Wednesday, February 29, 2012

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods. I suspect Vitamin Cottage also has a new sale, which I'll need to check out. Here's what I'm particularly liking at the first three, IMHO as always.

At Sprouts through March 7th (March already, spring is next!), chicken breast tenders look good at $1.99 a pound (although I prefer to stock up and freeze boneless skinless chicken breasts when they reach that low price). Their very good center-cut boneless pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, and chickens (whole or cut-up) are $1.49 a pound. In fish, fresh wild caught mahi mahi is $9.99 a pound, while farmed salmon is $8.99 a pound (they also have a good price on farmed tilapia, but I wonder from what country). Organic produce is continuing to look good, highlights for me being broccoli at an excellent 99 cents a pound, grape tomatoes $1.99 a pint, celery $1.29 a bunch, spinach 99 cents a bunch, baby carrots $1.50 a one pound bag, russet potatoes $2.99 for a five pound bag, and lots of good organic fruit deals. Their usually pretty good sized conventional avocados are 67 cents, but conventional asparagus has bumped up to $1.49 a pound (certainly not a bad price, but see Sunflower below for better). Clif, Luna, or Mojo bars are a stock up price at 89 cents each, and select Barbara's shredded cereals are $2.99 a box.

The conventional asparagus mantle passes from Sprouts to Sunflower through the 7th, at just 87 cents a pound at Sunflower. Bone-in New York steaks are $5.99 a pound, and several other cuts of beef are on sale during a "Beef Round Up." Wild caught sockeye salmon is $7.99 a pound, but I wonder if it isn't too far past its season, even if previously frozen. There are good deals in organic produce, as usual, with red or green leaf or romaine lettuce all $1.50 a bunch, cauliflower or broccoli $1.50 a pound (but the broccoli is 99 cents at Sprouts), yellow or red onions 99 cents a pound, and Italian squash (think zucchini) $1.50 a pound. Organic on the vine cluster tomatoes will be on sale for $2.99 a pound, so grab more organic romas there today for their last day at just 99 cents a pound. Also, fans of Amy's fine frozen foods will be happy to see over 40 Amy's products all 30% off.

At Whole Foods through March 13th, American Homestead pork shoulder roast is $2.99 a pound (you can find that cut cheaper elsewhere on sale, but this will be some fine pork). Their own teriyaki wild salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound, and prepping already for Saint Patrick's Day, their excellent, preservative-free corned beef is $6.99 a pound (with organic green cabbage 99 cents a pound to go with it). Their own Bakehouse multigrain rustic bread (one of my faves) is $2.99 a loaf, and if you can catch the January/February Whole Deal before it gets replaced by the March one, there's a $1 off coupon, good through the end of March, for any Health Starts Here loaf. Udi's gluten-free cookies are half price at $3, and Whole Foods' own 365 lavender hair care shampoo and conditioner combo pack (16 ounces each) is just $4.99.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fish To Help The Brain?

This won't be much of a surprise to those of us who love fish (and research studies), but today's Wall Street Journal reports on a study that is finding a possible correlation between eating fish and other omega-3-rich foods and brain health, in addition to the usual heart health. You can find the Wall Street Journal article here, with the caveat that I'm not sure how long the WSJ makes their links like that freely available. (P.S. So if I've cited the WSJ and The Atlantic in one day on this blog, does that make me some sort of classy reader?)

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 29th (happy leap year!), our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales. Here's what will be on offer:

One-Day Sale

This Wednesday, February 29th only:

Annie Chun's
Seaweed Snacks
10 for $10/ea
(save $0.70)

Honey Stinger
1.5 gr Protein Bar
10 for $10
(save $0.89/ea)

Hydration And Well Being

Sprouts recently hosted a webinar about the importance of hydration (see maybe ten posts ago for that), and now I see from The Atlantic that there's a new study showing the effects of even mild dehydration on your mood and ability to think. Check it out here, and keep those water bottles handy.

Happy National Pancake Day

I think it's also pancake week, but for pancake fans (me not among them), today's your day. IHOP is giving away free short stacks of pancakes, while also gladly accepting donations to their favorite charities.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Another Giant Parmesan Cracking Coming Up

It hasn't made it to the store calendars yet, but I saw signage at the Pearl Street Whole Foods indicating that they will be doing another mass parmesan cracking on March 10th, 3 pm Eastern time, which would be 1 pm for us. I think they already hold the world record for number of parmesan wheels cracked simultaneously, but then, how often is that done en masse? In the previous cracking, it looked like all but the smallest stores participated, and the festivities included sampling as well.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Trying to get things together after our power outage, these plans actually will start with tonight, since that will serve as our midweek reheat as well. With chicken sausage so low at Sunflower ($1.99 a pound) and also on sale at Sprouts, I'm reminded of a good winter dish, lentil soup with spicy Italian sausage from Bon Appetit. The recipe calls for fully cooked sausage, but it only takes a few minutes more to cook the raw sausage. And it's become obvious that I have a penchant for dishes that call for throwing in a whole lot of spinach.

The current sale at Whole Foods will end on Tuesday, and since I haven't yet gotten my hands on one of their large cinque formaggio pizzas, that will be on deck for tomorrow. I like to dress it up with mushrooms, onion, and a package of Yves veggie pepperoni, still keeping it a vegetarian dish.

