Friday, May 31, 2013

Weekend Dinner Ideas

I'm hoping to have fresh fish out on the grill both tonight and tomorrow, but with winds today possibly as nasty today as they were yesterday, we need a plan B for tonight.  Tonight's fish will be the fresh albacore tuna Whole Foods' new sale has for $14.99 a pound.  Not knowing tonight's wind situation, my plan will be to do Asian-flavored seared tuna with green beans from Bon Appetit, with the tuna going out on the grill if weather permits, or cooked in a skillet as written if not.

While at Whole Foods, I'll be checking out the Copper River sockeye price to see if they've dropped it from last week's season inaugural price of $22.99 for tomorrow night's dinner.  If not, I'll head to Safeway to grab some at $14.99 a pound (with Club card), as they advertised this week.  Everybody else is keeping pretty mum about their CR prices this early in the game.  The salmon will go on the grill with simple accompaniments, probably diced potato packages done in foil, and maybe some of that Whole Foods' sweet corn that's four for $1 as we wait for our local season.

We'll definitely turn to that Whole Foods corn for Sunday, as we still need something big that will serve as our easy midweek reheat, and this week that's corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine.  The recipe is well served by lightening up on the dairy, so long as you take care not to go too far and let it curdle.  I use 1% milk instead of the full fat sort of implied, and half and half instead of heavy cream.

So that's it for the weekend.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Vitamin Cottage Sale Ends Saturday

Here's a two-day (or three, if you count today) heads up that the current sale at Vitamin Cottage runs through June 1st, which is already almost upon us.  Who knows what the next sale will bring, but the current one has some good stock up opportunities, including the 14 tto 15ish size of Muir Glen Organic tomatoes at $1.29 a can, Annie's Naturals salad dressings $2.29 an eight ounce bottle, Pamela's gluten free cookies $2.69 a box, and my fave Nut-Thins or artisan Nut-Thins crackers $1.99 a box.  Applegate Organics sliced organic turkey is also good at $4.49 for a six ounce package.  Further details here.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

And this looks like a good one.  I love blueberries, but they're in the "dirty dozen" of produce that absorbs the most bad stuff like pesticides in the conventional variety, and organic is usually quite pricey.  So tomorrow's one-day sale at Whole Foods looks like a winner.  Here are the details from them:

Bursting with peak-season sweetness, blueberries are packed with antioxidants — and this Friday, May 31st, they’ll come packed with a great price, too! You’ll be able to pick up pints of organic blueberry goodness for $1.99 in our US and Canada stores.

Summer Produce Demo At WFM

I beg to differ with their sense of the calendar, since summer doesn't officially arrive until quite a bit later in June, but the Whole Foods store on Pearl is declaring summer officially begun, with a demo on summer produce tomorrow.  To me, it won't be summer until that summer produce like corn is actually coming from our local farms, and that will be a while, although we have an abundance of spring greens, pea shoots and the like to enjoy from them now.  Here's what Whole Foods says:

Summer Produce Day with Dana and Steph

Friday, May 31st
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Store Demo Station, Free

Summer is officially here! Join Steph and Dana at the demo station to learn how to make the most out of delicious summer produce.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Good morning on this dark, kind of spooky Boulder morning.  Whoops, and here comes the rain this very second, yay!  We have new sales starting today at our local Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues through Saturday at Vitamin Cottage.  Here's what's looking good to me now.

After that rather spectacular big brand sale that Sprouts ran for two weeks (concluding today, last chance!), their new sale through June 5th is perhaps a bit meh in comparison.  I am liking grass-fed organic ground beef at $4.99 a pound, ground pork for $2.99 a pound, and chicken breast tenders are okay at $2.99 a pound.  Huge 16/20 count raw shrimp from the USA are $8.99 a pound, pretty good, but they have been lower, and ditto for Alaskan cod fillets at $7.99 a pound (both fish previously frozen).  Organic produce is looking good as usual, with on-the-vine tomatoes great at $1.99 a pound, one pound bags of baby carrots $1.49 each, romaine, red or green leaf lettuce all $1.29 a head ($1.50 for the red or green at Whole Foods, where the heads are often, but not always, larger), broccoli is $1.29 a pound, and bulk mixed greens or spinach remain fantastic at $3.99 a pound, plus there are some nice organic fruit deals.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking Seapoint Farms edamame at $2 a bag, Cascadian Farm organic cereal $3.50 a box, Spectrum Essentials chia seeds $8.99 for a 12 ounce package, some BelGioioso Italian cheese wedges $4.99 for a half pound wedge, and Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozzarella balls $3.99 for a half pound ball.

Whole Foods has really been keeping my outdoor grill busy recently with some very fine fish, including both halibut and Copper River salmon last week, both of which were excellent.  So I'm pleased to see the options continue, since their new sale through June 11th includes fresh albacore tuna for $14.99 a pound. We also like their salmon burgers (although we find they do better indoors, since they'd dry out quickly on a grill, or at least on ours), and the new sale's option is a citrus bbq salmon burger for $7.99 a pound).  In produce, conventional corn is four ears for $1, as we wait another month for our local corn to start arriving.  In organic produce, I'm pleased to see red seedless grapes for $2.49 a pound, and green or red leaf lettuce are both $1.50 a head.  From the deli, if you're headed out for a picnic (or looking for an easy dinner at home, hmmm), their own buttermilk brined fried chicken looks fantastic at $4.99 a pound, $3 off (we don't often eat fried stuff like that, but for a once a year indulgence, and especially at that price, we'll go for it).  Plus, they have Mom's macaroni salad right next to it in the deli for $3.99 a pound ($2 off) to go with it.  Delicious Parrano cheese is $9.99 a pound, $6 off, and if you haven't already stocked up on sunscreen for the summer, select Jason ones are 40% off.

