Saturday, March 31, 2012

Seasonal Produce Sampling At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower plans a Seasonal Produce Sampling today from noon to 2 pm, when they invite you to "sample some of our favorites."

Friday, March 30, 2012

BBQ Lunch At Superior

The Whole Foods in Superior will be doing a bbq lunch tomorrow that sounds like a whole lotta food for $5, and all to benefit the Whole Planet Foundation. Here's what they say:

Saturday, March 31st

The Big BBQ Lunch- to Benefit Whole Planet Foundation

Join us for a BBQ lunch to help raise money for Whole Planet Foundation! Your choice of a pork or chicken BBQ sandwich, Cole slaw, Popchips and a Steaz drink for $5.00

Game Weekender Sale At Superior WFM

The Whole Foods in Superior is doing a bunch of specials from today through April 3rd, for those looking for Final Four snacks. Other Whole Foods may also be participating, but my cashier today at the Pearl Street store only knew of the chicken wings deal, so check it out, just in case. The highlight of the flier from Superior is a "bundle deal" of a 2.5 pound bucket of chicken wings, 16 ounces of 365 ranch dressing, and a made-in-house 22 ounce celery and carrot pack, all for $14.99, a 40% savings. For more upscale snacking, a shrimp trio one pound platter is available for $12.99, $5 off. For made-in-house options ready to pop in your oven, you can get jalapeno poppers for $4.99 a pound or Buffalo chicken wings for $2.99 a pound. Tillamook's yummy smoked black pepper cheddar cheese is $3 off at $6.99 a pound, and there are several other specials as well. The flier I picked up in Superior doesn't specify that it's specific to that store, so perhaps it's widespread.

Let The Fresh Halibut Season Begin!

Call it luck of the Irish. I stopped in at the Pearl Street Whole Foods to pick up a fish to grill this evening, hoping halibut might becoming available around now, and today turns out to be the first day of the season for halibut, at least at the Pearl store. I came away with a stunningly lovely piece, as it should be for a price of $23.99 a pound (which by the way is a "sale" price, $5 off what their signage says they project to be the regular). If you find the price a bit rich for your blood (and I overheard several comments to that effect), you might at least get a chance to enjoy a taste, as they were sampling it when I was there about an hour ago.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Happy Friday, so let the weekend dinner planning begin. My thinking for tonight is being driven by our crazy Boulder weather. We'll want to grill something this weekend, but with the winds predicted to pick back up tomorrow and Sunday (so bad for the firefighters), it looks like our grilling should be tonight. On a fish kick, it will probably be the fresh Norwegian salmon Whole Foods has on sale for $14.99. Rumor has it that among farmed salmon, Norwegian is the best. I'll also look around to see if any fresh, wild fish is available, since if you're already paying that much, I'd bump it up to get something else like swordfish or halibut. Since I just picked up five pounds of Cuties at Sprouts for just $2.99 for the box, I'm inclined to use them for a salsa such as the one in chile-glazed salmon with orange salsa from Gourmet magazine to go with whatever fish I pick.

For tomorrow, I'm going to do a favorite stew before we get into even more summer-like weather, chipotle beef stew from Gourmet magazine. I usually make it with pre-cut stew beef, but the top sirloin on sale at Sunflower for $3.99 a pound would also be good.

Sunday is looking like a classic for that day: roast chicken with roasted vegetables. The inspiration for that one is the natural chickens that Vitamin Cottage has on sale for $1.99 a pound through tomorrow, since I haven't yet taken advantage of that. I just wing it with both the chicken and the veggies, but I've previously mentioned that the March issue of Bon Appetit has a recipe for roast chicken that, although it has only three ingredients, has some rather convoluted instructions as to how to put them together.

I'd write more extensively, but we currently have a battle for computer time happening, as the taxes needing to be finished are in competition with my blogging pastime. Oh well.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Day Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage

Just a reminder that you have through this Saturday, the 31st, to catch the current set of specials at Vitamin Cottage, although who knows what goodies the next sale will bring. Items that really caught my eye in the current sale include Brown Cow yogurts for 59 cents each, Annie's Naturals organic salad dressings for $2.69 (and that's really for the organic ones), and select Knudsen 32 ounce juices or juice blends for $1.99. You can read my original report here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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, but only through this Saturday, the 31st. I usually can take a bunch of time to look over the Wednesday sale flyers, but today is going to be just a bit to crazy to do that, so I'll have to point you to the flyers themselves.

Sprouts' sale runs through April 4th, and features the second and final week of their Big Brand sale.

Sunflower's sale also runs through the 4th, and you can find that flyer here.

Whole Foods' new sale runs through April 17th, and I'm seeing some very fine ham for Easter dinner in there.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a trio of special sales for tomorrow only, the 28th, including a particularly nice price on organic strawberries. Here's what they say:

One Day Sale
This Wednesday, March 28th Only:

Fresh MSC-Certified
Norwegian Cod
(save $5/lb)

Organic - 1lb.
2 for $6
(save $2.99/ea)

Big B's
Fresh Pressed Juice
4 for $5
(save $0.74/ea)

Easter Dinner Planning Guides

We've already covered Passover, and with Easter also rapidly approaching, here are a few guides to help you out with recipes and menu ideas: Bon Appetit's Easter Guide, Easter Menus from Cooking Light, and the quite comprehensive Easter Menus, Recipes, and Egg Decorating from Epicurious. Those should be enough to start those Easter eggs rolling.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Cool List Of Colorado Food Blogs

The folks at Eat Drink Boulder have compiled a very cool list of Colorado food blogs that you might want to check out. I sincerely thank them for including this humble enterprise in their list, and it really is a little spooky how many of us are out there.

