Monday, April 30, 2012

Cinco De Mayo Celebration Ideas

With Cinco de Mayo falling on a Saturday this year, there will be all the more reason to throw a fiesta for it.  To help your planning, check out these guides:  Cinco de Mayo from Epicurious, Saveur magazine's Authentic Mexican Guide, and the trove of recipes provided by the inimitable Rick Bayless.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

With very little time available, here's a quick rundown on dinner plans for the rest of the week.  We'll want something vegetarian for tomorrow, and with asparagus $1.47 a pound at Sunflower, it will be pasta with sugar snap peas, asparagus, and parmesan from Bon Appetit.  It's a little early to have local sugar snaps, but the ones I just picked up at Whole Foods are beautiful.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the enlarged version I made of mushroom and sausage ragu with polenta, from Cooking Light.

Wednesday will be another last vestige of cold weather cooking, stir-fried beef with broccoli and yams from Bon Appetit, served over brown rice.  Sunflower has the organic yams for 88 cents a pound and organic broccoli is $1.29 a pound at Sprouts, both through Wednesday (although you obviously have to figure your own list and shopping route - nobody is going to drive to a second store to save a few cents a pound).

Thursday will be so simple, our frequent end of the week fall back of sauteed pork chops with microwaved baked potatoes and a quick side veggie.  My pork chops will be pulled from the freezer from last week's incredible $1.79 a pound sale at Sprouts, but they have the same for $3.99 a pound through Wednesday (unless Wednesday's new sale offers a lower price, which is possible).

Which gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

I so love this time of year when the local spring produce just starts arriving at the Boulder Farmers' Market.  Get thee down there sometime between 8 and 2 pm this morning to enjoy early spring bounty, plus probably some hothouse items.  You can see the complete list of expected produce here.  I'm getting hyper about pea shoots and Egyptian walking onions.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fish Monger Face-Off Continues

Whole Foods' competition to find the very best fish monger continues with round two tomorrow.  Let those fish fly!  Here are the details from Whole Foods:

Saturday, April 28th

Fish Monger Face-Off Round 2

12:30PM - 1:30PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street Seafood Department

Come see who made the cut in the first round and cheer on your favorite monger!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

In a bit of a rush, here's a quick list of what's on deck.  Tonight will be salmon, the Norwegian I grabbed at Whole Foods' one-day sale on Wednesday, but if you missed that, Sunflower has Atlantic salmon fillets for $8.99 a pound, although their ad doesn't specify fresh/frozen.  I'm not sure if the weather will permit grilling the fish, but we'll take advantage of Sprouts' conventional artichokes at 88 cents each to have steamed artichokes with herb-caper mayonaise from Bon Appetit on the side.

I'm fantasizing about early pea tendrils from the Farmers' Market tomorrow, and with boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99 a pound for the value pack at Sunflower, that calls for chicken and shiitake stir-fry with peas and pea tendrils from Bon Appetit.

The chicken sausage for just $1.97 a pound at Sunflower is making me think of  mushroom and sausage ragu with polenta from Cooking Light.  Sunflower also sells cremini mushrooms for just $2.99 a pound, same as their regular white shrooms, which is a pretty good deal.

Which wraps up the weekend plans!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Farmers' Market To Ban Dogs

Starting June 2nd, your faithful companion won't be welcome at the Boulder Farmers' Market.  While this will mostly affect dogs, I guess you also can't bring your pet hissing cockroach along for your shopping.  It might be heresy, but I think this change will make navigating the crush of people a little more pleasant, although there will still be the gigantic strollers to contend with.  You can read the Daily Camera's story here.

Orchid Sale Tomorrow At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods stores will have a special sale on orchids for tomorrow only, the 27th.  Here are the details from them:

Now is your chance to bring spring into your home with beautiful potted orchids that won’t break the bank.   On Friday, April 27, phalaenopsis orchids will be on sale at Whole Foods Market for only $9.99. These elegant orchids have a long lasting bloom, come in a variety of colors, and grow well near bright windows with no direct sun light.

5 reasons we love phalaenopsis orchids:
Add a pop of springtime color into your office or home
Potted plants can last for months and years, and at this price, they’re a great deal too!
They make great end-of-the-year teacher’s gifts
Housewarming gift for your next spring celebration
Low-maintenance. They only need water once a week!

Wednesday, April 25, 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 looking good to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through May 2nd, the big news is the return of the Vitamin & Body Care Extravaganza, with all supplements and care products 25% off.  In meat, boneless skinless chicken breasts look good at $1.99 a pound for the value pack, and pork tenderloin is $3.99 a pound.  Fish lovers take note that fresh wild caught halibut is $12.99 a pound.  In organic produce, grape tomatoes are $1.99 a pint (looking like a little more at Sunflower), cauliflower or broccoli are $1.29 a pound, baby carrots are $1.50 for a one pound bag (same at Sunflower), celery is 99 cents a bunch, and Valencia oranges are $2.50 for a four pound bag.  The entire line of Kashi products is 25% off, and conventional artichokes are cheap at 88 cents each.

