Thursday, May 31, 2012

Two-Day Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage

Just a nudge that you only have through this Saturday, the 2nd, to catch the current crop of specials at our Boulder Vitamin Cottage, aka Natural Grocers.  (Actually, if today counts, I guess that's a three-day heads up.)  There are so many good prices in the current set, I'll just refer you to my report at the start of the sale.  Hard to single out highlights when there are so many, but who knows what the next sale will bring, as well.

Wednesday, May 30, 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 one at Vitamin Cottage continues just until this Saturday, June 2nd.  Here's what's looking particularly good to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through June 6th, a Farm-Fresh Pork Extravaganza has a whole bunch of chops, ribs, and roasts at 30% off, and fresh (farmed) Atlantic salmon is $8.99 a pound (but I'd rather splurge on wild while it's in season).  In organic produce, red or green seedless grapes and yellow nectarines or peaches are all $2.99 a pound (same for all at Sunflower, but Whole Foods has the green organic grapes for $2.49), ushering in the summer fruit season.  Organic red or green leaf lettuce is $1.29 a head ($1.50 at Sunflower), baby carrots remain exceptionally low at $1.29 for a one pound bag (and I wonder if they're still ringing up at 99 cents), broccoli is $1.29 a pound, five pound bags of red potatoes are $3.99 each, and grape tomatoes are $1.99 a pint. 
At Sunflower through June 6th, ground turkey is low at $1.97 a pound (not as lean as ground turkey breast, but still enticing), while exceptionally lean 93% ground beef is $2.97 in the family pack size.  All varieties of chicken sausage are $2.99 a pound, as is their turkey meatloaf, which can be molded into excellent meatballs.  The $2.99 a pound theme continues into organic produce, being the price of red or green grapes (but $2.49 for the green at Whole Foods), apricots or pluots, and yellow peaches and nectarines.  Organic red or green leaf lettuce is $1.50 a head (cheaper at Sprouts), red or yellow onions are 99 cents a pound, and hothouse tomatoes are $1.50 a pound, a decent price, but up from the exceptional 99 cent sale ending today.  Select half gallons of Horizon organic milk are $2.99 each, and half pound balls of Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozz are $3.99 each.

At Whole Foods through June 12th, Scottish salmon steaks are $11.99 a pound (I find it easier to deal with a fillet, and the Scottish ones were just $14.99 a pound in the sale ended yesterday, but we're also now into the fresh, wild season, so why revert to farmed?).  Their yummy lemon thyme salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound.  In organic produce, heirloom tomatoes are $3.99 a pound (much tastier than a hothouse, although Sunflower has those for just $1.50 a pound), one pound packages of strawberries are $3.99 each, green grapes are $2.49 a pound (beating Sunflower), and cucumbers are $1.49 a pound, although I don't mind a conventional cucumber when I'm peeling it.  Their fantastic Bakehouse baguettes are $1.99 each (don't forget baguette days at the Superior Whole Foods, when they are practically given away for 99 cents each Wednesday), and Laughing Cow babybels are BOGO.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 30th, you can snag an organic mini watermelon at our local Whole Foods stores for $2.50.  Other stores often have conventional ones for even less, but this is a fine price for organic.  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale Wednesday
On Sale Wednesday, May 30th only:

Mini Watermelons

2 for $5
(save up to $3.49/ea)

Wondering About Atlantic Salmon

I've just finished reading Fall From Grace, a novel by Richard North Patterson.  Set on Martha's Vineyard, it contained at least two mentions of fresh salmon on menus of swanky restaurants.  I no longer have the book in hand, as others were waiting for it from the library, but the impression I retain is that the references were to local salmon.  While we fortunately have fresh, wild salmon coming from the Pacific coast (and yes, we're into the season - Copper River is here!), I had thought that wild Atlantic salmon had been fished to extinction.  Looking into it a little bit, I find that while commercial fishing of wild Atlantic salmon no longer exists, wild Atlantic salmon are precariously hanging onto life in small, but increasing, numbers.  So I do wonder if wild Atlantic salmon would in fact be served at a Martha's Vineyard restaurant.  I poked around a bit, looking at some sample menus online, and found plenty offering salmon, but in my limited research, I only encountered listings like "fresh salmon," "Atlantic salmon" (which typically refers to the farmed variety), or "wild salmon," but never the words "wild" and "Atlantic" together.  I guess someday I'll just have to research this myself onsite.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

With runners duly dropped off for the Bolder Boulder, it's time to get back to planning food for the rest of the week.  I've already covered the smoked ribs planned for tonight's Memorial Day dinner, and Tuesdays are our customary reheats of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit, which only leaves Wednesday and Thursday to figure out.  Looking for something light for Wednesday, I'm thinking of a spin on our recent fave, Thai beef cabbage cups from Cooking Light, using organic iceberg that's $1.50 a head at Sunflower through Wednesday instead of the cabbage (how long has it been since we've had iceberg?) and ground chicken or turkey breast, both 25% off at Sunflower, instead of beef.