Gluten-Free Passover Recipes

Speaking of Passover (see the post below), Boulder's own Elena's Pantry is an excellent source for gluten-free ideas for celebrating Jewish holidays. You can check out her Passover Menu, and if you put Passover in the search box, you'll be rewarded with lots of other gluten-free ideas as well.

Some Passover Seder Guides

Are you looking to update your Passover table this year? Here are a few guides to help you out: Passover Recipes from Epicurious, an Italian Passover Seder from Bon Appetit, Celebrating Passover from Saveur magazine, and with Passover and Easter falling so close to one another, Cooking Light's combo feast, A Celebration of Easter and Passover Traditions.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

It's just too beautiful a Boulder Sunday morning today to spend a bunch of time in front of the computer, so with apologies (heck, nobody pays me to do this anyway), this will be a quick list of what's on deck for dinner for the rest of the week.

For tomorrow, it will be seafood pasta, an excellent, simple recipe I picked up years ago from Herb's Quality Meats when they were located at Broadway and Baseline. I got a two pound bag of shrimp at Whole Foods' one-day sale back on Friday, so the remaining half will go into this dish. This gist of it is to saute shrimp or scallops in oil/butter with some garlic, add a half teaspoon of paprika and a bit of cayenne, then create a sauce by adding 1 1/2 cups milk shaken with a rounded tablespoon of flour. Mix in your cooked pasta, and it's a sublime weekday dinner.

Tuesday is a bit up in the air. It's a repeat of something big made over the weekend, which today is supposed to be potato with root vegetable chowder and bacon from Bon Appetit. But it's just too spring-like to be thinking about cooking root veggies today, so Tuesday might wind up being a reheat of something totally different.

Wednesday will also be a cheat, since I love the large pepperoni pizzas that Whole Foods will have on sale for $8.99 through Tuesday. For the side salad, Sprouts has organic leaf lettuce for just 99 cents a head, or $1.50 a head at Sunflower (romaine there for that price, too), both of those through Wednesday.

Thursday will be another quick one, using the very nice center-cut pork chops on sale at Sprouts through Wednesday ($2.99 a pound) to do a simple pork chop saute with a bit of garlic and white wine. Mashed sweet potatoes, or buttermilk mashed russets will make a fine side.

Which gets us very quickly through the weekday planning.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market In Two Weeks

Ah, you can just feel it in the Boulder air. Spring is officially here, the temperatures are already reaching the 70s, and we have just two more weeks to go until the first Saturday market of the Boulder Farmers' Market on April 7th, yahoo!

Simple (Sort Of) Roast Chicken

Are you wondering what to do with the fine whole chickens that our local Vitamin Cottage has on sale for $1.99 a pound through the end of this month? The March issue of Bon Appetit has an article called The Taste Test, detailing how a chef's mastery of cooking can be seen in the preparation of the simplest dishes, like a salad, a chocolate cake, or a roast chicken. The roast chicken recipe in the article has just three ingredients: kosher salt, butter, and the chicken. The instructions however don't strike me as all that simple, involving chilling the salted chicken, a high heat cooking start, and a resting stage, followed by more roasting. Hmmm.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Local Product Sampling At Sunflower

Tomorrow, the 24th, from noon to 2 pm, our Boulder Sunflower plans a Local Product Sampling. They invite you to "buy local and support your community." I second that.

Beer And Brats Special Tomorrow

Starting at 11:30 tomorrow, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will offer an Avery beer and Continental brat special, although you'll have to travel to the Avery Brewery on Arapahoe to get that beer. Here's what they say:

Saturday, March 24th

Avery Beer and Continental Brat Special
11:30am $6

For just $6 customers will receive a grilled Continental Brat and an Avery pint glass full of pretzels. The best part? The offer also includes a coupon for a free pint at Avery Brewery. Get here early, this deal will not last long!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

It's that time again, weekend dinner plans needing to be made. Today's one-day sale on shrimp at Whole Foods (see the post below for details) has me thinking that tonight will be smoky shrimp and grits from Food and Wine magazine. In addition to the sale shrimp, Whole Foods has wonderful grits/polenta available in the bulk aisles to get just the amount you need, plus I love the addition of spinach to the dish (also available in bulk in the produce department).

For tomorrow, with grilling weather upon us (winds permitting) and boneless, skinless chicken breasts $1.99 a pound at Sprouts (also 40% off at Sunflower, but I don't know what price that translates to), we'll hope to head outdoors to try a recipe from local fave Elena's Pantry, her mustard lime chicken, which sounds tangy enough to satisfy even a flavor hound like me. She also offers it in a baked version, should the Boulder winds kick up too much.

For Sunday, we'll still need to make something big that will also serve as a midweek reheat, and with spring veggies just around the corner, I'm thinking of one more winter repast, potato and root vegetable chowder with bacon from Bon Appetit. Sprouts has organic leaf lettuce for just 99 cents a head, although Sunflower has the same for $1.50, plus organic hothouse tomatoes at the same price for the side salad.