At Sunflower through the 2nd, natural grass-fed ground beef looks good at $3.99 a pound, and chicken sausage is great at $1.97 a pound.  Farmed Atlantic salmon is $8.99 a pound, but I'd catch Whole Foods' one-day sale today on Norwegian instead.  In organic produce, yams, Valencia oranges, and yellow onions are all 88 cents a pound, while baby carrots are $1.50 for a one pound bag, and grape or cherry tomatoes are $2.50 a container (pint or 10 ounces).  Conventional asparagus is looking good at $1.47 a pound, and Brown Cow Greek yogurts are $1 each.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 25th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a tempting quartet of special sales, including a handsome farmed salmon as we wait for the start of this year's fresh wild season.  Here are their details:

One Day Sale

This Wednesday, April 25th Only:

Fresh Norwegian Salmon $9.99/lb (save $7.00/lb)

Applegate Farms - 10oz. Family Pack (Black Forest Ham, Slow Cooked Ham Roasted Turkey Breast & Smoked Turkey Breast) $4.99/ea (save $3.00/ea)

Strawberry & Pineapple Chocolate Trays $6.99/ea (save $3.00/ea)

Whole Foods Market Mustard Dill Sauce $1.99/ea (save $2.00/ea)

Nutrition And Performance At Alfalfa's

Here's an early heads up on a nutrition and performance seminar coming up on May 11th at Alfalfa's.  It sounds pretty good, and since space is limited and preregistration is required, I'd give it some consideration right now.  Here's what they say:

Free Nutrition and Performance Seminar

Friday, May 11th
Alfalfa's Community Room
Friday, May 11th ~ 6:00-9:00pm FREE ~

Space is limited, reserve your spot @

Join us for a free seminar on stress and nutrition where Brendan Brazier will be speaking on the topic of nutrient density and how it helps:

fight stress
battle fatigue
increase energy
support adrenals
improve sleep
lose weight
improve mental clarity
balance hormone levels

Brendan Brazier is a best-selling author and renowned speaker on plant-based nutrition, vegan pro-Ironman triathlete and formulator of Vega, an award-winning line of clean, plant-based nutritional products. For more information see

Space is limited ~ reserve your spot @

Monday, April 23, 2012

National Zucchini Bread Day!

Sunflower informs us that Wednesday the 25th is National Zucchini Bread Day, for which they "will be baking so you can enjoy this treat."  Cool.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Reminder Re Earth Day In Superior

Just a reminder that the Whole Foods in Superior is celebrating Earth Day today not only by giving away compost, but also with bike tuneups! I'd get there as early as possible to take advantage, once they get going. A repeat of their details:

Sunday, April 22nd

Celebrate Earth Day
10:00 AM Free- while it lasts
In front of store

Compost Give a Way While it Lasts and bike tune ups

Weekday Dinner Ideas

It's shaping up to be a beautiful Earth Day in Boulder, so this list of dinner plans for the rest of the week will be quick. The April issue of Cooking Light has an article on "rice bowls," and all four of the recipes sound appealing (except I'd fully cook a real brown rice, rather than using the precooked they recommend for speed). So for tomorrow, I'm thinking about the sausage-spinach rice bowl (spinach from the Farmers' Market anyone?) or the shrimp and pea rice bowl, with shrimp $3.77 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday. You can check out this link for the index to the entire issue.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the chipotle beef stew from Gourmet magazine. A salad and some tortillas on the side, and we're done.

Wednesday will be another easy one. With Sunflower's turkey meatloaf available for $2.99 a pound through that day, I love to re-form it into meatballs to saute with some bell pepper, onion, and a good jarred pasta sauce. Served over a whole wheat spaghetti awith some freshly grated parmesan, it's as easy a midweek dinner as you can get.

For Thursday, I'm looking at trying Szechuan chicken stir-fry from Cooking Light. It calls for boneless skinless chicken breasts, which are 40% off in family packs at Sunflower through Wednesday, but I'm also curious about trying it with ground chicken breast, which is $2.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday. Let the experimentation continue!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

An Earth Day Possibility

They say the past doesn't predict the future, but for at least the past couple of years, both Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods, at least at the Pearl Street store, have been giving away reusable bags on Earth Day (with your purchase, of course). They've been the small size at Whole Foods, not big enough for grocery shopping, but a handy size for carting lunch, while Vitamin Cottage has given away their great big beautiful capacious shopping bags. We'll see what might happen on Earth Day tomorrow.

UPDATE: The Vitamin Cottage sale flyer, which should be available in the store at the checkout counters, has a coupon for that free bag, valid only tomorrow, with any purchase while supplies last.

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Don't forget about the Boulder Farmers' Market today, the third of the new season, starting a 8 this morning. Here's the list of what you can expect to find, and it appears to have grown again a bit from last week. Pea shoots are on it! Also, think about looking into Alfalfa's bEARTHday celebration that starts at 11, as it's just a block away.

Fresh at the Market This Week

* Gladiolus Corms (bulbs)
* Asparagus
* Pea Shoots
* Braising Mix
* Radicchio
* Green Garlic
* Lettuce
* Spinach
* Arugula
* Kale
* Chard
* Plant Starts
* Radishes
* Bok Choy
* Carrots
* Parsnips
* Potatoes
* Tomatoes
* And more!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With a busy Friday ahead, here's a quick rundown on weekend dinner plans. Tonight will be pizza alla salsiccia (sausage pizza) from Cooking Light, basically just because I feel like it. With warmer temperatures and spring produce starting to come in, I feel the days of wanting something hot out of the oven are numbered, so we'll have it while it still sounds great. And Sprouts has all their varieties of chicken sausage for $2.99 a pound this week, not that it's ever very expensive anyway.

Continuing with the warming comfort food theme for tomorrow, I'll take advantage of Sprouts' $3.99 stew beef ($4.99 at Sunflower) to do one last round of chipotle beef stew from Gourmet magazine before spring food fever really hits me. Maybe it's because I haven't yet had a chance to get to the Boulder Farmers' Market, newly opened for the season, that I'm so in the mood for one more round of winter favorites.