I'll also catch some of the very large 16/25 count raw shrimp that are $6.99 a pound through Wednesday at Sunflower for Thursday's dinner, which will be spicy shrimp and fettuccine from Cooking Light.  Sunflower also has organic hothouse tomatoes for the astoundingly low price of 99 cents a pound through Wednesday for both the pasta and the side salad.

Which very quickly gets us through the rest of the week.  Happy Memorial Day, and take time to thank a veteran today!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Dinner

I usually figure out all the rest of the week's dinner plans by Sunday morning, but with the holiday, that doesn't seem to be happening.  Is it that we get even busier around holidays, or does the extra time throw our time management skills out the window?  In any case, the plan for tomorrow is to put some of the fine American Homestead boneless country style pork ribs that Whole Foods has on sale for $3.99 a pound into the smoker for a good long time.  Country style ribs also work well on a grill, if you don't want to dedicate the time to smoking.  We'll counter the rib decadence with light and fresh potato salad from Cooking Light, which uses rice vinegar instead of mayonaise, and other veggies practically outnumber the potatoes.  Some corn on the cob (obviously not yet local, but it is domestic, coming in from California and Florida), and we'll have a feast.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Start your Memorial Day weekend off well by loading up on fresh, seasonal, preferably organic produce at the Boulder Farmers' Market, starting at 8 this morning.  You can see their entire list of produce to expect here.  Also, remember that the Boulder Creek Festival runs from today through Monday.  Check that link for the full schedule, and keep in mind that parking is likely to get crowded.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Party Guides

Looking for something new to put on the grill this Memorial Day weekend?  Here are a few guides to help you out:  the Ultimate Grilling and Barbecue Guide from Epicurious, Whole Foods' Guide to Grilling, 101 Summertime Grilling Recipes from Bon Appetit, and Memorial Day Recipes from Food and Wine magazine.  Those should get you motivated.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Given that it's Memorial Day weekend, this will be a weekend dedicated with grilling.  For tonight, I splurged on the fresh Scottish salmon that's $14.99 a pound at Whole Foods, so something like that will be left to shine on its own on the grill, perhaps with a special side, as in grilled salmon with roasted corn relish from Cooking Light.

With boneless, skinless chicken breasts $1.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower this week, tomorrow will be grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit.  The ratatouille makes a glorious veggie side, suitable for accompanying lots of additional possibilities.  I'll be making plenty of both components, as this will also serve as our quick Tuesday reheat.

With runners in the family and the Bolder Boulder on Monday, Sunday will be a carbing up evening, possibly Cooking Light's very lightened version of fettuccine Alfredo, for a vegetarian option.  But I'm a little inclined to skip dairy altogether, going with a high quality pasta sauce such as my favorite Muir Glen, dressed up with sauteed onions, mushrooms, and peppers, plus some freshly grated parmesan on top of whole wheat fettuccine or spaghetti.

Monday preview:  for Memorial Day, the American Homestead country style pork ribs from Whole Foods (on sale for $3.99 a pound) will be going in the smoker.  The race will be over, and hey, you gotta eat ribs sometime.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Copper River Salmon Is Here

So this year's fresh, wild salmon season has begun.  I saw Copper River sockeye at the Pearl Street Whole Foods today for $24.99 a pound.  Pricey enough, but the fish monger told me they were expecting it to arrive at $10 more, so we're lucky.  Prices will certainly drop though, as the fresh wild season progresses.

BBQ Dinner At Whole Foods

Here's another bbq option on the prepared foods front.  In addition to the grilled ribs from Sprouts in the post below, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will be offering a prepared bbq dinner tomorrow to kick off the holiday weekend.  Here's what they say:

Friday, May 25th
Memorial Weekend Kick-Off BBQ

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Prepared Foods Department

Start your holiday weekend off right with a great BBQ dinner from our prepared foods department. All of the proceeds will benefit our Small Change Adds Up school- Sunset Middle School.

BBQ'd Ribs At Sprouts

If you'd like to take the work out of bbqing for your Memorial Day weekend, our Boulder Sprouts is ready to help you out with baby back ribs grilled right at the store on mesquite with Polynesian bbq sauce. Full racks will be $10.99 each plus tax tomorrow and Saturday, from 11 am to 6 pm, or while they last.  Take them home, heat them up, and pretend you slaved over them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Sunflower, while current sales continue at Whole Foods (through May 29th) and Vitamin Cottage (through June 2nd) (click for prior reports).  Here's what's looking particularly good to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through May 30th, boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound in the value pack, and you'll find the same at Sunflower.  Chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound, while boneless ribeyes or New York steaks are $9.99 a pound (same for the ribeyes at Sunflower).  Extremely big 16/20 count shrimp are $7.99 a pound, but $6.99 at Sunflower for 16/25 "broken" (and the ones I've bought have never seemed "broken").  In organic produce, cauliflower is great at 99 cents, one pound bags of baby carrots are excellent at $1.29 each (same as last week, but they were actually ringing up at 99 cents, unheard of), broccoli is $1.29 a pound (but 99 cents at Sunflower), red yams are also $1.29 a pound, and red delicious apples are 99 cents a pound.  In cheese, Jarlsberg is $6.99 a pound, and my favorite Rondele spreads are BOGO.

