Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekday Dinner Plans

Happy Easter on a beautiful Boulder morning.  I covered our Easter dinner a couple of posts below, and with much to do on this gorgeous day, looking at the rest of the week will be quick.

We'll want something vegetarian tomorrow after tonight's ham feast, and pasta hasn't been on deck for a while, so it will be linguine with spicy leek and tomato sauce from Bon Appetit.  Sprouts has organic on-the-vine tomatoes at $2.49 a pound through Wednesday for the sauce and the side salad (not as good as last week's fantastic $1.99, but very good nonetheless).

I previously mentioned I'm going very easy on myself this week (I seem to be burning out on cooking, and don't have enough time to devote to it either) by doing two reheats of big weekend dinners, instead of the usual one.  So Tuesday will be a reprise of last night's delicious New England seafood chowder from Bon Appetit.  It's packed with kale and one of our last hoorahs for butternut squash as we enter spring, plus the cod that's a great price at Sprouts through Wednesday.

Wednesday will be our second easy reprise of tonight's ham, along with the potato gratin experiment (see post below) that I hope will be a success.  All we'll need is a fresh veggie on the side.

Expecting to still have a tad more of that beautiful Whole Foods ham left to finish off, Thursday will be a quick ham and veggie frittata, the veggies likely including spring-inspired asparagus and baby spinach.

Which quickly gets us through to Friday's planning.  Enjoy our beautiful Boulder day today!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Dinner Plans

Just a reminder that if you're still angsting about aspects of your Easter dinner menu tomorrow, here are a few planning guides to help you out.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Weekend Dinner Ideas, Including Easter

Good heavens, another holiday upon us, but I have practically zero time, and am tired to boot, so this will be quick and easy, both in terms of dinner plans and writing time.

Tonight will be especially quick and easy, sticking with the Friday fish tradition and taking advantage of Whole Foods' sale on their lovely roasted red pepper & fennel salmon burgers, which are $7.99 a pound through Tuesday.  The Lundberg gourmet rice blends I always have in stock from Vitamin Cottage and Sprouts sales add a festive starch, so I'll just need some quick green like kale or chard to round it out.

Saturday will be more ambitious, but since I have it in mind to do two big dishes for reheats this week instead of one, it will be worth it.  With previously frozen Alaskan wild cod fillets so low at Sprouts at $4.99 a pound, that spells one last winter-like stab at a favorite, New England seafood chowder from Bon Appetit.  I love this one, because it includes kale, the last of our winter butternut squash, and the surprise of curry powder (which as I've previously mentioned is probably not really a surprise, given New England's sailing history).

Sunday will be the Easter ham, coming from either Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage.  I don't mess with the ham since it's a fine one, although there are a ton of recipes for glazes, etc., if you want to spend more time with it.  For the potato side, I'm going to experiment with asiago, potato, and bacon gratin from Cooking Light.  I'm hoping to find something almost as delicious as the potato gratin a friend brought to our Thanksgiving feast, but since hers was loaded with gruyere and sour cream (undoubtedly a lot of butter too, and this was from a Boulder runner), something just a little close will do.  Asparagus will also have to be on the table, either simply roasted or steamed, or another recipe we've enjoyed from Cooking Light, asparagus with balsamic tomatoes.

Which gets us through the Easter weekend, with leftovers to look forward to!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Better Brunch Cooking Class

The Whole Foods store on Pearl Street will host a Better Brunch Cooking Class this Saturday, just in time for sprucing up your Easter plans.  Here are the details from them:

Better Brunch Cooking Class

Saturday, March 30th
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

Join our Healthy Eating Specialist Steph, and our Cooking Coach Dana for a lesson in all things brunch. Just in time to plan and shop for your Easter spread! Space is limited, please RSVP to

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our local Sprouts stores, while the current ones continue at Whole Foods through April 2nd, and at Vitamin Cottage through April 6th (click for prior reports).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

In Sprouts' new sale running through April 3rd, bone-in Presidential-cut rib roast or steaks continue to be an excellent price at $5.99 a pound, all grass-fed lamb is 25% off (although, as I've previously mentioned, I haven't had good luck cooking lamb), fresh ground chicken, pork, or chicken breast are all $2.99 a pound, bulk (that's the loose type that isn't in links) chicken sausage (pork also) is $1.99 a pound, and boneless pork shoulder roast or country style ribs are also $1.99 a pound.  In fish, fresh (farmed) Atlantic salmon is $8.99 a pound (bear in mind that Whole Foods has previously frozen wild coho for $11.99 a pound through next Tuesday), and previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets are quite low at $4.99 a pound.  Sprouts also has a low price on spiral-sliced hams, but I'll head to either Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage for my Easter ham.