And a Copper River salmon alert.  I last paid $22.99 a pound at Whole Foods for Copper River sockeye salmon, and when I looked a couple of days ago, that was still the price.  Sprouts at the time didn't have any fresh wild salmon.  Prices tend to trend lower as the season progresses, so it's worth noting that Safeway today is advertising fresh Copper River sockeye for $14.99 a pound (Club price).  King Soopers is silent on it in this week's ad.

Tuesday, May 28, 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 28th.  I've already laid in my fresh sunscreen supply for the season and make my own iced tea from scratch using Celestial Seasonings every week, so this one isn't doing much for me.  Here's what they say:

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, May 28th!

Rishi Boxed Iced Teas
Select Varieties
2 for $7
(save $3.49/ea)

WS Badger
2.9 - 4.0 oz
SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen,
SPF 30 Unscented,
Daily Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 with Aloe
50% off

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

Best wishes for a fun-filled holiday, while also remembering the very solemn reason for it.  If you still haven't figured out what will be out on the table, here's a reminder about my prior post on Memorial Day Grilling Guides.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Weekday Dinner Ideas

In the middle of a busy holiday weekend, this will be exceedingly quick.  I've already covered what's happening through tomorrow in the weekend plans (look a couple of posts below), so there's not much territory left anyway.  After four days of outdoor grilling, I plan to head back into the kitchen for Tuesday, with sausage risotto with spring greens from Bon Appetit, assuming I'm able to get a bag of those beautiful mixed greens from the Cure Organic Farm store today.  If not, my fallback would be the organic bulk mixed greens and/or spinach that are both just $3.99 a pound at Sprouts, and that's where I'll head anyway for chicken sausage at $2.99 a pound.

Wednesday will be our reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is that big 'ol batch of bbq country style ribs, hee haw.  Some organic mashed potatoes and the conventional California sweet corn that's six for $1 through that day will make it a snap.

We'll compensate for Wednesday's snarf with a lovely seasonal and vegetarian dish for Thursday, soba with pea shoots, shiitake mushrooms and leeks from Gourmet magazine.  I'm counting on the Cure Organic Farm store to still have pea shoots for this one, and nobody has to be a stickler about the shrooms having to be shiitake. 

Weekday Dinner Ideas

I have spring spinach on the brain, the our farmers' stalls overflowing with it and Sprouts continuing the convenience of their $3.99 a pound organic bulk spinach sale.  So many possibilities with that, but since Sprouts has big 16/20 count USA shrimp for $8.99 a pound, I think we'll head to shrimp Florentine pasta from Cooking Light for tomorrow (although shrimp and spinach go into a tempting risotto as well, or a stir-fry).

Tuesday we'll treat ourselves to our easy reheat of something big made on the weekend, which this week is tonight's corn and cod chowder from Food and Wine magazine.

With spinach still on the brain, eggs (actually the very fine, cholesterol-free Nulaid) needing to be finished off in the fridge, and quick cooking still the goal, Wednesday will be scrambled eggs with spinach and Parmesan from Bon Appetit, adjusting the recipe for the family size.

Thursday will get even easier (perhaps because of the influence of warm weather and general sense of impending summer), since we'll indulge in the buttermilk brined fried chicken from the deli at Whole Foods that's an impressive $4.99 a pound ($3 off).  Whole Foods also has Mom's macaroni salad at $3.99 a pound ($2 off) as a possible side, but guilt might persuade me to make something of my own for that.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Recycle Electronics in Superior Tomorrow

The Whole Foods in Superior will hold its monthly recycling event from 10 to 2:30 tomorrow.  Here are the details from them:

SustainAbility Recycling

Sunday, May 26th
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Superior Whole Foods Market- South Parking Lot, Free/ except noted items

SustainAbility Recycling

Whole Foods Market Superior has partnered with SustainAbility Recycling and will have a truck in the parking lot every 4th Sunday of the month.

The truck will be here to collect all recycled electronics on May 26 from 10-2. Pick up a card at our Customers Service Counter for a list of items accepted for Free and which items have a small fee. Please go to to learn more! Thanks for Recycling

Friday, May 24, 2013

Priciest Salmon I've Ever Seen

I'm not a fan to begin with  about our surge to get fresh wild salmon at the first moment we can deplete its stock, but yes, it's exciting that the season has just started.   But Whole Food's price for Copper River sockeye at $22.99 a pound was enough (and we just had that off the grill, and it was fantastic), but the idea that Whole Foods now has Copper River king salmon for a mind-blowing $44.99 a pound pretty much amazes me.

BBQ Baby Back Ribs At Sprouts

Not in the mood for doing your own grilling this weekend, or perhaps looking to supplement your other plans with some ribs?  Sprouts will be grilling baby back ribs both today and tomorrow from 11 am to 6 pm (while they last), for you to take home and heat at your convenience.  Prices are $10.99 for a full rack and $5.99 for a half rack.

Weekend Dinner Ideas, Through Memorial Day

It's going to be a grillerama around here for the next four days, and the weather is looking great for it.  I haven't gotten all the details worked out, so here's an outline.  With the first of the fresh wild salmon of the season having arrived this week in the form of Copper River, some of that will have to go on the grill tonight.  I'm hoping Whole Foods might have lowered a bit from their midweek introductory price of $22.99 a pound, but that's probably not going to happen.  We'll keep it simple with some foil packages of diced organic potatoes also on the grill, while going conventional with that California sweet corn that Sprouts has at six for $1.

Tomorrow's outdoor dinner will be grilled chicken and ratatouille from Bon Appetit.  Sprouts has boneless skinless chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound in the value pack, and organic roma tomatoes $1.49 for a one pound bag.  I've also had success using regular eggplant instead of the Japanese called for, and Sprouts' price on organic eggplant has been quite good recently.