Tuesday will be our customary reheat of something big made over the weekend, which as you've just seen will be the lentil soup with spicy Italian sausage. The only thing I'll have to make will be the salad.

Sprouts' 88 cents a pound sale on asparagus has already figured into our weekend, and since Wednesday will be the last day of the sale, and we haven't yet had a rice dish, it will have to be asparagus and leek risotto with prosciutto from Bon Appetit.

For Thursday, I expected to have some leftover cabbage from the simmered cabbage Shan style that didn't get made because of the power outage, so instead I have an entire head of cabbage with which to make Thai beef cabbage cups from Cooking Light. I like to make it with ground poultry instead, and both Sprouts and Sunflower have ground chicken on sale through Wednesday.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Metabolic Talk At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower is planning a free talk this coming Wednesday evening, the 29th, from 6 to 7:30, called "Turn Up Your Metabolic Flame." It's a "FREE talk by Rachael Codina, certified eating psychology coach."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Dinner Plans In Chaos

I usually post Friday through Sunday dinner plans on Fridays, but it's looking like that's not going to happen this week. With sincere apologies to those who impressively actually look for those posts, a power outage caused by Boulder's windstorm Wednesday is wreaking havoc with my planning. We were without power for the better part of two days, and with it restored, I'm now assessing the damage to the contents of my fridge and scrambling to rearrange. One possible upside was that the experiment with the simmered cabbage Shan style didn't get made, to the seeming relief of my family. Organized thinking hopefully to follow soon.

Sampling At Sunflower Tomorrow

Our Boulder Sunflower's calendar notes a Heart Healthy Product Sampling for tomorrow, the 25th, from noon to 2 pm. They say, "Stop by to sample a colorful and delicious recipe!"

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Food Classes At Cured

It sounds like the food classes involving meats, cheeses, and wines at Boulder's one-of-a-kind Cured are really taking off, and they've now developed a schedule for them that goes all the way through March. Here are the options (including one for tonight, if that's still available).

"So far we have had a great response to our education classes and are having so much fun sharing knowledge and bites that we look forward to Thursday each week. We’ve gone ahead and planned out the next month’s classes since they are still limited to 8 participants and sell out quickly and we wanted to give you a chance to plan ahead. This way you can pick and choose what intrests you the most and save the dates. Classes are held Thursday nights from 5:30-6:30 and participants are given a 10% off coupon for everything in the shop after the class.
We still have a few spots remaining for this Thursdays Meat 101, so let us know today if you want to join!

Feb 23: Meat 101–$35 per person.
Ever wondered the difference between salumi and salami? Or why the Jamon Iberico takes so long to slice by hand while we stick the prosciutto legs on the slicer? All your questions will be answered as we cover the basics in the world of salted, cured meats. We’ll even throw in a taste of the infamous Bacon Jam…

March 1: Cheese Basics–$35 per person
We'll cover the history, make process, classifications and categories of cheese complete with a plentitude of tastes. A perfect introduction for the turophile (cheese lover) in all of us.

March 8: Wine and Food Pairing–$50
 per person.
Always wonder what wine to pour with dinner or which bottle to open to compliment dessert? We'll cover the basics of wine and food pairing-what to look for, what to avoid, why, and how, while trying some of our favorite wine and food parings.

March 15: Colorado Beer and Cheese Pairing–$45 per person.

Get ready for St Patty’s Day by trying some of the best brews coming out of Colorado coupled with their delicious cheese counterparts. Discuss the basics on pairing: why and what flavor profiles lead various cheeses and beers to compliment one another all while sipping and learning about the ever growing Colorado beer scene.

March 22: Navigating your way through Stinky Cheese–$35 per person.
Some of us revel at the thought of a gooey, unctuous, sticky, stinky cheese while other’s among us gag at the thought and smell of dirty feet. Chances are, if you’re of the later category, it’s because you haven’t had the opportunity to get past that washed rind to discover some of the world’s best cheeses. Join us as we taste, smell and learn about a variety of these cheeses-some of which you would never guess fall into the washed rind (aka stinky) category and some of which you will smell as soon as you walk in the door.

March 29: Cheese and Meat: A Love Affair–$40 per person.
Which cheeses compliment which meats? What textures should you highlight and which should you avoid. We will cover the in's and out's of cheese, meat, and why they go together so well."

Two Day Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage

Just a reminder that you only have two more days (or three, if today counts) to take advantage of the current sale at Vitamin Cottage, which runs through Saturday, the 25th. Items looking especially good to me include my favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts at just 49 cents each, big 28 ounce cans of Muir Glen organic tomatoes for $1.69 (stock up price!), and excellent MaraNatha organic no stir peanut butter (16 ounce jars) for $3.79, or the natural version for just $3.29. You can read my prior report here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Academy Awards Dinner Planning

With the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, the 26th, Epicurious has you covered with their 2012 Oscars Party Planner. You can even tailor your menu around food and drink somehow inspired by each of the best picture nominees, although that's not really my thing.

Trader Joe's Delayed?

