Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Our local Whole Foods will offer us both a one-day sale for tomorrow only (August already!), plus some for all three days through the weekend. For tomorrow only we have this:

From tomorrow through Sunday, you'll find Haystack green chile chevre $3.99 each, $2 off, and if you buy any 365 almond milk you can get Vega smoothie mix for $11.99.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

Good very rainy morning, Boulder. Let's just hope for no flooding, as last year's was obviously enough for a lifetime. In any case, we have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through August 9th. Plus, don't forget that with the double ad Wednesdays, today is the last day to catch 25% off all vitamins and body care at Sprouts. Here's what else is looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through August 6th, fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets remain good at $10.99 a pound, and they are advertising farmed Atlantic salmon for just $6.99 a pound. Bone-in New York steaks are $6.99 a pound, ground chicken is $3.49 a pound, but otherwise their meat and seafood sales aren't doing a whole lot for me. In organic produce, green curly kale is great at 98 cents a bunch, red or green grapes are $2.50 a pound, blueberries or blackberries are $2.98 each for a six-ish ounce container, yellow onions and russet potatoes are both 98 cents a pound, and dapple pluots are $1.50 a pound.

Elsewhere in the store at Sprouts, there's a buy 10 save $5 sale with a back to school emphasis, things like juice boxes and fruit cups, although some Santa Cruz organic products are also included in the promotion, and they are already starting at 25% off. Outside of that sale, Chobani Greek yogurts are good at $1 each, and personally hating coconut, I shiver to see a go crazy for coconuts sale with a whole lot of coconut products 25% off.

In the new sale at Whole Foods through August 12th, organic yellow nectarines are $2.49 a pound, organic heirloom varietal cherry tomatoes are $3.99 a pint, and organic blackberries are $4.99 each for a 12 ounce container, beating Sprouts' price on that if you break it down to the per ounce price. Their fine fresh (albeit farmed) Norwegian salmon fillets are $14.99 a pound, and crab cakes made with U.S. crab are $6.99 each. I've been getting my crab cakes when they go on sale for just $2.99 each at the Longmont Lucky's or $3.99 each at the Boulder one. Didn't note the country of origin, but Lucky's has been doing well on domestic fish. Don't yet know what's happening there this week, but those crab cakes are at those sale prices at least through today. Back to Whole Foods, Fage Greek yogurt cups are $1.25 each, Belgioioso ciliegine mozzarellas are $3.99 a container, Diestel smoked turkey is $2 off at $9.99 a pound, and Whole Foods' own black and blue crostatas are $7.99 each. That's only $1 off, but boy are they good.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

Here's what's going to be in the Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA delivery this week, always a good indicator of what you'll find at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well, and since I'm still dealing with veggies from last Thursday's abundant pickup, I'm so glad they provide the biweekly option we have. Are we half way already through veggie season???

This is the half way point folks – hope you’re enjoying your CSA share
Pickling Cucumbers
Pickling Cucumbers
This week we hope to bring you:
Regular Share
-Choice: Zucchini OR Cucumber
-Choice: Parsley OR Basil
-Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Chard OR Fennel
-Choice: Kohlrabi OR Potatoes OR Green Beans
Large Share Additions    
-Zucchini AND Cucumber
-Extra Choice: Kohlrabi OR Potatoes OR Green Beans

Sorry, No fruit this week :(

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Few Dinner Ideas

Since I made the decision to release myself from my self-imposed prison of posting our menus for every single day, every single week, I find I've not only returned to enjoying menu planning, but also returned to simpler cooking, no longer requiring links to recipes so that I'd have something to share. Dealing with the abundance of produce from our CSA this summer is further skewing my thinking away from ideas that might have broader appeal, and I'm posting this week's plans just to illustrate these points.

For tonight, the thinking is that we want something big to also serve as an easy midweek reheat, so with local Munson's corn now available and fresh wild salmon fillets $9.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday, I went in search of a chowder that combines corn and salmon, so this one actually does have a link, I settled on the salmon and corn chowder that's posted on Epicurious, although it will need a little lightening, as I wouldn't put a whole cup of cream in anything. I think maybe half that much, and using half and half instead, will give it plenty of creaminess.