In organic produce, Sprouts has garnet yams for $1.29 a pound, one pound packages of baby carrots at $1.50 each, bulk spring salad or spinach remain fantastic at $3.99 a pound, and organic on-the-vine tomatoes will bump up a bit to a still pretty good $2.49 a pound, up from this week's great $1.99 a pound, good through today.  There are also good organic fruit specials, including Cameo or red delicious apples at 99 cents a pound, and four pound bags of Valencia oranges for just $2.50 each.  In conventional produce, avocado fans will be dismayed to find them at 99 cents a pound (you can get the organics for the same price), and asparagus is okay at $2.50 a pound (conventional $1.49 a pound at Safeway and $1.69 at King Soopers with card through Tuesday, if you happen to be heading that way).

Elsewhere in Sprouts' store, select Horizon Organic "baking essentials" (the picture includes butter and sour cream) are 25% off, some Near East side dishes are $1.50 a box (I'm particularly partial to their rice pilafs), and Sprouts' own organic spices are 25% off.  Also, I don't usually cover much in the body care sales, but since Sprouts' new sale is advertising 25% off Avalon Organics hair care, I'm compelled to mention that today is the last day of Sprouts' "line drive savings" on Avalon, with a whopping 35% off the entire vast line of Avalon Organics products, that includes some very fine ones.  I used to spend ridiculous amounts on cleansers and makeup removers at Boulder's skin boutiques, until I discovered Avalon's CoQ10 Repair facial cleansing milk that gets it all done as well or better in one product, at a much lower price, and largely organically, to boot.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Minerals In Your Diet Webinar

Sprouts will host a webinar about dietary minerals this Thursday, for which you can register here.  Here are the details from them:

Wellness Webinars

Mining the Importance of Minerals in Your Diet

Thursday, March 28, 2013, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM PDT (6-7 MST)

Even the healthiest eaters may lack the necessary minerals to boost energy and immunity. Sprouts nutritionist Janet Little will join Vital Earth Minerals, Dorothy Holden, to learn why liquid minerals are an easy and convenient way to supplement a healthy diet.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

As our weekend snow melts and we look forward to Easter, our local Whole Foods stores are offering us a nice spring-like sale for tomorrow only on organic strawberries (and strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits that don't get peeled are something I'd only buy in organic).  Here are the details from them:

One Day Sale

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, March 27th!

Organic Strawberries
1 lb pack
2 for $6
(save $1/ea)

Yolkless Noodles Found At Whole Foods!

I've previously mentioned how high in cholesterol wide egg noodles are, and they're the kind of wide noodle you find 99.99% of the time.  I've been trekking to Safeway to get yolkless ones, but discovered late yesterday that I can get them again at Whole Foods, at least at the Pearl Street store.  I used to find them there in the regular pasta section, where they've been absent for some time.  Yesterday, I was passing by a section of Jewish foods, hopefully a year-round spot but maybe just for Passover, and my eye immediately was drawn to the Manischewitz wide yolk-free noodles, with zero cholesterol, yay!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Cleansing With Food At Pearl Street

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a lunch and learn tomorrow, with a focus on cleansing with food.  Here are the details from them, including the typo:

Tuesday, March 26th

12:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

Join our Healthy Eating Specialist Steph for a light lunch and lesson on how to cleanse wtih food! Space is limited, please RSVP to

Easter Dinner Ideas

Snow's on the ground, but we're less than a week away from Easter, so it's time to get planning.  I need to do some investigating myself, since unlike my traditional Thanksgiving dinner that hardly changes, Easter is wide open, except for the ever-present ham.  (I tried doing a leg of lamb one year and found it too gamey, not to mention the mental images it evoked that just don't seem to accompany a ham.)  So here are a few guides to help with the planning:  Easter Recipes, Gifts, and Egg Decorating from Epicurious, Celebrate Easter from Cooking Light, ham and lamb recipes from Food and Wine magazine, and the rather ecumenical Spring Gatherings from Whole Foods.  Let the planning begin!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekday Dinner Ideas

I'm a little conflicted about my plan for tomorrow, since we aren't big meat eaters, and this week is sandwiched between our big Saint Patrick's Day corned beef and the upcoming ham for Easter, but the bone-in rib steaks at $5.99 a pound at Sprouts are calling me.  That sale, combined with organic baby broccoli $2.50 for a six ounce package and organic yams $1.25 a pound are positively screaming for me to do pan-seared steak with chive-horseradish butter with roasted sweet potatoes and broccolini from Cooking Light.

We'll make amends with something vegetarian for Tuesday, and with eight ounce balls of Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozzarella $3.99 and organic on-the-vine tomatoes $1.99 at Sprouts, that spells a tomato and fresh mozzarella risotto, especially since we haven't had rice on the menu for a while.  Think I've previously published a link for this one, but it's so easy to improvise.  Just be sure to add some fresh parsley at the end.

Wednesday will be our reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week will be the sweet potato and sausage soup from Bon Appetit.