But with beautiful weather, we'll certainly need to grill something by Sunday, and I'm thinking about those fine air chilled split chicken breasts that Whole Foods has for $2.99 a pound, $2 off their usual. They'd be fine just straight on the grill, but I'm thinking about adapting Elena's recipe for mustard lime chicken, using that oh so flavorful marinade to color the bone-in breasts from Whole Foods. The organic zucchini that Whole Foods has for $1.99 a pound will also be great on the grill.

Which quickly completes the weekend dinner planning.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Earth Weekend In Superior

The Whole Foods in Superior will be celebrating Earth Day weekend with a bunch of activities, including a compost giveaway and bike tuneups that appear to be FREE on Sunday! Here are the details from them:

Saturday, April 21st

Grilling on the Patio and Trashion Show
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM $5.00 per plate
Superior Patio

Join us on our patio, for our famous grilled fish tacos, music and a most unique Trashion Show [1:00]. Enjoy the afternoon, music and our Team Members Earth Day Creations!

Saturday, April 21st

Kids Club
3:00 PM Free
Patio or Cafe

Kids, Join us in the Café or weather permitting, our outdoor patio and plant seeds in your decorated compostable cups.

Sunday, April 22nd

Celebrate Earth Day
10:00 AM Free- while it lasts
In front of store

Compost Give a Way While it Lasts and bike tune ups

Earth Friendly Cleaning At Sunflower

To celebrate the day before Earth Day, this Saturday (the 21st) our Boulder Sunflower will be demoing Earth Friendly Cleaning Suggestions from noon to 2 pm, when they say they "have some homemade recipes to share with you!"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Alfalfa's bEARTHday This Weekend

Since Alfalfa's opened on Earth Day last year, their first anniversary is their bEARTHday. You can see their plans for festivities on Saturday and Sunday on their events page. Don't forget too that they're a block's stroll away from the Farmers' Market from 8 to 2 on Saturday.

This Week's Hot 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 prior report). Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through April 25th, all chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound, center-cut pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound (but mine are in the freezer from last weekend's $1.77 sale), stew meat is good at $3.99 a pound ($4.99 at Sunflower), ground chicken, pork, or chicken breast are all $2.99 a pound, and middling sized 41/50 count raw shrimp are $3.77 a pound. In organic produce, celery is 88 cents a bunch (beating Sunflower by 12 cents), grape tomatoes remain great at $1.99 a pint, baby carrots are $1.50 for a one pound bag, a 22 ounce package of heirloom tomatoes (nearly a pound and a half) looks low at $3.99 each, broccoli is $1.29 a pound (matching Vitamin Cottage), and a bunch of organic fruit is on sale, including several apples and one pound packages of strawberries for $3.99 (same at Whole Foods). Sprouts tends to have nice conventional avocados, which are 77 cents this week (50 cents at Sunflower), and if you're into conventional watermelon, you can get a whole seedless one for just $1.25. My favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts are okay at 75 cents each, but Whole Foods has Stonyfield for just 60 cents.

At Sunflower through the 25th, family packs of several cuts of chicken are all 40% off. Ground turkey is $2.99 a pound, and 93% super lean grass fed ground beef is worth $4.99 a pound. Their turkey meatloaf is good at $2.99 a pound, and while I make my own meatloaf from scratch, this turkey meatloaf molds into really good meatballs in a flash for a quick dinner. In organic produce, red or green leaf lettuce are $1.50 a head, broccoli and cauliflower are $1.50 a pound (broccoli $1.29 at both Sprouts and Vitamin Cottage), yams, yellow onions, and valencia oranges are all $1 a pound, celery is $1 a bunch (but 88 cents at Sprouts), and avocados, either organic or conventional, are 50 cents each. In a big Earth Day sale, select products from Ecover, Seventh Generation, and If You Care will be 25% off.

At Whole Foods through May 1st, havarti dill wild salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound, and their excellent air chilled split chicken breasts are nearly half off at $2.99 a pound. You can get a pound of organic strawberries for $3.99 (same at Sprouts through the 25th), and organic zucchini is $1.99 a pound. Their own Bakehouse heirloom wheat bread, one of my favorites, is very good at $2.99 a loaf (same for their cranberry walnut), and Tillamook's smoked black pepper cheddar, that has quite a kick to it, is $6.99 a pound, $3 off. Also, Stonyfield's fat free yogurts are very good at 60 cents each, if they can keep them in stock at that price. With warm, sunny days upon us, Nature's Gate sunscreen is nearly half off at $4.99 for four ounces, and while I'm a diehard fan of Seventh Generation laundry detergent, I'm intrigued by Greenshield organic laundry care nearly half off at $6.99 for 60 ounces.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Compost And More From Whole Foods

Counting down towards Earth Day on Sunday, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will offer a series of events, including electronics recycling and the ever-popular compost giveway, to be held at Growing Gardens this year. Here are the details from them:

Friday, April 20th

Electronics Recycling and Green Vendor Fair
3:00 PM - 7:00 PM FREE
Whole Foods Market Pearl Street

Our friends from Techno Rescue will once again be on-hand to help you recycle all of your electronics in celebration of Earth Month. Stop by between the hours of 3-7pm to drop off your hard-to-recycle items. The service is absolutely FREE. Note: No early drop-off is permitted. Items must be delivered during event hours.