Today's Daily Camera is reporting that the Applebee's at 29th Street, which is supposed to be razed to make way for Trader Joe's, intends to ride out its lease to its end, interfering with the mall's timeline for bringing in Trader Joe's. It sounds like somebody forgot to tell the Applebee's folks that they were being booted out, so this could get interesting. You can read the Camera's coverage here.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while current sales continue at Vitamin Cottage (but only through the 25th) and Whole Foods (through the 28th, click the links for prior reports). Here's what's looking especially good to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through February 29th (happy Leap Year), asparagus is once again making news, this time all the way down to 88 cents a pound. It's conventional, but asparagus so often is. (Price alert for anyone thinking about buying conventional asparagus for $1.99 a pound at today's one-day sale at Whole Foods.) Sprouts is doing a Wild Caught Seafood Spectacular, with four kinds of previously frozen fish for $6.99 a pound: Alaskan cod, opakapaka, 16/20 count raw shrimp, and Copper River salmon. I'm thinking it might be a little late for the Copper River, even if it is frozen, and the cod is in fact an item you might want to consider from today's one-day sale at Whole Foods, where it practically comes with a pedigree (see the post below for pricing). Fresh ground chicken, pork or chicken breast looks good at $2.99 a pound, and all chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound, but Sunflower is beating that this week with $1.99 a pound. Organic produce specials continue to look good, including grape tomatoes $1.99 a pint, broccoli $1.29 a pound, blueberries $2.50 for six ounces, baby carrots $1.50 a one pound bag, russet potatoes just $2.99 for a five pound bag, and several apple options around 99 cents a pound. Muir Glen organic pasta sauce is at a stock up price at $2.50 a jar, and Ling Ling pot stickers or spring rolls are good to have handy in the freezer at $3.99 a bag.

Sunflower through the 29th is also featuring fish with cod $4.99 a pound (beating Sprouts) and tilapia $3.99 a pound (both presumably frozen, and again, I'd consider today's one-day sale at Whole Foods for the cod), and fresh Atlantic farmed salmon for $6.99 a pound. All their fresh chicken sausage is very low at $1.99 a pound, and avocados are dirt cheap at three for $1, although they tend to be on the smaller side. Ground chicken is $2.99 a pound, matching Sprouts, although Sprouts also has ground chicken breast at that price. In organic produce, roma tomatoes are absolutely fantastic at 99 cents a pound. Green cabbage also looks good at 99 cents a pound, and romaine or iceberg lettuce (organic iceberg? time for a wedge?) are both $1.50 a head. Annie's mac & cheese boxes are $1.25, which is about as low as you'll see these days (Sprouts' sale price is $1.50).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 22nd, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quartet of special sales. The asparagus sale is nothing to write home about, considering it is $1.49 a pound at Sprouts all week (through tomorrow) and was under a $1 last week. (P.m. update - Sprouts' preview of tomorrow's sale is out, and conventional asparagus will be all the way down to 88 cents a pound there for the week starting tomorrow.) But the cod looks great, and fans of their blueberry muffins should appreciate that very deep discount. Here are their details:

One-Day Sale
This Wednesday, February 22nd only:

(save $2/lb)

Wild Caught
Alaskan True Cod
(save $6/lb)

Whole Foods Market®
Sweet Chile Marinade
(save $2/ea)

Blueberry Muffin
(save $3/ea)

Beer Sampling At Pearl WFM

The Pearl Street Whole Foods' wine and spirit store is continuing to get into microbrew sampling, with two more tastings coming up this week, on Thursday and Saturday. Here's what they say:

Thursday, February 23rd

Odell Beer Sampling
4:30-6pm FREE

Join us at the Wine and Spirits store for a sampling of beers presented by Odell Brewery. Must be 21 to participate.

Saturday, February 25th

Oskar Blues Beer Sampling
3-5pm FREE

Join us at the Wine and Spirits store for a sampling of beers presented by Oskar Blues Brewery. Must be 21 to participate.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mardi Gras Sampling

Our Boulder Sunflower plans to get into the Mardi Gras spirit tomorrow with a Mardi Gras Celebration from 4 to 6 pm. Their calendar encourages you to "while you shop, stop by to try some tasty treats!" And by the way, happy Presidents Day today. So many holidays and events to get us through the doldrums of February.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seventh Generation Sale At Target

Target has my favorite big 100 ounce Seventh Generation laundry detergent on sale starting today for the very good price of $11.99. (Other Seventh Generation and Method laundry detergent is also on sale, plus some cleaning products and dish soap.) Overall, I find Target's prices on the wide variety of Seventh Generation products (even their everyday pricing) are some of the best in town, and everyone has to do a Target run once and awhile, right?

Weekday Dinner Ideas

With Sunday morning quickly advancing, I'll rush through some dinner plans for the rest of the week. For tomorrow night, I'm thinking baked potatoes with spiced beef chili from Bon Appetit. I like to make these with stew beef instead of burger, and Sunflower has stew meat for $3.99 a pound ($4.49 at Sprouts). Sprouts is selling five pound bags of organic russet potatoes for just $2.99 each, way cheaper than $1 a pound, if you find a bag with the sizes that you like.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, and since Tuesday will be Mardi Gras, this week the reheat will be our big shrimp gumbo. As previously mentioned, mine didn't come from that recipe link, but rather from an old Acadian cookbook from Lafayette, Louisiana, yippee. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Wednesday is supposed to be a more somber day after the excesses of Mardi Gras, so what could be more appropriate than the rather austere-sounding simmered cabbage, Shan style over brown rice, from Cooking Light? It's from last November's issue, but I haven't gotten around to trying it yet. Sprouts has organic green cabbage for 99 cents a pound through Wednesday.