At Sunflower through the 30th, family packs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound (same at Sprouts), while a "grind festival" has 25% off ground chicken, turkey, chicken breast, turkey breast, and two types of burger.  Bone-in ribeyes are $7.99 a pound, while boneless are $9.99, and 16/25 count "broken" (but they never seem to be) raw shrimp are $6.99 a pound.  Center-cut bone-in pork loin chops are $2.99 a pound, so you'd do much better to catch the last day of Sprouts' $1.88 a pound sale today for boneless (and they freeze well).  In organic produce, broccoli and hothouse tomatoes both look great at 99 cents a pound, with red or yellow onions also 99 cents a pound, and iceberg or romaine lettuce $150 a head.  Finally, Blue Diamond smokehouse almonds look irresistible at $3.99 a pound in the bulk department.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

There will be just one item in tomorrow's special one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores, but raspberry fans should be happy.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

One Day Sale Wednesday
On Sale Wednesday, May 23rd only:

Organic - 6oz.

2 for $5
(save up to $3.49/ea)

Butcher Competition At Whole Foods

Hard on the heels of their fish monger contest, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a local butcher competition this Thursday, the 24th, at noon.  Here's what they say:

Thursday, May 24th

Best Butcher Competition
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Meat Department

Our Boulder-area butchers are fired up for our second annual Best Butcher competition, so make sure you don’t miss the excitement! Each butcher will show of his or her expert meat cutting skill and we’ll crown a winner to compete in the semi-finals.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Simple Supper Sampling At Sunflower

There's another one to try to say five times quickly.  This Wednesday, the 23rd, our Boulder Sunflower will offer a Simple Supper Recipe Sampling from 3 to 5 pm, when they invite you to "stop by to try a new recipe and take home the ingredients...tonight!"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

On this spectacular Boulder morning following yesterday's rain, I need to finally get outside and plant my annuals, having managed to resist the urge to do that too early with all the tempting warm weather we've had, so this list will be quick.

The incredible deal Sprouts has on boneless center-cut pork chops for $1.88 a pound will figure into my plans twice this week, starting with tomorrow, which will be five-spice pork stir-fry with soba noodles from Bon Appetit.  I love the quick-cooking sobas, but the stir-fry is also good over brown rice.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is our springtime adaption of baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens from, made with Cure Organic Farm's wonderful braising mix and some organic spinach instead of collards.

With ground turkey breast $3.99 a pound at both Sprouts and Sunflower through Wednesday, that day will be spicy turkey burgers from Bon Appetit.  I don't usually serve them on bread, but Whole Foods has a really good sale on their Bakehouse buns right now.

We'll be back to those nice pork chops from Sprouts for Thursday, doing a simple pork chop saute, followed by a reduction of the pan juices with a little wine.  A microwaved "baked" potato and something green will round out the meal.

Onward to planting my annuals!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Maybe today's the perfect day to make your way to the Boulder Farmers' Market, since the weather might cut down on the crushing crowds just a bit.  The Market starts at eight this morning, and runs until 2.  For planning purposes, you can check out produce you can expect to find at their listing here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Weekend Dinner Plans

I definitely know what will be on deck for dinner this weekend, but am a bit conflicted about the order of it.  Today is looking like a great grilling day, with highs pushing towards 90 and little chance of storms, and Sunday is forecast to be a pretty good one too, while tomorrow's temperature plunge and likely rain will make it a great day to stay inside.  My conflict comes from what to grill today versus Sunday.  I see two particularly interesting possibilities:  burgers from today's Buck A Burger sale at Whole Foods, and the fresh wild halibut from the Sea of Cortez that Sprouts has for $12.99 a pound (although I haven't yet seen the fish myself).  Other fish possibilities include Whole Foods' $14.99 a pound sale on fresh farmed Scottish salmon, and a tantalizing report I've received from a friend that the Gunbarrel King Supers has fresh farmed Norwegian salmon for $9.99 a pound.  Since I usually use ground meat within a day or so of purchase, I'll get the opinion of the meat dudes at Whole Foods about waiting until Sunday to use the burgers I'll be buying at today's one-day sale, since my preference for today is to grill some fish, preferably the halibut if I'm pleased with it.

With some rain likely for tomorrow (yay!) and temperatures way down, I'll do a springtime adaptation of baked rigatoni with ricotta and collard greens from  Instead of mature collards, I'll use a big bag of spring braising mix from Cure Organic Farm (either from tomorrow's Boulder Farmers' Market or from their farm store, now open at 75th and Valmont).  Other options include the organic spinach that's $1.50 a bunch this week at Whole Foods, or the organic kale that's $1.29 a bunch at Sprouts.

So Sunday rests with what I decide today about grilling.  At this moment, the chance for afternoon storms is slightly greater for Sunday than today, and a burger from today's one-day sale at Whole Foods would do better on the indoor grill pan, should that become necessay, than a piece of halibut would fare.  So if the meat dudes at Whole Foods think this would be okay, I'll wait until Sunday to grill the burgers, either indoors or out.  Whole Foods also has a great deal right now on burger buns from their Bakehouse, $2.50 a package.  Although I'm not seeing them in the ads, organic sweet potatoes will go on the side, either in foil packages on the grill, or as spears in the oven.