Saturday, April 21st

Compost Giveaway at Growing Gardens
10:00 AM FREE
1630 Hawthorn Ave, Boulder, CO 80304

We’re hosting our annual compost giveaway with our friends at Growing Gardens this year. We’ve got 30 yards to give away to the first customers who show up with a smile and some muscle. Each customer will be entitled to two free bags of compost! Come early cause when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Growing Gardens is located at: 1630 Hawthorn Ave, Boulder, CO 80304. For more information and directions, visit…

Sunday, April 22nd

Picnic for the Planet with the Nature Conservancy
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM Varies
Whole Foods Market Pearl Street West Patio

We’re celebrating Earth Day with our friends from The Nature Conservancy by hosting the world’s largest picnic! Stop by with the whole family for a day full of fun, music, creativity and sustainability.

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 18th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales. Those long-stem artichokes tend to be spectacular, but if all you need is a regular ol' artichoke, remember that they're just 88 cents at Sunflower. Here are the details from Whole Foods:

One Day Sale
This Wednesday, April 18th Only:

2 for $4
(save $1.99/ea)

Organic Valley Farms - 16oz.
Extra Sharp Cheddar
(save $5.00/ea)

Baguette Deal In Superior

Here's a deal that's triply good. If you're shopping at the Whole Foods in Superior tomorrow, it seems that every Wednesday they offer their incredibly good fresh baguettes for just 99 cents (they usually cost more like $2.49). Tomorrow, probably in preparation for Earth Day, you'll also get a reusable bread bag with that purchase. But wait! Also take a look at the current Whole Deal (hard copy available in the store), where you'll find a coupon for 50 cents off a baguette. What a deal! Here are the details from Whole Foods, although they don't make mention of the coupon:

Wednesday, April 18th

Bags [Reusable] for Baguette

Take advantage of our .99 baguette deal and receive a FREE reusable bread bag. Get em while supplies last!

Supper Recipe Sampling At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower plans a Simple Supper Recipe Sampling tomorrow from 3 to 5 pm, when they invite you to "stop by to try a new recipe and take the ingredients home tonight!"

Monday, April 16, 2012

Title Nine Blowout Sale Coming Up

It's a bit of a digression from my usual theme of cooking in Boulder, but you need great workout wear to burn off all those calories, right? It's always big news when the gigantic Title 9 warehouse sale comes to the area, so have patience, we only have about a week and a half to wait. The 2012 Blowout Sale will be held April 26 to 29 in The Village at Flatiron Crossing in Broomfield, between Bloom and Crate & Barrel. Hours will be as follows: Thursday, 9 am - 7 pm, Friday, 10 am - 7 pm, Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday, 10 am - 4 pm. If past years are a guide, selection will be best but discounts the least on Thursday, with prices dropping and selection waning through the sale until Sunday, when there will be practically nothing left but it will be dirt cheap. Happy shopping!

Compost Class Tomorrow

Cranking up towards Earth Day this coming weekend, the Whole Foods store in Superior will offer an Earth Day tour and compost class tomorrow. Here's what they say:

Tuesday, April 17th

Earth Day Tour and Compost Class
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Free
Superior Store

Tour our produce dept. and learn how to compost for a great summer vegetable garden from the experts. Receive a bag of compost to start your garden.

A Fish Monger Face Off!

I can't quite imagine what this competition will consist of, but this Thursday, the Pearl Street store will host a face-off to determine the best fish monger of their Rocky Mountain region stores. I do know that those guys can wield a knife with frightening accuracy when I make obnoxious requests like three quarters of a pound from some gigantic fillet. Here are the details from Whole Foods:

Thursday, April 19th

Fish Monger Face-Off
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM FREE
Whole Foods Market Pearl Street Seafood Department

Come watch the best of the best in our seafood departments face-off for the title of best fish monger in the Rocky Mountain region. Our very own Ryan Foote will be battling the competition in this first round. Make sure to stop by and help cheer him to victory!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

How quickly Sunday rolls around, with the need to get thinking about dinner for the rest of the week. Tomorrow will be an easy one; with today being the last day of Sprouts' 72 hour sale that includes boneless pork chops for just $1.77 a pound, pork chops will hit the saute pan tomorrow, with a little garlic and deglazed with a bit of wine. Microwaved "baked" potatoes will go on the side, along with something green (possibly the organic kale at Sprouts for $1.29 a bunch - I've always like kale, and it seems to be gaining superstar status these days).

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the shrimp and scallop posole from Bon Appetit. A salad on the side, maybe some tortillas, and we're done.

For Wednesday, I'm going to try some of the farm raised Atlantic salmon that Sprouts has for $4.99 a pound through that day ($5.99 at Sunflower), possibly just sauteing it on a grill pan, or perhaps dressing it up with a dusting of spices in an old favorite, pan-roasted salmon with ginger and curry from Gourmet magazine. It will be time for brown rice topped with scallions at the last minute to appear on the side.

Continuing with the Asian theme for Thursday, I'll grab some pork chops from my stock picked up during Sprouts' 72 hour sale (or the pork stew meat Sunflower has for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday) to do five spice pork stir-fry with soba noodles from Bon Appetit. Sobas are such an amazing food, providing the goodness of buckwheat, while they cook in a flash. Some steamed edamames pulled from my stock in the freezer will round out the quick dinner.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Alfalfa's bEARTHday Next Weekend

Alfalfa's is cooking up a big celebration for its first birthday next weekend, a three day bash that coincides with Earth Day. Here are the preliminaries from them:

Alfalfa’s First bEARTHday Celebration!
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ~ April 20-22nd
Alfalfa's Market

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday ~ April 20th-22nd

On April 22nd we will be celebrating our one year anniversary! Stay tuned/save the date(s) ~ we're gonna have some awesome plans rolling out soon for the weekend of the 20th, 21st, and 22nd! Sunday, the 22nd, is also Earth Day ~ it's gonna be a great bEARTHday bash!