Striving for balance in taste, health, and price, Sunday will be our fattier, but exceedingly tasty indulgence, smoking some country-style boneless pork ribs.  Since they are just $1.49 a pound at Sprouts, that will provide some price balance to the two grilled fish dinners that will bookend the weekend.  We'll also make a double-sized batch of those ribs, to serve as an easy midweek dinner as well.

Our Memorial Day dinner will be traditional only in the sense that it will be grilled.  While there will be plenty of burgers and brats out there (and lots of good options on those at our local natural foods stores), we'll opt for grilling those delicious fresh halibut steaks that Whole Foods has on sale for $14.99 a pound through Tuesday.  Shaved zucchini with Parmesan pine nuts from Bon Appetit is looking like a good side to me (organic "Italian squash" $1.49 a pound at Sprouts), possibly with more of that six for $1 corn from Sprouts.  Pine nuts are always expensive, but you don't need much, so buy a teeny bag from the bulk aisle at Whole Foods.

And that gets us through what's looking to be a very nice weekend.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grilling Ideas At Whole Foods

Mmmmm, sounds like the Whole Foods on Pearl Street will be sampling grilled foods tomorrow from 4 to 6 to give you ideas for Memorial Day.  Here are the details from them:

Memorial Day Grilling Event

Friday, May 24th
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Store, Free

Join us in store as we share our Memorial Day favorites for the holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Copper River $19.99 At King Soopers

I was just running an errand at my wonderful vet in Table Mesa this morning, so stopped by the King Soopers right next door to check out their price on the first of the season Copper River salmon.  Fillets are $19.99 a pound there, beating the $22.99 a pound I saw yesterday at the Pearl Street Whole Foods by $3.  Tough call for me this weekend, whether the price difference is worth a separate trip.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new weekly sale starting today at our local Sprouts stores, while Sprouts' Big Brand sale, with 20 to 35% off some bestselling brands continues through May 29th, the current sale at Whole Foods continues through the 28th, and the current sale at Vitamin Cottage goes through June 1st (click for prior reports).  Here's what's looking good to me now.

In addition to the continuing Big Brand sale, Sprouts is whooping it up for the Memorial Day weekend with some new specials through the 29th.  In meat, boneless country-style pork ribs (or pork shoulder roast, but the ribs are what go on the grill or in the smoker for the weekend) are stunningly low at $1.49 a pound, center-cut boneless pork chops are $2.99 a pound, whole or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound, and all chicken sausage (pork too) are $2.99 a pound.  If you're waiting for the price of newly arrived fresh wild Copper River salmon to drop from the stratosphere (see yesterday's post below), there's still the fresh farmed variety as a fallback, which Sprouts has for a very reasonable $5.99 a pound.  They also have previously frozen swordfish steaks for $9.99 a pound, and I once caught them being very good ones from the USA, but I think that was a rarity.

Before we get to the organic produce, I have to mention that conventional California sweet corn is exceptional at six for $1, as we impatiently wait another month and a half for our local corn season.  In organic produce, one pound bags of roma tomatoes are good at $1.49 each (although the bag concept is irritating), broccoli is $1.49 a pound, red or green leaf lettuce or romaine are all $1.29 a head, baby carrots are $1.49 a one pound bag, bulk mixed greens or spinach remain great at $3.99 a pound, and cantaloupes or honeydew melons are 99 cents a pound.

I've mentioned many times here that I love Lucky's Market and wish it were closer to be convenient for me, and the fact that today's paper includes a rare weekly sales insert from them makes me wish I could shop there all the more.  Since I'm looking at that flyer, here's what I wish I could get at Lucky's Market through the 29th.  Organic produce looks great (as it always does there), with seedless watermelons 25 cents a pound, on the vine tomatoes $1.50 a pound, russet potatoes 99 cents a pound, red and green leaf lettuce $1.50 a head, green beans $2 a pound, red or green chard $1.50 a bunch, and peaches (!) $2 a pound.  In meat, I'd love to try their Teton Waters Ranch beef, with grass-fed New York strip steaks $10.99 a pound, and a promise of "never ever" given growth hormones or antibiotics (Teton Waters grass-fed single grind ground chuck also looks good at $4.99 a pound).  They're also announcing the arrival of the first Copper River salmon of the season, but are not revealing its price in print, which nobody else is doing either.

Tuesday, May 21, 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 22nd.  I caught those NY strip steaks at an even better price of $9.99 a pound during a two-hour flash sale I happened to walk into at the Pearl Street store a couple of weeks ago, and I can attest that they are excellent.  Something to think about for your Memorial Day bbq.

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, May 22nd!

Organic Raspberries - 6 oz.
2 for $5
(save $3.49/ea)

Country Natural Beef
NY Strip Steak
(save $6/lb)

Copper River Salmon Is Here!

We've been waiting all winter for the start of the fresh wild salmon season, and it's here, at least at the Pearl Street Whole Foods.  They told me this afternoon that it's day two of their having it, and they're selling it for $22.99 a pound for beautiful fillets.  It always starts out high at the beginning of the season (actually, I think $23 is lower than it has usually started in the past), but price wars tend to develop, with King Soopers and Safeway getting into the fray.  I'm envisioning a Memorial Day weekend of grilled fish (so I'm not the hot dog type), since Whole Foods also has excellent halibut steaks on sale through Tuesday for $14.99 a pound.