The gigantic bag of green beans from our Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA this week once again has me thinking of the ground beef and green beans recipe from my beloved old copy of Jane Brody's Good Food Cook Book, and the very lean 93% ground sirloin Sprouts has for $3.99 a pound this week falls right into that plan. I'll work from the cookbook, but Allrecipes has posted a somewhat similar recipe here.

Tuesday will be our easy reheat, tonight's chowder, with a big salad on the side. Sprouts has organic on the vine tomatoes for $1.98 a pound to go into the salad. Also organic celery at 98 cents a bunch, and I need that for the chowder anyway.

With all chicken sausage $3.99 a pound at Sprouts, that originally had me thinking of a simple pasta dish involving sausage, onion, peppers and good quality jarred pasta sauce for Wednesday. But we always have salad on the side with a pasta dish like that, and with a refrigerator full of Red Wagon non-salad veggies, the sausage pasta idea morphed into a southern New England classic of sausage, onion and pepper grinders, using one of the fine baguettes from Whole Foods (their organic "Everything" baguette is $2 through the 29th, and that would make for quite a taste explosion). Somehow I can't serve kohlrabi or beets on the side with pasta, but with what's essentially a sandwich, that seems okay.

With a beautiful bunch of collard greens from the CSA also still in the fridge, that was my starting point for Thursday. The aforementioned Jane Brody cookbook has a simple recipe for sauteing chopped greens with a bit of garlic or whatever, and mixing in canned cannellini beans to make it both your veggie and starch in one pot. Don't know if they are still doing it, but I recently found an unadvertised special on Eden Organic's cannellinis (plus the rest of their beans) at the Pearl Street Whole Foods at three for $5, incredible since they usually run closer to $3 each. For a protein to go with it, I can grab some of the chicken breasts on sale at the Longmont Lucky's for just $1.97 a pound through Wednesday. The Boulder Lucky's is offering ones with their "Never Ever" standards for a higher sale price, and Sprouts also has value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound through Wednesday.

Which gets us through a week that uses up almost everything from the CSA except the grilling onions, but I can pretty easily find a way to incorporate those. Uh oh, also whichever remains, kohlrabi or beets. Enjoy a week finally in the 80s and maybe even just the 70s for the latter half, with a good chance of rain every day!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Markets Today

Just a reminder about our local Farmers' Markets Today, 8 to 2 in downtown Boulder and a bit briefer out at the fairgrounds in Longmont, but also starting at 8. Here's the news from BCFM about what you'll expect to find today. Me, I got so much from my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA, I'll be trying to optimize the use of that all week, plus a few trips to the Munson Farm stand for sweet corn. From BCFM:

Keeping up with BCFM
The weekly haps     

This week at the market: carrots, sweet corn, tomatoes, peaches, kale, mushrooms, raspberries, potatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, garlic, beets, onions, pork, beef, eggs, eggplant, sunflowers and lilies. 

Boulder Farmers' Market Saturday 7/26
  • On stage: Fox Feather 
Longmont Farmers' Market Saturday 7/26 
  • On stage: Jimmy Eads
Boulder Farmers' Market Wednesday 7/30
  • In the beer garden: Left Hand Brewing Company
Downtown Longmont Farmers' Market Wednesday 7/30
  • Family Night: family farmers' market scavenger hunt, edible art with LiveWell, chalk art on the farmers' market truck, live music and more! 
  • In the food court: Longmont's Georgia Boys BBQ
  • On stage: Patty Cummings - swing/folk/jazz

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Grand Opening Sales At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's continues to celebrate the opening of its store in Louisville with specials available both there and at the Boulder store. In this week's sale through July 29th, an 11 ounce pint of organic blueberries is $3.50, beating Whole Foods' current sale of $3.99. Julie's organic ice cream is better than half off at $2 for a 16 ounce container, and in this prolonged stretch of heat, ice cream is starting to sound like a good idea. Alfalfa's housemade Italian fusilli pasta salad is $4 off per pound at $3.99 a pound, made with organic ingredients, and again, a good option for beating the heat. Coleman pork tenderloin is nearly half off at $7.99 a pound, organic grape tomatoes are just $1.99 for a pint, Horizon's organic mac & cheese is half off at $1.50 for six ounces, and Back to Nature crackers are $2.50 a box, among other specials.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weekend Sale, Part Deux

Thank you Whole Foods! Now I can get through to see what you're offering us for tomorrow through Sunday only, which is Tom's of Maine toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash all at 40% off, and their made in house roasted chile corn salsa for $4.99 each, which is $3 off. The size isn't specified, but that salsa sounds right up my alley.