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

We're already on to the second Farmers' Market of the season today, starting at 8 this morning. Here's what the Market says you can expect to find, and the list already seems to be growing longer. Green garlic, yay! Get there before our weird weather change comes in, then cook spring-inspired things all day tomorrow during expected the rain/snow mix.

Fresh at the Market This Week

* Gladiolus Corms (bulbs)
* Asparagus
* Fresh Herbs
* Braising Mix
* Horseradish
* Green Garlic
* Lettuce
* Spinach
* Arugula
* Kale
* Chard
* Plant Starts
* Radishes
* Bok Choy
* Carrots
* Parsnips
* Potatoes
* Tomatoes
* And more!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Seasonal Sampling At Sunflower

Sunflower plans to do a Seasonal Product Sampling tomorrow from noon to 2 pm, when they invite you to "sample some of our seasonal favorites!"

Weekend Dinner Ideas

If it's Friday already, it's time to get planning something to eat for the weekend. Since we're looking forward (hoping? praying?) to the possibility of some rain and/or snow over the next couple of days, tonight will be our grilling night. Having picked up a handsome piece of halibut at Whole Foods' one-day sale, that will go on the grill, probably touched only with a bit of olive oil and lemon. (If you missed the Whole Foods sale, both Sprouts and Sunflower are advertising halibut this week for $16.99 a pound; fresh at Sprouts, unspecified in the Sunflower ad.) For a side veggie, I'm inclined to get in one more round of Whole Foods' recipe for Swiss chard gratin before we find ourselves suddenly in the heat of summer, not wanting to heat the oven. The Comte in the sauce has to be one of my favorite cheeses, and you can usually find just the perfectly sized piece in Whole Foods' basket of assorted small cheeses.

For tomorrow, I'm thinking about the $9.99 a pound sea scallops in Sprouts' 72 hour sale that runs from today through Sunday, and since they also have a decent price on raw shrimp, it will be shrimp and scallop posole from Bon Appetit. Sprouts also has organic leaf lettuce for $1.29 a head for the side salad.

Those scallops are still on my mind for Sunday (I previously warned that this was looking like a great week for fish), so I'll do them in a pasta twist on linguine with bay scallops, fennel, and tomatoes from Bon Appetit. With sea scallops at such a reasonable price, why not use them instead of the humbler bay scallop? Sprouts also has organic grape tomatoes at the very good price of $1.99 a pint for this recipe. And while I'm there, I'll definitely pick up some of the boneless center-cut pork loin chops that Sprouts is practically giving away at $1.77 a pound during the 72 hour sale. The chops will appear on the menu later in the week, and they also store quite well securely wrapped in the freezer.

And that gets us through the weekend's dinners.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hydration And Performance

Sprouts will host another hydration webinar next week, this one focusing on hydration and athletic performance (surely a topic near and dear to the heart of this town). Here are the details from Sprouts:

A new Sprouts webinar has been scheduled next Tuesday, April 17, from 6pm to 7pm PDT. Join Sprouts Nutritionist Janet Little and Dr. Jaroslav Boublik to learn how hydration plays a key role in athletic training, performance and recovery. You do not have to have attended the first two webinars to enjoy this session; the content of this webinar stands alone. Whether you are training for a race, are a weekend warrior, or are simply curious about how important hydration is to your physical performance, there is a lot to learn! Simply RSVP to to reserve a space. Remember, participation is limited, so email today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Halibut Amendment

I'm just back from the Pearl Street Whole Foods, where I found that today's $14.99 a pound halibut special is previously frozen fish. While their announcement didn't specify fresh or frozen, they've been so promoting the arrival of the new season (there's a big chalkboard on the sidewalk today about it), I had it in my head that this would be fresh. I still bought a very handsome piece, but this puts a new perspective on Sprouts' price of $16.99 a pound. Sprouts' ad specifies that the halibut is fresh, making that an exceptional price, if the $14.99 a pound fish is frozen. Live and learn.

This Week's Hot New Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while current sales continue at Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage (click those links for prior reports). While some weeks tend to have sales that are rather ho hum, this week is shaping up to be a good one, especially for us seafood lovers. Here's what's looking particularly good to me, IMHO as always.

Sprouts is cranking things up with a 72 hour sale, running this Friday through Sunday, the 13th through the 15th. Standouts in it to me include their excellent boneless center-cut pork loin chops (or roast) at the giveaway price of $1.77 a pound (and the chops freeze well), previously frozen super colossal wild sea scallops from the USA for $9.99 a pound, and pineapples for $1 each. In addition to the three day sale on the scallops, fish is the main feature to me in their regular sale that lasts through April 18th. As we wait for the start of this years' fresh wild salmon, fresh farmed Atlantic salmon is very low at $4.99 a pound ($5.99 at Sunflower, still not bad). Fresh wild Alaskan halibut filets are also attractive at $16.99 a pound (matched by Sunflower, but fresh/frozen isn't specified in their ad), but absolutely catch today's one-day sale at Whole Foods, where their very fine halibut is just $14.99 a pound. The three day price on the pork chops is the meat highlight, although through the week, stew beef is $3.99 a pound and boneless New York strip steaks are $9.99 a pound. In organic produce, kale is $1.29 a bunch, grape tomatoes are $1.99 a pint, leaf lettuce is $1.29 a head, celery is 88 cents a bunch, and there are a whole lot of organic fruit specials, including a pound of strawberries for $3.99.