For Thursday, we'll catch some of those center-cut boneless pork loin chops that are on sale at Sprouts through Wednesday for $2.99 a pound to do a simple saute of pork chops, including garlic (of course!), and a little wine to deglaze the pan.  Rice, potatoes, whatever on the side.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Beer And Brats In Superior Tomorrow

A fundraiser for the Whole Planet Foundation, the Whole Foods store in Superior will host a beer and brats event tomorrow from 3 to 6 pm.  Boulder's own Avery Brewing will be supplying the beer, and there are multiple ways you can concoct your donation (anyone opting for the brat with two beers followed by the additional beer option had better have a designated driver!).  They ask for advance notice, so I'm a little late with this, but there's an email address below to let them know if you're coming.  Here are the details from them.

Beer and Brats Event- Whole Planet Foundation Fundraiser

Sunday, March 24th
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Superior Patio, Varies

Join us for our final fund raiser of the year for Whole Planet Foundation! Sunday, March 24th from 3:00pm-6:00pm on our patio. Good food, music and fun!

•$10.00 Donation: includes 1 Brat, chips, & 2 beers

•$5.00 Donation: includes 1 Brat, chips & 1 beer

•Donation of $3.00 gets you an additional beer

•Donation of $3.00 gets you 5 Free Throw shots [Basketball] for a chance to win prizes

•Music by Jon Wirtz

Special THANKS to Continental Sausage for donation of Brats; Avery Brewing, and support from Center for RE Source Conservation!

Sign up today at Customer Service or email

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Heading into a rainy/snowy (yay!) weekend, I'm thinking about a lot of comfort food.  We'll stick with the fish tradition for tonight, and although $10.99 a pound at Sprouts isn't the best price we've ever seen for previously frozen wild sockeye fillets, I'm thinking of reprising a dish that was quite well received the first time I made it, seared salmon with soy-ginger noodles and vegetables from the Whole Foods website.  Don't tell Whole Foods, but it only takes a minute to dice a bit of fresh ginger to use with regular soy sauce, rather than buying their prepared soy ginger sauce, although I'm sure it's wonderful.

With snow promised for tomorrow and boneless skinless chicken breasts $1.99 a pound at Sprouts, we'll go with chicken and mushrooms in garlic white wine sauce from Cooking Light.  I'll head to Safeway for the wide noodles, since I can't find the yokeless ones at our natural stores, and egg noodles pack a surprisingly high cholesterol wallop.

We'll still need something big made this weekend for a quick midweek reheat, and our chilly weather plus the current sales are pulling me towards one last winter-like dish, sweet potato and sausage soup from Bon Appetit.  I'll use the chicken sausage that are $2.99 a pound at Sprouts and fully cooking them in just a few minutes, rather than the cooked ones called for.  Sprouts also has organic garnet yams (let's not get into that yam vs sweet potato discussion) for $1.25 a pound (not the best ever, but okay), and bulk spinach at a fantastic $3.99 a pound.

Which gets us through a weekend that hopefully will provide a bunch of much needed moisture!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Saturday Is For Easter Eggs

Our local natural grocery stores will really be egging it up this Saturday, the 23rd.  Both the Pearl Street and Superior Whole Foods will host Eggstravaganzas.  Pearl Street's will be from 11 to 1, and promises "a celebration of all things egg with samples, games and kid's activities!"  The one in Superior will run from 1 to 3, and has this much more detailed description:

Join us at the Superior Whole Foods market for a fun filled day for everyone!
•Tastings in each Department featuring Cage- Free Egg focused produts and recipes. Customers can vote on thier favorite dish, submit their voting form for a chance to WIN a Basket filled with goodies

•For the kids: at 1:00pm we will be hosting an egg toss and egg race. Please sign up at Customer Service to join in the fun

•We will also have a hidden Golden Egg. Kids can search for the egg, go to Customer Service, tell our Front End Team Member where they found the egg and receive a prize and fill out an entry form for a chance to WIN an Easter Basket.

•Customers listen for our Trivia questions- first Customer who comes to the Customer Service Counter with the correct answer will WIN a $5.00 Gift card

Alfalfa's will also get into the egg theme Saturday with a Natural Egg Dyeing Demo in their Community Room from 1 to 3, when they invite you to "Learn how to skip the chemicals this Easter as we show you how to use fruits and vegetables to dye eggs!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Happy first day of spring, and it should be a lovely one!

We have a new sale starting today at our local Sprouts stores, while current sales continue at Whole Foods through April 2nd and Vitamin Cottage through April 6th (click for prior reports).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

Sprouts through March 27th will host a Frozen Frenzy, with everything frozen you can fit in their sale bag at 20% off.  In meat, their Presidential-cut bone-in rib roast or steaks are both $5.99 a pound, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, center-cut pork loin chops (or roast) are $2.99 a pound, three types of chicken sausage are $2.99 a pound, and whole or cut-up chickens are $1.59 a pound, and in fish, previously frozen sockeye salmon has crept up to $10.99 a pound.  They also have a very low price on spiral sliced hams, but I have my eye on Vitamin Cottage or Whole Foods for my Easter ham.