Weekend Sale A Mystery

Looks like Whole Foods is planning something for a three-day weekend sale as usual, but when I click on the link for it in their email, I get a page about the site's security certificate having expired with a dire warning about the dangers of proceeding. Dear Whole Foods - hope you can get this fixed. We want to know about weekend sale!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through the 29th and at Vitamin Cottage through August 9th. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through July 30th, the big news to me is the return of the Vitamin & Body Care Extravaganza, with everything in the department 25% off. This is a great time to stock up on your favorites that you know don't otherwise generally go on sale. I'd been hoping this was coming, as I nearly paid full price for Avalon Organics cleansing milk a couple of days ago, but diluted mine with a bit of water to stretch it out instead just in case this would be the week of the sale. Good karma.

In meat and fish at Sprouts, the good news is that fresh wild Alaskan coho salmon fillets are $9.99 a pound, although I slightly prefer sockeye to coho, previously frozen wild Alaskan cod fillets are $7.99 a pound, all chicken sausages are $3.99 a pound ($1 higher than the sale price used to be), stuffed chicken breasts are also $3.99 a pound, value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are a bit meh at $2.99 a pound, ditto stew beef at $4.99 a pound, but there's also a grass-fed organic roast sale, with select boneless varieties all $5.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, I'm liking on-the-vine tomatoes at $1.98 a pound, five pound bags of carrots $2.98 each, celery or gold beets with tops just 98 cents a bunch, red, green or black grapes all $2.50 a pound, Bartlett pears just 98 cents a pound, and one pound containers of strawberries $2.50 each. Elsewhere in the store, Voskos Greek yogurts are 99 cents each, but the big news to me is that vitamin and body care sale.

I can't make a habit of adding in Lucky's as I just don't have time, but since I've taken to shopping there pretty frequently, here's a very quick look. As usual, the stores differ, with the Boulder one looking stronger to me in organic produce, while the Longmont one offers better sale prices on meat and seafood (although generally not the "Never Ever" standards ones). This week, the Boulder store again looks great in organic produce, while in meat and seafood, wild sockeye fillets are $9.99 a pound (the flyer doesn't specify fresh/frozen), beef kabobs are $7.99 a pound, housemade crab cakes are $3.99 each, and boneless chicken breasts with Lucky's "Never Ever" standards are $4.99 a pound. At the Longmont store, you'll find those crab cakes for $1 less at $2.99 each, the kabob offerings instead are chicken at $3.99 a pound and tuna at $6.99 a pound, and boneless skinless chicken breasts are just $1.97 a pound, but these are "all natural" as opposed to the "Never Ever" standards in the Boulder sale. However, Lucky's tests all its meats to make sure they are antibiotic-free at the time of their demise.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

My Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickup is always a good indicator of produce you can expect to find at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well (plus the Farmers' Market has non-Boulder options like Palisade peaches), and this week's CSA is getting very interesting as we advance through summer. Last time I took up the challenge and selected the fava bean option, which much to my surprise turned out spectacularly well. This week, Red Wagon is really throwing down the gauntlet to me by offering kohlrabi, which I've never tried and they also spell kind of weirdly, but given the success of the fava beans, I'll continue working into unfamiliar territory. Evidently the peeled bulb is even good raw, which sounds like the start of an interesting salad, and the greens can be treated like any other greens. That will present another challenge, as the pickup will also include beets, the greens of which I love to cook, so that will be lots of highly perishable greens to deal with quickly. Here's this week's ever-interesting list from Red Wagon, complete with a pretty squash blossom picture (unfortunately I won't be able to get both the blossoms and the kohlrabi, since that's a choice between them):
Regular ShareSquash Blossoms