Which gets us, in a flaky way, through the weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunflower Sausage Sampling Saturday

Say that five times fast.  This Saturday, the 19th, our Boulder Sunflower plans a sausage sampling from noon to 2 pm.  They say, "We're firing up the grill! Stop by to sample some of our sausage made fresh daily at Sunflower!"

Wednesday, May 16, 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 (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking particularly good to me, IMHO, as always.

At Sprouts through May 23rd, center cut pork loin chops are fantastic at $1.88 a pound ($3.99 at Sunflower), fresh Atlantic salmon steaks are $6.99 a pound, fresh wild caught halibut is $12.99 a pound, bone-in split chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound in the value pack, and turkey tenders or ground turkey breast are both $3.99 a pound (same at Sunflower).  Organic produce is on a $1.29 kick, with broccoli or cauliflower $1.29 a pound, red or green leaf lettuce $1.29 a head, one pound packages about as low as they ever go at $1.29 each, and kale $1.29 a bunch.  They're also continuing to have a variety of gluten-free lines on sale.

At Sunflower through May 23rd, 93% lean (very lean, perhaps even too lean) grass-fed ground beef looks good at $3.99 a pound.  Boneless pork country style ribs are $2.99 a pound (perfect in a smoker, or even just grilled, but look below to Whole Foods for another option), while boneless turkey tenders, ground turkey breast, ground chicken breast, and boneless pork loin chops are all $3.99 a pound (see Sprouts above for a much better price on the chops).  Organic produce seems to be focusing more on fruit this week, but broccoli is $1.50 a pound, baby carrots are $1.50 a one pound bag, red or green leaf lettuce or romaine are all $1.50 a head (all actually less at Sprouts), and cucumbers are 99 cents each.  A whole bunch of gluten-free products are 33% off, and select Brown Cow yogurts are 69 cents.

At Whole Foods through the 29th, fresh Scottish salmon is $14.99 a pound (aren't we just about to see the start of the wild season?), boneless pork country style ribs are $3.99 a pound ($1 cheaper at Sunflower, but these are American Homestead), and beef or turkey cowboy burgers are $4.99 a pound (but check out Friday's one-day buck a burger sale for a lower per pound price, if they include the cowboy burgers).  Bakehouse burger or hot dog buns are $2.50 a package, which is $1.49 off, and their marvelous half-sized pies are $5 each.  Santa Cruz organic lemonade is practically being given away at $1 a 32 ounce bottle, and organic spinach is also good at $1.50 a bunch.  My favorite Pamela's gluten-free cookies are $3 a package, although Sprouts just had them for less, and they might be less in Sunflower's current gluten-free sale.  Finally, a large Market Made pepperoni pizza looks great at $8.99.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Organic cluster tomatoes will be the feature of tomorrow's one-day sale at our local Whole Foods stores.  Maybe find some nice fat, round ones to slice up to go with this Friday's buck-a-burger sale.  These are usually quite pricey, which I know from having my $1.99 organic sale romas being charged at the full cluster price a couple of days ago (customer service made amends immediately, an overcharge of about $6).  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale Wednesday
On Sale Wednesday, May 16th only:

Cluster Tomatoes
(save up to $3/lb)

Cure Organic Store Opens Tomorrow

Yippee!!!  The store for my very favorite Cure Organic Farm opens for the season tomorrow at 11 am.  They're tucked away on the southwest corner of 75th and Valmont, which is a pleasant bike ride from Boulder.  The Cure store alone is more than enough reason to go, but once Munson Farm's stand opens across the street with the start of the corn season in July, the place becomes a virtual foodie farm mecca.  Cure will be open from 11 to 6 Wednesdays through Fridays, and 10 to 4 on weekends.  In addition to their own wonderful organic veggies, they have their own meats, plus many other interesting things to peruse.  While I do love the Boulder Farmers' Market, the Cure store offers a chance to get the same farm-fresh organic produce in a serene setting, without the crowds.

Food Allergy Coaching At Sunflower

In a Food Allergies and Your Health event tomorrow, the 16th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, our Boulder Sunflower tells us that "Dr. Julieanne Neal will be here to help you with food choices."

Monday, May 14, 2012

Big Burger Sale Coming Up At Whole Foods

This coming Friday, the 18th, our local Whole Foods stores will be throwing a Buck A Burger sale, with burgers ready to go on the grill at $1 each.  It says to check with your store for varieties, so I wonder if they'll have my very favorite Hatch green chile burgers.  Here's part of what they say:

The buck stops here. Buck-A-Burger, that is! Whole Foods Market’s popular Buck-A-Burger one-day sale is back on Friday, May 18. Ready-to-grill burgers will be on sale for just $1 each. Arrive early… it’s a great chance to stock up on patties to please the party-goers at your Memorial Day cookout (limit: 20 burgers per person).

