Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another Whole Foods Cooking Class

Told ya. The Pearl Street Whole Foods' French wine and cooking class on December 15th that I suggested jumping on immediately yesterday is now sold out. But you have another opportunity for fun, as they'll be doing a Naughty and Nice cooking class on the 20th that currently has 13 tickets available. Those can disappear in 24 hours, as we saw yesterday with the wine class, so consider moving quickly if interested. Here's what they say:

Tuesday, December 20th

Naughty and Nice Cooking Class
6-7:30pm $10 per person

Join Cooking Coach, Beth and Healthy Eating Specialist, Sarah for a night of traditional and healthy alternative Holiday recipes. Class will be held in Whole Foods Wine and Spirits, cost is $10 per guest. Sign up via this link:

Free High Tea Party At Alfalfa's

This afternoon, Alfalfa's will host a free high tea party, where you can nibble on samples of the high tea dainties while getting ideas on how to do your own. Just don't forget to keep that pinkie extended while sipping your tea. Here's what they say:

High Tea with Heidi
Wednesday, Nov. 30th
Demo Kitchen

Come join us for a relaxing afternoon tea party. We’ll be serving up dainty foods like cucumber cups, sconelettes, salmon and cream cheese bagels and more. We’ll also give you all our secret recipes so you can host a high tea party of your own.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, while current sales continue at Alfalfa's and Vitamin Cottage (click those links to see the prior reports). Here's what strikes me in the new sales, IMHO, as always.

At Sprouts' sale through December 7th, the stunner for me is fresh, farm-raised Atlantic salmon for just $4.99 a pound. I go crazy eating salmon during the fresh, wild season, then pretty much ignore it across the winter, but at that price, I'll check out the farm-raised. All chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound (pork, too, same at Sunflower for that), previously frozen wild Alaskan cod filets are $7.99 a pound, and 26/30 count peeled and deveined raw shrimp are also $7.99 a pound (if you want to peel your own, Sunflower has a better deal on even bigger ones). Their ad this week doesn't have much info about organic produce, but organic Italian squash (think zucchini) looks great at 99 cents a pound, as do organic honeycrisp apples for $1.69 a pound. Also, Muir Glen organic pasta sauce looks very good at $2.50 a jar.

Sunflower's sale through December 7th includes both conventional and organic Hass avocados for just 50 cents each, a rarity for the organics. Raw jumbo Gulf shrimp ("broken," so presumably not perfectly intact) are $5.97 a pound for the very large 16/25 count size. Organic produce looks good as usual, in addition to the avocados already mentioned, with several types of winter squash (the usual suspects) or red potatoes all at 99 cents a pound, hothouse tomatoes for $1.99 a pound, sweet onions at $1.99 for a two pound bag, one pound bags of baby carrots or bunched carrots at $1.50, and several types of apples and pears all $1.77 a pound. If you have the patience to deal with an organic pomegranate, they're $1.50 each. Half gallons of Horizon organic milk are quite low at $2.50 each, and yummy Tribe hummus is very good at $2.99 for eight ounces.

At Whole Foods through December 13th, their fine wild Alaskan sockeye salmon is $12.99 a pound (I'm assuming that's previously frozen), and organic D'Anjou pears are low at $1.49 a pound. Frontier spices are 20% off, and to further your holiday baking, pecan halves are $9.99 a pound, a whopping $6 off. Yummy Ford Farm Seaside cheddar is good at $8.99 a pound, and they have great deals on two of my favorites: their own Seeduction bread at $2.50 a loaf, and their own large cinque formaggio pizza for $7.99 each. I don't eat conventional blackberries, but if you're in the market for them, I'd skip the Whole Foods sale price of $2.50 for a 5.6 ounce package (since organic isn't specified, I'm assuming they're conventional), and go to either Sprouts or Sunflower, where they're 77 cents each.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ben & Jerry's Benefits Humane Society Tonight

Here's an excuse to indulge: the Pearl Street Ben & Jerry's will be donating 30% of proceeds to the beloved Boulder Valley Humane Society from 6 to 8 tonight. Here's what the Humane Society says:

Humane Society of Boulder Valley

Treat yourself tonight and help our animals at the same time! Stop by Ben & Jerry's - Boulder on the Pearl Street Mall between 6-8 p.m. and have a cone or dish of deliciousness, and they'll give 30% of proceeds to us.

Wine/Cooking Class At Whole Foods

The Pearl Street Whole Foods store will host a combo French wine and cooking class on December 15th at their wine and spirits store next door. These classes are incredibly popular and space is very limited, so if you want in, I'd suggest jumping on it immediately. Here's what they say:

Thursday, December 15th

Wines Around the World Cooking Class
6-7:30pm $10 per person

Come join Cooking Coach Beth and Wine Specialist Ben for the third monthly class series: Wines Around the World. The next stop is France. Beth will demonstrate a few classic dishes and how to prepare them, while Ben will be discussing and pouring some French wines that pair perfectly. Come taste and learn at our Wines and Spirits store. Cost is $10 per guest and space is limited.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Following so much cooking and feasting for Thanksgiving and beyond, all I'm looking for is some simplicity and lightness for our midweek plans. That will start with tonight, when we'll do our customary reheat of something big made over the weekend, which in this case is the lovely sweet potato and butternut squash soup, a "Recipe for Health" from the New York Times.

Tomorrow will be a total cheat, since I want one of Whole Foods' large pepperoni pizzas that are on sale for $8.99 each, and tomorrow will be the last day to get it at that price ($3 off). Salad with my homemade buttermilk dressing will ease the guilt.

Wednesday will be last call for what little is left of the turkey, and it will be a green chile, turkey and white bean soup that unfortunately doesn't seem to be online, coming from an old issue of the newspaper in Taos, NM. Given that it includes roasted chiles and chipotle, longtime readers (thank you!) can imagine my enthusiasm for such a way to finish off the turkey.

Thursday again will reflect simplicity. My current five pound bag of organic russet potatoes from Vitamin Cottage (only $1.69 for the bag!) has the rare occurrence of some very large baking potatoes in it, which suggests to me stuffed baked potatoes. This is something that can be completely improvised, with my favorite base additions being Straus plain European yogurt, scallions or shallots, fresh parsley, and a bit of grated cheese. A touch of diced Black Forest ham or smoked salmon adds considerable interest.