-Fresh Garlic
-Grilling Onions
-Green Beans
-Choice: Kale OR Collards OR Chard
-Choice: Zucchini OR Cucumber OR Parsley
-Choice: Kholrabi OR Fennel OR Squash Blossoms OR Potatoes

Large Share Additions

-Extra Fresh Garlic
-Extra Choice: Zucchini OR Cucumber OR Parsley
-Extra Choice: Kholrabi OR Fennel OR Squash Blossoms OR Potatoes

Fruit Share


Monday, July 21, 2014

New Deals At Vitamin Cottage

We have a new sale at our Boulder Vitamin Cottage lasting all the way through August 9th, and there are some attractive deals to be had. Six ounce packages of organic blueberries are $2.69 each, a very nice price for a prolonged period of time for our organic blueberry fans (and a blueberry is something I'd never eat in conventional). Half pound bags of organic chia seeds are $3.99 each, very nice for organic ones of this current cult superfood. Stonyfield organic nonfat Greek yogurts are $1.15 for the individual serving size or $3.19 for 16 ounces, and for my friends avoiding gluten and/or dairy, Amy's gluten free rice mac & cheese or dairy free "cheeze" are $2.69 a box, while the original mac & cheese is even lower at $2.39. Late July multigrain chips, a favorite in this house with hummus, are $1.99 a bag, Crunchmaster gluten-free multi-seed crackers, even more beloved, are fantastic at $2.29 a bag, the big 25 ounce size of Westbrae organic canned beans is $1.99 each, as is the big 28 ounce size of Muir Glen organic canned tomatoes. And of course being Vitamin Cottage, there are plenty of specials on supplements.

Oh, Please Spare Me

I've long extolled the virtues of the prosciutto ends at the Pearl Street Whole Foods store for use in cooking when dicing the meat anyway, since the ends were selling at nearly half the price of the freshly sliced prosciutto at the deli.  Not finding any of the ends yesterday, I asked the deli staff, who directed me instead to "prosciutto crisps," cooked little slices which they said is what they are turning the ends into now.  With the freshly sliced prosciutto selling in the $25 a pound range and the ends nearly half that, these "crisps" are $35 a pound!  Okay, since I like accuracy, a penny less than that at $34.99 a pound.  Like I am going to choose that product to dice up into a chowder!  Sheesh.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lucky's Swordfish Is Domestic!

At least at the Longmont store, and I would imagine that would mean the same for the Boulder one, although the two stores do tend to differ on meats, so possibly fish as well.  I was thrilled to find that the swordfish on sale at the Longmont store for $6.99 a pound through Wednesday, while previously frozen, is in fact from the USA.  That significantly beats Whole Foods' price for frozen Canadian swordfish at $10.99 a pound.  Swordfish is going on the grill tonight as we try to beat the heat, and I might just pick up another one on the last day of the sale on Wednesday.  Munson's corn on the side with everything this week!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Munson's Is Open!

Today is opening day for Munson Farms' farm stand at 75th and Valmont, marking the start of the fresh local sweet corn from my favorite place on earth. I see a corn chowder coming up shortly in our plans, plus ears of corn to go on the side of tomorrow night's swordfish from Lucky's Market. They also have Palisade peaches and a whole lot of other things to get us through the sweltering heat we're looking at for the rest of the week.

Farmers' Market Today

Just a reminder that today is the Boulder Farmers' Market downtown from 8 to 2, and also out at the fairgrounds in Longmont for slightly shorter hours. If you make it to the Longmont one early enough, you might be lucky to catch a librarian from the Longmont Public Library with great ideas to captivate your mind as you peruse the beautiful produce around you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

More Grand Opening Sales At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's continues to advertise grand opening sales in celebration of its new Louisville store, and the specials are good both there and at the original store in Boulder. Items looking interesting to me through July 22nd include their housemade green bean and potato salad for $2.99 a pound, $4 off, Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free bread $3.49 a loaf, $3 off, Daiya frozen vegan pizzas at two for $8 (I haven't tried them, but that's $11.98 off on two 16 ounce Margherita or roasted vegetable pizzas), select Blue Diamond Nut Thins $1.50 a box, which is an astonishing price on the artisan variety they picture, and organic red seedless grapes $1.99 a pound.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekend Sales At Whole Foods

Whole Foods is offering us five specials for tomorrow through Sunday, too many for me to copy in, so here's the link (they're the five sales at the top, and fans of Tom's toothpaste will be happy). I'm especially enthused about the mozzarella, and it's well timed to go with Whole Foods' current regular sale on organic heirloom tomatoes.