Which will quickly get us through to Sunday's planning for the rest of the week.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tasty Planet Tapas Party

Tomorrow, the 23rd, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a Tasty Planet Tapas Party as a fundraiser for the worthy Whole Planet Foundation. Sounds fun, and indeed tasty. Here are the details from Whole Foods:

Friday, March 23rd

Tasty Planet Tapas Party
4:30-6:30pm Price varies by item

It's back! Our most delicious event of 2011 has returned for your enjoyment. Each department will feature a special dish for a special price and all proceeds will be donated to the Whole Planet Foundation. It's the best way to start your weekend!

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will be offering us a rare Friday one-day sale tomorrow, the 23rd, with 31 to 35 count responsibly farmed sweet white shrimp for $5.99 a pound. You can read the details of this shrimp's pedigree and get recipe ideas at this Whole Story blog post.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Value In Organic, Including Dairy

The Huff Post recently tackled the question of what's worth buying organically in the blog post Getting the Most (Organic) Bang for my Buck. While it mostly addresses avoiding the familiar "dirty dozen," it also includes a link to a most interesting chart from a small farm advocacy group that ranks the virtues of many organic dairy brands.

A Fine Corned Beef Condiment

When serving corned beef, as in this weekend's St. Patrick's Day celebration, I always have both fresh prepared horseradish and a good mustard to go along with it. With some wonderful corned beef leftovers still to be enjoyed, leave it to my husband to discover a condiment alternative I never, ever would have thought of: Whole Foods' own Cajun Remoulade. Looking at the ingredients, it actually should be no surprise, as the top three are mayonaise, mustard, and horseradish. With some other seasonings rounding out the list, it makes a very tasty side or sandwich topping for that leftover corned beef. Who woulda thunk?

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

Happy Wednesday, our day of new food deals every week. This week, we have new sales starting at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while current sales continue at Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods (click those links for prior reports). Here's what's looking particularly good to me in the new sales, IMHO as always.

The big news at Sprouts is that they're doing a Big Brand Sale all the way through April 4th, with major brands and products 20 to 35% off, with the majority looking to be 25% off. Not knowing the starting price before the discount, this makes it hard to know in advance just how good the sale price will be, but the products that are included will make it worth a tour around the store. There are too many to mention (and the special insert isn't online), but here's a taste of the options (some with select varieties), with respective percentages off: Applegate meats, including organic (25%), Earthbound Farm organic salads (25%), Clif, Mojo or Luna bars (30%), Kashi organic cereal (25%), Lundberg organic foods (25%), Organic Valley cheese (20%), and lots more. In other news, in their regular sale running through March 28th, boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, and London Broil is $2.99 a pound. Their very good boneless center cut pork chops are $2.99 a pound, and whole or cut up chickens are $1.49 a pound (although I'd consider the $1.99 a pound fine chickens at Vitamin Cottage also). Organic produce is continuing to look good, with celery 77 cents a bunch, one pound bags of baby carrots the lowest I've seen at $1.29 each, leaf lettuce 99 cents a head, kale $1.29 a bunch, red yams $1.29 a pound, green onions just 59 cents a bunch, Bosc pears $1.99 for a three pound bag, and more. They're not organic, but if you're a Cuties fan, five pound boxes are $3.99.

The news at Sunflower through March 28th is an All Natural Chicken Extravaganza, with several family packs of cuts all 40% off (making the boneless breasts hard to compare with Sprouts' $1.99 a pound price above). Fresh chicken sausage also looks good at $2.99 a pound. Spring is springing in organic produce, with large artichockes $2 each and fresh English peas $1.99 a pound. Organic leaf lettuce or romaine are $1.50 a head (but 99 cents for the leaf lettuce at Sprouts), green cabbage and red or yellow onions are all $1 a pound, and I'm happy to see the organic hothouse tomatoes continue at $1.50 a pound.

Both Sprouts and Sunflower have sockeye salmon on sale, but any wild caught salmon would have to be from last year's season, which is a little too far removed for me at this point. Salmon fans might note that fresh farmed salmon is $6.99 a pound this week (through next Tuesday) at both King Soopers and Safeway, with card.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 21st, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales. Hmm, it looks like that very lean, very fine ground beef will arrive just in time for the simmered cabbage Shan style from Cooking Light that I have planned for Thursday. Here are the details from Whole Foods:

One Day Sale
This Wednesday, March 21st Only:

Country Natural
95% Lean Ground Beef
(save $3/lb)

Guayaki - 16oz.
Organic Lemon, Berry & Mint
Ready-to-Drink Canned Teas
4 for $5
(save $0.74/ea)

Muir Glen Organics Sale Reminder

Just a reminder that you only have through tomorrow to take advantage of the great stock-up sale that Sunflower is doing on Muir Glen Organics products, some of my favorites. Sunflower has the 15-ish ounce size of canned tomatoes, the pasta sauce jars, and the soups already on middling good sale prices, but the kicker is that when you buy five, you automatically get $3 off. You can mix and match, but consider that if you buy five cans of those excellent, highly useful, and eminently storeable tomatoes, the price drops to 90 cents per can, probably a record low.