In organic produce at Sprouts, one pound bags of baby carrots remain good at $1.50, six ounce packages of baby broccoli (basically broccoli rabe) are $2.50 each (about the only thing I buy in their annoying prepackaged condition in that department), bulk spring salad or spinach remain fantastic at $3.99 a pound, on-the-vine tomatoes are great at $1.99 a pound, and there are good organic apple specials as well.

Elsewhere in the store, I'm also liking some seven ounce packages of Applegate natural (evidently not the organic) sliced meats at $4.99 each, and Mozzarella Fresca half pound balls of fresh mozzarella for $3.99 each.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales for tomorrow only, the 20th.  The naan sandwiches sound like an exceptionally good deal.

One Day Sale

Tomorrow Only!

Wednesday, March 20th!

Goat Cheese Logs
2 for $5
(save $1.49/ea)

Indian Style Naan Bread
Sandwiches - multiple flavors
(save $3.99/ea)

Superfoods Tour In Superior

As if the kale throwdown on Pearl Street Friday (see the post just below) weren't enough for superfoods, the Superior Whole Foods will beat them out Thursday with a Superfoods Tour from 6 to 7:30 pm.  Here are the details from them:

Superfoods Tour

Thursday, March 21st
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Superior Cafe, Free

Join registered dietitian, Katie Kissane form Lakeshore Athletic Club and learn about nutrient dense, disease fighting SUPERFOODS. Katie will take you through Whole Foods Market Superior and talk about disease fighting compounds and nutrients in various foods and how to shop on a budget for yourself and your family!

Kale Throwdown Coming Up

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will get competitive with my fave veggie, kale, this coming Friday from 4 to 6.  Their various teams will compete to get your vote for your preferred dish.  (Bet none of them will be better than that raw kale and Brussels sprouts salad I've been making recently.)  Here are the details from them:

Kale Throwdown!

Friday, March 22nd

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

Each team in our store will create a delicious dish featuring one of our favorite ingredients... kale! Join us for this fun event, try them all, and vote for your favorite!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Passover Recipe Ideas

It seems we've just finished with the winter holidays, yet here we are, with Passover only a week away.  If you're looking for ideas to update your Seder table, here are a few guides to help you out:  Passover Recipes from the New York Times (including several from their Recipes for Health columns, listed to the left), A Perfect Passover from Epicurious, and a Passover slideshow from Food and Wine magazine that also lists related slideshows below it, including the rather Boulder-sounding one, quinoa recipes for Passover.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Saint Patrick's Dinner And Beyond

Happy Saint Paddy's (or Patty's) Day!  In anticipation of tonight's carnivorous feast, we've been eating lightly this weekend, doing salmon and a veggie-filled fritatta.  But tonight's the night to go all out with a gorgeous corned beef from Whole Foods.  I love its ingredient list, with nothing but easily recognizable corning spices like mustard seed, unlike the list on corned beef from other stores.  I usually shop more than one store in any given week, and this week's a prime example of it.  That corned beef will be Whole Foods, but I'll definitely head to Sprouts for items like organic green cabbage at a stunning 19 cents a pound.  Mine's a simple and classic dinner, the one time of year I break out my old Joy of Cooking to do its New England boiled dinner (yup, that's what my corned beef dish with cabbage, parsnips, carrots, and the like is called).  For more adventurous fare, look several posts below for the one on guides for Saint Patrick's planning.

We'll make amends tomorrow by going vegetarian, doing fettuccine with tomato-cream sauce, a highly successful recipe I recently tried for the first time from Cooking Light.

We'll keep things simple and fairly light for Tuesday with sauteed chicken sausages ($2.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday) and polenta, which is so simple to make from scratch using the quick cooking grits available in Whole Foods' bulk aisle.

Wednesday will be our reheat day this week, which will be a reprise of that big corned beef dinner.

With corned beef on the menu twice, plus some corned beef sandwiches for lunch, we'll stay on the lighter side again for Thursday, with shrimp and corn pilaf from Bon Appetit.  If I'm lucky, I'll catch some still-frozen shrimp today on the last day of Sprouts' 72 hour sale, when 41/50 count ones are $3.99 a pound, so that I can keep them in the freezer until needed.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Current Sale At Vitamin Cottage

I finally bring news of the current sale at Vitamin Cottage (aka Natural Grocers), that runs through April 6th.  Organic lettuce looks great, with red, green, or romaine all just $1.29 a head.  I'm also liking Brown Cow yogurts (not the Greek ones) at 59 cents each, pints of Horizon Organic half & half at $1.49 each, Beeler's boneless quarter hams at $4.99 a pound (definitely a contender for my Easter table), Imagine organic broths for $2.49 and the organic cooking stocks at $2.99 each (the supply I laid in over the holiday sales, that extended to a spare closet, is nearly gone!), some Back To Nature crackers at $2.49 a box, Clif bars just 89 cents each (the runner in the house goes through a lot of those), Lundberg's irresistible rice chips at $1.69 a bag, the big 25 ounce size of Westbrae organic canned beans for my favorite veggie chile at just $1.99 each, and 50 ounce Seventh Generation 4X concentrated liquid laundry detergent, in its cool less-plastic packaging, for $13.99.  Wow, those are some pretty good specials.  And being Vitamin Cottage, there are also plenty of supplements on sale.