At Sunflower through the 18th, fresh farmed Atlantic salmon is $5.99 a pound (but a dollar cheaper at Sprouts), and halibut (fresh/frozen not specified) matches Sprouts at $16.99 a pound, but again, catch it today at Whole Foods instead for $14.99 a pound. All chicken (and pork) sausage is 40% off, pork stew meat looks good at $2.99 a pound, and ground chicken breast is $3.99 a pound. In organic produce, chard or romaine lettuce are $1.50 a bunch, green cabbage is 99 cents a pound, baby carrots are good at $1.50 for a one pound bag (although even better in a two pound bag at Whole Foods for $2.50), and green onions, parsley, cilantro, and celery are all 99 cents each. In conventional produce, large artichokes are stunning at 97 cents each. Voskos Greek yogurts look good at $1 each, and the entire line of Cento products (which includes a very good clam sauce) is 33% off.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

So there will indeed be a one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores tomorrow, and wow, is it ever a good one. I'll be at their doorstep early to get the MSC-certified halibut, the most delicious I've ever had, and deeply discounted just for tomorrow. Here are the details from Whole Foods:

One Day Sale
This Wednesday, April 11th Only:

Sweet & Juicy
10 for $10
(save $0.99/ea)

Whole Foods Market
Thai Ginger Marinade
(save $2.00/ea)

MSC Certified
Halibut Fillet
(save $10.00/lb)

Think Thin
Energy Bars
10 for $10
(save up to $0.99/ea)

Calling All Humboldt Fog Fans

Fans of the luscious cheese Humboldt Fog may be interested to know that its makers will be at Boulder's own Cured this afternoon for a cheese tasting. Here's what Cured says:

Cyprus Grove Cheese Tasting: I’ll never forget my first bite of Humboldt Fog - that perfect play of chalky, bright, tangy paste matched by a luscious, running, creamy exterior and that gorgeous defining line of black ash running through the center… it just might be one of the world’s perfect cheeses. We are excited to be joined by Cyprus Grove Creamery, the creator of the loved Humboldt Fog, this afternoon from 4-6 for a cheese tasting.

Wondering Re One-Day Sale

So here it is, past three in the afternoon on Tuesday, and I haven't heard a thing yet about the traditional Wednesday one-day sale at Whole Foods. Perhaps they're going to mix things up and skip a Wednesday for a change. I did see signage today at the Pearl Street store saying that their MSC-certified fresh wild halibut will be on sale tomorrow. Since its starting price before a sale is one penny shy of a hefty $29 a pound, a good sale would be welcome news. But I must admit, the halibut I bought there for $23.99 a pound on the first day of the season a couple of weeks ago lives in my memory as one of the finest pieces of fish ever to come off our grill.

Beer And Liquor Tastings At WFM

Whole Foods has posted a list of beer and liquor tastings at their Pearl Street wine and spirits store that runs all the way through the month. Here are your free tasting options:

April Beer and Liquor Tastings at Wine and Spirits
Whole Foods Market Wine and Spirits

Beer Tastings:

Thursday April 5, Sierra Nevada 4:30-6pm

Thursday April 12, Odell Brewing Company 4:30-6pm

Saturday April 14, Crispin Cider 3-5pm

Thursday April 19, Firestone Walker 4:30-6pm

Thursday April 26, Left Hand Brewing Company 4:30-6pm

Liquor Tastings:

Saturday April 21, Tanteo Tequila 4-7pm

Saturday April 28, Juniper Gin & Highland Harvest Scotch 3:30-5pm

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Deals At Vitamin Cottage

Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers) has a new sale lasting all the way through June 2nd (weren't we just talking about Christmas?) Items looking particularly good to me include Applegate Organics' wonderful six ounce sliced turkey for $3.99 a package, organic broccoli for $1.29 a pound, select Rudi's Organic sandwich breads for just $2.99 a loaf (those usually push $5), my favorite Ezekiel organic sprouted breads for $2.99 (also usually pushing $5), Pamela's gluten-free cookies for $2.49, Muir Glen organic tomatoes $1.29 for the 15ish ounce size, Westbrae organic canned beans $1.79 for the big 25 ounce size, and $3.79 or half pound Organic Valley cheeses. You'll find sale prices on a whole bunch of Justin's nut butter products, Annie's Naturals eight ounce salad dressings (evidently not the organics) are low at $2.19, Nut-Thin crackers are $1.99 a box, and my favorite Earth Balance buttery spreads (no cholesterol!) are fantastic at $3.25 each. Plus, being Vitamin Cottage, there are lots of good prices on supplements.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

A happy Easter morning. With a busy day ahead, this has to be quick. With beautiful fresh spring greens in hand from our very first Boulder Farmers' Market of the season, tomorrow just has to be sausage risotto with spring greens from Bon Appetit. You'll probably see this one come around quite a bit in the next few weeks, as I just can't get enough of it to celebrate our spring veggie season.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is a no-brainer, tonight's feast of ham, with some fresh veggies and maybe buttermilk-mashed potatoes added to freshen it up. A ham fritatta with spring veggies would be a great alternate.

For Wednesday, the ground meat sales happening at both Sunflower and Sprouts have me thinking again about Thai beef cabbage cups from Cooking Light. I've found these can be made with all sorts of ground meats, and am partial to something lean like the ground chicken breast on sale at Sprouts through Wednesday for $2.99 a pound.

For Thursday, I'll snag some of the boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale at Sunflower by Wednesday (or possibly the tenders at Sprouts for $1.97 a pound, effectively the same price at both stores). The current issue of Cooking Light has an easy recipe for mushroom sauce that's recommended for chicken, so a quick chicken saute with the sauce on the side, some microwaved "baked" potatoes from my organic russet bag from Sprouts' sale, a green veggie, and we're done.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning. Hope you have a glorious day.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Sampling At Sunflower

Our Boulder Sunflower plans to do an Easter sampling today from noon to 2 pm. They invite you to "hop on over to enjoy some Easter treats!"