Recipe Sampling At Sunflower

Tomorrow, the 21st, our Boulder Sunflower plans to do a Simple Supper Recipe Sampling from 4 to 6 pm. They invite you to "stop by to try a new recipe and take the ingredients home tonight!"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beer And Brats Fundraiser

This Thursday, the 22nd, the Whole Foods in Superior will be holding a beer and brats fundraiser for the Whole Planet Foundation. Here are the details:

Thursday, March 22nd

Beer and Brats- Whole Planet Foundation Fundraiser
6:00pm-8:00pm $6.00

Join us at the Superior Store and help us lift a women and her family out of poverty! For $6.00 you can get a pint glass filled with Avery beer and a hot brat! Please sign up at the Customer Service Counter to reserve your space today!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Good morning on a glorious Boulder Sunday, although I hear it might get pretty breezy this afternoon. In any case, it's time to get going with dinner plans for the rest of the week. It's a week when our natural grocery stores are featuring a lot of ground meats, so that's influencing my thinking. For tomorrow night, I'll take advantage of the ground turkey that Sunflower has for just $1.99 a pound to make my own version of the Hatch chile burgers that Whole Foods sells during the fall roasting season. All I have to do is defrost and dice some of my roasted chiles from last fall, then mix those into some ground turkey to make the burgers. If you prefer to do burgers from a recipe, one of my favorites is spicy turkey burgers from Bon Appetit. Burgers always go well with lettuce and tomato, and it's a good week for that, with organic romas or hothouse tomatoes $1.50 a pound and lettuce $1.50 a head at Sunflower, while Sprouts has organic romaine for just 99 cents a head.

Tuesday is the first day of spring (yippee!), but since it's too early to be thinking about eating baby lettuce and pea shoots, we'll keep the celebration low key with our customary reheat of something big made over the weekend, which in this case is last night's corned beef and cabbage (wow, was that good).

Thinking about getting more fish on the menu, for Wednesday I'll catch some of the cod that Sprouts has for $4.98 a pound through then to make cod with Mediterranean salsa from Gourmet magazine. I doubt I'd buy a bunch of fresh basil just for one tablespoon, and my own basil plants are still a couple of months off, so the basil will likely be dried, but that will be just fine.

Since I have some uncooked organic cabbage still in the fridge, for Thursday I'm thinking about once again threatening the family with trying simmered cabbage Shan style from Cooking Light. That's the dish that was on deck a few weeks ago when our neighbor's tree took down our power line during a fierce windstorm, and we wound up eating out for a couple of days until we got power back.

And that will get us through to next Friday's planning. Happy upcoming spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Healthy Detox Supper Club

The Pearl Street Whole Foods store will offer a Health Starts Here Detox Supper Club this Tuesday, the 20th. Note the need to preregister and prepay below. Here's what they say:

Tuesday, March 20th

Health Starts Here Detox Supper Club
6pm $20 per person plus tax

Join our healthy eating specialist Sarah for a lovely multi-course meal that will get you on track for a healthy spring. Sarah will be providing and discussing detox foods for optimum health. Space is limited. Participants must pay and register at our customer service desk.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What's In Your Corned Beef?

For St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, I opted to pay $6.99 a pound at Whole Foods for the corned beef they cure in-store that contains nothing but the following: beef brisket, corned beef seasoning (sea salt, garlic, clove, paprika, soybean oil), and pickling spice (black pepper, mustard seed, red pepper, allspice, dill, bay, cloves). You can find other corned beef for considerably less in at least two of our "natural" grocery stores in Boulder, but look for this on the label: that it's cured with "sodium phosphates, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite." I'm no expert, but I'd rather stick with ingredients I can recognize, like mustard seed.

Bread Demo And Lunch In Superior

The Whole Foods store in Superior will be demoing whole grain breads tomorrow afternoon in honor of St. Patrick's Day, and will start a new stir fry $5 lunch option on Monday. Here are the details from them:

Saturday, March 17th

St. Paddy's Day Demo
2:00pm-4:00pm Free

Stop by the Bakery Department and enjoy a sample of a variety of whole grain breads for your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

Monday, March 19th

Stir Fry Lunch
11:30am-1:30pm $5.00

New! Stir Fry Lunch- Try something new for lunch- every first and third Monday of the month enjoy a bowl of stir-fry veggies, brown rice or noodles and a sauce of your choice.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

At the end of this spectacular, spring-like weekend in Boulder, it's time to get going with dinner ideas for the weekend. For St. Patrick's Day eve tonight, it will be salmon. I caved and bought the sockeye at Whole Food's one-day sale Wednesday after tasting how succulent the sample was, even though we're so far removed from last year's wild salmon season, but fresh farmed salmon is also on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower this week. I'll probably marinate it quickly in Whole Foods' own mustard-dill marinade, although the salmon with red pepper pesto from Cooking Light that I made a couple of weeks ago was quite a success. And then, with this amazing weather, there's the possibility of grilling...

Tomorrow, for St. Patrick's Day, in this house it's corned beef and cabbage, made with guidance from an old, beloved copy of The Joy of Cooking. For more varied and inventive fare, check my prior post on St. Patrick's Day dinner guides.

By Sunday, we'll be on to something different, a pasta dish. I've been pretty impressed with the very large 16/20 count shrimp that Sunflower again has on sale for $6.99 a pound, partly because I haven't found anything "broken" about them, and particularly because they are domestic wild shrimp. So I'll take advantage of them to make spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light. Sunflower also has organic leaf lettuce or romaine for $1.50 a head and organic tomatoes (romas or hothouse) for $1.50 a pound for the side salad, although you'll find organic romaine at Sprouts for just 99 cents.