Lots Of Pasta Ideas

Pasta lovers might want to check out the current issue of Cooking Light, which is totally noodle-focused.  Some of the recipes might make their way into my own routine, but for more ambitious cooks, there's an article on lasagnes that are too much work in my book, but sound fantastic.  I was particularly drawn by the recipes for butternut-kale lasagna, and turkey sausage and spinach lasagna.  The article by itself unfortunately doesn't have a link, but you can find a link to the entire recipe index for that issue here.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pancakes For A Good Cause Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the 16th, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will host Pancakes for the Planet, a fundraiser for their wonderful Whole Planet Foundation.  Here are the details from them:

Pancakes for the Planet

Saturday, March 16th
8:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, $4

Our friends from Birch Benders will be in the house cooking up a delicious pancake breakfast for the Whole Planet Foundation. Just $4 gets you a short stack of Birch Benders pancakes and a glass of OJ!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Spring Fling At Liquor Mart Tomorrow

Tomorrow, the 15th, our Boulder Liquor Mart will host a Spring Fling Open House from 4 to 6 pm, featuring free bbq, whiskey tasting, and demos to take home.  Vendors typically fill the store during these things, with lots of giveaways, and the food has been pretty good, too.

Weekender Sale At Whole Foods Starts Tomorrow

Starting tomorrow and running through Sunday (St. Patrick's Day!), our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a special deal on Amy's Kitchen foods.  Here's what they say:

3-Day Sale This Weekend

March 15-17 Only!

Amy's Kitchen
Frozen Burritos, Pizzas and Snacks
Up to 49% off

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder (and Longmont) Sprouts and our Boulder Whole Foods stores.  There's also a new one at Vitamin Cottage that I promise I'll get to very shortly.  Here's what's looking good to my own personal preferences at Sprouts and Whole Foods.

Sprouts will amp things up with a 72 hour sale for Friday through Sunday, through the 17th, and here's what appeals to me.  Jumbo Hass avocados will be $1 each, bone-in New York steaks will be just $4.99 a pound, ez peel 41/50 count raw shrimp will be $3.99 a pound, bulk mild cheddar will be $2.99 a pound, and half gallons of select Horizon organic milk will be $2.50 (beating even the usually unbeatable everyday price on 365 organic milk at Whole Foods).

At Sprouts' regular sale from today through the 20th, chicken breast tenders are $1.99 a pound, all types of chicken sausage (pork also) are $2.99 a pound, stew beef and boneless short ribs are $3.99 a pound, and farm-raised fresh Atlantic salmon steaks are $6.99 a pound, although I've always had better luck working with a salmon fillet than a steak.  In organic produce, green cabbage is stunning at 19 cents a pound for your St. Patty's Day corned beef, one pound bags of baby carrots happily remain at $1.50, green or lacinato kale is $1.50 a bunch, garnet yams are just 99 cents a pound, grape tomatoes are $2 a pint, bulk spring mix or spinach are most happily $3.99 a pound (about twice that elsewhere), and there are a bunch of organic apple, orange and pear specials.  In conventional produce, asparagus will bump up after today's double-ad Wednesday to a still very good $1.88 a pound, but this week's incredible 88 cents a pound has gotten us spoiled, so catch more at that price today if you can.  Elsewhere in the store, bulk coffee is great at $7.99 a pound, especially if I can get to the Baseline store for the Fair Trade-certified decaf at that price (why the other stores don't carry their own Sprouts brand remains a mystery to me).  Select DeLallo pastas are $2 each, which I'm happy to see, since I just paid $2.99 for one yesterday at another store (I'm searching for a whole wheat pasta substitute since my prior $1.39 standby became nonexistent with the Sunflower acquisition), and some Kerrygold Irish cheese is $4.99 for seven ounces.

Whole Foods' new sale runs through April 2nd, and Easter planners might want to take note that their very fine American Homestead or Wellshire spiral sliced hams will both be $4.99 a pound through then.  Wild coho salmon (that would have to be previously frozen, since we're out of salmon season) is $11.99 a pound, and roasted red pepper & fennel salmon burgers are $7.99 a pound.  They also have specials on pork roasts and rack of lamb that look appealing, but I stick with my own territory, and I do ham for Easter.  Their own pumpernickel bread will be an attractive $2.99 a loaf, although I prefer rye for my upcoming corned beef leftovers.  I'm also interested in the Spectrum "Decadent Blend" of chia and flax seed at $6.99 for a 12 ounce package, as both chia and flax seeds have become favorite salad toppers in this house recently, so it looks like this gets us both in one package!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a special sale on wild sockeye salmon for tomorrow only, the 13th.  It would of necessity have to have been previously frozen, since we're way out of the wild salmon season, but even with the frozen stuff, Whole Foods always seems to get it right on fish.  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, March 13th!