Grilling Guides For Memorial Day

We've been grilling practically year-round, even in the dark, so long as the grill isn't covered with snow.  But Memorial Day pretty much marks the official start of the real grilling season, so here are some guides to help you get your grill on:  Ultimate Grilling & Barbeque Guide from Epicurious, Whole Foods' Guide to Grilling, Summer Grilling Recipes from Food and Wine magazine, and Our Favorite Grilling Recipes from Bon Appetit.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Grilling Class Wednesday

With Memorial Day a week away (!), get your grilling skills prepped with Grilling 101 at the Pearl Street Whole Foods Wednesday.  Here are the details from them:

Grilling 101 with Dana and Steph

Wednesday, May 22nd
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
East Patio, Free

Some of the best summer meals sizzle right off the grill. Join Steph and Dana outside to learn basic grill techniques, new recipes, and lighter versions of your seasonal favorites!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekday Dinner Ideas

With much gardening to do and showers possible later today, this will be quick.  I'm hoping the Cure Organic Farm store will have pea shoots today, as tomorrow I want them in chicken and shitake stir fry with peas and pea tendrils from Bon Appetit.  Since both boneless chicken breasts and chicken stir fry (already cut up!) are half price at Sprouts through Wednesday, that price should be decent for this.

Tuesday will be our reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is tonight's kale and white bean stew from Food and Wine magazine.  Side salad, and it's dinner.

For Wednesday, I want to try a new recipe from the June issue of Cooking Light, penne with herbs, tomatoes, and peas, probably using the organic on-the-vine tomatoes that are $1.99 a pound instead of the cherry tomatoes.  I'm also betting I'll have some pea shoots left from those big bags at Cure Organic Farm to toss in as well.

Thursday is up in the air, as I first thought of doing chicken breasts with that really simple mushroom sauce I've mentioned several times from Cooking Light.  But now I'm thinking that with somewhat cooler temperatures as we get closer to summer, maybe I'd better jump on that five cheese take and bake pizza that Whole Foods has for $8.99 through the 28th while I'm still in the mood for baking things.  I like to add Yves veggie pepperoni or veggie Canadian bacon and some shrooms to dress it up a bit.

Off to plant my basil pots!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Don't forget about the Boulder Farmers' Market, running from 8 to 2 in its downtown location today.  I do wish they'd be able to reinstate their "crop list" page on their website, which used to list week to week changes as we slide through the rapidly changing produce seasons.  The crop list page is currently blank, and I realize that must be a lot of work to keep such info up.  Also, since I probably won't have a chance to get to the Market this week, it's good that my favorite Cure Organic Farm store at 75th and Valmont should be open by today, yay!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Food Revolution Day At Pearl WFM

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a Food Revolution Day (which sounds like it's actually today)celebration tomorrow starting at noon.  Here's just a snippet of what they say:

Food Revolution Day

Saturday, May 18th
12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
West Patio, Free

We will partner with representatives from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, our Whole Kids Foundation, and Boulder Valley School District to celebrate seasonal food. Join us on our West Patio for a cooking competition, live music, and kids' events!

Food Revolution Day on 17 May is a global day of action for people to make a stand for good food and essential cooking skills. It's a chance for people to come together within their homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources. Food Revolution Day aims to raise awareness about the importance of good food and better food education for everyone by focusing on three simple actions – cook it, share it, live it.

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With time so short, quickness will be the theme for both the ideas and their description this week.  Tonight?  Salmon burgers ("garden fresh") that are $7.99 a pound at Whole Foods this week.  They have organic chard to go on the side at $1.67 a bunch.

Tomorrow the family griller will be sent outside to the grill to do some of the fresh halibut steaks Whole Foods new sale has at an impressive $14.99 a pound, plus I like their hardwood charcoal that's on sale for $4.99 a bag.

With afternoon storms perhaps more prevalent on Sunday, and needing a big thing for an easy midweek reheat, we'll head back inside for kale and white bean stew from Food and Wine magazine (although there are plenty of variations to be found on the web).  No time to really explain where the deals would come from here, but it's a lovely and inexpensive recipe however you do it. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Olive Oil Tasting At Cured Saturday

So if you're downtown for the Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday, consider also swinging by the wonderful store that is Cured at 1825 Pearl Street (not to be confused with that other fave of mine, Cure Organic Farm at 75th and Valmont), purveyor of excellent cheeses, meats, and wines, for a special olive oil tasting Saturday afternoon.  Here are the details from them.

Olive Oil Tasting, Saturday, May 18th, 1-4pm: Have you ever felt overwhelmed staring at our wall of olive oils, wondering what the differences are between different countries, producers and olive varietals? You’re not alone. The world of olive oil is vast and can be intimidating, which is why we are excited to have Steve Lewis with us on Saturday. Several years back, Steve Lewis, a well-known wine importer, began to expand his portfolio to include olive oil. During his travels through Spain and Italy, he continued to happen upon small, family-run, boutique olive oils that were created with the same level of attention usually reserved for fine wines. Steve will be with us from 1-4 on Saturday to answer any and every question you may have concerning olive oil, meanwhile tasting a selection his delicious imports.

Brigitte Mars To Teach Raw Food Class At Alfalfa's

Brigitte Mars, a major player in Boulder's natural foods scene for years, will be teaching a raw food class at Alfalfa's on the 19th.  And if eating raw food makes you look as good as she does in her promotional photo, sign me up.  Here are the details from Alfalfa's:

Raw Food Class with Brigitte Mars

May 19th
3:00 to 5:00pm

Mark your calendar! Come learn from one of the top herbalists and raw chefs in Boulder. Brigitte is the author of several cookbooks and herbal guides, including Rawesome! She has taught at Naropa University, Bauman College of Holistic Health and Natural Chef, The School of Natural Medicine, Boulder College of Massage Therapy, Esalen Institute, Kripalu, and at an Icelandic healing arts school called Heilsumeistraskolinn. She has a private practice and has a local weekly radio show on KGNU called Naturally.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our local Sprouts stores and Whole Foods, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through June 1st (click for prior report).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sales.