Which will get us through to the weekday planning while enjoying this fine weather. Luck of the Irish to you.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Italian Food And Wine Demo

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will continue its cooking and wine pairing demonstration tour around the world with a stop in Italy next Thursday, the 22nd. I attended the French one led by Beth Pilar, and it was fantastic. This one will be in the hands of the new cooking coach, Arik. They usually offer online registration, but the calendar says to register for this one at customer service. Be advised that these classes fill up quickly (and prior ones have offered a gift card to compensate for the registration cost, pretty cool if that continues). Here's what they say:

Thursday, March 22nd

Wines Around the World: Italy
6:30pm at Wine and Spirits $25 Per Person

Join our new Cooking Coach, Arik and wine and spirits team leader, Beth for a trip across the globe. Arik will prepare some lovely Italian food and Beth will present wines to compliment. Space is limited, please register at our customer service desk.

St. Patrick's Day Sampling At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower is planning a St. Patrick's Day Sampling for Saturday, St. Paddy's Day proper, from noon to 2. According to their calendar, "we will be sharing some traditional Irish food."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Cooking Coach At Pearl WFM

So the Pearl Street Whole Foods has a new cooking coach, Arik Markus. I wonder if they're expanding their cooking coach numbers, or if this means we'd sadly no longer see Beth Pilar. The cooking demonstration she did for the French food and wine pairing was spectacular.

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 there for my prior report). With a merger between Sprouts and Sunflower coming up, I wonder how soon they'll make my life easier by offering presumably one sale. We should enjoy their competing prices while they last, in any case. Here's what's appealing to me in the sales, IMHO, as always.

At Sprouts through March 21st, I'm tempted to try my hand at cooking a pork tenderloin at $2.98 a pound. Previously frozen wild Alaskan cod filets are low at $4.98 a pound (but also see Whole Foods below for another option on fine cod), fresh farm raised salmon is $7.99 a pound, chicken Italian sausage is $2.99 a pound, and ground chicken, chicken breast, and pork are all $2.99 a pound (but see Sunflower below for ground turkey for even less). Organic produce continues to look good, with cabbage taking the St. Patrick's Day prize at 69 cents a pound. Organic broccoli continues to be good at $1.29 a pound (although a bump up from this week's very low price). One pound bags of organic baby carrots are $1.50, romaine lettuce is just 99 cents a head, five pound bags of russets continue to be $2.99 each, celery is 88 cents a bunch, and there are several organic fruit deals. Conventional avocados are 69 cents each, and they tend to be a pretty good size at Sprouts. They also take the lead on conventional asparagus at $1.49 a pound ($1.99 at Sunflower). Select Brown Cow Greek yogurts are $1 each, and while I haven't tried it, bulk cut Irish Harp cheddar might be lucky at $5.99 a pound.

At Sunflower through the 21st, two ground meats are looking particularly good: ground turkey at $1.99 a pound, and grass fed 93% lean ground beef for $3.99 a pound. Fresh farmed salmon is $8.99 a pound (but $7.99 at Sprouts), beef stew meat is $3.99 a pound, ground pork is $2.99 a pound (matching Sprouts), the very big "broken" wild domestic Gulf shrimp are $6.99 a pound, and their own turkey meatloaf is $2.99 a pound (it makes great meatballs if you can get some from the butcher without the tomato sauce topping they dress it with in the case). Good deals reside in organic produce as usual, with chard $1.50 a bunch, roma or hothouse tomatoes $1.50 a pound, cilantro or green onions 99 cents a bunch, red or green leaf or romaine lettuce $1.50 each (but 99 cents for the romaine at Sprouts), and 8 ounces of strawberries for $2.50. You get $3 off when you buy any five Muir Glen Organic products, resulting in excellent prices on things like their 15ish ounce size of canned tomatoes for 90 cents each, wow. Kerrygold is also looking good for St. Patrick's Day, with 7 ounce Irish cheeses for $4.99, and 8 ounces of their excellent Irish butter for $3.99, but see below for even better prices on both at Whole Foods.

At Whole Foods through March 27th, their delicious Maryland style crab cakes are on sale for $10.99 a pound (but I'm still reveling in last week's one-day sale at $7.99 a pound, yum). Their very fine wild Alaskan cod is $9.99 a pound, and top sirloin is $4 off at $8.99 a pound. With organic chard $2 a bunch, you might find it's a larger bunch than the ones for $1.50 at Sunflower, but I'd stick with Sunflower for organic tomatoes at $1.50 a pound unless you really need cluster ones, which Whole Foods has on sale for $3.99 a pound. Organic eggplant looks good at $1.99 a pound, and that doesn't go on sale very often. Their own seeded whole grain bread, one of my faves, is good at $2.99 a loaf, and Clif bars are quite good at 89 cents each. A convenient pizza dinner will have to be on deck in the next couple of weeks, as their own large pepperoni pizzas are $8.99 each. Finally, Whole Foods is winning for St. Patrick's Day, with Kerrygold Kilaree cheddar $7.99 a pound (a Whole Foods exclusive and beating Sunflower's Kerrygold price by quite a bit if you do the math) and Kerrygold butter $3.49 for 8 ounces, also beating Sunflower.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Today

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales for today only, the 14th. The salmon comes with a very fine pedigree, but it's already mid-March, with this year's fresh wild salmon season almost within sniffing distance, so I'm not sure if I'll jump on it. Their own marinades do make for flavorful helpers to have on hand. Here's what they say:

One Day Sale
This Wednesday, March 14th Only:

Wild MSC Sockeye Salmon
(save $5/lb)