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Just a reminder that today is the very first Boulder Farmers' Market of the year, starting at 8 this morning. They predict you'll find the wonderful winter/spring produce below, and some prepared foods folks will probably be making an early appearance as well.

* Lettuce
* Spinach
* Arugula
* Kale
* Chard
* Plant Starts
* Radishes
* Bok Choy
* Carrots
* Parsnips
* Potatoes
* Tomatoes
* And more!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Tomorrow

Just a reminder that our very first Boulder Farmers' Market of 2012 will be tomorrow, from 8 to 2 in downtown Boulder. Here are the early spring veggies and winter holdovers they say you should expect to find:

* Lettuce
* Spinach
* Arugula
* Kale
* Chard
* Plant Starts
* Radishes
* Bok Choy
* Carrots
* Parsnips
* Potatoes
* Tomatoes
* And more!

I am so, so psyched!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Happy Friday, and best wishes for celebrants of Passover starting this evening! Time just seems to be increasingly short, so here's a quick lowdown on the weekend plans. I'm thinking of salmon for this evening, and since that means farmed as we await our new fresh wild season in a few weeks, it will be either the Atlantic on sale at Sprouts for $8.99 a pound or the esteemed Norwegian on sale at Whole Foods for $14.99 a pound. I'm hoping it will go on the grill, but with a forecast including some winds, the fallback will be a baked recipe I've been wanting to try, wasabi salmon with bok choy, green cabbage and shiitakes from Bon Appetit.

Tomorrow is our very first Boulder Farmers' Market of 2012, and I'm planning to celebrate with by doing a pasta with lots of spring greens, something like peppery pasta with arugula and shrimp from Cooking Light, probably using both arugula and baby spring spinach. The more fresh spring greens, the better.

Easter Sunday will be a ham in this house, and I've already picked up a fine one at Whole Foods. On the side will be golden potatoes with caper-brown butter crumbs from Gourmet magazine. The capers will be a subtle tangy counterpoint to the ham, and making it with Earth Balance rather than butter takes out the cholesterol whammy. For the potatoes, Sprouts has organic russets for just $2.99 for a five pound bag. Since we also need a spring-like veggie, I'll get some of the asparagus that's $1.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower, either steaming it and serving with my own light mayo/herb mix, or doing something like asparagus with balsamic tomatoes from Cooking Light. And I recently saw an attractive recipe I need to track down for carrots with olive oil and lemon, which would capitalize on the organic baby carrots that Whole Foods has for $2.50 for a big two pound bag.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring Workshop At Alfalfa's

This coming Monday, the 9th, Alfalfa's will help you spring forward with a workshop to get you into the momentum of Spring. Here are their details:

Lighten Up! FREE Spring Workshop
Monday, April 9th
Alfalfa's Market

Monday, April 9th at 7:00pm


Learn to shed the sluggishness of winter and power up for Spring's new growth, with Licensed Five-Element Acupuncturist Kate Sciolino.

It's that time of year...
If you are feeling sluggish, tired, anxious, stuck, ungrounded, sick at the change of season, (or just curious), this FREE class is for you!

~Learn the basics of Spring Cleansing.
~Understand how the cycles of nature affect our health and behavior.
~Learn easy steps and recipes to live in harmony with the seasons.

Kate Sciolino, L.A.c helps her clients have extra spring in their steps. They report relief from symptoms, increased energy, focus, relaxation, and less use of the snooze button. Visit her website at for more info.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This Week's Hot Deals (IMHO)

Ah, Wednesday again. Time to redeem myself from last week, when the confluence of a jury duty summons and a stomach ailment conspired to prevent me from posting anything beyond the flyers for last week's sales. This blog is a labor of love after all, and when you can't stomach looking at a flyer of food pictures, there's no reason to push it. But health is restored, and the sales march on! We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while the sale that started last Wednesday at Whole Foods continues. There also should be a new sale at Vitamin Cottage, which I'll get checked out as soon as I can. Here's what's looking best to me of the sales in front of me now.

At Sprouts through April 11th, chicken breast tenders are looking very good at $1.97 a pound (but see below for boneless breasts at Sunflower), and you can also get Sprouts' fresh free range turkey for that same price. All chicken sausage (pork, too) is $2.99 a pound, and ground chicken, pork, or chicken breast also looks good at $2.99 a pound. They have spiral sliced hams for just $1.97 a pound, but if you care about things like nitrites and are shopping anywhere but Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage, it's always best to read the labels. Also, their presidential-cut standing rib roast or fresh Atlantic salmon are both $8.99 a pound. But the thing that totally excites me is seeing Imagine's wonderful broth at $2.50 a box. You can do even better at Whole Foods by using Whole Foods' own $1 off coupon, but that purchase should theoretically be limited to one box at a time. Sprouts' sale is a real stock-up opportunity. Organic produce continues to look good, and a five pound bag of organic russets for $2.99 will be handy this holiday weekend, while red yams are $1.29 a pound, celery is just 89 cents a bunch, Cello carrots are 89 cents for a one pound bag, onions are $1.99 for a three pound bag, and apples and pears also look good. In conventional produce, pineapples are just $1.50 each (even cheaper at Sunflower below, but consider the Whole Trade ones on sale for today only for $3), asparagus is $1.99 a pound (same at Sunflower), and their usually handsome avocados are 77 cents.