And that gets us through a very simple weekday plan following a few Thanksgiving excesses.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Sale At Whole Foods

I'm a little late to this party, since Whole Foods didn't send an email about it and I haven't needed groceries for days, but I just discovered that Whole Foods is doing a three day After Thanksgiving sale, of which today is the last day. Highlights to me include Ducktrap Kendall Brook cold smoked salmon $4.99 a package ($4 off), 85% lean ground beef $2.99 a pound ($2 off), Market Made fresh hot breakfast burritos half off at $1.99 each, and Greenlees cinnamon bread $4.99 a loaf (it's so good). I was at the Pearl Street store, but the flyer I picked up doesn't mention location, so maybe it's everywhere.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Shop Small, Shop Local

So today is Shop Small Saturday is support of local businesses, much more to my liking than any Black Friday madness. From a food point of view, I guess that could mean supporting our local farmers and food shops, something that's a good idea year round. It's ironic that Shop Small Saturday falls on the first Saturday without our Boulder Farmers' Market, but you can still look for local farms in our stores, or head out to the Cure Organic Farm store, which should still be open this weekend, according to their website. Shop local!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Sales on organic and natural meats and produce usually motivate my menu planning, but with a fridge full of Thanksgiving leftovers, this weekend I'm thinking about two things: finishing them off, and escaping from them. After yesterday's excesses and turkey sandwiches on deck for lunch today, we'll start our dinners for the weekend by getting away from the whole turkey thing. We'll keep it seasonal and lighten up from yesterday with a lovely, vegetarian soup, sweet potato and butternut squash soup. A "Recipe for Health" from the New York Times, it will be the perfect antidote to yesterday.

But then there's still that fridge full of turkey, dressing, gravy, and assorted veggie leftovers, so Saturday will be round two of Thanksgiving dinner, minus the wine, and approached with a more abstemious attitude.

By Sunday, I'll be looking for ways to transform that turkey, and I'm currently considering Asian turkey-noodle soup with ginger and chiles from Bon Appetit. The light approach and Asian spin will take it miles away from the Thanksgiving plates.

So that quickly gets us through the weekend, probably with more turkey yet to finish off.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Best Thanksgiving Wishes

As holidays go, one devoted to being thankful and to cooking has to be right at the top. My best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving, with great food and hopefully no culinary disasters (or at least fodder for a good laugh), and lots for which you are thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

This week's hot deals are actually also last week's hot deals, as our natural Boulder grocery stores are coasting through Thanksgiving with the specials they already have in place. So all the specials I reported on last week will still be good through next week's ads, at the earliest, with the exception of Sprouts. Sprouts' current sale runs through Thanksgiving tomorrow, at which point they enter some sort of sale void, with a note on their website to "stay tuned for 11/30 specials."

By the way, if you find yourself in some sort of ingredient crisis tomorrow, most of the stores are offering some hours open on Thanksgiving day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Eve Sale At Whole Foods

Despite the crush of business that will be happening tomorrow, our local Whole Foods stores will still manage to offer us a one-day sale for Wednesday, as usual. To help with your Thanksgiving entertaining plans, this one will be a seafood trio at nearly half price. Here's what they say.

Entertaining this Thanksgiving? Well, excite your guests with our show-stopping seafood trios, perfect for celebrating with others! Five flavors to choose from: Hot Mild Shrimp Trio, Southwest Shrimp Trio, Mild Shrimp Trio, Cocktail Shrimp Trio and Arancini Platter. Flavors worth sharing, free of preservatives or additives!

Market Made
Entertaining Trios
$9.99/ea (save $8/ea)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Community Food Share Needs Your Help

Perhaps a sign of the horrid economy, with the need for food way up, donations to Community Food Share's Let's Bag Hunger drive, which runs through Wednesday, are way down. Cmon guys, let's get going. You think you're a smart shopper? See how much bang for the buck you can find on behalf of Community Food Share. The receipt for my donation at Safeway shows me I saved $13.81, which was 29% of my purchase for them. Who can beat me in smarter shopping for Community Food Share? Come on, I challenge you!

Thanksgiving Dinner Plans

Since it's already Monday, we're at the point of having to make a commitment regarding the Thanksgiving menu. The mains are sacrosanct, absolutely unchangeable. There will be a fine turkey, with gravy and a dressing made with rustic white bread, a bit of onion and mushrooms, and lots of Bell's Seasoning, a natural herb blend that has been made in Massachusetts since the beginning of time (actually, since 1867). I used to depend on the kindness of relatives in New England to mail it to me, but now you can buy it off the shelves of the Pearl Street Whole Foods. The organic potatoes from Vitamin Cottage will be mashed, to best pool that gravy on top of, and possibly dressed up a bit with some organic chives from the Sunflower sale. The cranberry sauce will be homemade, again from the organic sale at Sunflower (there's nothing quicker and more fun than popping those cranberries in a pan).

Those are the traditional dishes at the center of the meal, and for the sides, I do like to play around. I've been lightening them up as years go by, and this year, since we have yams just about every week anyway, I'm going radical and skipping the yams entirely, opting for lighter veggies instead. One side will be a roasted beet salad recipe from a friend, served on endive with some toasted pecans. We'll also do a Swiss chard gratin from Whole Foods (it dresses up a favorite veggie with a light white sauce and a bit of Comte, one of my favorite cheeses). The third side is the one I'm still waffling about, kale and Brussels sprout salad from the current issue of Bon Appetit. With raw kale and Brussels sprouts, it might be just a bit too healthy, even for me. Maybe we'll just steam some Brussels sprouts instead. Dessert's not a big item in our house, but there might just have to be some pumpkin pie available, too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekday Dinner Plans, Minus Thanksgiving

This is a monumentally big week for planning dinners. I have through Wednesday figured out, while I'm still finessing the Thanksgiving details. With Thanksgiving looming, my planning is being colored by a desire for lighter fare without poultry, in addition to the usual seasonality and good organic deals, which means the pressure is on. Tomorrow will therefore be Thai beef cabbage cups from last month's issue of Cooking Light. Sprouts has ground beef at 30% off, and Sunflower is doing a sale too. Served on cabbage or even lettuce cups, this dish meets all my criteria for the week, and it was a huge hit with the family when I first tried it last month. It's the best recipe I've encountered yet for the dish I've long extolled as laab, larb, or laap.

We always have something big made over the weekend that serves as an easy midweek reheat, and this week it will be the black bean chili with butternut squash and Swiss chard from Bon Appetit. It's seasonal, vegetarian (aside from my opting for chicken stock), and just plain yummy.

There hasn't been any pasta on the menu yet for the week, so for Wednesday, we'll turn back to Sprouts' $1.27 a pound asparagus on the last day of that sale to do a veggie-laden pasta dish, fettucine with peas, asparagus, and pancetta from Bon Appetit. It just has a touch of pancetta for flavor, and I'd normally omit the cream from something like this, but the CBS morning show just did a feature on fat being good for us, so maybe it will stay in, woohoo!