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Happy Mother's Day on this kind of chilly, gray Boulder morning.  Today's weather may influence tonight and tomorrow's dinner plans; tonight was supposed to be outdoor grilling, while I was thinking of one last round of pizza alla salsiccia (sausage pizza) from Cooking Light for tomorrow before things heat back up around here.  Since they're now saying there's a possibility of showers instead of clearing for this afternoon, I might just flip things, doing the pizza tonight and the grilling tomorrow.  We'll see.  (Chicken sausage for the pizza is $2.99 a pound at Sunflower, and if you limit it to basil chicken sausage, the same at Sprouts.)

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the sweet corn chowder with hot-smoked salmon, also from Cooking Light.  The corn that I got at six ears for a dollar at Sunflower a couple of days ago was really pretty nice.

I'm thinking about the ground chicken breast that's $3.99 a pound at Sunflower through Wednesday to do a spin on the Thai dish variously known as laab, larb, larp, and maybe other names.  The Thai cabbage cups I've been doing from Cooking Light are a form of this, but this time I might try larb chicken salad from Bon Appetit.  The recipe describes it in appetizer servings, but larb makes a nice, light dinner.  The dish could also be made with the ground pork that's $2.97 a pound at Sprouts; at the Thai restaurant in Louisville where I first encountered the dish, it was made with pork.

Thursday frankly is still up in the air.  Whole Foods has been coming up with such enticing one-day sales on Wednesdays recently, they've been throwing my Thursday plans out the window.  I might just wait to see if Wednesday brings an interesting sale, and if not, fall back on a staple from the pantry like linguine with clam sauce.  Cento makes a nice canned white clam sauce that's always in the cupboard, and there's always a wedge of parmesan and salad fixings in the fridge, plus tomatoes on the counter (never refrigerated!).

Which basically gets us to Friday's planning.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chicken Wrap Demo Monday

At lunchtime this Monday, the 14th, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will demo their Tuscan chicken wraps.  If tempted to buy and you still have your March/April issue of The Whole Deal, there's a coupon in there good through the end of this month for $2 off any grab-and-go Health Starts Here wrap.  Here are Whole Foods' details:

Monday, May 14th
Health Starts Here Tuscan Chicken Wrap Demo

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Prepared Foods Department
Looking for an exciting lunch idea? Stop by the Pearl Street store for a taste of something new. Our Tuscan Chicken Wrap may be just the thing you’re looking for.

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Just a reminder that the Saturday edition of our Farmers' Market starts at 8 this morning.  Perhaps today's weather will keep the crowds down to manageable.  You can see the complete list of produce to expect here, but I think it's worth going just for the radishes and green garlic alone.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Having overcome (at least temporarily) my family's boycott of pea tendrils/shoots, I'm going to ignore today's cooler temperatures and celebrate spring tonight with a recipe that appeared Wednesday in the Daily Camera, grilled Cure Farm pea shoots with crispy polenta and cumin yogurt.  I picked up my pea shoots at Wednesday's Boulder Farmers' Market (yes, from the Cure Organic Farm booth), but you could always do the same at tomorrow's market, if this appeals.  Since this recipe comes from one of my favorite restaurants, The Kitchen, I'll adapt to simplify it, using ground cumin instead of toasting and grinding the seeds.  This undoubtedly will hinder some subtlety of the dish, but one can only do so much (that's what restaurants are for, after all).  Also, Whole Foods' bulk department sells grits/polenta that cooks quickly, done in a few minutes instead of the 45 called for in the recipe.  I find the use of the word "grilled" in the recipe curious; there's no way a delicate green like pea shoots would be going on a barbeque grill, so I'm assuming they mean done quickly in a hot pan.

I'm thinking about the California corn that Sunflower has at six ears for $1 for tomorrow, which will be sweet corn chowder with hot-smoked salmon from Cooking Light.  It's my enthusiasm for the arrival of domestic sweet corn that's driving this.  While the corn might be cheap, the hot-smoked salmon won't be.

Sunday is Mother's Day, and if my mother were in the area, I would be treating her to a lovely dinner out (with reservations made considerably in advance, since this is graduation weekend in addition to Mother's Day).  That not being the case, and with the weather expected to clear, we'll hit the grill outside, doing either steaks (boneless New York strips $5.99 a pound at Sprouts, several steak cuts 40% off at Sunflower), or the boneless beef short ribs that are $3.99 a pound at Sprouts).  More of that corn on the cob from Sunflower will undoubtedly go on the side.

Which gets us through to Sunday's planning.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Supper Club At Whole Foods

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host another Health Starts Here Supper Club next Tuesday for $20, RSVP needed in advance.  Here are the details from them:

Tuesday, May 15th

Health Starts Here Supper Club

6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
$20 per person, plus tax

West Patio
Love the 28-Day challenge last January, but running out of ideas for recipes? You’re in luck! Our monthly supper club will keep you on track and provide you with the motivation you need to stay on a healthy track. RSVP to sarah.morgan at or stop by our customer service desk.

Ideas For Mom At Sunflower

In the nick of time for Mother's Day on Sunday, our Boulder Sunflower will have Mother's Day Gift Suggestions from noon to 2 pm this Saturday, the 12th.  They say, "We have a wide variety of treats for Mom!"