While at Sprouts, I'll also grab some of the boneless skinless chicken breasts they have for just $1.97 a pound through Wednesday, so that for Thursday we can do a simple dinner of sauteed chicken breasts, with microwaved "baked" potatoes (more from that five sale pound bag) on the side. I like to coat the chicken in some panko crumbs mixed with a few herbs before tossing them in the pan.

Which will quickly get us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hydration Webinar From Sprouts

Next Saturday, the 25th, our friends at Sprouts will host a webinar on a promising topic, hydration and weight management. Keep that water bottle handy. Here are their details:

"Ingestive Behavior: How Hydration Affects Food Consumption
and Weight Management"

WHAT: A live, highly informative 45-minute interactive online presentation. Learn how the dynamics of proper hydration can influence food consumption and weight management.

WHEN: Saturday, February 25, 9:00 to 9:45 a.m. PST

WHO: Jaroslav Boublik Ph.D. Moderated by Sprouts Nutritionist Janet Little. Dr. Boublik has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, presented almost 40 scientific papers at research symposia, and is an inventor with four patents. Jaroslav has a passion for understanding the nutritional requirements for building optimal wellness and maximizing performance.

HOW: Participating in webinars is easy. Once you have pre-registered, we will send you a confirmation email and then a reminder email (along with a valuable coupon) two days before the event. Then all you'll need to do is go to a designated website address and log in with your name and a password that we'll supply. Make sure you are on a computer with speakers!

Space is limited! Reserve today by sending an email to with your first and last names typed into the body of the email.

Your Friends at Sprouts

Rethinking Sunday Dinner

I've already posted plans through tomorrow that include a big fish chowder, smoky shrimp and halibut stew, from Bon Appetit. But duh, with Mardi Gras coming up on Tuesday and no time to compose an appropriate feast on a weeknight, why not replace this weekend's stew with a gumbo that can be a quick reheat on Tuesday? Since my original thinking was inspired by the sale on big domestic shrimp at Sunflower, I'm heading in the direction of a shrimp gumbo. Recipes abound on the web, like sausage and shrimp gumbo from Southern Food. I'm fortunate to have the book, "Talk About Good II: Le Livre De Cuisine Des Acadiens," the second volume produced by the Junior League of Lafayette, Louisiana way back in 1979, acquired on a long ago trip to New Orleans, so what better place to turn for a gumbo recipe? Looks to me like I'll be doing "Mom's shrimp gumbo," a contribution that begins with the instruction, "Fry 4 strips of bacon. Eat bacon and use the fat to saute 1 bunch of green onions..." How could anyone resist an instruction like that??? (Of course, I'd limit the bacon to two strips, to tone it down just a tad, but that's Boulder in 2012.)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Getting started on dinner plans, it didn't take much thought to know what will be on tonight's table; with today's one-day sale on Whole Foods' fine organic whole chickens, it will be a simple roast chicken. I'll just roast a pan of sliced winter veggies along with it, including parsnips, yams, red onion wedges, and acorn squash slivers, and dinner will be a feast. If you'd prefer to get fancier, the Whole Foods blog includes recipe suggestions to go along with the sale.

While on a comfort food roll, I'm going to go out on a limb tomorrow and attempt a pasta dish that is so simple, it can probably only be successfully pulled off in the hands of a master, which I certainly am not. The dish is called bavette cacio e pepe (bavette with cheese and pepper), and hails from Mario Batali's magnificent NYC restaurant, Lupa. Although it was some time ago that I had it there, I could swear the pasta was wider than a linguine shape. In any case, the Pearl Street Whole Foods carries cacio di Roma in its cheese department, and since I'll be there for the chicken sale, I'll take the plunge, get the cheese, and try this recipe too. When a recipe consists basically of pasta, cheese, and ground pepper, I just know I'll blow it with too much pasta water, overcooked pasta, and who knows what else. But if you ever have a chance to try it as done by the masters at Lupa, you just might have a pasta epiphany.

For Sunday, we'll return to the comfortable world of fool-proof cooking with a stew, and the sales on shrimp at Sunflower and haddock at Sprouts are suggesting my spin on smoky shrimp and halibut stew from Bon Appetit. I find haddock or cod substitutes perfectly well in this, and that using halibut in such a stew is a waste of a pricey fish. With a salad and a loaf of fresh bread on the side, a good dinner is guaranteed, as we'll probably be attempting to forget the disaster that tomorrow night's pasta experiment will be.

Which will get us through to the weekday dinner planning.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Whole Foods is treating us to another one-day sale this week, this time with organic whole chickens for just $1.99 a pound tomorrow, the 17th. That's a good one for their very fine birds, about 40% off. I know what will be on the menu tomorrow... Here's what they say:

Ever wondered if you could pick up 10 chicks at one time? You can! Just kidding — sort of. This Friday, February 17th, after all of the Valentine’s Day hubbub settles down, you can pick up as many as 10 organic whole (uncooked) chickens for $1.99 per pound in our continental US stores. Now that’s something to love.