Which gets us to Thanksgiving day, which is nearly figured out, more to come.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Get Thee To The Boulder Farmers' Market

Because it's the very last one in downtown Boulder for 2011. (There will be a special holiday market in Longmont on December 3rd and 4th.) For this weekend before Thanksgiving, you'll even find two local turkey farmers to serve you. As for the farm-fresh produce, here's what you can expect to find this fine fall morning, with its tiny dusting of snow.

Now At the Market
Braising Mix, Chard, Kale, Lettuce Mix, Salad Mix, Spinach, Tatsoi

Catnip, Cilantro, Mint, Parsley, Sage

Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Burdock Root, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Horseradish, Leeks, Mini-English Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pepper, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radish, Scallions, Sunchokes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash

Green, Slicing

Apples, Pears

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tomorrow's Thanksgiving Tasting Lineup

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, our Boulder natural grocery stores are pulling out the stops to lure your purchases. Here's, at a minimum, what will be available tomorrow.


11 am - 3 pm. "Join us for a country kitchen holiday brunch! Enjoy a taste of our holiday meals -- from turkey to potatoes, cranberries to pumpkin pie. Savor the flavors of the holidays!"


11 am - 1 pm. "Stop by to sample something right out of our weekly sales flyer!"

Pearl Street Whole Foods

"Saturday, November 19th

Holiday Tasting- Thanksgiving Main Dishes
1-4pm FREE

Stop by the store for a taste of some of our delicious Holiday main dish offerings. It's never too early to start planning the perfect Holiday meal!"

Superior Whole Foods

"Saturday, November 19th

Holiday Tasting- Holiday Side Dishes
3:00pm-6:00pm Free

Turkey is a Thanksgiving favorite! Join us and enjoy samples of Holiday menu sides that will enhance your Thanksgiving meal!"

Wow, that's a lot of tasting!

Truly Natural Turkey

I've previously alluded many times to the variables involved in "natural" meats, a very confusing and slippery area. Alfalfa's meat manager has this very good post outlining what you should see on the label if you want your turkey to be truly natural. You'll find such fine birds at some other stores, in addition to Alfalfa's, but the post gives you excellent information about what to look for.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

As we count our way to Thanksgiving, we still need to eat our way across the weekend, although lightening up even more than usual before the big feast is already coloring my plans. For tonight, chicken will make its last appearance on our table for the week, and in the form of chicken sausage, rather than the boneless, skinless breasts that are on sale for super-cheap at both Sprouts and Sunflower. (Sprouts has the chicken sausage on sale, too.) The star of the meal however will be polenta, which we haven't had in awhile. My favorite recipe for it is baked polenta with fontina and tomato sauce from Bon Appetit. Neither Bon Appetit nor Epicurious managed to get it onto their websites, but Simply Recipes has replicated it as polenta casserole (duly giving credit to Bon Appetit, good guys). Trust me, life is much easier when using an excellent jarred pasta sauce, rather than making the sauce from scratch. With the oven running, some of the $1.27 a pound asparagus from Sprouts will roast on the side.

We always make something big over the weekend to serve as an easy midweek reheat too, and with Thanksgiving looming, for tomorrow we'll opt for a vegetarian fall favorite, black bean chili with butternut squash and Swiss chard from Bon Appetit. The veggies might come from our final Boulder Farmers' Market tomorrow (sniff), although you'll find good prices on organic butternut at our local stores, too. With some fresh bread and salad with my homemade buttermilk dressing, its a comfort meal from heaven.

We need to fit in some fish somewhere, so for Sunday, I'm thinking it will be salmon, mustard greens, and potatoes with mustard-dill glaze, also from Bon Appetit. Instead of using baby potatoes, I'll chop some from my stock of organic russets that Vitamin Cottage is practically giving away at $1.69 for a five pound bag. I'm not sure where the salmon will come from - possibly the farmed Atlantic salmon that's $6.99 a pound at Sprouts. I might make a little extra glaze, and toss it with more of that sale asparagus from Sprouts, too.

And that will get us through to the weekday plans, although it's one heck of a week when it includes Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipe Guides

Like a lot of people, my Thanksgiving table tends towards traditional, with the turkey, dressing, and gravy being sacred unchangeable recipes. I do experiment with the sides, increasingly lightening them, and this year am looking forward to trying a beet salad recipe from a friend. If you're looking for some ideas for those parts of the feast you're willing to play with, there are a number of Thanksgiving guides to help you out. Check out Bon Appetit's 2011 Thanksgiving HQ, Thanksgiving recipes from Epicurious, Cooking Light's Magnificent Thanksgiving Menus, Saveur magazine's Thanksgiving guide, and Thanksgiving Menu Ideas from Whole Foods. There must be something perfect for your table within them.

Thanksgiving Tasting At Pearl WFM

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will switch its focus to main dishes for Thanksgiving for its next tastings, today and Saturday. (The Superior store will also offer a tasting of sides on Saturday from 3 to 6.) Here's what Pearl Street says:

Thursday, November 17th

Holiday Tasting- Thanksgiving Main Dishes
4-6:30pm FREE

Stop by the store for a taste of some of our delicious Holiday main dish offerings. It's never too early to start planning the perfect Holiday meal!

Saturday, November 19th

Holiday Tasting- Thanksgiving Main Dishes
1-4pm FREE

Stop by the store for a taste of some of our delicious Holiday main dish offerings. It's never too early to start planning the perfect Holiday meal!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

Okay friends, this is it, the grocery shopping week that leads to Thanksgiving. We have new sales starting today at Alfalfa's, Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, with only Vitamin Cottage continuing its current sale (thank you, Vitamin Cottage!), so there's a lot to cover. Here's what looks best to me of the new sales, IMHO, as always.

Alfalfa's new sale runs through December 6th, and I can see from their ad that they are matching Whole Foods' price on Diestel fresh all-natural turkeys at $2.49 a pound. To go with that, they have some good produce deals, including organic cranberries at $2.99 for 7.5 ounces (that's good, but Sunflower has a stunner at $2 this week), organic garnet yams for $1.29 a pound (same at Sprouts, but Sunflower beats both at 99 cents a pound), and five pound bags of organic russet potatoes for $2.29 each (a very good price indeed, but still outdone by Vitamin Cottage at the giveaway price of $1.69 a bag). I bet their homemade whole pumpkin pie is great at $9.99 each (apple for the same price at Whole Foods, but my vote goes to pumpkin this week). My favorite Lundberg rice blends are good at $2.79 for a one pound bag (but it looks like Sunflower has them for $2.50), and while I haven't yet tried the Oliv brand, $2.50 is a great price for an eight ounce bottle of organic salad dressing. Finally, bring a friend with you, since smoothies at their juice bar are BOGO.