The big deal at Sprouts this week is actually a two-weeker, a Big Brand sale running through May 29th, with a whole bunch of bestselling brands at 20% to 35% off regular retail.  Here's a sampling of what looks good to me:  all Annie's 25% off, Muir Glen Organic 35%, Applegate all-natural 20%, Coleman Natural pork and poultry 25%, Barbara's 25%, Spice Hunter 25%, and Eat Well hummus 20%.  Those are taken from a special insert on the sale that specifies through through the 29th, so it gets a little confusing how long the Big Brand sale items listed in the regular flyer will be on sale for, since the regular sale only goes through the 22nd.  My guess is that these will also be good through the 29th, but don't blame me if they aren't: all Kashi 33% off, Back to Nature 25%, Kikkoman 35%, select Ling Ling potstickers 30%, and Spectrum Essentials 25% off, plus lots more.

In the regular sale at Sprouts through the 22nd, meat is in that percentage off mode with a fresh boneless chicken sale, with five boneless cuts (breasts, thighs, tenders, scallopini, and stir fry) all 50% off.  Their very good stuffed chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound, three styles of chicken sausage are $2.99 a pound, New York steaks are $7.99 a pound for bone-in and $9.99 for boneless, and fresh farmed steelhead fillets are $7.99 a pound.  In organic produce, on-the-vine tomatoes remain great at $1.99 a pound (far better than Whole Foods' sale of $3.99 a pound), green or red leaf or romaine lettuce are all 99 cents a head, broccoli is $1.79 a pound, five pound bags of red potatoes are great at $2.50 each, green onions are just 69 cents a bunch, garnet or sweet yams are $1.29 a pound, one pound clamshells of strawberries are $2.99 each (yup, we're still talking organic here), and red delicious apples, cantaloupes or honeydew melons are all 99 cents a pound.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm really enthused about coffee beans at $7.99 a pound (need I say yet again that the Baseline store will have organic Fair Trade coffee, including decaf at this price, although the other stores don't seem to carry it?).

I'm going to miss those $6 lobster tails from Maine that Whole Foods was just doing, but their new sale through May 28th has a very big temptation as well:  fresh halibut steaks (always with that fine Whole Foods pedigree) for $14.99 a pound, plus their 365 brand real hardwood charcoal is $1 off at $4.99 a bag for putting that lovely fish out on the grill.  Garden fresh salmon burgers are also looking good at $7.99 a pound, and there are a bunch of other grilling-themed specials for Memorial Day that look like good deals but just aren't my thing, like 8-packs of hamburger and hot dog buns nearly half off, bacon wrapped shrimp skewers half off, and pork brats $3.99 a pound.  Organic sweet onions look great at $1 a pound, red, green or rainbow chard is good at $1.67 a bunch, and organic zucchini is okay at $1.99 a pound.  Organic cluster tomatoes are on sale for $3.99 a pound, so I'd look elsewhere for those, like Sprouts at $1.99 a pound or Vitamin Cottage, where they're $2.49 a pound.  Market Made five cheese take and bake pizzas are $8.99 each (that should be a large size), and they're good on their own, or even better dressed up with some Yves veggie pepperoni and some mushrooms.  Finally, my favorite Stonyfield Farm frozen yogurt is excellent at $2.50 for a 16 ounce container.  It's absolutely delicious, and you'll be amazed if you compare its calorie count to a similar tasting, full fatted ice cream.  It's a summer staple in this house.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will have a special half off sale on "Green Super Salads" for tomorrow only, the 15th.  Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with this Green Super Salad, but half off salad is always good.  Here's what they say:

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, May 15th!

Green Super Salads
50% Off
(Regular price $4.99-$6.99)

Cure Store Opening Soon

My favorite farmstand cum store at Cure Organic Farm will be opening soon, but I'm just not sure when.  I stopped by their booth at the Farmers' Market, where they told me it will be opening tomorrow, but their website says opening is on May 18th, which would be this Saturday.  One way or another, we'll soon have a pleasant shopping option for all those wonderfully seasonal organic veggies and the like.  Cure is also really good for organic plant starts and they do their own meats as well.  Once open, their hours will be 11 to 6 Wednesdays through Fridays and 10 to 4 Saturdays and Sundays.  They're convenient to Boulder at 75th and Valmont, and if that weren't good enough, it gets even better in July when Munson Farms opens its farmstand right across the street with their fabulous local corn.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Lunch And Learn Wednesday

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host a Healthy Eating Lunch and Learn this Wednesday.  Here are the details from them:

Healthy Eating Lunch and Learn with Steph

Wednesday, May 15th
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Bulk Cooking Department, Free

Discover how easy it is to use our bulk department to create delicious and healthy meals. The bulk department has endless possibilities, especially for those on a budget. Light lunch and recipes provided in this class. Email to sign up for this free event.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Weekday Dinner Ideas

Really no time for this post, so a quick one.

Tomorrow will be beef and mushroom stroganoff, a relatively new one I haven't yet tried from Cooking Light.  Dicing the sirloin tip steaks or roast on sale for $3.99 a pound at Sprouts is making me think of this one.  The magazine says it can be prepared in 29 minutes, but I doubt that will happen in my kitchen.

We'll be back to those nice big domestic shrimp on sale for $6.99 a pound at Sprouts for Tuesday, which will be shrimp risotto with baby spinach and basil from Bon Appetit.  Dried basil does just fine until my garden gets going, and I can only hope Sprouts is continuing its long-running sale on organic bulk spinach, as it isn't mentioned in this week's ad.

Wednesday will be our reheat, this time a little different, as it will be Monday's beef and mushroom stroganoff.  (Usually I do something big over the weekend.)  Side veggie, and that's it.