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Boulder Farmers' Market This Afternoon

We're now into the season of having the luxury of the midweek Boulder Farmers' Market available to us, in addition to the Saturday market.  On this spectacular, sunny day, consider heading out to the Market this afternoon, which runs from 4 to 8 pm today.  You can see the entire list of produce to expect here.  (Anyone reading this post later than this week, please note that that link will change to reflect each new week's offerings.)  The green garlic I bought last Saturday has been spectacularly successful, going into everything from salad dressing to coq au vin.  Pea tendrils also still get me excited, and I'm currently working on the rest of my family to join that excitment; I evidently overdid the enthusiasm for them last year, and there's a bit of a pea shoot boycott happening in my house right now.  Regardless, get out and enjoy the sunshine and spring veggies if you can!

Ladies Luxuriate At Whole Foods

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a Ladies of Luxury event with Pangea tomorrow, the 10th.  Here's what they say:

Thursday, May 10th

Pangea and Whole Foods Ladies of Luxury Event

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street Whole Body Department
In celebration of beautiful moms everywhere, Whole Foods and Pangea are partnering up to pamper mom this May. Bring her in for a mini facial and hand massage and while you’re here, pick up a voucher for $2 off admission to the Yves Saint Lauren exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, running now through July 8th. For more information, visit:

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 for prior reports).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

At Sprouts through May 16th, boneless New York strip steaks are low at $5.99 a pound, filet mignon is $14.99 a pound, boneless beef short ribs are $3.99 a pound, and ground pork is $2.97 a pound.  They're having a gluten-free sale this week, which doesn't appear to be their special storewide sale, but a bunch of gluten-free products are 25% off.  In organic produce, grape tomatoes continue to look good at $1.99 a pint, broccoli and cauliflower are both $1.29 a pound, red or green leaf lettuce is $1.29 a head, and there are several good fruit deals, including a one pound clamshell of organic strawberries for $3.99.  Their wonderful bulk coffee is $1 off at $8.99 a pound, and includes a fair trade, organic decaf, a rarity at that price.

Through the 16th at Sunflower, a whole bunch of steaks are all 40% off, all chicken sausage is $2.99 a pound, top round steak is low at $3.99 a pound, beef stew meat is $4.99 a pound, and ground chicken breast is $3.99 a pound.  Fresh Atlantic farmed salmon is $8.99 a pound, but $5.99 a pound with card at King Soopers, and also check out today's one-day sale on fresh Norwegian salmon at Whole Foods (the post just below this).  In organic produce, romaine lettuce is $1.50 a head, one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.50 each, yellow onions are 99 cents a pound, and yams are $1.50 a pound.  But the stellar sale is in conventional, with California sweet corn at six ears for $1 (limit 12).  Select varieties of Evol's great burritos (six to eight ounces) look low at $1.50 each, my favorite Cascade Fresh yogurts are 69 cents each, and half pound balls of Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozz are $3.99 each (pair it with organic romas that were $1.99 a pound at Sunflower when I was there a few days ago, and are officially on sale for that price at Whole Foods).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

For tomorrow only, the 9th, our local Whole Foods stores will be offering us a quartet of special sales.  I'm particularly interested in the Norwegian salmon (although I get along better with a fillet than a steak cut), but the others look pretty good, too.  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale
On Sale Wednesday, May 9th only:

(save $2/lb)

Fresh Norwegian
Salmon Steak
(save $6/lb)

34 Degrees
Sweet Crisps
2 for $6
(save $1.49/ea)

Giovanni - 8oz.
Shampoo & Conditioner
Select Varieties
(save $4.50/ea)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Free Haagen-Dazs Tomorrow

Tomorrow is free cone day from 4 to 8 pm at Haagen-Dazs stores, including our one on the Pearl Street Mall, and also the Flatiron Crossing one.  Details here.  It's a chilly, rainy (yay!) Boulder morning today, but we'll probably have better ice cream weather by tomorrow evening.

Mother's Day Coming Up

With Mother's Day nearly upon us next Sunday, the 13th, think about how to celebrate Mom in a way she'll really appreciate.  I'd say get her as far away from the kitchen as possible by taking her out.  But if she enjoys special homemade efforts, check out these guides for ideas:  Mother's Day from Epicurious, Mother's Day Tea Recipes from Bon Appetit, and Whole Foods' 6 Parties That'll Make Any Mom Proud.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stir Fry Lunch Tomorrow

The Whole Foods store in Superior will be offering a special stir fry lunch tomorrow for $5.  Here's how they describe it:

Monday, May 7th

Stir Fry Lunch

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Prep Foods
Looking for a change for lunch? Enjoy a stir fry lunch in our Prep Foods Dept. Choose your veggies from the salad bar, noodles or rice, and a choice of sauce: peanut, pineapple teriyaki, or sesame ginger.

