some fruit to finish it off. Don't forget about Whole Foods' fantastic one-day sale today on organic cherries at $2.99 a pound. I wonder what they'd taste like grilled, obviously in a grilling basket, or they'd all wind up in the coals. Maybe a topping for vanilla frozen yogurt?

With it expected to be even hotter tomorrow, we'll turn to Bittman's 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics for easy and cooling ideas. I'm liking the idea of number five, an upscale roast beef sandwich. Sprouts has Rondele herb cheese (similar to Boursin) at an excellent price this week, and it pairs beautifully with roast beef, if you don't care for blue cheese, as I don't. A simple caprese salad of organic tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil from my herb garden will go on the side. Sprouts has eight ounces of fresh mozzarella for $3 this week, and it was in stock yesterday. Whole Foods also has one pound logs of delicious Crave Brothers fresh mozzarella on sale for $5.99, but the Pearl Street store was out of stock when I looked for it a couple of days ago.

Continuing to keep it cool for Sunday, we'll turn back to the grill, and chicken kabobs sound good. I'll either make my own using the chicken tenders on sale at Sprouts for the great price of $1.88 a pound, or buy their pre-made ones at $2.88 a pound. With organic spinach just $1.50 a bunch at Whole Foods through Tuesday, a spinach salad will go on the side. Since the grill will be going and organic red onions are 99 cents a pound at Sunflower, it might be spinach salad with grilled red onion and tahini vinaigrette from Bon Appetit.

And that will keep us cool through the entire weekend, as it looks like we won't be using the stove (or heaven forbid, the oven) at all!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Halibut

Sprouts has a stunning deal on fresh wild halibut this week at $9.99 a pound. I think of halibut fillets as pretty thick pieces of fish, but when I happened to be in Sprouts today, they were very thin cuts. Don't know if they'll be like that for the remainder of the sale through the 13th, but if you like your fillets thin, today's the day for you.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will be offering us another one-day sale tomorrow, the 8th, and it's a good one. Fresh organic cherries will be $2.99 a pound, yahoo!

Last Call for Current Vitamin Cottage Specials

Our local Vitamin Cottage's (aka Natural Grocers) long-running specials will be coming to an end this Saturday, the 9th, so here's your heads up to stock up on any that appeal. I particularly like the organic salad dressings by Annie's Naturals they have for $2.49, Justin's peanut butter ten pack single serves or 16 ounce jars for $3.89 (that has to be a record low price for the single serves, maybe for the jars too), one pound bags of tamari almonds for $3.99, and six ounces of organic raspberries or blueberries for $2.50. Since I love Seventh Generation cleaning products, I'm also curious about the fifty ounce Seventh Generation 4x concentrated laundry liquid, which they say does 66 loads, same as the 2x one hundred ounce I currently buy. At $11.99, that's a very good price, if you can resist the urge to use too much soap.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Boulder Farmers' Market This Afternoon

Since it looks like the storms that are possible for this afternoon are holding off, at least for now, it's a good time to get out to this afternoon's Boulder Farmer's Market, open until 8. The summer squash season is moving into full swing, and I'm interested in the black radishes that are new this week. At the end of the season side, pea shoots have mercifully disappeared from the market's list of expected produce. They are fabulously delicate in spring, but get to be tougher than a rabbit would eat at their fin de season. Snap peas are also unfortunately off the list. They also have a very short season, but I saw some from Full Circle Farm today at the Pearl Street Whole Foods, so grab them if you can. Whoops, just heard a bit of thunder, so maybe the storms won't hold off after all.

National Fried Chicken Day

So yesterday was National Apple Turnover Day per the French Culinary Institute, and thanks to Saveur magazine, I see that today is National Fried Chicken Day. Not making it onto my plate. I'm sticking with my plan of fusilli with corn, zucchini, pesto, and snap peas.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while last week's sales continue at Vitamin Cottage (just through the 9th) and Whole Foods (through the 12th). I suspect Alfalfa's isn't advertising any sales right now - they didn't have a flyer when I was in the store a few days ago, and they haven't put new sales up on Facebook, while they have taken the old ones down. Here's what appeals to me in this week's sales (remember, it's always IMHO):

Fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon update: both Sprouts (through the 13th) and King Soopers (with card through the 12th) are advertising it for $9.99 a pound.