At Sprouts through the 24th (they're taking this sale through Thanksgiving day), I'm particularly enthused about fresh asparagus for $1.27 a pound (it's conventional, but asparagus very often is). I'm also really happy to see all their bulk coffee, which I love because it includes a fair trade, organic decaf, on sale for just $7.99 a pound. In meat, boneless skinless chicken breasts are very good at $1.67 a pound (same at Sunflower) for value packs, but I'll mostly shy away from poultry prior to t-day, with the possible exception of chicken sausage, which is $2.99 a pound for Italian or parmesan. Several kinds of ground meats are 30% off, fresh farmed Atlantic salmon is $6.99 a pound, and boneless ribeyes are $9.99 a pound (but $8.99 a pound at Sunflower). Good deals in organic produce include grape tomatoes at $2.50 for a dry pint, Fuji or red delicious apples, and D'Anjou pears at $1.29 a pound, garnet yams for $1.29 a pound (same at Alfalfa's, but 99 cents at Sunflower), and three pound bags of yellow onions for $2.49. Also, the convenient, smaller 15ish ounce size can of Muir Glen organic tomatoes is quite good at $1.25 each, beating Sunflower's $1.50 sale, and Cascade Fresh sour cream is very good at just 99 cents for 16 ounces.

At Sunflower through the 30th, boneless skinless chicken breasts match Sprouts' price at an excellent $1.67 a pound for a family pack, if you really, really want more poultry this week. Cooked shrimp (smallish 41/50 count, even though they are called "large") are good at $4.97 a pound, their nice pork loin chops are $3.99 a pound, and boneless ribeyes are $8.99 a pound, beating Sprouts by $1 there. The stellar prices are in organic produce, where I'm going for fresh cranberries at just $2 for a 7.5 ounce bag, garnet or jewel yams and yellow or red onions all at 99 cents a pound, baby carrots at $1.50 a one pound bag, and 13 varieties or fresh herbs at just $1.50 a package, wow. Select Lundberg rice one pound packages are $2.50, and there are good prices on Horizon Organic butter, half and half, and cream cheese.

At Whole Foods through the 29th, organic acorn or butternut squash are good at $1 a pound, organic yellow onions are 99 cents a pound (matching Sunflower), and organic russet potatoes are also 99 cents a pound (but you'll do better buying the russets by the bag at Alfalfa's and especially at Vitamin Cottage). I will definitely jump on their excellent Market Made smoked salmon spread for $9.99 a pound, $4 off. Their own, festive and seasonal cranberry walnut bread is $2.99 a loaf. Laughing Cow Babybels are half off at $2.50, and their great, large pepperoni pizza makes an easy dinner at $8.99 each. Finally, Desert Essence Organics shampoo, conditioner, or lotion are stunning at $3.99 each, $5 off.

For turkey prices, don't forget my previously posted natural turkey price comparison.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 16th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quintet of special sales. Happy shopping!

2 for $3 (save $0.99/ea)

Cooked Shrimp 31/40
$9.99/lb (save $4/lb)

Pamela's Pancake Mix
$8.99/ea (save $6/ea)

$4.99/lb (save $3/lb)

Crave Brothers Mascarpone
2 for $5 (save $2.49/ea)

Alfalfa's Talks Good Sleep Tomorrow

Are you having trouble sleeping through the night? Alfalfa's may offer some help tomorrow with a good sleep lecture (that maybe you could sleep through). Here's what they say:

50 Ways To Get Great Sleep Lecture
Wednesday, Nov. 16th
Community Room
Wednesday, Nov. 16th

Trouble falling asleep? Not sleeping through the night? Whatever your sleep dilemna, our Wellness Manger Elizabeth will open your eyes to 50 strategies that will help you close ‘em. From blackout curtains and supplements to stress relievers and foot moisturizers, we’ll show you how to optimize your nightly rest and lay the foundation for all-day energy.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Community Food Share Needs Your Help

Community Food Share's annual Let's Bag Hunger food drive is underway through the 23rd, and this worthy organization really deserves your support, especially in these tough times for so many people. So you think you're a smart shopper? Put it to the test! Show off your smart grocery shopping savvy by seeing how much bang for the buck you can find in assembling a large donation for the drive (look here for a list of most-needed groceries). Although I shop our Boulder natural grocery stores when buying for myself, that's because almost all those goods are fresh, from the produce, meat, and seafood departments. Since Community Food Share needs non-perishable items instead, I find it more cost-effective to break out my commercial grocery store cards for my donation, combing the aisles of Safeway or King Soopers for BOGOs and good discounts on canned goods and the like. The Safeway store at the Meadows Shopping Center has been known to put out some special deals during the drive just to entice more giving. A couple of years ago, they were practically giving away Del Monte canned goods, at something like 30 cents a can. And if you've procrastinated on getting your flu shot this year, you can get it at their pharmacy, then receive a voucher for 10% off your food purchase within the week, thereby stretching your savvy shopping power even further. So please put on your smart shopping hat and see how much nutritious, non-perishable food you can assemble for Community Food Share!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

By Sundays, I get our dinners planned out through Thursday, but this week is especially easy, since it includes not only our customary reheat one night, but I'm also reserving one night to head out for First Bite Boulder. I don't yet know which night it will be (which is probably pretty stupid, considering how popular and crowded it is), but that leaves only two dinners to plan, plus the reheat.

With organic leeks theoretically on sale at Sunflower for $1.99 a pound (they were out of stock yesterday), I still have leeks on the mind for a pasta dish, linguine with spicy leek and tomato sauce from Bon Appetit. The fennel seeds and dash of vinegar give it a special touch.

Another dish that will be on deck will be five spice pork stir-fry with soba noodles, also from Bon Appetit, slicing the nice, lean boneless pork chops that are on sale at Sprouts for $2.99 a pound. This is also good served over brown rice, but the soba noodles have the whole grain goodness of buckwheat too, and they cook in a flash.

Finally, the third dinner, whenever that will fall, will be our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which in this case is the leek and potato chowder from my faithful old cookbook, Jane Brody's Good Food Book. Since there's no link for that, this one from Cooking Light looks pretty good too.