Mardi Gras Dinner Planning

If you like to laissez les bons temps rouler for Mardi Gras (next Tuesday, the 21st this year), there are plenty of guides out there to help you celebrate with New Orleans-style cuisine. Check out Mardi Gras Recipes and Party Ideas from Epicurious, Bon Appetit's The Big Easy Made Easy, and Classic Mardi Gras Recipes from Saveur magazine. Just please, spare me the king cake.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Trader Joe's Confirmed

After all the rumors that Trader Joe's first Colorado store will make its home in Boulder, today's Daily Camera is confirming that it will be next year at 29th Street (evidently at the current site of Applebee's, which sounds like news to the Applebee's folks). You can read the full Camera article here.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, while the current sale continues at Vitamin Cottage (click for my prior report). Here's what looks good to me, as we unwind from all the Valentine's Day pandemonium.

The big news at Sprouts through February 22nd looks to be the boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.97 a pound in value packs. Fresh farmed salmon is $7.99 a pound, while previously frozen wild caught haddock is super cheap at $4.99 a pound. Their quite good stuffed chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound, and stew beef is $4.49 a pound, but you'll find that for $3.99 a pound at Sunflower. Sprouts is looking increasingly good on the organic produce front, with cauliflower, cabbage, Cameo apples, and D'Anjou pears all very low at 99 cents a pound (Whole Foods is featuring its $1.49 sale price for those pears). Organic russet potatoes remain very cheap at $2.99 for a five pound bag, organic grape tomatoes are $1.99 a pint, organic blueberries are $2.50 for six ounces, and organic Valencia oranges are stellar at $2.50 for a four pound bag. It's up from this week's under a dollar pricing, but conventional asparagus remains pretty low at $1.49 a pound.

At Sunflower through the 22nd, big 16/25 count wild domestic raw shrimp are $5.99 a pound. Despite their description as "broken," the last time they had these, they were quite handsome. Bone-in New York steak is $4.99 a pound, and whole chicken fryers are $1.49 a pound ($1.69 for cut up), but check back tomorrow for news about a one-day sale on fine organic chickens at Whole Foods. Beef stew meat is $3.99 a pound, beating Sunflower by 50 cents. In organic produce, yams or red or yellow onions are all 99 cents a pound, cauliflower and broccoli are $1.50 a pound (Sprouts is same for the broccoli but way lower on the cauliflower at 99 cents), baby carrots are good at $1.50 a one pound bag, and red or green leaf lettuce is $1.50 a head.

At Whole Foods through the 28th, I'm most enthused about their own large cinque formaggio pizza for $7.99 each. It's excellent on its own, but even better dressed up with some Yves veggie pepperoni, and some sliced mushrooms and onions. Ford Farm seaside cheddar is $9.99 a pound, $3 off, and Applegate Farms' excellent Black Forest ham is also $9.99 a pound. Market Made blackened chicken salad sounds tempting at $8.99 a pound, as do their premade buffalo chicken wraps for $4.99, $2 off (and their wraps easily feed two people, unless one of them is a lumberjack).

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us one special deal for tomorrow only, the 15th. I'm having a little trouble digesting this (so to speak), but it will be shelled hemp seeds, and I have to admit I'm ignorant of their virtues. Since I've just recently become a chia seed fan for their omega-3 content, is this the next thing I should be pursuing? Anyway, here's the one-day deal:

This Wednesday, February 15th only:

Manitoba - 8oz.
Shelled Hemp Seeds
(55% off!)

Beer Sampling At Pearl WFM

This Thursday, the 16th, the Pearl Street Whole Foods liquor store will be sampling Firestone Walker beer. Here's what they say:

Thursday, February 16th

Firestone Walker Beer Sampling
4:30-6pm FREE

Join us at the Wine and Spirits store for a sampling of beers presented by Firestone Walker Brewery. Must be 21 to participate.

Happy Valentine's Day

So Valentine's Day is here. If you're wanting a romantic dinner at home but have yet to figure out what that will be, check out this prior post for some guides to help you out. If all else fails, there's always the prepared foods section of Whole Foods... (in which case I'd be sure to supplement with a very decent bottle of champagne).

Monday, February 13, 2012

More Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

If you missed the chocolate dipped strawberries at the Whole Foods store in Superior yesterday, they'll be at it again tomorrow on Valentine's Day, for you procrastinators who have yet to pick up a little something for your sweetie. Here's what they say:

Tuesday, February 14th

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
3:00pm-6:00pm Demo

It’s Valentine’s Day! Did you remember the ones you love? Bring home a box of sweet strawberries dipped in chocolate. These will make that Special Someone very happy!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Weekday dinners that include Valentine's Day isn't exactly an ordinary planning process, but here goes. I always make something big over the weekend that serves as an easy reheat, usually on Tuesday, but since that would be pretty tacky for Valentine's Day, our reheat will come tomorrow instead. This week it's the baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens from Some of the fresh asparagus that's under a dollar a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower this week steamed on the side will make for a super-easy dinner.

For Valentine's Day on Tuesday, I'm something of a purist. I don't think it's a good idea to serve your sweetie some artery-clogging dish on any day of the year, much less on the one devoted to love. So I'll be going with a healthy but special favorite, salmon, mustard greens and potatoes with mustard-dill glaze from Bon Appetit. I'll likely need to go to Whole Foods for the mustard greens, so the salmon will come from their fine fish department as well. A little chocolate to end the meal won't hurt, either.

We'll be back to basics by Wednesday, with the very nice center-cut boneless pork chops Sprouts has on sale for $2.99 a pound. Microwaved "baked" potatoes will go on the side, possibly with more of that asparagus on sale under a dollar a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower.