Munsons Opening Saturday?

Every year I live for the arrival of local Munson's corn, at which time they also open their farm stand at 75th and Valmont, creating a duo of farm stand heaven since Cure Organic Farm is just across the street to the south. Last time I was at the Boulder Farmers' Market, where Munsons always has a booth, I asked them how it was looking for the stand opening and was told that cool spring weather was delaying the corn crop and therefore delaying the stand. Now I see on their website that they hope to have the stand open by the 19th, which is Saturday. Oh, I hope! The first few days they offer it, the kernels on the corn are rather delicately small but succulent, then within just a few days, those kernels explode into a summer celebration.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores. Something also should be going on at Vitamin Cottage that I need to check out, as their last long running sale ended last weekend. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through July23rd, fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets have bumped up a dollar to a still very good $10.99 a pound ($9.99 at both Safeway and King Soopers with card, not worth a detour at all). Chicken breast tenders are okay at $2.99 a pound, while whole, split or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound and marinated chicken kabobs are $3.99 a pound. Bone-in New York steaks are $7.99 a pound, and while we rarely buy burger, grass-fed organic ground beef sounds good at $4.99 a pound.

In organic produce at Sprouts, curly, Lacinato or red Russian kale are all just 98 cents a bunch, grape tomatoes are $2.50 a pint, baby carrots are $1.50 a one pound bag, celery is $1.50 a bunch, red, green or black grapes are all $2.50 a pound, black plums are just 98 cents a pound, and six ounces of blueberries or a pound of strawberries are $2.98 a container.  Elsewhere in the store, nothing is particularly grabbing me this week. There's a raw foods sale with select varieties 25% off, and the flax seed crackers in the picture do look good.

In Whole Foods' new sale through July 29th, organic heirloom tomatoes look good at $3.99 a pound (stay tuned for a post tomorrow for something to pair them with). Market made chicken kabobs or satays with black pepper sauce are $5.99 a pound, and fresh Norwegian salmon steaks are $11.99 a pound (that would be the good farmed type, but in this fresh wild season, I'm going with wild). Market made firehouse potato salad is $2 off at $3.99 a pound for a quick picnic helper, and their own yummy "everything" baguettes are $2 each.

But once again, it's Lucky's Market that's getting my attention, and once again, the prices on what's catching my eye are better in Longmont than in Boulder. Their yummy salmon burgers that are turning me into such a lazy cook are just $1.99 each in Longmont, $2.99 in Boulder (and $3.99 each for the sale one at Whole Foods). House-made swordfish kabobs are just $5.99 a pound in Longmont, and when I saw them yesterday there they were not only beautiful but also from the USA, a priority for my swordfish. The Lucky's in Boulder is offering tuna kabobs instead, at $6.99 a pound. Both stores also have previously frozen swordfish steaks (could those also be domestic???), $6.99 a pound in Longmont, $7.99 in Boulder. In an interesting comparison of the stores' differing approaches, both stores are offering boneless pork loin chops, with the ones in Longmont being "all natural" at $2.99 a pound, while the ones in Boulder are Beelers' fine ones with Lucky's "never ever" standards for $3.99 a pound. I don't promise to always find the time to add in Lucky's, but since the Longmont store is becoming my go-to place, I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Now A Fava Bean Fan

So I braved the fava beans from our Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA last night, using a penne and basil puree recipe from Patricia Wells that worked on the web earlier this week but now is unfortunately a dead link, and our dinner results were spectacular if I do say so myself. The process of shelling the beans out of the pod, boiling them, then skinning the beans is a bit tedious, but having a glass of wine or a Bloody Mary on the counter at the same time speeds things along. It does produce an impressive pile of compost as well, but the boiled beans do pop out of their skins quite nicely, and I didn't find it nearly as much work as anticipated. I could see more fava beans in my future, but preferably in the reasonably sized bag I received from the CSA - no way would I tackle a couple of pounds of them.