So with a First Bite Boulder somewhere in the mix, that gets us to next Friday's planning.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Boulder Natural Turkey Price Comparison

Thinking about where your fresh natural turkey will come from this Thanksgiving? Here are a few observations, bearing in mind that they're only from the stores I get to most frequently, and even these stores might have additional options I haven't seen. Also keep in mind the many variables involved in "natural." Stores listed in alphabetical order, as always.


Diestel all-natural fresh turkey, $2.49 a pound (heritage turkeys also available).


Fresh Sprouts free-range turkey $1.49 a pound.


Fresh all natural turkey $1.47 a pound.

Vitamin Cottage

Several options, all "deep chilled, free range, antibiotic free, no hormones, $5 deposit required":
Mary's, $1.99 a pound
Shelton's, $2.99 a pound
Mary's organic, $3.39 a pound
Mary's heritage, $5.99 a pound

Whole Foods

Too many options to report them all, so check their turkey price website for the full array. Here are the majors:

Diestel all natural turkey, $2.49 a pound
Diestel organic, $3.49 a pound
Diestel organic heirloom, $4.99 a pound

Interesting that for the smaller feast, they also offer a six to 10 pound petite turkey at $2.99 a pound.

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Market alert - you only have today and next week to enjoy our downtown Boulder Farmers' Market, as next week will be the last one for this year (aside from the special holiday market that will be held out in Longmont on December 3rd and 4th). Here's the list of lovely autumnal produce you can expect to find today.

Now At the Market

Arugula, Braising Mix, Chard, Collards, Kale, Spinach

Cilantro, Parsley

Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Eggplant, Fava Green Beans, Fennel and Fennel Flowers, Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Leeks, Mini-English Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pepper, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radish, Roasted Peppers, Sunchokes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash

Green, Slicing

Apples, Melon

Friday, November 11, 2011

Oyster Sampling In Superior

Want to learn to shuck oysters from the masters? Check out the Oyster Fest happening this Sunday, the 13th, at the Superior Whole Foods store. Here's what they say:

Sunday, November 13th

2nd Annual Superior Oyster Fest
2:00pm-6:00pm Free

Join us at the Superior Store and spend some time with our Seafood Mongers in the seafood department and enjoy the experience as they shuck and sample oysters and other delicacies of the sea!

P.S. from me. Both the Pearl Street and Superior stores also have kids' events planned for Sunday, but I'm busy enough trying to cover what's happening for us grown up types.

Eat Out For Veterans

On this Veterans Day, if you find yourself eating out instead of cooking in, you might pick one of the many Boulder restaurants that are participating in Hungry For Change, through which they are donating 15% of their proceeds today to benefit a local program serving veterans. You can see the list of participating restaurants here, and it includes some good lunch spots as well as dinner places. Mmm, truffle fries at Larkburger to benefit veterans. Okay, twist my arm.

Olives Recalled At Safeway

This evidently doesn't affect the local natural foods stores I cover, but readers might want to know that some Divina olives sold at Safeways in Boulder and Longmont have been recalled due to botulism fears. You can read about it here, and thanks to an alert reader for notifying me about it.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

For a weekend that's going to be filled with raking leaves (why haven't we had big Boulder winds to blow them across the street, where they have landscaping crews?), I'd better get the dinner plans out of the way. Tonight will be a healthy fish, and I'm intrigued by a new recipe from the October issue of Cooking Light, salmon with red pepper pesto. We're sadly out of the fresh wild salmon season, but there are some frozen wild caught salmon options around, including sockeye at Sprouts for $8.99 a pound. I'm also thinking about another recipe from that same Cooking Light issue, roasted sweet potato salad with cranberry-chipotle dressing to go on the side, assuming I have that much ambition. Sprouts has organic yams for $1.29 a pound, and this might even be a tryout for Thanksgiving.

With today's one-day sale at Whole Foods on whole chickens for $1.29 a pound, tomorrow is going to be a simple, seasonal roast chicken with roasted winter veggies like organic squash on the side, no recipe needed. Sunflower has organic acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash and pie pumpkins all at 99 cents a pound (I wonder how a small pie pumpkin would do if wedged for roasting - probably great), and Sunflower also has organic leeks for $1.99 a pound.

For Sunday, needing something big for a midweek reheat, and also thinking about those organic leeks at Sunflower, I'll do an old favorite, potato-leek chowder, from Jane Brody's Good Food Book. I don't have a link for the old cookbook, but recipes for this abound, such as this one from Cooking Light, which also incorporates cauliflower and looks kind of tempting. Organic potatoes and cauliflower are also on sale at Sunflower at good prices, in addition to the organic leeks. Salad will go on the side, as well as some fresh bread from the Whole Foods bakehouse, perhaps the rosemary sourdough that's on sale for $2.99 a loaf.

And that will get us through a backbreaking weekend of leaf raking. Happy fall, and happy 11/11/11.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Best Deal Yet This Year On Imagine Broth

My apologies to anyone who thinks I'm obsessed with the virtues of Imagine organic broth, but when you find such a useful product that's free range, organic, MSG-free (read some of those other labels carefully for all the names under which MSG masquerades), and also is super-flavorful, it's maybe worth a little obsession. Since it also has a long shelf life (look at the expiration date on the top of the box), it's also a good stock-up item. Its usual price pushes towards three and a half dollars, so the discounts on it that crop up around the holidays present an excellent opportunity to lay in that stock. If you haven't already laid in enough to get you through several months (for me, that's a lot, and current expiration dates are next summer), there's an opportunity to do so at a place I don't usually cover: King Soopers. They're doing a "10 item mega event" through November 15th, in which $5 instantly comes off your price at checkout when you purchase 10 of the participating products. Their price with a King Soopers card is an already good $2.49, so if you buy 10 of them, it works out to $1.99 a box with that card. (You can mix and match participating products, so if you want something else to fill out your 10 items, Annie's mac and cheese, a pantry staple, is also participating, and that price works out to just 69 cents a box.) Yes, technically Whole Foods had an even lower price a few weeks ago with their $1 off coupon for a single box of sale broth, but $1.99 a box is the best price we've seen so far this season for buying a slew of them.

P.S. If you happen to be there this Saturday, the 12th, they're doing a Holiday Open House sampling from noon to 5, too!

Thanksgiving Tasting At Sunflower

And another holiday tasting! Our Boulder Sunflower will also be into the tasting act this weekend, with a Thanksgiving Tasting Fair on Saturday, the 12th, from 11 am to 2 pm. Happy tasting! (P.S. If you don't find it on the main floor of the store, check up the stairs by the cheese department.)