For Thursday, that 99 cent sale on organic cauliflower at Sprouts through Wednesday (organic cauliflower also $1.50 a pound at Sunflower through Wednesday and $1.99 a pound at Whole Foods through Tuesday) has me thinking about revisiting an old Moosewood cookbook recipe for cauliflower paprikash. Coming from an old cookbook, it isn't online directly, but you can find a repost of the recipe here. I think at the restaurant you'd find it served over homemade spaetzle, but for a midweek vegetarian dinner, I'd say anything goes.

Which will get us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the 12th, from 2 to 4, the Whole Foods store in Superior will be demoing chocolate dipped strawberries, presumably with a chance to taste them. Evidently they'll also be selling them by the box, just in time for Valentine's Day, yum. Here's what they say:

Sunday, February 12th

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
2:00pm-4:00pm Demo

It’s Valentine’s Day! Did you remember the ones you love? Bring home a box of sweet strawberries dipped in chocolate. These will make that Special Someone very happy!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Weekend Events at Pearl WFM

Somebody just woke up to adding some fun happenings to the Pearl Street Whole Foods calendar for this weekend. Here's what I see they are now saying:

Saturday, February 11th

Valentine's Day the Pearl St. Way
11-2 and 2-4pm FREE

Stop by our store for a taste of something wonderful in each department. If you're in need of cooking tips or recipe ideas for that special someone this Valentine's Day- look no further.

Sunday, February 12th

Local Love Event
11-3 FREE

We love our local vendors, and you will too. Stop by the store for a taste of some of our favoite local products from some of our favorite local vendors.

Sunday, February 12th

Crafty Kid's Club with The Makerie
2-5pm FREE

Join our friend Ali from The Makerie for this month's Crafty Kid's Club activity- yarn wrapped pipe cleaner hearts! As always, this activity is free and lots of fun. For more info about The Makerie, visit:

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With a busy Friday ahead, I'll need to come up with my dinner ideas at a lightning pace. For tonight, the $1.99 ground turkey sale at Sunflower is making me think of spicy turkey burgers from Bon Appetit. I think I might have actually made these in the past few weeks, but they're good, they're quick, they're light and spicy, so they'll be on deck again.

For tomorrow, ever since the current Whole Foods sale came out with organic collard greens for $1.99 a bunch, I've had baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens on my mind. I like to make it with the organic whole wheat pasta line that Sunflower sells for less than $1.50 a one pound package (I think they do rigatoni, and they definitely have the very similar penne).

Moving on to Sunday, this may sound hypocritical once I reveal my purist Valentine's Day thinking, but I'm planning on a steak for the weekend, either the boneless ribeye at Sprouts for $5.99 a pound or the filet mignon at Sunflower for $9.99 a pound. That sort of dinner demands a baked potato, and both Sprouts (by the five pound bag) and Sunflower (by the pound) have good prices on organic russets this week. A baked organic potato topped with Straus European style nonfat plain yogurt isn't so decadent. And of course Sprouts and Sunflower are warring with asparagus under $1 a pound this week to go on the side. Call it a sort of precursor of Valentine's Day, if you will.

Which gets us very quickly through the weekend!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Sampling At Sunflower

This Saturday, the 11th, our Boulder Sunflower has a Valentine's Day Sampling on its calendar from noon to 2pm. As they say, "Get ideas for a delicious dinner at home with your special someone!"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while current sales continue at Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods (click those for prior reports). With Valentine's Day in this sale week, what warring prices we're seeing on steaks, lobster tails, and especially asparagus!

At Sprouts through February 15th, the hot news for me is the asparagus war, 99 cents a pound at Sprouts and 97 cents a pound at Sunflower. It's conventional, but asparagus so often is. Also looking good are boneless ribeye steaks or five ounce lobster tails, both at $5.99 (per pound for the steaks, each for the tails). Center-cut pork loin chops are good at $2.99 a pound, whole or cut-up chickens are $1.49 a pound, and boneless country style ribs are $2.49 a pound ($2.99 at Sunflower). In organic produce, spinach bunches and red or green leaf lettuce are $1.29 each, broccoli has gone down to $1.29 a pound, red yams or cauliflower are both just 99 cents a pound, six ounces of blueberries are $2.50, onions or russets by the bag are cheap, and red delicious or cameo apples are both 99 cents a pound. Some of their own brand of organic spices are $3 a bottle, and they have a very good "everyday value" price on Spectrum chia seeds at $6.99 a bag (I've been putting them on all my salads recently).

Through the 15th, Sunflower beats Sprouts by 2 cents with asparagus for 97 cents a pound. In the surf 'n turf category, they're offering beef tenderloin steak (filet mignon) for $9.99 a pound, and smaller 3.4 to four ounce lobster tails for $4.99 each. Family packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts look good at $1.99 a pound, and I'm also liking ground turkey at $1.99 a pound as well. In organic produce, roma tomatoes are fantastic at 99 cents a pound, russet potatoes are also 99 cents a pound (but cheaper by the bag at Sprouts), two kinds of pears and three kinds of Washington apples are $1.50 a pound, and cherry tomatoes are $2.50 a pint. Organic cauliflower is $1.50 a pound, but it's just 99 cents at Sprouts. They have a whole bunch of chocolates on sale for $2.50, but for the Chocolove, check today's one-day sale at Whole Foods instead (see the post below).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a quartet of sales for tomorrow only, the 8th. With such a low price on Chocolove bars, you could play Cupid to a whole bunch of friends on Valentine's Day. Here are the sale details:

One Day Sale
Wednesday, February 8th only:

Wild Raw
Jumbo Shrimp
(save $6/lb)

Whole Foods Market®
Mango Pepper Marinade
(save $2/ea)

Chocolate Bars
4 for $5
(save $1.44/ea)

Triple Cream Brie
(save $2/ea)

Supper Sampling At Sunflower

According to our Boulder Sunflower's calendar, they'll be doing a Simple Supper Recipe Sampling tomorrow, the 8th, from 4 to 6 pm. They say, "Come visit and sample a simple and delicious recipe."