At Sunflower through the 11th, boneless skinless chicken breasts, which I'd prefer over tenders that Sprouts has on sale, are particularly good at $1.99 a pound for family packs, and I've been liking Sunflower's big 16/20 wild domestic raw shrimp, which are $6.99 a pound this week. Spiral sliced ham is $2.49 a pound, with the caveat above about reading labels. Several ground meats, including chicken or turkey breast or pork, are all 25% off, but that's hard to compare to Sprouts' prices above. In organic produce, sugar snap or snow peas look good at $3.99 a pound, red or green leaf lettuce is $1.50 a head, and bunch carrots, kale, or arugula are all $1.50 each (happy spring!). In conventional produce, Sunflower matches Sprouts with $1.99 a pound for asparagus and whops them on pineapple at just 97 cents each, but again, please consider today's one-day sale at Whole Foods for a Fair Trade pineapple.

Whole Foods' current sale started last week and runs through April 17th. They have American Homestead or Wellshire spiral sliced hams for $4.99 a pound (and they also usually have a nice selection of unsliced hams, including some demi sizes and even small Black Forest hams for those of us who aren't trying to feed an army). Fresh Norwegian salmon is $14.99 a pound (the Norwegian is rumored to be the finest, but for basic fresh Atlantic salmon, that's $8.99 a pound at Sprouts). Whole Foods' own yummy lemon thyme wild salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound, and beef sirloin tip roasts are $3 off at $4.99 a pound. Organic mini carrots are very good at $2.50 for a big two pound bag, and oatmeal or chocolate chip 2 Bite cookies look dangerous at $3 a container. My favorite Market Made large cinque formaggio pizza is a must at $7.99, and in the Bakehouse, both honey chia and rosemary sourdough breads are good at $2.99 a loaf. Finally, I've already mentioned that Imagine's wonderful broths are on sale for $3 a 32 ounce box, and that there's a $1 off coupon for it in the Whole Deal (in stores and online), giving it an excellent price of $2. But see also Sprouts above for a $2.50 stock-up price, where you wouldn't be limited to one box per coupon.

Happy shopping for this holiday weekend!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

One-Day Sale at Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 4th, our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a trio of special sales. While I've been guilty of buying cheaper conventional pineapples, this $3 price is a wonderful opportunity to support the admirable Whole Trade program. And the Shikai shower gels are a fave of mine, at a knockout price for tomorrow. Here's what they say:

One Day Sale

This Wednesday, April 4th only. While supplies last:

Whole Trade
Conventional Pineapple
2 for $6
(Save $1.99/ea)

Nature's Gate - 4oz.
Suncare Select Varieties
(save $5.50/ea)

Shikai - 12oz.
Shower Gel
(save $6/ea)

Free Scoop At Ben & Jerry's

Here's a nice thought to start off a snowy day. Today is free scoop day at Ben & Jerry's, which I'd hope includes our Boulder store at 1203 Pearl Street. The local store doesn't mention it on its own website, but the national B&J site says this event is "around the world." And their new Greek frozen yogurt is included too, hmmm.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Deal On Imagine Broth

Faithful readers (thank you!) know that I am practically rabid about the virtues of Imagine broth, bringing a depth of flavor to soups, casseroles, and especially to plain ol' rice, without any version of MSG, which is so often found in other broths. Its boxes store very well (look at how far out those expirations dates are), but I go through so much of it that my stock from the holiday sales this past winter is almost depleted. Since it usually runs near $3.50 for a 32 ounce box, a springtime deal is welcome news. Whole Foods has it on sale for $3 a box through the 17th, which is nothing to write home about by itself, but if you check out the March/April Whole Deal (either instore or online), you'll find a $1 off coupon for it, which is very good news indeed.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

On another record breaking high temperature day here in Boulder, it's time to get going on dinner ideas for the rest of the week. With tomorrow being the end of the Final Four, we could possibly just kick back with the big wing deal that Whole Foods is running through the 3rd: a 2.5 pound bucket of ready-to-eat chicken wings accompanied by 16 ounces of ranch dressing and a 22 ounce celery and carrot pack, all for $14.99. More likely we'll cook a real dinner, maybe a fun skillet supper like fingerling potato-leek hash with Swiss chard and eggs from Cooking Light. Sunflower has organic chard on sale for $1.50 a bunch through Wednesday, and if toast is going on the side, they also have my favorite Ezekiel bread at the excellent price of $2.99 for a loaf.

Tuesday is our usual easy reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is last night's chipotle beef stew from Gourmet magazine. All I'll have to do is make a side salad and set out some wheat tortillas.

We'll want a pasta dish by Wednesday, and something vegetarian sounds good. I'm torn between two iterations of the same taste: whether to go with Cooking Light's deliciously lightened version of fettuccine Alfredo, or to go all out with Mario Batali's decadently rich bavette cacio e pepe, bavette with cheese and pepper from his outstanding NYC restaurant, Lupa. Whole Foods does carry the cacio di Roma, at least at the Pearl Street store, if I decide to go the more decadent route.

Finally for Thursday, we'll be looking for a rice dish, since one has yet to appear this week. As we near our first Boulder Farmers' Market of the spring coming up this Saturday, it seems appropriate to do one final reliance on the bounty of the freezer to do shrimp and corn pilaf from Bon Appetit. It seems there's always a good price somewhere on frozen shrimp (Sunflower has 41/50 count for $3.99 a pound through Wednesday and Sprouts has 16/20 count for $6.99 a pound through then), and my freezer is still stocked with the fine guys I picked up at Whole Foods' one-day sale a week or so ago.

Which gets us through to next weekend's planning, involving both our first farmers' market of the year, and Easter. Happy April 1st today, no joke.