More Whole Foods Holiday Tastings

Both the Pearl Street and Superior Whole Foods stores (and possibly the others - I can only check on so many, so I go for the largest!) are continuing their string of tastings to tempt you with new ideas for Thanksgiving and beyond. Pearl Street will focus on sides and desserts both today and Saturday, while Superior will go for the whole meal on Saturday.

Here's the news from Pearl Street:

Thursday, November 10th

Holiday Tasting- Sides and Desserts
4-6:30pm FREE

Stop by the store for a taste of some of our delicious Holiday side and dessert offerings. It's never too early to start planning the perfect Holiday meal!

Saturday, November 12th

Holiday Tasting- Sides and Desserts
1-4pm FREE

Stop by the store for a taste of some of our delicious Holiday side and dessert offerings. It's never too early to start planning the perfect Holiday meal!

And here's what the Superior store has to say:

Saturday, November 12th

Holiday Tasting- Holiday Meal Items
3:00pm-6:00pm Free

Join us throughout and enjoy samples of Holiday items that you may have never tried. What a great way to make your Holiday Meal choices!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while current sales continue at Alfalfa's, Vitamin Cottage, and Whole Foods (click those links for prior reports). Here's what looks best to me in the new sales.

In Sprouts' new sale through the 16th, chicken breast tenders look good at $1.99 a pound, boneless pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, and they're doing a "wild caught seafood spectacular," with previously frozen swordfish, sockeye salmon, ahi tuna, Alaskan cod, and 16/20 count raw shrimp all $8.99 a pound. All their bulk cheese looks great at 30% off across the board. In organic produce, gala apples, Italian squash (think zucchini), and D'Anjou pears are all just 99 cents a pound, garnet yams are $1.29 a pound, broccoli continues at $1.49 a pound (basically the same at Sunflower), as do five pound bags of russet potatoes for $3.99 (pretty good, but remember a five pound bag is just $1.69 at Vitamin Cottage), and three pound bags of yellow onions for $2.49 each. You can find Amy's burritos for $1.50 each, and select eight ounce packages of Organic Valley cheese are 25% off. Finally, don't forget, as I mentioned yesterday, for today only, the 9th, you can buy a $100 gift card for $89.99.

At Sunflower through the 16th, I'm enthused to see Hass avocados, both conventional and organic, at 50 cents each. Grass fed 93% lean (that's pretty lean) ground beef looks good at $3.99 a pound, as does ground pork for $2.99 a pound. Organic produce looks good as usual, with acorn, butternut, spaghetti squash and pie pumpkins all 99 cents a pound, sweet onions $1.99 for a two pound bag, bunched leeks $1.99 a pound (that one has me thinking...), russet or red potatoes 99 cents a pound, cauliflower or broccoli $1.50 a pound, and five pound bags of carrots at $3.99 each. I'm also enthused to see select Voskos Greek yogurts at $1 each, and Seapoint Farms veggie blend edamame at $2 a 16 ounce bag (keep them stocked in the freezer for a quick stir-fry).

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gift Card Special At Sprouts Tomorrow

In their new sales flyer preview, our Boulder Sprouts is showing that for tomorrow only, the 9th, you can buy a $100 Sprouts gift card for $89.99. That makes everything you buy there with the card effectively 10% off, in addition to whatever great sale savings you are getting.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quartet of special sales for tomorrow only, the 9th. The stunner among them (IMHO) is Desert Essence Organics shampoo, conditioner, or lotion for $2.99 each, $6 off their usual price. Also looking good are four-packs of brownies, half price at $3 each, and 10-stem bunches of tulips half off at $5 each. I'm sure it's something wonderful, but I'm somewhat mystified by the "salmon roast, all flavors, $9.99/lb, (save $7/lb)." Can someone clue me in as to what a salmon roast is?

GoLite Warehouse Sale Coming Up

Kind readers have previously pardoned my going off-topic to enthuse about the GoLite warehouse sale, so I hope you'll indulge me again (besides, after all that relevant cooking and eating from Boulder's natural foods bounty, you'll need great high performance gear to get outdoors and work it off, so maybe there is a connection). The fall/winter GoLite (aka GoLight) warehouse sale will start this Saturday, the 12th, running from 9 am to 7 pm every day through Sunday the 20th. It's at a new location, 2845 29th Street, on the corner of 29th and Valmont. 303-443-3352 for further info, and you can like them on Facebook to learn about daily giveaways. Oh, I love a good sale.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Friday

Here's a way in advance heads up that our local Whole Foods stores will be doing a special one-day only sale this Friday, the 11th, which will be their excellent (antibiotic-free and with a host of other worthy attributes) whole chickens for just $1.29 a pound. At that price, there's a 10 bird per person limit for those of you with gigantic freezers. I see a roast chicken in my future for the weekend.

Gluten-Free Sampling At Sunflower

According to Sunflower's calendar, they'll be doing a gluten-free sampling tomorrow, the 9th, from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm in their Boulder store. They promise "lots of delicious items for your holiday meal!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Vegan Supper Club

Looking for vegan ideas for Thanksgiving? The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a vegan supper club this coming Thursday. Here's what they say:

Thursday, November 10th

Vegan Thanksgiving Supper Club
6:30pm $20 Per Person

Join us for a delicious alternative Thanksgiving meal. Take home the recipes to make on Thanksgiving Day. $20 per plate. Limit 20. Register by calling 303-545-6611 or email

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weekday Dinner Ideas

How quickly Sunday rolls around, time to get planning the rest of the week's dinners. One of them is a no-brainer, since Sunflower's stunning sales on asparagus, organic broccoli, and chicken tenders are absolutely screaming for chicken, asparagus, and broccoli stir-fry from Bon Appetit for tomorrow. It will go over brown rice, of which I have plenty from Sprouts' recent gluten-free sale.

Tuesday will be a super easy one, our customary reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens from

I'll be more ambitious by Wednesday, for which I'm planning another favorite I haven't made in ages, barbecue chicken pizza from Bon Appetit, inspired by seeing smoked gouda on sale at Sunflower, and using more of that sale chicken from there.

We'll ramp down the ambition level for Thursday, just sauteing some pork chops, with microwaved "baked" potatoes or maybe some organic winter squash on the side. Sprouts has their pork loin chops on sale for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday, but I'm also liking Sunflower's new pork line that promised to be antibiotic-free, and those chops are on sale for $3.99 a pound, also through Wednesday.

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

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

On this autumnal Boulder morning, you'd best get out and enjoy the Boulder Farmers' Market, since your chances to do so are growing short (today is the third to last of the regular markets, the final one for downtown being on the 19th). It starts at 8 this morning, and here's what you can expect to find, from the Market's weekly newsletter.