I'd like to try another new recipe from Cooking Light for Thursday, spicy pork lettuce cups.  This looks to be yet another variation on that wonderful Thai dish I discovered a couple of years ago, more authentically known as laab, larb, or laap.  I've found it can be done with all sorts of ground meats, and Sprouts has ground turkey for $3.99 a pound through Wednesday.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day Brunch Tomorrow In Superior

Everybody has their own idea about what's the best way to celebrate Mother's Day.  If I were lucky enough to still have mine around, I'd opt for a lovely dinner, preferably out.  I see enough of the inside of grocery stores, so Whole Foods' brunch tomorrow strikes me as a novel sort of celebration.  Actually, this would probably be great for families with little kids in tow.  Here are the details from them:

Mother's Day Brunch

Sunday, May 12th
7:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Superior Prep Foods Department, Varies

Looking for a relaxed, delicious Mother’s Day Brunch? Join us at the Whole Foods Market Superior for our Mother’s Day Brunch from 7:30am-12:00pm.

Our Prep Foods Dept. will be offering the following brunch selections :

Omelet station
Smoothie station
Breakfast pizza and breakfast sandwiches
Pancakes, scrambles and hash from the grill
Oatmeal bar

All Brunch items priced $8.00 or less

Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Skincare At Alfalfa's

Next Wednesday, Alfalfa's will host a Wellness Wednesday with Naya Artisan Skincare, in which you can get to learn all sorts of interesting things about creating your own products from natural ingredients, things to look for in purchasing products, and the like.  Note that there is a modest cost and you need to sign up.  Here are the details from them:

Wellness Wednesday with Naya Artisan Skincare

May 15th

6:00 to 7:30 pm

Join Kelsey Riley, owner of NAYA Artisan Revival SkinCare for an edicational evening of learning how to create your own skincare at home using ingredients from your garden, kitchen, and local farmers markets. Kelsey will also talk about how to read and understand product labels, ethical sourcing of ingredients, plastic vs. glass containers, and other important choices faced when purchasing skincare products.

Each attendee will go home with several DIY recipes and plant seeds to start sprouting their own herbs at home. The cost is $10, and space is limited. Click here to sign up!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

With domestic shrimp a fantastic price at Sprouts and lobster tails on sale everywhere, I'm seeing a week full of seafood, shellfish in particular.  Since Whole Foods has excellent lobster tails at $6 each through Tuesday, we'll start off tonight with a new-found favorite, creamy lobster pappardelle from Cooking Light.  I've found it best to not reduce the sauce quite so much, making it saucier but still intensely flavored.

For tomorrow, I'm hoping we'll be a bit dried out (although that's not certain) and ready to hit the grill, so I'm thinking about those domestic shrimp Sprouts has for $6.99 a pound on the grill.  These are really huge 16/20 count shrimp, so they can just go on skewers with a spray of canola oil (the high heat-tolerant stuff) and some herbs.  I saw pea shoots last week at the Farmers' Market, so I'm inclined to try the amusingly-named newfangled peas and carrots from the current issue of Cooking Light on the side.

Being fixated on those big domestic shrimp and still infatuated with a recent trip to Georgia's low country, for Sunday, I'm planning to try a low country boil.  The recipe I've linked to is from Uncle Bubba's Oyster House, part of the Paula Deen empire, and close to where we visited.  It deviates from the smoked sausage idea, but I'm thinking the chicken sausage on sale at Sprouts, well cooked because not smoked (and maybe again done on the bbq), might also work with this.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cooking Tour At Pearl Whole Foods

So who knew that the Pearl Street Whole Foods has the second largest bulk department of all its stores?  (Wonder where the first is - the one by Columbus Circle in Manhattan is pretty big).  The Pearl store will offer a tour this Saturday to help you learn about all that's available.  And while "bulk" is a pretty unattractive word that implies large quantities, I've mentioned before that this is my go-to place when I need just the opposite - a quarter cup of something or even a teaspoon of an unusual herb for a recipe.  Here are the details from them:

Cooking Boulder Tour with Dana

Saturday, May 11th
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Bulk Department, Free

Did you know we have the second largest bulk department of all Whole Foods Market stores? Join Dana in Cooking Boulder department to learn all about our offerings! Email to RSVP for this free tour.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Whole Foods Coming To Longmont

Woohoo, it just keeps getting better.  With Boulder pretty saturated with wonderful stores (although we're still waiting on our Trader Joe's), Longmont looks to be where the action is these days.  It has long had a Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts opened there a few months ago, Lucky's has announced a plan for a store, and now, today's Daily Camera is reporting that Whole Foods has signed on for a store in the redevelopment of the old Twin Peaks Mall, which will be reworked into the Village at the Peaks.

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our local Sprouts stores (also of course with their customary double-ad Wednesday overlap with the prior sale), while Whole Foods continues its sale through the 14th (grab those jumbo artichokes at just $1.67 each!) through the 14th, and the current sale at Vitamin Cottage runs through June 1st (click for prior reports).  Here's what's looking good to me in the new sale.

At Sprouts through May 15th, I'm thrilled to see huge 16/20 count previously frozen domestic wild shrimp from the good ol' USA again at $6.99 a pound.  This time I might see if I can get a bag still frozen to lay in the freezer as well.  Flash frozen swordfish steaks (ahi tuna also) are $7.99 a pound, but country isn't specified, and that's something I also only get from the US or Canada.  Previously frozen lobster tails are $5.99, but again, country isn't specified, and I think the ones Whole Foods has for a penny more through Tuesday are from Maine (I have to check that out soon, but that's where they've always come from in the past).  In meat, all chicken sausage (pork also) is $2.99 a pound, center-cut pork loin chops are also $2.99 a pound, turkey tenders or ground turkey breast are both $3.99 a pound, and boneless filet mignon steaks or roasts are $14.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, green onions are just 69 cents a bunch, on-the-vine tomatoes remain great at $1.99 a pound, broccoli is $1.69 a pound, Italian squash (think zucchini) is $1.49 a pound, and organic mini watermelons are $2.99 each, but they're $2.50 each at Whole Foods through Tuesday.  Elsewhere in the store, I'm really liking select DeLallo whole wheat pastas at $2 a one pound package (they make an organic whole wheat fettuccine that otherwise seems hard to find at a reasonable price).  Alexia fries are BOGO, some Brown Cow yogurts are 50 cents each, and Spectrum Essentials are all 25% off (I like their flaxseed as a salad topper).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Superior WFM Celebrating Moms Too!