Healthy Lunch For $5 Thursday

This Thursday, the 9th, the Whole Foods store in Superior will offer a 5 for $5 healthy lunch. Here are the details from the store:

Thursday, February 9th

5 for $5.00
11:30am-1:30pm $5.00

Looking for a change of pace and taste for lunch- visit our Prep Foods Dept. for our 5 for $5 Healthy Lunch. Meal includes soup, 3 salads and bread.

Valentine's Day Menu Planning Help

With the excesses of Super Bowl food just behind us, it's time to start thinking of Valentine's Day. (One has to wonder if there isn't a primeval urge to have a surplus of holidays to get us through the dark days of winter.) If you're thinking that a romantic dinner at home beats eating out, there are plenty of guides to help your planning. Take a look at Bon Appetit's Valentine's Day Guide, Recipes for Romance from Epicurious, Cooking Light's Celebrate Valentine's Day, or Nourishing Love from Whole Foods. Personally, I'll be on the lookout for something special but light. A Valentine's dinner of ribeye, baked potato smothered in sour cream and bacon, with a veggie cheese gratin on the side says to me, "Honey, I've thoroughly checked the family finances, and am now working on dispatching you as quickly as possible."

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hypocritical Boulderites?

Today's Daily Camera has a thoughtful article about Boulder's wildly enthusiastic reaction to the likely arrival of a Trader Joe's. How quickly does the "buy local" mantra fly out the window? And why is a Trader Joe's welcomed with open arms while the thought of a WalMart is met with disdain? The Camera's article is posted here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Well it may be Super Bowl Sunday, but the planning of this rest of this week's dinners must go on (plans for tonight previously related here. Since it's a busy day, this will be quick.

For tomorrow, I'll have some extra butternut squash from the chili and we'll want some pasta by then, so it will be pasta with butternut squash and rosemary from Bon Appetit. I'll also toss in some chopped asparagus from Sprouts' $1.99 a pound sale, since that works well in this recipe.

Tuesday will be our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the fabulous black bean chili with butternut squash and Swiss chard, with corn bread and salad on the side.

By Wednesday, we'll want something rice-based, and with Sprouts' asparagus sale plus organic broccoli at $1.69 a pound (even less at Sunflower at $1.50), that spells chicken, asparagus and broccoli stir-fry from Bon Appetit. Some steamed edamame pulled from the freezer will go on the side.

Thursday will be totally simple, sausage subs made with chicken sausage (on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower through Wednesday) sauteed with onion, red and green bell peppers, a bit of jarred pasta sauce, then put in a fine piece of bread like the baguettes from Whole Foods.

And that very quickly gets us through the rest of the week. Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Watch Your Wing Bucket Price

The buckets of chicken wings that are on sale through tomorrow at our local Whole Foods stores for $9.99 are ringing up at $14.99, at least at the Pearl Street store. They of course fixed my price in an instant, but I have to wonder how many people went through checkout oblivious to the sale price they missed. And my, this is a big bucket of wings. So glad the rest of my dinner plan for tomorrow is vegetarian.

Super Bowl Sampling At Sunflower

For those who have dug out from the storm, our Boulder Sunflower will be offering another Super Bowl sampling of "Big Game Bowl Party Ideas" today from noon to 2pm. Their calendar says to "try some samples and get great ideas for your party!"

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas, Including Super Bowl

Heavens, good morning Boulder. Do we have enough snow already? And this storm is supposed to continue all day? As I mentioned Wednesday, I got provisioned ahead of it, so the cooking continues (assuming the power stays on). For tonight, it will be spicy turkey burgers from Bon Appetit. I stocked up yesterday at Sunflower, getting ground turkey in their 40% off ground meat sale and organic yams at just 88 cents a pound to roast as "fries" on the side.

While at Sunflower, I also picked up very lean grass fed ground beef, also 40% off, to try a recipe from Cooking Light for tomorrow, Italian-style beef with polenta. Some of the $1.99 a pound asparagus from Sprouts will go on the side.

As for Super Bowl Sunday, that one has really been evolving. I was originally planning to do a meaty chicken chili, but that all changed when I heard that Whole Foods would be selling buckets of chicken wings for $9.99 from today (yeah, right, good luck getting there) through Sunday. So with a bucket of wings on the table, instead of a meaty chili, we'll do a favorite vegetarian one, black bean chili with butternut squash and Swiss chard, from Bon Appetit. Homemade corn bread will go on the side (recipes abound), and I'm really psyched about trying a new appetizer I discovered yesterday in the new February issue of Bon Appetit, poor man's "shrimp" cocktail, using cauliflower instead of shrimp! What a way to get more veggies on the plate to counter all those wings. And organic cauliflower is just 99 cents a pound at Sprouts ($1.50 a pound at Sunflower and $1.99 a pound at Whole Foods). That should give us a suitable Super Bowl experience while still keeping it on the lighter side.