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Looking at a cooler and hopefully wetter Sunday, it's time to do some quick dinner planning for the rest of the week.  I picked up a beautiful bag of mixed spring braising mix from Cure Organic Farm at the Boulder Farmers' Market yesterday, which will star tomorrow in one of my favorite dishes for this time of year, sausage risotto with spring greens from Bon Appetit.  Some of the green garlic I got at Red Wagon Organic Farm's booth will also improvise its way into the dish.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is our shrimp and scallop posole, also from Bon Appetit.  With a side salad (with gorgeous radishes from Red Wagon) and maybe some tortillas, that's dinner.

Fresh domestic sweet corn from Florida and California has so exploded onto our Boulder grocery scene in the past few days, I'm going to jump the seasonal gun on Wednesday by making a dish I usually reserve for our local corn season that won't be until July, Mark Bittman's pasta with corn, zucchini and tomatoes from the New York Times.  Red Wagon Farm's green garlic will find its way into the dish, and their radishes will embellish the side salad again.  Whole Foods has beautiful corn in a special weekender sale of four for $1, at least at the Pearl Street store, but I might want to buy it closer to preparation day.  Organic romas are $1.99 right now at both the Pearl Street store and at Sunflower, and I'd find those tastier than the hothouse organics that Sunflower has for even less, $1.50 a pound.

With boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99 a pound at Sunflower in the value pack through Wednesday, and no Asian dish yet appearing in this week's plans, Thursday will be Kung Pao chicken from Cooking Light.  I bet the last of my bunch of green garlic from Red Wagon Farm will make it into this dish, or maybe will flavor the brown rice beneath it instead.

Which gets us through to Friday's planning. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Love Those Supermarket Trivia Contests

I love the surprise of a little trivia challenge to go along with my grocery shopping.  While I was buying some chicken sausage today at Sunflower, the meat guy said he'd give me an extra sausage if I could identify the band that was playing over the PA.  He also said that almost no one ever got his questions right.  But since Fleetwood Mac was obviously playing, that extra sausage was an easy win as far as I was concerned (perhaps he underestimated his contestant - maybe I have the air of someone who's spent their life under a rock???).  Fleetwood Mac may have been a slam dunk, but I particularly savor the time I won a Chocolove bar at the checkout counter at Whole Foods by naming the northernmost capital in the world, which is Reykjavik.  Gotcha, guys!

Pearl Whole Foods Is Hopping Today

Big doings today at the Whole Foods store on Pearl Street.  I managed to get there shortly before the end of the Cinco de Mayo taco throwdown contest, and my, what a competition it was.  I had time to sample the verdura, the carne, the bison, the tilapia, and at least one other one, and who knows what all else I missed, as they were scattered throughout the store.  While they were all astonishingly good, my fave, the tilapia, won the contest by popular vote at the 2 pm closing.  They're also doing an unannounced weekender sale, with handsome domestic corn for 25 cents an ear.  The sign didn't say from where, but I'd guess either Florida or California.  Then to top it off, they're conducting a market research project at the checkout lines, and if you have a home landline to give them (increasingly a rarity), they'll give you a free reusable lunch-sized bag to thank you for helping them identify where their customers are coming from.  So I departed with my groceries (including Hatch chile burgers made especially for me, as their stock had flown out of the case), a tummy happy with multiple excellent taco samples, fresh corn to celebrate the domestic's first of the season arrival, and a free lunch bag, to boot.  Way to go, Whole Foods!

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

You'll have from 8 this morning to 2 to head out to today's Farmers' Market, where you'll still be able to bring your dog, until June 2nd.  The list of available produce is expanding rapidly, and you can view it here.  Pea tendrils!  Walking onions!  Lovage!  But what, pray tell, is minutina?  P.S.  The Wednesday evening market has now opened for the season, too.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Free Stuff From Sprouts

I've previously sung the praises of Sprouts' monthly e-newsletter, which usually includes a coupon or two, and this month's is a bonanza.  It has three coupons: one for $1 off Dr. Bronner's Shikakai pump soaps (which are also currently on sale), but even better, a coupon for a free pint (yes, a generous pint, not a little cup) of Chobani yogurt, and a free 8.1 ounce (that's the real size, not a little snack size) bag of Garden of Eatin' tortilla chips.  If you haven't already signed up, you can do so using the e-news link from Sprouts' homepage.  While it's too late this newsletter that's already out, who knows what the future will bring.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Happy Friday, time to get dinners planned.  Tonight's looking like our best grilling night of the weekend, so it will be outside for some salmon.  I missed out on the Norwegian salmon deal mentioned in a comment by Ms. A., so it looks like I'll have to content myself with the Atlantic at Sprouts for $8.99 a pound.  (But at least we're getting very close to the fresh wild season - very close indeed.) Although we have a long way to go to our local corn season, the arrival of fresh domestic corn from Florida and California this week (I've seen it at Whole Foods, and Sunflower is advertising it) prompts a celebration with grilled salmon with roasted corn relish from Cooking Light.  My frozen supply of roasted chiles from last fall's season will be of help with this, too.

For Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, I'm thinking a posole will be on deck, probably a shrimp and scallop posole from Bon Appetit, although a classic pork posole would be good too.  Sprouts has the best deal on the shrimp, with 26/30 count ones already peeled and deveined for $5.99 a pound, but scallops don't seem to be on the sale radar right now.