Fresh From The Fields This Week

The emails I get from my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA are always a good indicator of what's happening at the Boulder Farmers' Market as well, so here's what they have to say about this week. Note that we're moving out of the time for spring lettuce and zucchini is already in the picture, which means that the hard core summer faves like corn are just around the corner. Here's what they say:

Regular Share

-Grilling Onions
-New potatoes
-Lettuce (last time!)
-Choice: Broccoli Raab OR Kale OR Chard OR  Collards

Large Share Additions
-Extra Zucchini
-Extra Beets
-Extra New potatoes

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Braving The Fava Beans

I'd been angsting about what to do with the fava beans that seemed to be a given in my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA pickup this week, but when I got there, it turned out they were actually giving me a choice: fava beans or new red potatoes? While the potatoes looked beautiful, there are other options for getting those kinds of staples, and since I'd been pondering the fava beans for days, I took a deep breath and grabbed a bag of them to contend with. I'd already checked my own Chez Panisse pasta cookbook that has some fava suggestions, plus I'd checked out a couple of books from the library for further guidance. (Having gone that far, how could I wimp out and take the potatoes?) So it looks like my first foray into shelling, boiling, then further shelling fava beans will be tomorrow night, with penne with fava beans, basil puree, and parmesan from Patricia Wells' Vegetable Harvest, not originally posted by Wells but copied by several people like this post. This will also give me a chance to finish off one more container of pesto in the freezer from last fall's bounty. If that proves successful and the brief fava bean season continues for a week or two, I might also try the fava bean puree I found in Alice Water's Chez Panisse Vegetables, which sounds like an attractive alternative to the hummus that gets devoured in this house. Interestingly, she notes that fava beans can cause a toxic and even potentially fatal reaction, called favism, in some people of Mediterranean, Asian, or African extraction, although it seems to be associated with undercooked or raw beans. Guess I'll be sure to cook mine a bit extra. Always an adventure.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Just a reminder that today's the Farmers' Market in downtown Boulder from 8 to 2 today, and also the one at the Boulder fairgrounds in Longmont (think that one closes at 1). Probably best to get out before it gets too toasty today, and/or storms move in. I'm skipping the crowds and relying on my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA and also the store open five days a week at Cure Organic Farm at 75th and Valmont.

Friday, July 11, 2014

More Grand Opening Sales At Alfalfa's

Alfalfa's is continuing to publish great sales in celebration of its new Louisville store, and the sales are available both there and in the Boulder store. In this week's sale running through Tuesday the 15th, I find their housemade Asian slaw remarkable at 99 cents a pound, $4 off. Doesn't get better than that. Twelve ounce packages of Coleman chicken sausages can be found nearly half off at $3.99 each, sustainably harvested Corvina fillets (afraid I'm not yet familiar with these) are $11.99 a pound, $8 off, Pamela's yummy gluten-free cookies are great at $2.50 a box, 16 ounce containers of organic Boulder ice cream (obviously local) are just $3 each, Reny Picot 70% triple cream brie is $4 off at $7.99 a pound, and there's more I just don't have time for.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Last Call For Current Vitamin Cottage Sale

Just a reminder that the current sale at Vitamin Cottage runs through this Saturday, the 12th. You can read my prior post about it here. A caveat that they tend to out of stock on the most popular items towards the end of each sale, but who know what goodies the next sale will bring.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods Tomorrow

Here's the news from Whole Foods, and I'd assume these are conventional, which I don't buy.

One-Day Sale on July 11
One Day Sale on July 11
This Friday only, snag juicy fresh cherries foronly $1.99 per pound!
Selection may vary by store. While supplies last. No rain checks

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have a new sale starting today at our Boulder Sprouts stores, while the current one continues at Whole Foods through July 15th, and at Vitamin Cottage just through this Saturday, the 12th. I'm also going to take a quick peek at Lucky's in both Longmont and Boulder, and the sales do differ between the two stores. Here's what's looking good to me now.