Other deals I like at Sprouts through the 13th include chicken tenders for a very low $1.88 a pound, marinated chicken kabobs for $2.88 a pound, and I'm jumping around the room about fresh wild caught California halibut filets for $9.99 a pound. In organic produce, yellow peaches or nectarines are $1.99 a pound (matching Whole Foods on the peaches, but the ones I got from WFM last week were the most beautiful I've ever seen), cantaloupe or honeydews are 88 cents a pound, red delicious apples are 99 cents a pound, yellow onions are 77 cents a pound, broccoli looks good at $1.69 a pound, and green onions are just 49 cents each. Cheese is also looking very good, with four shapes of fresh mozzarellla at $3 for eight ounces, Rondele cheese $3.99 an 8 ounce cup, bulk hot pepper jack $3.99 a pound, and shredded parmesan or romano at $5.99 a pound.

At Sunflower through the 13th, I'm liking bone-in ribeye steaks for $5.99 a pound ($7.99 a pound for boneless), pork spare ribs at $2.99 a pound, and 93% lean grass fed ground beef for $4.99 a pound. (They're advertising a "sale" on chicken tenders for $3.99 a pound, but Sprouts has them for $1.88 a pound.) In organic produce, red and black plums are $1.99 a pound, green cabbage is just 69 cents a pound, green onions are 69 cents a bunch (49 cents at Sprouts), red onions are 99 cents a pound, three packs of romaine hearts are $2.50 each, and two pound bags of carrots are $2. I'm excited about select Chobani Greek yogurts at $1 each or Brown Cow yogurts for 69 cents each. They have hot pepper jack cheese for $3.99 a pound, matching Sprouts, and a three year aged cheddar is $6.99 a pound.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy National Apple Turnover Day

Oh, the things you find on Twitter. Thanks to the French Culinary Institute for pointing out that today is National Apple Turnover Day. That calls for a celebration. In other twitter news of the weird, Saveur magazine has a thread going with strange but theoretically successful food combos being tweeted by followers. Check the hashtag #oddanddelicious. PB and J on Wonderbread with a layer of Doritos, anybody?

P.S. My own silly musings can be found on Twitter @whatscookinbldr. Includes an adventure with a raccoon in the house over the weekend!

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Goodness, it's Tuesday already. That means our local Whole Foods stores will be doing another one-day sale tomorrow, the 6th. This time it will be eight ounces of Manitoba Harvest shelled hemp seed for $3.99, way better than half off its usual $8.99 price. I've never tried them, but they're evidently high in omega-3s and protein, so maybe I should.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

With dinners already covered through tonight's long weekend, there isn't much to think about for the rest of the week. That's particularly true since we always have a reheat of something big made over the weekend, which for tomorrow will be the corn and fingerling potato chowder with applewood-smoked bacon from Cooking Light. Salad on the side (good deals on organic lettuce and tomatoes at Sunflower this week), some fresh bread, and that's it.

It will be time for pasta by Wednesday, and with lots of pesto left over from this weekend's delicious chicken wraps with pesto, arugula, and sun-dried tomatoes, and my infatuation with fresh corn still going strong (even though it isn't local yet), we'll jump into the height of summer with zucchini, corn, and basil fusilli with bacon from Gourmet magazine, cutting way back on those six slices of bacon. (With the handsome in-house smoked, thick-sliced bacon at Alfalfa's or Whole Foods, that would be nearly a pound, good grief.) Since I'm expecting to have some snap peas left after making tonight's Caesar potato salad with sugar snap peas, I'll toss the rest of those in as well, kind of hybridizing the recipe with linguine with summer succotash from Bon Appetit.

We'll turn to a rice-based dish by Thursday, and with my herb pots overflowing outside, I'll improvise my own risotto with fresh herbs. It's best with fresh mozzarella mixed in at the end, and if I can figure out what to do with the rest of it, this is a great week for deals on one pound logs of fresh mozzarella (Whole Foods having the best with Crave Brothers at $5.99 a log, Sunflower following with Mozzrella Fresca for $6.99.)

And that will get us through to Friday's planning. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Figs!