Since Sunday evening holds out the promise for a little rain (dare we hope?), we'll settle in for some comfort food.  With boneless skinless chicken breasts just $1.99 a pound at Sunflower, it will be quick coq au vin from Bon Appetit.  As coq au vin recipes go, it really is pretty easy, yet it gets four forks out of four in its reviews.

Which gets us through to Sunday's planning.  Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Taco Throwdown At Whole Foods Pearl

Taste your way through Cinco de Mayo at the Pearl Street Whole Foods Taco Throwdown this Saturday, the 5th.  Here's what they say:

Saturday, May 5th
Cinco De Mayo Taco Throwdown

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

2905 Pearl Street Boulder, Co. 80301
Stop by the Pearl Street store for a taste of Cinco De Mayo when all of our teams go head-to-head in our second annual Taco Throwdown. You’ll be able to stop by each department, taste all of the tacos and then vote for your favorite.

Wednesday, May 2, 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 (click that link for my prior report).  It's not looking like the most exciting sale week we've ever seen, but here's what's looking good to me.

At Sprouts through May 9th, 93% lean (quite lean) ground beef is $2.99 a pound, 26 to 30 count peeled and deveined raw shrimp are $5.99 a pound, boneless country style pork ribs are $2.49 a pound ($2.99 at Sunflower), and fresh farmed salmon is $8.99 a pound.  In a salute to Cinco de Mayo, both carne asada and pollo asado are $2.99 a pound (same price at Sunflower for the pollo, but the carne is $4.99 a pound there).  In organic produce, kale is $1.29 a bunch, cauliflower is $1.29 a pound, one pound bags of baby carrots are $1.50, grape tomatoes remain low at $1.99 a pint, several fruit deals looks good (strawberries $3.99 for a one pound container), but broccoli has bumped up a bit to $1.49 a pound.  In conventional produce, avocados and artichokes are both 88 cents, and pineapples are 97 cents each.

Through the 9th at Sunflower, family packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, and in Cinco de Mayo offerings, pollo asado and chicken fajitas are $2.99 a pound, but their carne asada is $4.99 a pound ($2.99 for both pollo and carne at Sprouts).  In organic produce, I'm glad to see hothouse tomatoes at $1.50 a pound, cucumbers 99 cents each, and leaf lettuce or romaine $1.50 a bunch, while cauliflower and broccoli are $1.50 a pound (broccoli effectively the same but cauliflower $1.29 a pound at Sprouts).  In conventional produce, artichokes are 99 cents each (88 cents at Sprouts), avocados are 77 cents, and the first sweet corn from California has arrived at three ears for $1.  Also notable is 25% off the gluten-free lines by Udi's, Rudi's, and French Meadow (look for a $1 off coupon for Rudi's gluten-free in the Mambo Sprouts books usually available at Sunflower and Sprouts' checkout lines).

At Whole Foods through May 15th, I'm liking their tequila lime salmon burgers for $7.99 a pound.  They also have Hatch green chile burgers for $4.99 a pound, a rarely seen product that is oh so good, and sometimes available as a turkey as well as a beef burger, but also a good reminder about how easy it is to make the same myself from my stash of roasted chiles in my freezer.  I'm also liking organic roma tomatoes for $1.99 a pound (Sunflower has organic hothouse tomatoes for less at $1.50, but a roma tends to be a tastier tomato than a hothouse in my book).  Five olive bread is pretty good at $2.99 a loaf from the Bakehouse, and my favorite Seventh Generation dish liquid is also appealing at $2.50.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of specials just for tomorrow, the 2nd.  Since the salmon is wild sockeye, I'd assume it's previously frozen from last season.  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale
On Sale Wednesday, May 2nd only:
Hass Avocados
4 for $5
(save $1.24/ea)

Wild Alaskan
Sockeye Salmon
(save $5/lb)

Musings From Today's Shopping

Getting in a little midweek shopping today, I was most bummed to get home from my Sprouts trip and discover that the avocado that I had bought (and paid for - it's on the receipt) did not make it into my shopping bag.  I'm sure they'll rectify the error on my next trip, but that's not going to help for tonight's salad.  I've learned to make sure the little things like jalapenos get packed at any store, but I don't recall something as big as an avocado getting missed.

Meanwhile, a hefty display of fresh corn from Florida was causing quite a buzz at the Pearl Street Whole Foods.  It seems we're more than ready to throw off cabin fever and rush headlong into summer.  It was selling at 50 cents an ear, and I can see that Sunflower expects to have California corn at three for $1 starting tomorrow.  In other Whole Foods news, I discovered that they've added a 365 cold pressed extra virgin olive oil sold in one liter bottles for $6.99 each.  It's a "Mediterranean blend" that beats their one liter tins identified by provenance by $1.  Both are great deals for basic cooking oils that we go through in quantity.

Baguette Bliss

It looks like there's a competition between Bon Appetit and Saveur magazines this month to seduce us with the most mouth-watering bread pictures.  The covers of both May issues feature stunning photography of baguettes (with apologies to my gluten-free friends).  Saveur's is titled "Make This Bread," while Bon Appetit's is the "Insider's Guide To Paris."  I'll take both.