Whole Foods Market
Thai Ginger Marinade - 9oz
(save $2/ea)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day Dinner Ideas

Saint Paddy's Day is this coming Saturday, the 17th. In my house, the menu is sacrosanct, corned beef and cabbage ("New England boiled dinner") made with the guidance of an ancient copy of The Joy of Cooking. I'm actually more willing to fiddle with my Thanksgiving menu than my Saint Patrick's Day one. But if you're looking for some new ideas, here are some guides to help you out: St. Patrick's Day Food & Drink from Epicurious, St. Patrick's Day Feast from Cooking Light, and Irish Recipes from Saveur magazine. P.S. My corned beef will be the one made in-store at Whole Foods, where I can be sure it is free of preservatives. Read those labels carefully. P.P.S. If you're interested in whether the Irish really ate corned beef and cabbage in years past, I highly recommend reading 97 Orchard Street, a history of what was eaten by immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries in a tenement on New York's Lower East Side. Very illuminating.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Metabolic Talk At Sunflower

Sunflower will offer a talk on how to Turn Up Your Metabolic Flame this Wednesday, the 14th, from 6 to 7:30 pm. It's a "free talk by Rachael Codina, certified eating psychology coach."

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Happy Daylight Savings time, and my what a glorious nearly spring weekend it is in Boulder. No time to linger over something like dinner planning, so this will be quick. For tomorrow, Sprouts has 41/50 size raw shrimp (small, but good for this purpose) for $3.97 a pound, so I'm thinking our first rice dish of the week will be butternut squash risotto with shrimp from Bon Appetit. Sure, the temperature may hit 70 tomorrow, but it's not even mid-March yet, so we're still in winter squash mode. We have a ways to go before we start thinking about things like pea shoots.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the cod chowder with saffron and fingerling potatoes, also from Bon Appetit. All I have to do is make a salad and defrost some Whole Foods Bakehouse bread that's in my freezer.

We'll be looking for a pasta dish by Wednesday, and with chicken sausage on sale at both Sprouts and Sunflower through that day, it will be an easy improv of chicken sausage sauteed with onion, garlic, bell peppers, a few mushrooms, and some good quality jarred pasta sauce, served over the pasta of choice. Both Sprouts and Sunflower have excellent prices through Wednesday on the organic lettuce for the side salad, leaf lettuce at Sprouts, romaine at Sunflower.

Something with an Asian spin will need to be on deck by Thursday, so I'll have some of Sprouts' $3.99 beef stew beef laid in by the end of the sale Wednesday for sirloin and vegetable stir-fry from Cooking Light. I find using the nice, lean stew beef available at both Sprouts and Sunflower beats cutting up a steak any day, and usually at a better price. Sprouts also has organic broccoli for just 99 cents a pound through Wednesday.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning. Enjoy the rest of this lovely weekend!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Upslope Beer Sampling

The Pearl Street Whole Foods' wine and spirits store will be sampling Boulder's own Upslope beer today from 3 to 5 pm. And don't forget to spring forward with Daylight Savings time arriving tomorrow! Anyway, here's what Whole Foods says:

Saturday, March 10th

Upslope Beer Tasting
3-5pm FREE

Stop by Whole Foods Wine and Spirits for a beer tasting with Upslope beer. See you there!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sprouts Acquires Sunflower

I'd heard rumors to this effect, but this evening it's evidently official: Sprouts and Sunflower will be "merging," but under the Sprouts brand name, that sounds like an acquisition to me. You can read the early details from the LA Times here.

March Madness Sampling At Sunflower

Competing with Whole Foods' parmesan cracking tomorrow will be a College Hoop Madness sampling at Sunflower from noon to 2 pm. Their calendar invites you to "Stop by for some delicious game day appetizers!"

Parmesan Cracking Tomorrow

Just a reminder that tomorrow will be Whole Foods' big parmesan cracking event, the crack heard 'round the world, continuing their tradition of holding the Guinness Book of World Records title for simultaneous parmesan cracking. Here's what the Pearl Street store says about it (and c'mon, Pearl Street, how can something that's an "annual tradition" also be "truly a once in a lifetime experience"?):

Saturday, March 10th

The Crack Heard 'Round the World
1pm FREE

Be a part of our favorite annual tradition! Our specialty team will be cracking into an 80 lb. wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano and giving customers a taste of this very special cheese. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience!

The Whole Foods in Superior sounds even more festive to me. Here's what Superior says:

Saturday, March 10th

The Crack Heard round the World
11:30am-1:30pm Free

The Crack Heard around the World- A royal Cheese Event!

Beginning at 11:30- 1:30 stop by each dept. in our store to sample the tasty faire put on by a Team Member. Each sample will include fresh Parmigiano Reggiano. At 1:00pm join us in our Café as our Cheese Specialist cracks a wheel of Parm. Be a part of keeping our Guinness Book of World Records alive.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

So it's Friday already, time to quickly bang out some dinner ideas for the weekend. With haddock just $3.97 a pound, for tonight I'll do my spin on cod chowder with saffron and fingerling potatoes from Bon Appetit. I'll replace the cod with the nearly interchangeable haddock, and use organic russets instead of the harder to find (and pricier) fingerlings, and it will still be great.