Now At the Market

Arugula, Braising Mix, Chard, Collards, Kale, Spinach

Cilantro, Parsley

Beets, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Eggplant, Fava Green Beans, Fennel and Fennel Flowers, Fingerling Potatoes, Garlic, Leeks, Mini-English Cucumbers, Mushrooms, Onions, Parsnips, Pepper, Potatoes, Pumpkins, Radish, Roasted Peppers, Sunchokes, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Winter Squash

Green, Slicing

Apples, Melon

Friday, November 4, 2011

Nature's Rancher Turkey Sale

If you're content with a frozen turkey for your Thanksgiving feast, a fine option is the antibiotic-free, vegetarian-fed Nature's Rancher that Whole Foods (at least at the Pearl Street store, which usually means all the Whole Foods stores in the area) has on a "Weekender Sale" through this Sunday, the 6th, for $1.49 a pound. I'll still opt for a fresh turkey for the holiday, but wish I had a big freezer to save a Nature's Rancher for another time. I'm trying to get price info together regarding turkeys at all our local natural grocery stores, and hope to have a price comparison shortly.

Another Holiday Tasting Fair!

What a day tomorrow will be for the holiday taster. The Whole Foods store in Superior will be sampling holiday appetizers, in addition to the previously noted tastings going on at Alfalfa's and Pearl Street Whole Foods. Here's what Superior says:

Saturday, November 5th

Holiday Tasting- Appetizers
3:00pm-6:00pm Free

Join us throughout the store for a sample of Holiday Appetizers. Perfect for your Holiday meal, weekend get togethers, parties and even football games!

Thanksgiving Tasting At Alfalfa's

Ah, the holidays. Time to gather ideas and sample goodies at the tasting fairs that are popping up at our Boulder natural grocery stores. Alfalfa's will get in the act with a free Thanksgiving tasting fair tomorrow, the 5th, from 11 am to 3 pm. They promise, "We'll be sampling all the favorites -- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin tartlets, wine and so much more." Yum! And don't forget the tasting fair tomorrow from 1 to 4 at the Pearl Street Whole Foods that I already mentioned. So tomorrow's a day made in heaven for the roving sampler, starting with the Boulder Farmers' Market, then moving a block over to Alfalfa's, then on to Pearl Street!

Healthy Holiday Tour At WFM

There's no need for the holidays to be awash in heavy, cholesterol-laden foods. The Pearl Street Whole Foods will help you out with ideas during a Healthy Holiday Tour this Sunday. Here's what they say:

Sunday, November 6th

Healthy Holiday Store Tour with Sarah Morgan
2-3pm FREE

Do you want to enjoy Thanksgiving without adding inches to your waist? Join Healthy Eating Specialist, Sarah Morgan for healthy holiday alternatives, recipes and tips. Register by calling 303-545-6611 or email

Weekend Dinner Ideas

If it's Friday, it's time to get some ideas together for weekend dinners. I'm in the mood for a big, comfy casserole for tonight, and Sprouts' sale on fresh ricotta cheese ($1.99 a pound) prompted me to think of an old favorite, baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens from I like it with the collard greens but have also had success using other greens like chard or spinach, or a mix. Sprouts also has bulk mozzarella the recipe calls for on sale for an impressive $3.99 a pound. If you're not in the mood for a totally vegetarian dinner, sauteed chicken sausage, on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower, could go along with it.

For tomorrow, my planning is centering on wanting to try a very easy but fabulous sounding dish that appeared this week in the New York Times, simple Provencal winter squash gratin. Since that would be a side, I'll pair it with some salmon. I wasn't lucky enough to make it to Whole Foods' one-day salmon sale this week, but they also have some in their regular sale, plus Sprouts is doing a salmon sale as well. With the oven running, I'll roast some of the $1.29 a pound asparagus from Sunflower, too.

We'll be in the mood for something a little heftier by Sunday, so I'm thinking chipotle beef stew from Gourmet magazine. For the beef, I could either chop the top sirloin steak that's just $3.97 a pound at Sprouts, or take the easy route and use the pre-cut beef stew meat that's $3.99 a pound at Sunflower.

And that gets us through another autumn weekend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

O'Dell's At Alfalfas Tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon (and it looks like every Friday), Alfalfa's will be doing an Adult Beverage Tasting, featuring O'Dell's Brewing Company from Fort Collins tomorrow. Here's what they say:

Adult Beverage Tasting
Friday, Nov. 4th
Alfalfa’s Cellar 

5pm – 7pm

Every Friday night, our sommeliers serve you free sips of artisan wines, microbrew beers, or specialty spirits paired with expert insights for the enthusiast in you. And it’s not just free sips you get, we also give you years and years of tips and tricks from how make the perfect martini to how to swirl, sniff, and sip like a pro.

This Friday, Odell’s Brewing will be here to pour some of our favorites:
• Isolation Ale
• India Pale Ale
• Cutthroat Porter

Holiday Cooking Class

The newly remodeled Pearl Street Whole Foods has really been leading the charge in educating us with cooking classes, led by their knowledgeable new cooking and healthy eating coaches. Although they're charging a modest $10 fee for the next one, their Facebook events notice says you'll get a $10 gift card in return. Since it's on Thanksgiving meal ideas, I bet there will be a stampede for it. Here's what they say:


Created By Whole Foods Boulder


Tickets available online only:

Cost: $10 per ticket, attendees will receive a $10 Whole Foods Market gift card upon class completion

When: Wednesday November 16, 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Where: Whole Foods Wine & Spirits, 2991 Pearl St, Boulder, CO

What: Looking for ideas for your Thanksgiving meal? Join Cooking Coach, Beth and Healthy Eating Specialist, Sarah for a night of traditional and healthy alternatives.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Immune Health Lecture At Alfalfa's

Tonight, Alfalfa's will present the first of a series of monthly discussions with their Wellness Advisory Board, this time on a healthy immune system. Here's what they say:

Immune Health Lecture
Wednesday, Nov. 2nd
Alfalfa’s Community Room
Wednesday, Nov. 2nd

With the change of seasons and holidays as significant stressors now upon us, a healthy immune system is key to moving forward fully energized. Three wellness experts with diverse healthcare fields will speak to you on how your body reacts to these seasonal stressors, teach you practical methods to strengthen your immune system, and answer any questions you may have.

Panelist Presenters
• Dr. Nita Desai - Medical Doctor & Ayurvedic Practitioner
• Dr. Charley Cropley – Naturopathic Physician
• Stephen Oakley - Licensed Acupuncturist

*** This is the first of our ongoing monthly panel discussions by Alfalfa’s Wellness Advisory Board. Our local healthcare Advisors range from naturopathic physicians and medical doctors to ayurvedic practitioners and acupuncturists. They will share their experience and offer up their expertise on a wide variety of wellness topics for FREE.