Wild Caught
Sockeye Salmon Fillet
(save $5.00/lb)

Coupon Night Tonight In Superior

Good morning, Boulder, and what's with all this snow???  Anyway, sorry for the short notice, but the Whole Foods store in Superior will be doing another coupon swap night tonight from 6 to 7:30 in their cafe.  They do ask that you sign up at Customer Service, so give them a call if headed there.  They also say, "Bring a new friend and you each will receive a $5.00 Gift Card to start your shop!"  Does that mean bring someone new to the coupon swap, or somebody you just met?

P.S.  Okay, now I know I'm losing it when I see it wasn't short notice, since I did a post about this a few days ago.  Sheesh.

Monday, March 11, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Dinner Ideas

Saint Paddy's day is coming up quickly this Sunday, so it's time to start thinking in that direction.  My dinner is pretty sacrosanct, a classic New England corned beef and cabbage (plus all the other associated veggies), with a beautiful corned beef from Whole Foods (you can find comfort reading its ingredient label, quite a contrast from what you'll find elsewhere).  My dinner might be pretty fixed, but if you're looking for inspiration, you might want to check out St. Patrick's Day Food & Drink from Epicurious, or F&W's Ultimate Guide To St. Patrick's Day from Food and Wine magazine.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Coupon Night In Superior

The Superior Whole Foods will host another of their Coupon Nights this Tuesday, the 12th.  Here's what they say:

Coupon Night

Tuesday, March 12th
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
Superior Cafe, Free

Join us at the Superior Whole Foods Market in our Café for Coupon Night! Bring your coupons and be ready to swap with others.Join us for the fun! Bring a new friend and you each will receive a $5.00 Gift Card to start your shop! Please sign up at our Customer Service Counter to reserve your spot today!

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Wanting a harbinger of spring in the midst of snow, the asparagus that Sprouts has on sale for a ridiculously low 88 cents a pound through Wednesday is completely driving my thinking for the rest of the week.  Here's what's on deck.

Tomorrow will be fettuccine with peas, asparagus and pancetta from Bon Appetit.  Whole Foods will slice you exactly as much pancetta you'd like (or go with the bacon option), and I've enjoyed this recipe without that touch of cream, as well.

Tuesday will be our reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the curried cauliflower soup from the New York Times' recipes for health.  Sprouts has organic spring mix for $3.99 a pound to make the side salad a snap.

We'll get back to that 88 cent asparagus at Sprouts for both Wednesday and Thursday's dinners (noting that the sale only goes through Wednesday), with chicken, asparagus, and broccoli stir fry from Bon Appetit for Wednesday, and asparagus and leek risotto with prosciutto, also from Bon Appetit, for Thursday.  As I've mentioned before, Whole Foods, at least at the Pearl Street store, usually has chunks of prosciutto for dicing in this type of cooking at a much lower cost than the freshly sliced paper-thin variety from one of their team members (although they'll slice at any thickness you want for that higher price).

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spring Those Clocks Ahead

Just a friendly reminder that tomorrow is Daylight Savings, so spring your clocks ahead an hour before retiring tonight, and you'll be with the program first thing tomorrow morning.

Whole Foods' Parmesan Cracking Today!

Just a reminder that Whole Foods' annual parmesan cracking, with whole wheels of parm being cracked simultaneously in stores around the country in support of their Guinness world record, is happening today.  Look a few posts below for the details at our local Boulder stores.  Festivities and sampling included!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weekend Dinner Ideas

This will have to be quick, with much to do on a snowy weekend coming up.  For tonight, I'm looking at the "colossal" wild sea scallops that Sprouts has on sale for $9.99 a pound, and previous experience with them is that they really are really big.  They'll either be a quick saute on the grill pan, or if I have a little more time, a favorite along the same lines is grilled sea scallops with tomatoes and olive vinaigrette from Gourmet magazine.  Even if I don't have time to do the olives, the tomatoes can always go on the grill pan, too.  For a side, with asparagus 88 cents a pound at Sprouts this week, it has to be steamed asparagus.

For tomorrow, I'm looking at those huge 16/20 count raw shrimp that Sprouts has for $6.99 a pound and angsting about what to do with them, as there are so many options.  Currently winning out is shrimp risotto with baby spinach and basil from Bon Appetit, as Sprouts has continued to have a very good $4.99 a pound price on organic spinach in bulk at last look, after ending the even better $3.99 they were doing on sale.

We'll need to finish off a snowy weekend with something big that can also serve as an easy midweek reheat, and since I'm in the mood for something vegetarian, it will be curried cauliflower soup from the New York Times.  It's one of their "recipes for health," which I've always found to be quite good.

Which quickly gets us through the weekend.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Get A Jump On Spring With Tulips

Our local Whole Foods stores will encourage you to fill your house with spring-evoking tulips with a special sale tomorrow, details from them below.  Might be just the thing to cheer your spirits through a snowstorm on Saturday.