Readers from last year might remember I'm a little fig-crazy. So I'm very excited to report that I had my first fresh organic fig sighting (and buying, of course) of the season yesterday at the Pearl Street Whole Foods store. There is nothing better than a fresh fig wrapped in a thin slice of pancetta then skewered and grilled. It's a perfect appetizer, or even a savory dessert, for your 4th of July grilling weekend.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Boulder Farmer's Market Today

From the Boulder Farmer's Market weekly newsletter, here's the super-fresh produce you'll likely find at the market today (and I wonder what makes "holy basil" holy?):

This Week's Fresh Produce

Greens
Arugula, Bok Choy, Braising Mix, Broccoli Raab, Chard, Collards, Lettuce Mixes, Lettuce, Kale (Curly, Lacinato, Red Curly, Red Russian, Violet Wave), Mesclun Mixes, Mizuna, Mustard Greens, Pea Shoots/Tendrils, Spinach (Green Space, Red, Ruby, Tyee)

Herbs
Apple Mint, Basil, Holy Basil, Burnet, Catnip, Chives, Chervil, Chocolate Mint, Cilantro, Dill, Garlic Chives, Italian Parsley, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Sage, Sorrel, Tarragon, Thyme, Violas

Vegetables
Asparagus, Baby Fennel, Beets (Chiogga, Golden, Red Ace), Beet Tops, Broccoli, Cone Cabbage, Carrots (Hoophouse), Cauliflower, Fava Beans, Green Garlic and Garlic Scapes, Mini-English Cukes, Kohlrabi, Mushrooms, Peppercress, Pinto Beans (dried), Radish (Cherrybell, Daikon, Easter Egg, French Breakfast, German Beer), Rhubarb, Scallions, Shelling Beans, Spring Onions (Cipollini, Purple Bunching, Super Star), Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, Snow Peas, Sunchokes, Sweet Bell Peppers (greenhouse) New Potatoes, Summer Squash, Turnips (Japanese Salad, Hakuri, Scarlet Queen), Tomatoes (all greenhouse)

Fruit
Cherries, Strawberries

Weekend Sale At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores are giving us a duo of special sales for today all the way through the Monday holiday, 7/2-4. Fresh wild sockeye salmon fillet is $14.99 a pound. You can find it for $9.99 a pound at several places around Boulder, but I've never met a Whole Foods fish I didn't like (actually, love). Also, Stacy's pita chips are $2 a bag, a third off. Happy 4th weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Alfalfa's Hometown Throwdown

I hope you've been exercising those jowls, because as part of its Hometown Throwdown from noon to 4 tomorrow, Alfalfa's will feature a cherry pit spitting contest! Cherries will predominate, with a staff cherry pie contest (you get to sample and vote), fresh organic cherries for sale, and award winning cherry bread pudding. They'll be serving up salmon, chicken or duck confit tacos (all cherry-influenced) as $5 lunches, and there will be face painting from 1 to 3. They'll also have free antioxidant testing and live music. What more could you want, just a block away from the Boulder Farmer's Market, which will run until 2 tomorrow.

Weekend Dinner Ideas, Including July 4th

It will be a busy Friday, so here's a quick summary of what's on deck for the long, hot holiday weekend, which will empasize grilling and cooling foods for hot temps.

We'll start it off with grilling tonight, going back to the fresh wild salmon that's $9.99 a pound at Sprouts, King Soopers, and Safeway. To dress it up a bit, we'll do it as grilled salmon with nectarine salsa from Bon Appetit, using the beautiful organic peaches Whole Foods has on sale for $1.99 a pound instead of the nectarines. Packages of diced organic yams will also go on the grill, and the side veggie will probably be some of the mountain of corn I got at Whole Foods' one-day sale this week.

With temperatures up across the weekend, by tomorrow we'll be thinking about picnic style dining, which brings to mind Mark Bittman's useful 101 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics from the New York Times. The pesto chicken rolls (number two) are a favorite, that we'll accompany with the tomato and peach salad (number four), using more of the gorgeous organic peaches from Whole Foods.

We still haven't made something big that will do for a midweek reheat as well, so on Sunday, we'll finish off the rest of the mountain of fresh corn from the Whole Foods one-day sale by doing a corn chowder, which will probably be corn and fingerling potato chowder with applewood-smoked bacon from Cooking Light. Both Whole Foods and Alfalfa's have their own in-house varieties of wonderful bacon to purchase in just the right number of slices you need.

For Monday, the 4th of July (yahoo!), we'll of course turn back to the grill, this time with the boneless Harris Ranch New York strip steaks that Sunflower has for $4.99 a pound. A potato salad will go on the side, and with radishes and snap peas in abundance in stores and the Farmer's Market right now, a good one to do is Caesar potato salad with sugar snap peas from Bon Appetit. In addition to being seasonal, I love how light this is for a potato salad, with those extra veggies and the olive oil/Dijon dressing.

And that will get us through the long holiday weekend. Enjoy!