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

Goodness, we have new deals starting today at Alfalfa's, Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, with only Vitamin Cottage continuing its current sale that also started just a few days ago, so there's lots to cover. Here's what appeals most to me in the new specials, IMHO, as always.

Alfalfa's sale is a short one for them, running only through November 15th, so they'll be primed to tempt you with more goodies just before Thanksgiving. In the meantime, I'm liking what they're doing in organic produce, with one pound bags of baby carrots for $1.49, broccoli $1.59 (although see Sunflower below for a stunning deal on that), Granny Smith apples $1.39 a pound, and pie pumpkins 69 cents a pound. Their bakery is trying to bust a few diets with alluring specials on temptations like housemade pumpkin cake, individual ginger cakes, and whole pies. In cheese, Barber's vintage reserve cheddar is $3 off at $7.99 a pound, and Woolwich goat brie is also $3 off at $6.99 each. Their sustainably wild harvested bay scallops are $2 off at $8.99 a pound. Frontier's lovely spices are on sale, up to $3 off, and at the juice bar, any juice or smoothie gets a free add-in.

Sprouts retakes the conventional Hass avocado mantle through the 9th, offering them for 49 cents each. Center-cut top sirloin steak is just $3.97 a pound, all chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound (same at Sunflower), fresh free-range turkey breasts (whole or half) are $2.99 a pound, pork loin chops or rack of pork are also $2.99 a pound, ground chicken, chicken breast, or pork are all $2.99 a pound, and they still have fresh wild caught Pacific salmon, this time at just $5.99 a pound. In organic produce, cult favorite honeycrisp apples are $1.99 a pound (galas are $1.29 a pound), garnet yams, D'Anjou pears, and Italian squash (think zucchini) are all $1.29 a pound (but the yams are just 88 cents a pound at Sunflower), celery is 99 cents a bunch, five pound bags of russets remain $3.99 each, butternut squash is just 77 cents a pound, and three pound bags of Bosc pears are $2.99, making them $1 a pound. Select varieties of their own organic spices are $3 each, some Brown Cow yogurts are 69 cents each, bulk mozzarella is $3.99 a pound, and select varieties of my favorite Earth Balance butter spreads are just $2.99 each, beating out even Vitamin Cottage.

Sunflower has several stunners through the 9th, with organic broccoli or yams at just 88 cents a pound, conventional asparagus $1.29 a pound, and ground turkey or family packs of chicken tenders both $1.99 a pound. All chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound (same at Sprouts), their new, antibiotic-free pork loin chops or roasts are both $3.99 a pound, beef stew meat is $3.99 a pound, and black pepper marinated steaks are nearly half off at $4.99 a pound. In organic produce, in addition to the previously mentioned stunning prices on broccoli and yams, one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.50 (matching Alfalfa's), "topless" beets look good at 99 cents a pound (I'd only use the beet greens if they were fresh from the Farmers' Market or farm stand anyway), and 7.5 ounce bags of fresh cranberries are $2.99 each. Nut Thins are $2 a box (basically matching Vitamin Cottage, and don't forget the Mambo Sprouts coupon), eight ounce Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozz cups are $3.99 each, bulk sharp cheddar is just $3.99 a pound, and smoked gouda is $7.99 a pound.

At Whole Foods through the 15th, organic Bartlett pears are stellar at just $1 a pound. I'll stock up on their excellent 365 organic frozen veggies, since they are 20% off. Their wonderful air chilled whole chickens look good at $1.49 a pound, while loaves of their own rosemary sourdough bread are good at $2.99 each. Select Stonyfield yogurts are very good at 60 cents each, and I'm liking my favorite Seventh Generation dish liquid at $2.50 each.

Whew, that's a lot of stuff!

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Today

Our local Whole Foods stores are offering us a quintet of specials for today only, the 2nd, on this snowy Boulder morning. Get your "last salmon catch of the season," with fresh keta salmon at $8.99 a pound. Those getting into a Thanksgiving mood will be enthused about Nature's Rancher turkeys for $1.49 a pound, 50 cents off. Also on sale are select marinades from Cindy's Kitchen, half off at $1.99 each, Allegro's breakfast blend coffee $7.99 each ($5 off), and Spry Xylitol gum half off at $4.49 (that must be some gum!). But drive carefully out there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

News From Sunflower

Sunflower's new sale will start tomorrow on their "double ad Wednesday," and I can already see a couple of items of particular interest in their preview. Conventional asparagus will be $1.29 a pound for the week, while organic broccoli will be just 88 cents a pound, in case you're needing a break from eating winter squash. Their Boulder calendar also shows a "simple supper recipe sampling" from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm tomorrow, if we aren't all snowbound for the second Wednesday Boulder snowstorm in a row.

Appetizer Tastings Coming Up

It's a sure sign that the holidays are around the corner when the tasting fairs start cranking up. Thursday and Saturday, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will offer tastings of holiday appetizers to get your brain wired in that direction. It is November 1st after all, and Thanksgiving will be upon us before we know it. Here's what they say:

Thursday, November 3rd

Holiday Tasting- Appetizers
4-6:30pm FREE

Stop by the store for a taste of some of our delicious Holiday appetizer offerings. It's never too early to start planning the perfect Holiday meal!

Saturday, November 5th

Holiday Tasting- Appetizers
1-4pm FREE

Stop by the store for a taste of some of our delicious Holiday appetizer offerings. It's never too early to start planning the perfect Holiday meal!

New Deals At Vitamin Cottage

Our local Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers) has a new set of sales that lasts all the way through December 14th, practically to the end of the year. Specials of particular interest to me include the lowest price I've ever seen for organic russet potatoes (and they're from Colorado too!) at $1.69 for a five pound bag. Also looking good are pounds of Horizon organic butter for $3.99, my favorite Lundberg gourmet rice blends at $2.49 for one pound packages, and Nut-Thins at $1.99 a box (plus Mambo Sprouts has a 50 cents off two coupon for them). Several delicious, cholesterol-heavy Organic Valley products like heavy whipping cream and eggnog are at good prices for your holiday indulgences, which you can attempt to counter by cooking with cholesterol-free Earth Balance buttery spreads, on sale for $3.49 each. Finally, with all the news around about peanut butter prices tripling this week because of the drought in the southeast, you might want to stock up on my fave MaraNatha no stir peanut butters, on sale at $3.49 for the organic (their almond butter is on sale, too).