Tulip Sale Friday!

Spring is coming and tulips herald the way! We’re reveling in the arrival of this season with a sale on tulips this Friday, March 8th. You can pick up three 10-stem bunches of tulips for just $10.

Reminder, Parmesan Cracking Coming Up

Just a reminder that Whole Foods' big parmesan cracking, Guinness world record stomping, fun event is coming up this Saturday.  Here are the details from both Pearl Street and Superior, which differ, and since I don't have time to check all the stores, you might want to call if going to one of the others.

From the Pearl Street store:


Saturday, March 9th

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

This year's annual parmesan cracking event will be bigger than ever! Join us for this once-in-a-lifetime change to taste parmigiano reggiano straight from the 80 lb. wheel!

From the store in Superior:

Crackin of the Parm

Saturday, March 9th

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Superior Whole Foods Market, Free

All Whole Foods Market Stores will be holding our annuel Parm Crackin in order to keep our Guinness World Book of Records. The Superior Whole Foods Market will be holding our annual "Crackin of the Parm" but we will be holding a "Competition Crack Off" between our mighty Specialty Cheese Team Leader "Jens Davis" and Assistant Store Team Leader "Drew Stout". Event will also include a tasty Parm recipe which will be sampled in front of our store beginning at 11:00am as well as hand cut pieces of Parm for Sale fresh off the record breaking wheel. Join the fun!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder and Longmont Sprouts stores, while the current one continues through March 12th at Whole Foods (click for my prior report).  I'll bet there's also something new happening at Vitamin Cottage that I'll want to check out.  Meanwhile, here's what's looking particularly good to me, IMHO as always.

While I usually focus on organic produce, plus meat and seafood, the thing that's really catching my eye at Sprouts' new sale through March 13th is conventional asparagus for a stunning 88 cents a pound.  Hope that means an early entry into our spring asparagus season, but with it selling at Sprouts for $4.99 a pound two days ago (I know because a family member requested some), that's a precipitous drop.  In fish, they're doing a Wild Caught Seafood Spectacular, including flash-frozen ahi tuna or swordfish steaks for $7.99 a pound (I once found the sale swordfish to be from the USA, and it was fabulous, but I think that was a rarity for this kind of sale), Alaskan cod fillets or huge 16/20 count raw shrimp for $6.99 a pound, colossal (and they're big!) sea scallops for $9.99 a pound, and Alaskan king crab legs or sockeye salmon fillets also $9.99 a pound.  In meat, for my own particular taste, I'm liking Sprouts' own stuffed chicken breasts at $2.99 a pound, beef stew meat at $3.99 a pound, and parmesan or Italian chicken sausage at $2.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, select Earthbound Farm salads remain BOGO this week (as do some other products, see below), one pound bags of baby carrots have dropped back down to $1.25 (yay! $1.99 elsewhere), cauliflower is $1.99 a pound, pints of grape tomatoes are $2 ($3 for 10 ounces at Whole Foods, hard to compare), garnet yams are $1.25 a pound, bulk spring mix remains at an excellent $3.99 a pound, iceberg lettuce is intriguing at $1.99 a head (retro salad wedges on deck?), and there are several organic apple, pear and orange specials.  Sprouts is also continuing some of last week's BOGO enthusiasm, and I'm noting Sabra Hummus, Stonyfield organic Greek yogurts, Fage Greek yogurts, and Lundberg rice chips or cakes among the BOGO offerings.

Lastly, or perhaps first, Sprouts is supporting Autism Speaks, with an invitation to donate to support autism awareness.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

If you're in need of some fast yet good food, tomorrow's one-day sale at Whole Foods might just be for you.  Here's what they say:

One Day Sale

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, March 6th

Market Made - 24oz.
Grab 'n Go
Beef Chili
(save $3.00/ea)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Another Heathy Eating On A Budget Tour

The Pearl Street Whole Foods is planning two more Healthy Eating On A Budget Tours for tomorrow.  Without having gone on the tour, I can already say that Whole Foods' own 365 brand, in both natural and organic, represents a most excellent deal, so long as you don't offset it with the many tempting indulgences you'll find around the store while shopping for the cost-effective stuff.  Here are the details from them:

Healthy Eating on a Budget Store Tours

Tuesday, March 5th

12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

Join our Healthy Eating Specialist, Steph for a trip around the store at 12pm and 5pm where she'll show you how to get healthy without emptying your wallet. Space is limited, so please email to reserve your spot.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Weekday Dinner Ideas

This blog started from friends' suggestions that I share my weekly menu planning lists that draw inspiration from local natural sales.  I'm still grateful for the idea and the encouragement, but I also find that writing the blog tends to skew my normal thinking about those menus; I feel tendencies to a) use more recipe-based items for which I can share links, rather than simpler just-do-it-quickly cooking, and b) be so influenced by sales reporting that my menus veer away from the health-first base I used to start with.  This week, I'm noticing those tendencies particularly strongly, as the current sales bring to mind a slew of warming, yet not exactly lean winter dinners, involving extensive recipes.  So instead of caving to every published recipe that capitalizes on these sales, I'm trying hard to regain some balance instead.  So here goes.