For tomorrow, Sunflower's sale on boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99 a pound and organic romaine lettuce for $1 a head is encouraging me to get adventurous with a a new recipe from the current issue of Bon Appetit, parmesan chicken with Caesar roasted romaine. Which reminds me, if you get a chance to try the grilled romaine salad with poached egg at The Kitchen Upstairs, I highly recommend going for it.

Since Sunday will be our first day of Daylight Savings time and temperatures are predicted to be in the mid-60s, I'll go out on a limb of celebration to plan our first outdoor grilling of 2012, ginger-soy grilled steak from Bon Appetit. Sunflower has top sirloin for $5.99 a pound (not the best price ever, but okay), and they also have organic yams at just $1 a pound, and they make a great side done as spears either on the grill or in the oven.

Which gets us through to the weekday planning.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Detox Tour At Pearl Whole Foods

Our Pearl Street Whole Foods will be offering a Health Starts Here Detox Tour this Saturday, the 10th (the same day as their big parmesan cracking event). Here's what they say:

Saturday, March 10th

Health Starts Here Detox Tour
10am FREE

Join our healthy eating specialist Sarah for an informational trip around the store. Sarah will discuss detox and cleansing as we move into spring. Space is limited, please email to reserve a spot.

Wednesday, March 7, 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 links for prior reports). Here's what's especially appealing to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through March 14th, lean pork is starring, with center-cut pork loin chops $2.99 a pound, and center-cut roast just $1.97 a pound, both boneless. Fresh farmed salmon steaks (as opposed to the fillets I prefer) are $6.99 a pound, stew beef is $3.99 a pound, and previously frozen wild haddock is just $3.97 a pound. They're doing a Frozen Frenzy, with everything you can fit in a special sale bag 20% off. In organic produce, broccoli remains excellent at just 99 cents a pound, organic russets continue at $2.99 for a five pound bag, celery is 99 cents a bunch, grape tomatoes are $1.99 each, leaf lettuce is $1.29 a head, baby carrots are $1.50 a one pound bag, and apples and oranges look good. I'm also enthused about Chobani Greek style yogurts at $1 each.

At Sunflower through the 14th, boneless skinless chicken breasts are the highlight at $1.99 for the family pack, while all chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound, and pork loin chops or roasts are $3.99 a pound (but check above for much better at Sprouts). Organic produce looks good as usual, with romaine lettuce very low at $1 a head, yams or green cabbage $1 a pound (same at Whole Foods for the cabbage), and red, green, or rainbow chard $1.50 a bunch. Conventional asparagus has risen to $1.99 pound at both Sunflower and Sprouts, but after the super low sales of the past few weeks, I think we're pretty burned out on it anyway. Select Brown Cow Greek yogurts are $1 each, and the entire line of their own brand of natural living products is 25% off.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

My oh my, Whole Foods' one-day sale tomorrow is smack on some of my favorite things in the store: their own Maryland-style crab cakes and also Mrs. Meyers Clean Day's excellent liquid hand soap. I usually just squeeze some lemon on the crab, but with remoulade sauce half price, maybe I'll indulge in the extra calories. Here are the glorious details from Whole Foods:

One Day Sale

Maryland Style
Crab Cakes
(save $5/lb)

Whole Foods Market®
Cajun Remoulade Sauce
(save $2/ea)

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day
Liquid Hand Soap 12.5 oz
(save 50%)

GoLite Opens Thursday

This is a bit of a diversion, but at least it does involve food and drink. Fans of local GoLite's warehouse sale are pleased that the outdoor gear maker is opening a real, full time store in Boulder. Their grand opening on Pearl Street will be this Thursday, and it sounds like it will be quite the party. Here's what they say:

LET'S PARTY BOULDER! Don't miss our Pearl St. store Grand Opening on 3/8 from 4-8. We'll keep food coming, beer flowing, and music pumping!

Healthy Lunch For $5 Thursday

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will be doing a Health Starts Here lunch this Thursday, the 8th, with five healthy selections for $5. Here's what they say:

Thursday, March 8th

Health Starts Here 5 for $5
11:30-1:30 $5

Stop by our prepared foods department and try something new. Our healthy eating specialist Sarah Morgan will be plating up an incredible meal of 5 Health Starts Here selections for just $5.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Cheese Sampling At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower is planning a Cheese Lovers Sampling this Wednesday, the 7th, from noon to 2 pm. Their calendar invites you to "Explore our cheese department and try something new or a favorite!"

Jonny Copp Day At Superior Whole Foods

This Wednesday, the 7th, the Whole Foods in Superior will be donating a percentage of profits to the Jonny Copp Foundation. Read below for details from them.

Wednesday, March 7th

5% Community Day for the Jonny Copp Foundation

On this day, 5% of our net profits will be donated to the Jonny Copp Foundation.
This amazing Foundation supports people who strive to be the change they wish to see in the world.

Their goal is to provide the aid and inspiration to others so each may create their own path in adventure, environmental protection, and the art of writing, photography and film.

Their overall mission is to support the development and exchange of creative ideas and knowledge by inspiring people through powerful imagery and stories relating to adventure and the human experience.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Goodness, Sunday morning is already marching along (temperatures in the 60s today, Boulder!), so I'd better get going with dinner plans for the rest of the week. I still have fish on the brain following that Wall Street Journal I've already mentioned, so tomorrow will involve the fresh wild mahi mahi that Sprouts has on sale for $9.99 a pound. (That's actually a bit of awkward planning, as I'll want to pick it up tomorrow for freshness, assuming they don't get Sunday deliveries.) It will either hit the grill pan as a fillet, or since mahi makes the best fish tacos (IMHO), it might find itself in a corn tortilla as crispy snapper tacos with tropical fruit salsa from Gourmet magazine. I certainly don't double fry the taco shells, and sometimes even substitute a good purchased salsa for the one made from scratch. I used to be a slave to recipes, until I realized they can be convenient starting points instead.