Best of luck to us all in this storm. Stay safe.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Organic Milk Prices On The Rise

As previously reported, there's been talk of organic milk prices going up here in Boulder as they've been doing elsewhere, and I'm afraid the effects are starting to be seen. At Sunflower today, half gallons of Horizon Organic and Organic Valley milk were $3.99, and unfortunately, both of those were sale prices (probably easing us towards further increases). The good news is that Whole Foods seems to be holding the line so far, at least at the Pearl Street store, with their own great brand of 365 organic milk still at $2.79 for a half gallon, and Horizon Organic still a respectable $2.99. Organic Valley was higher, in the $3.69 range, which may portend increases to come.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 3rd, our local Whole Foods stores will have organic California navel oranges for 79 cents a pound. If our weather forecast turns out to be right (snow starting lightly this afternoon, with a whole bunch of it falling tonight and tomorrow), I doubt many people will be in such an organic orange emergency as to need to make the Whole Foods trip tomorrow. As a safer alternative, both Sprouts and Sunflower are offering four pound bags of organic oranges for $2.99 each all the way through next Wednesday. Since that works out to be 75 cents a pound, the bags are actually slightly cheaper per pound than Whole Foods' one-day sale. The type of orange isn't specified in Sunflower's ad, while they're Valencias at Sprouts. Stay safe out there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Staying Well Fed On Friday

I usually don't even think about Friday through Sunday's dinners until Friday morning, but our Boulder forecast is suggesting planning ahead. With some significant snow expected starting tomorrow afternoon through Friday (here's 9 News weather forecast), I'm going to be sure to have provisions in the house to get us through the probable storm. Tomorrow's pasta is already planned and stocked, so I only have Friday to worry about. A quick Sunflower run before the storm should do me for spicy turkey burgers from Bon Appetit for Friday, with Sunflower's ground turkey breast 40% off. (I'll also grab a pound of the very lean grass fed ground beef from that same sale for a later idea.) They have organic yams at an excellent 88 cents a pound to roast in spear form as yam "fries," too.

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

As we head into Super Bowl weekend, we have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts, Sunflower, and Whole Foods, while the one recently started at Vitamin Cottage continues (click there for my prior report). Here's what looks particularly appealing to me in the new sales.

Avocados are the name of the game at Sprouts through February 8th, with conventional ones three for $1 (I hope they're the same pretty good size they usually carry). While we're talking conventional produce, asparagus is also notable at $1.99 a pound ($2.99 a pound at Sunflower). Pretty small 41/50 count ez peel raw shrimp are $3.99 a pound, baby back ribs are $2.99 a pound ($4.99 a pound at Sunflower), ground pork is $2.99 a pound, and boneless ribeyes are $9.99 a pound. They have chicken sausage for $2.88 a pound, but Sunflower beats that with a very low $1.99 a pound, and Sprouts' previously frozen cod is $7.99 a pound, while it's $5.99 at Sunflower. There are some very good deals in organic produce, including red or green leaf lettuce for 99 cents a head, cauliflower 99 cents a pound, baby carrots $1.50 a one pound bag, six ounces of blueberries for $2.50, grape tomatoes $2.50 a pint, broccoli, $1.69 a pound (a little lower at Sunflower), and Braeburn or Cameo apples 99 cents a pound. Select deli party trays are 25% off to ease your gameday preparation, Oasis Naturals hummus is BOGO, some Frontera products are on sale, including their yummy salsa for just $2.50, and select varieties of my favorite Earth Balance buttery spread (no cholesterol!) are great at $2.99 each.

Chicken sausage and ground meats are hot items at Sunflower through the 8th, with all chicken sausage just $1.99 a pound ($2.88 at Sprouts), and six types of ground beef or poultry (including 93% lean grass fed ground beef) all 40% off. Cod is $5.99 a pound, and farm-raised Atlantic salmon is $8.99 a pound. In organic produce, select Organic Girl salad clamshells are $2.50, russet potatoes and red or yellow onions are all 99 cents a pound (russets a little cheaper by the bag at Sprouts), romaine or iceberg lettuce are $1.50 each, broccoli and cauliflower are $1.50 a pound (Sprouts has the cauliflower for 99 cents but is a little higher on the broccoli), avocados (organic or conventional) are 50 cents, several types of small tomatoes are $2.99 a package, and yewel or garnet yams are fantastic at 88 cents a pound. Their own hummus is $2.50 for eight ounces, while Ling Ling spring rolls and potstickers make impressive and easy appetizers at $3.50 a bag.

At Whole Foods through the 14th (Valentine's alert!), their own beer or cheddar brats are $3.99 a pound, and tequila lime salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound. Organic collard greens are good at $1.99 a bunch, and organic cauliflower is $1.99 a pound, but it's $1.50 at Sunflower and just 99 cents a pound at Sprouts through the 8th. My favorite Seeduction loaf is two for $6, but it says "pick two" which implies two are required? (If it's a "Health Starts Here" product, which I think it is, there's a $1 off coupon in The Whole Deal.) Their own Market Made guacamole is $2 off at $6.99 a pound, and Two-Bite cinnamon rolls look dangerous at $3 a tub.