Tomorrow won't exactly feature the lean part, but it will return to no-recipe easy:  I'm very impressed that Sprouts has 100% grass-fed organic ground beef for $4.99 a pound, so despite the multitude of recipes out there incorporating ground beef, we'll skip them all in favor of plain ol' burgers.  Some organic russets ($2.50 for a five pound bag at Sprouts) mashed with lowfat buttermilk (tangy and very rich tasting, despite being lowfat), and something green, like Sprouts' organic broccoli at $1.69 a pound will round it out.

Tuesday is our usual reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is our slow-cook Tuscan pork with white beans from Cooking Light.  Although the nutritional facts look pretty good, I still feel a little guilty making the recipe as called for, which incorporates the current excellent deals at both Sprouts and Whole Foods on pork shoulder roast, not the leanest cut of pork.

To make amends for two meaty dishes in a row, we'll go vegetarian for Wednesday, with a simple recipe I've been wanting to try from Cooking Light, tomato and mozzarella risotto.  I have my canned Muir Glen organic tomatoes from Sprouts' very good sale last week, and I'm hoping they might still have organic bulk spinach on sale, as it has been for so many weeks, although only the bulk spring mix is mentioned in this week's ad.

For Thursday, we'll again head back to non-recipe simplicity, catching some of the $1.99 a pound boneless skinless chicken breasts at Sprouts by sales' end Wednesday to do some sort of simply sauteed chicken dish.  I like to mix sauteed diced chicken with some kind of prepared special starch, like the Near East rice pilaf I currently have in the cupboard (or leave the breasts whole and do the starch on the side).  I'd bet the Lundberg risotto boxes that Sprouts has on BOGO through Wednesday would also do well.

Which gets us through a week where my planning is maintaining something of its original goals of balancing sales with health and simplicity, rather than jumping into all those time-consuming, fatty recipes that this week's sales were suggesting to me.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Whole Foods' Parmesan Cracking Coming Up!

This is always so cool, when Whole Foods stores do a big simultaneous cracking of wheels of Parmesan.  It's usually quite festive, and here are the preliminary details from the Pearl Street store:


Saturday, March 9th

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Whole Foods Market Pearl Street, FREE

This year's annual parmesan cracking event will be bigger than ever! Join us for this once-in-a-lifetime change to taste parmigiano reggiano straight from the 80 lb. wheel!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Two Day Heads Up Re Vitamin Cottage

Just a reminder that you only have through tomorrow (how did we get to March already?) for the current sale at Vitamin Cottage.  You can read my prior report about it here (organic chard at an even better price than Whole Foods' weekender sale starting today), and who knows what the new sale will bring, unless they opt for another sale hiatus.

Weekender Sale On Chard

Whole Foods, at least at the Pearl Street store, is doing a weekender sale starting today on organic chard (green, red, or rainbow) at three bunches for $5.  That means my single bunch rang up at $1.67.  When I saw the sale (I wish they'd post something about these in advance), I remembered the block of beautiful, and rather pricey Comte cheese in my fridge, and immediately changed my plans for tomorrow's halibut accompaniment to Swiss chard gratin, a favorite from Whole Foods' own website.  Yum.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Happy March!  Some quick notes about dinner plans, as we warm up and the snow disappears.  I'm always in favor of fish, and the Lenten tradition of having it on Fridays is just another excuse to enjoy it (this is supposed to be a hardship?), despite my having given up the faith it comes from many years ago.  So for tonight, I'm looking at shrimp Florentine pasta from Cooking Light.  Sprouts has smallish (fine for this) 41/50 count ez peel raw shrimp at $5.99 a pound, and Whole Foods has easy peels for $7.99 a pound, although the size isn't specified in the flier, but always good provenance there.

For tomorrow, with such warm temps expected, I'll send the family griller out into the dark to grill some of the halibut Whole Foods has on sale for $18.99 a pound.  I know that sounds like a lot, but halibut is sooo good, and in my mind, should be done as simply as possible.  Without other significant cooking duties (I'll do some special and easy Lundberg rice blend like Black Japonica for a small starch side), I'm planning a reprise of the kale and Brussels sprouts salad from Bon Appetit that was such a surprise success at Thanksgiving.  My thinking about this was inspired by Sprouts having organic lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan, as called for in the recipe) for $1.50 a bunch this week.

We'll also visit Tuscany for Sunday.  The sales at both Sprouts and Whole Foods this week on pork shoulder roast have me thinking about a very successful slow cooker recipe I haven't made in a couple of years, slow-cooked Tuscan pork with white beans from Cooking Light.  Sprouts has the pork roast on sale for a very low $1.99 a pound, but I'd give serious consideration to the very fine American Homestead roast that Whole Foods has on sale for $2.99 a pound.

Which gets us through what's looking to be a lovely weekend!