The Whole Foods in Superior will also host a Mom O Rama Thursday:

Mom O Rama

Thursday, May 9th
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Superior Whole Foods Market, Free

Join us on Thursday for Mom-O-Rama. Come celebrate mom-ness with tasty samples and mom friendly treats. First 50 Mom’s in the store will receive a Free goodie bag filled with coupons and products courtesy of our vendors: Mychelle, Dr. Hauschka, Burt’s Bees, Alaffia, Goddess Garden, Boiron, Mineral Fusion and Hain. Stroll our store on Thursday, May 9 from 10-1 for yummy Mom Friendly samples and stop at our Customer Service Desk to be one of the first 50 Mom's to receive a Gift Bag!

Pearl WFM Celebrates Moms Thursday

With Mother's Day coming up, the Pearl Street Whole Foods will celebrate the first 100 moms in the store as follows:


Thursday, May 9th
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Store, Free

Just for you, moms! The first 100 moms in the store will receive a free goodie bag from our store team (west side entrance). Our bakery team will also have a treat prepared for you!

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Our local Whole Foods stores will offer us a duo of special sales for tomorrow only, the 8th.  I usually resign myself to conventional asparagus, given the rarity and sky high price that usually comes with organic, but this $2.99 a pound price for organic will make me jump on it.  And while I haven't tried Theo chocolate bars, that's certainly looking like a splendid price.  Here are the details from them:

Tomorrow Only! Wednesday, May 8th!

(save $3/lb)

Theo Chocolate
3oz Bars
(Ultimate Dark, Dark Salted Cherry,
& Dark Salted Almond)
(save $2.33/ea)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Healthy Eating Budget Tours

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will host two Healthy Eating Budget Tours tomorrow, at noon and 5 pm.  Here are the details from them:

Healthy Eating Budget Tour with Stephanie

Tuesday, May 7th
10:00 AM
Store, 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, May 5, 2013

Weekday Dinner Plans

With so much to do outside, I'm thinking quick, both in terms of writing and cooking.  Here's the rundown.  Since we're getting close to planting basil again, I'm reminded of the pesto still in my freezer from last year's crop, so while this won't help anybody else without such a stash, tomorrow will be a simple pasta with pesto.

Tuesday will be our reheat of something big made over the weekend, which this week is the slow-cooked Tuscan pork with white beans from Cooking Light.

We'll take it easy on ourselves again for Wednesday, grabbing the stuffed chicken breasts that Sprouts has for $3.99 a pound through that day for a quick dinner.  They have five pound bags of organic russet potatoes for $2.99 each to do microwaved "baked" potatoes on the side.

Sprouts also has eight ounce Mozzarella Fresca fresh mozz balls for $3.99 a pound through Wednesday, which is making me think of repeating a recent vegetarian success for Thursday, tomato and mozzarella risotto from Cooking Light.  Okay, so I use eight ounces of mozzarella instead of the two called for (could you even see two?) but I also add a ton more organic spinach, which is great at $3.99 a pound in bulk at Sprouts, plus they have organic on-the-vine tomatoes for $1.99 a pound, both through Wednesday.

So that quickly gets us through the week.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Ah, changeable Boulder in the springtime.  We'll have a lovely day for the Boulder Farmers' Market today, with sunshine and temperatures heading towards 60, while the first Wednesday market of the season just three days ago had to be cancelled because of our record-breaking snowstorm.  The market runs from 8 to 2 today, so bring your shopping bags, a hat, and sunscreen.  I wish they'd start posting their crop list on their website - last year they had really accurate lists that chronicled those incremental changes in what produce becomes available as the weeks march on, but this year that page is blank.  I'm sure it's a really time-consuming endeavor, and they're already doing so much as it is.

Friday, May 3, 2013

More Cinco De Mayo At WFM Pearl

The Pearl Street Whole Foods Wine and Spirits store will also be getting into the Cinco de Mayo spirit tomorrow (see the post below for the Taco Throwdown happening in the market) with a tequila tasting accompanied by Mexican street food.  Here are the details from them:

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Saturday, May 4th
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Whole Foods Wine and Spirits, Free

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with our Whole Foods Market Wine & Spirits store! Meet local owner of Suerte Tequila, Laurence Spiewak and taste his fine spirits while enjoying some Mexican street food prepared by our chefs.

Also, during the event, purchase any bottle of Suerte tequila and get a 32 oz. bottle of Freshies Margarita mix for FREE!

Taco Throwdown Tomorrow

The Pearl Street Whole Foods will pit a bunch of their people against one another tomorrow in a Taco Throwdown.  You get to sample and vote on which you think is the best.  I've done this one before, and it's both fun and delicious.

Cinco de Mayo Taco Throwdown

Saturday, May 4th
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The Store, Free

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, our teams will be preparing their best taco recipes. Come try them all and vote for your favorite!

Weekend Dinner Ideas

Quick rundown on the weekend plans.  The $4.99 a pound previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillet sale at Sprouts is driving my thinking for tonight, which will be sauteed cod Provencale, a recipe I have yet to try from Gourmet magazine.  Some nice Lundberg farm rice blend from prior sales will go on the side, along with a green.