Tuesday will be our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is last night's excellent quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit. All I'll need to do is add a veggie on the side, and maybe some crusty bread (I've really been getting into Whole Foods' new wheat sourdough baguettes, with apologies to my gluten-intolerant friends).

We'll want something with an Asian spin by Wednesday, and with chicken tenders $1.99 a pound and organic broccoli 99 cents a pound at Sprouts, and asparagus 87 cents a pound at Sunflower ($1.49 at Sprouts, still quite cheap), that absolutely screams for chicken, asparagus and broccoli stir-fry from Bon Appetit. Served over brown rice, that will also give us our rice dish for the week.

We'll round out the week with a simple saute of pork chops (center-cut boneless chops $2.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday), with microwaved "baked" organic russets on the side (Sprouts has been doing five pound bags of them for $2.99 each for several weeks). The organic spinach bunches Sprouts has for 99 cents each through Wednesday would be good sauteed on the side, with a bit of garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper.

And that will get us through to Friday's planning. Enjoy today's warm temperatures (heading close to 70 by Tuesday!), so long as our persistent winds don't interfere.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Film Screening For Whole Planet Foundation

Whole Foods will be screening Bonsai People, complete with a wine and cheese reception with the LA filmmaker, this Thursday, March 8th. Here's a snippet from the Dairy Center regarding the film: "What if you could harness the power of the free market to solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality? BONSAI PEOPLE: THE VISION OF MUHAMMAD YUNUS is an emotionally compelling look at how Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is doing just that." All proceeds benefit micro loans through the Whole Planet Foundation. Here's what they say:

Thursday, March 8th

Film Screening: Bonsai People
6:30pm at the Dairy Center for the Arts $25

6:30 – 7:15 PM

Wine & Cheese Reception with Los Angeles Filmmaker Holly Mosher:

7:15 - 7:30 PM

Filmmaker Introduction

7:30 – 9:00 PM


9:00 – 9:30 PM

Filmmaker Q&A

100% of ticket proceeds will benefit micro loans through the Whole Planet Foundation.

To purchase tickets, please click this link.

To learn more about the Whole Planet Foundation's mission, Empowering Entrepreneurs in our Global Communities through Microcredit, please visit

Friday, March 2, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

I guess it's a good thing that Friday rolls around so quickly, time to get going on dinner ideas for the weekend. I've had fish on my mind since the publication of this study on fish and the aging brain, so it will be fish tonight. Salmon is always a favorite, so I'll check out the fresh farmed Atlantic salmon at Sprouts for $8.99 a pound to make salmon with red pepper pesto from Cooking Light. You can also find previously frozen wild salmon on sale, but I'm a little leery of it this far into the year.

For tomorrow, with chicken breast tenders on sale at Sprouts for $1.99 a pound (and also plenty of boneless skinless chicken breasts in my freezer), it will be quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit. While indeed quicker than a traditional recipe, it still takes enough time to qualify as a weekend recipe in my book. To sop all those fantastic juices, I'm pleased to see that Whole Foods has introduced a country wheat sourdough baguette, in addition to the traditional white one, although organic whole wheat flour gets second billing after organic wheat flour. It's probably not possible to make a whole grain baguette that still evokes a traditional one, and this is a great compromise.

We'll be in the mood for pasta by Sunday, and the wintery pasta with butternut squash and rosemary from Bon Appetit is calling to me. But with March already having arrived, with spring almost just around the corner, I'll toss in some chopped asparagus from the 87 cents a pound sale at Sunflower while the sauce is simmering. Sunflower also has a good $1.50 a head price on red or green leaf lettuce or romaine for the side salad.

Which will get us through to Sunday's planning for the rest of the week.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Twisted Pine Tasting At Pearl WFM

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will be doing another beer sampling in their wine and spirits store this Saturday, this time from our local friends at Twisted Pine. Here are the details from Whole Foods:

Saturday, March 3rd

Twisted Pine Beer Tasting
3-5pm FREE

Stop by Whole Foods Wine and Spirits for a beer tasting with Twisted Pine. See you there!

New Deals At Vitamin Cottage

Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers) has a new set of specials at our local stores that last all the way through March 31, which sounds like a long time, but amazingly we're already at March 1st. (By the way, I had a chance to check out the Vitamin Cottage in Longmont last week and it's quite cool, much more spacious-feeling than the beloved Boulder store.) Highlights of the new sale to me include Boulder Natural Meats whole chickens (air chilled and no antibiotics, in addition to the usual virtues) for $1.99 a pound, Brown Cow yogurts for 59 cents each, and Annie's Naturals organic salad dressings for $2.69 for the eight ounce size, an excellent price for the organic ones, as opposed to the natural ones that frequently reduce to that price. I'm also liking Amy's frozen burritos, most at $1.79 each, with the gluten free at $1.99, and I wonder which varieties of R.W. Knudsen's natural juices or juice blends are included at the very good price of $1.99 each for 32 ounces. Back to Nature cookies and crackers are on sale, and of course, being Vitamin Cottage, there are great prices on lots of supplements.