They're talking possible rain showers for tomorrow pm, so I'm thinking we'll postpone grilling until Sunday.  That turns my attention to the boneless pork shoulder Sprouts has for just $1.99 a pound for a last spring round of a comfort food favorite, slow-cooked Tuscan pork with white beans from Cooking Light, for which I pull out my venerable CrockPot.

Sunday we'll head to the grill, and with fresh halibut coming into season, we'll indulge ourselves with that.  It's $6.99 per six ounce portion at Sprouts (which equals $18.64 a pound, and I wonder if they might also sell it not pre-cut for that price), and $18.99 a pound with card at King Soopers.  I love organic russets ($2.99 for a five pound bag at Sprouts) diced and placed in foil packages with a bit of olive oil and herbs to grill on the side.

Which quickly gets us through the weekend.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kentucky Derby Saturday

A tad funny to think of such a springtime thing after yesterday's snow, but Saturday will be the Kentucky Derby, a good time for eating, plus don't forget those mint juleps.  Saveur magazine has a menu for you, with finger food to get you through the day.  Plus, here's the official site for the Derby.

Festivities At WFM Pearl

This being the first week of the month, the Whole Foods on Pearl Street celebrates with a couple of monthly events.  Today will be the First Thursday Craft Beer and Food Tasting from 4 to 6 pm in the adjacent Wine and Spirits store, while tomorrow will be their monthly Spa Night, about which they say:

Whole Body Spa Night

Friday, May 3rd
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Whole Body Department , Free

Join us in the Whole Body department for our monthly spa night! Come get the ultimate pampered treatment while enjoying free snacks and beverages from our store team.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tonight's Farmers' Market Cancelled!

Very wise on their part, the Boulder Farmers' Market has cancelled its planned first Wednesday market of the season tonight, as the snow keeps coming today.  So I'll be sure to make time in my schedule to get there this Saturday instead.  Be careful out there, as I'm afraid all this wet stuff will turn to ice later in the day.

Not Great Day For First Wednesday Boulder Farmers' Market

Oh, no, today is the first of our beloved Wednesday afternoon Boulder Farmers' Markets, running from 4 to 8 pm from today through the first Wednesday in October.  With our current snow, I'm afraid it will be a rough one for them (never heard of them cancelling for weather, but stay tuned).  But hey, Boulder, you're probably downtown anyway, with your 4WD and your technical gear protecting you, so why not get out and support the vendors who will so bravely face those conditions for the opportunity to supply you with fantastic produce?

Wellness Wednesday At Alfalfa's

Oops, I'm a little late on this one, but tonight, Alfalfa's will be hosting a Wellness Wednesday, although who knows what our snow situation will be by then.  Here are the details from them (and I haven't included the registration link because it goes to a closed event that happened last month - best to call them if interested):

Wellness Wednesday with Cindy Key

May 1, 2013, 6:30 to 8:00pm

Alfalfa's Community Room

Cindy Key holds a master's degree in holistic nutrition, and has been helping people make wiser food and supplement choices for many years. She comes to Alfalfa's to teach participants about keeping joints healthy by using herbal remedies and other techniques.

Register here!

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Happy May Day, and only in Boulder would it bring weather like this.  We have new sales starting at our local Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through June 1st (click for prior report).  Here's what catching my eye in the new sales.

I can see avocado fans rejoicing over their choices between today's previously reported one-day sale for $1 at Whole Foods (where they tend to be on the large side) and Sprouts' new sale of three for $1 (where they tend smaller) all the way through May 8th.  Crank up the guacamole for Cinco de Mayo.  In other news at Sprouts through the 8th, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.99 a pound, baby back ribs are $2.99 a pound, boneless pork shoulder roasts or country style ribs are as low as they go at $1.99 a pound, their very good stuffed chicken breasts are $3.99 a pound, ground pork is $2.49 a pound, and boneless ribeyes are $10.99 a pound.  Rosie's organic whole chickens are on sale for $2.99 a pound, which shows you how good the sale that ends today on Rosie's organic grill packs, which are already cut up and nicely trimmed, is at $2.79 a pound.  In fish, fresh Atlantic (farmed) salmon is $7.99 a pound, and previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets are great at $4.99 a pound.  With fresh halibut now coming in, six ounce portions are $6.99 each, which works out to $18.64 a pound for the math-challenged (maybe the fish guy could supply it not already portioned out, but if not, it's $18.99 a pound with card at King Soopers).

In organic produce at Sprouts, Cameo apples are just 99 cents a pound, on-the-vine tomatoes remain great at $1.99 a pound, green or red leaf or romaine lettuce are all $1.29 a head, garnet yams are $1.29 a pound, five pound bags of russet potatoes remain $2.99 each, and bulk spring mix and spinach mercifully remain $3.99 a pound (nearly half what you'll find elsewhere).  Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking Fage Greek yogurts at $1 each, Amy's burritos $1.50 each, and Mozzarella Fresca fresh eight ounce mozzarella balls at $3.99 each, plus there are a whole lot of "Fiesta Favorites" at 25% off in time for Cinco de Mayo.

At Whole Foods through May 14th, large artichokes, which tend to be quite handsome there, are three for $5, which works out to $1.666666... each, and I'm increasingly noticing a need to bring out the calculator to decipher Whole Foods' pricing.  Organic kale also looks good at that $1.666666 three for $5 price, and organic mini seedless watermelons are spectacular at $2.50 each.  The Columbia River whole sockeye salmon they have for $7.99 a pound isn't described beyond that in the ad - maybe the remainder of frozen from last year's we await this year's fresh wild season?  I always like their salmon burgers, and this time it's raspberry chipotle ones for $7.99 a pound, and the very excellent lobster tail special is back at $6 each (when I've bought them, they've always been from Maine).  Finally, you can get a dozen Whole Trade roses for mom (Mother's Day coming up!) for only $10, something to make you, your mom, and the growers all feel good.

Stay safe out there in the snow.