At Sprouts through July 16th, the news to me in meat and fish is fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets continuing at $9.99 a pound. We had some on the grill pan the other day and it was quite fine. For comparison, it's also $9.99 a pound at Safeway, $12.99 a pound at King Soopers (both with card), and when I last looked a couple of days ago, still $19.99 a pound at the Pearl Street Whole Foods. Back to Sprouts, I'm also curious about the fresh wild Pacific white sea bass fillets for $12.99 a pound, but would want to take a look and know about sustainability. Less is grabbing me in meat, where the specials are generally things we don't buy with the exception of boneless pork loin chops, for which the $3.99 a pound sale price doesn't strike me as great.

In organic produce at Sprouts, romaine, red or green leaf lettuce are all wonderful at 98 cents a head, six ounces of blueberries come at just $1.98 each, on-the-vine cluster tomatoes are great at $1.50 a pound, some chards and kales are $1.50 a bunch, russet potatoes and yellow onions are both 98 cents a pound, D'Anjou pears are $1.50 a pound, and 6-ish ounce containers of raspberries or blackberries and one pound containers of strawberries are all $2.50 each. What a wonderful time for organic produce. Elsewhere in the store, I'm liking Galbani fresh mozzarella at $3 for a half pound ball.

I usually don't have time to add Lucky's into the mix on a Wednesday morning, and as I said, the sales do differ, making it doubly time-consuming. Generally speaking, it seems to me that the Boulder store excels in organic produce while the Longmont store has better meat and seafood prices, although while antibiotic-free, not necessarily with Lucky's Never Ever standards. For the bigger ticket items of meat and fish this week through the 16th, the Longmont store has crab cakes at an excellent $2.99 each, while you'll have to pay $1 more each at the Boulder store. Housemade chicken kabobs are $2.99 a pound in Longmont, while they're $4.99 a pound in Boulder. For fish kabobs, Longmont gets tuna for $5.99 a pound while Boulder gets swordfish at $7.99 a pound. In chicken breast specials, Longmont gets bone-in "all-natural" for a stunning $1.67 a pound, while at the Boulder store it's boneless skinless chicken breasts for $2.99 a pound, which is great considering Lucky's Never Ever standards are promised on that one. Also to note, all body care is 20% off at both stores.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fresh From The Fields This Week

Here's what will be in my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA delivery this week, which is an excellent indicator of what will be prominent in tomorrow night and Saturday's Boulder Farmers' Markets as well. So many choices to make, including zucchini and fennel making their first appearances. But evidently no choice regarding those fava beans - looks like I'll have to buckle down and start shelling a la Alice Waters. Guess I'd better start consulting my Chez Panisse cookbook.

Next week is week 8, we hope to bring you:

Regular Share
-Fava Beans
-Choice: Zucchini OR Grilling Onions
-Choice: Carrots OR Fennel
-Choice: Beets OR Broccoli OR Cauliflower
-Choice: Kale OR Chard OR Collards OR Bok Choi

Large Share Additions:
-Extra Choice: Carrots OR Fennel
-Extra Choice: Beets OR Broccoli OR Cauliflower

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pleeeese Not Fava Beans

I adore fava beans when someone else is going to all the trouble to cook them for me (shelling, steaming, further shelling before you even start to use them), but they're not something I'd ever want to spend the time on myself. But I sense I might not have a choice this week with my Red Wagon Organic Farm CSA. Uh oh. More when I finally have time.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weeknight Dinner Ideas

Actually starting with tonight, since I never got around to that post. This relentless heat is driving me towards picnic-type food, so that's what will be on deck. Rather than heating the house with cooking this evening, I've already cooked some salmon burgers I picked up for an extraordinary $1.99 each at the Longmont Lucky's (last time they did that sale it was the same at the Boulder store, but no time to check now), and we'll have them either chilled or room temperature with a squeeze of lemon tonight. Using the last of my beautiful beets from Red Wagon Organic Farm, I've also made the simple and very fresh beet salad from Mark Bittman's 100 20-Minute Dishes for Inspired Picnics from the New York Times. It's actually the very first idea in his list. A cool dinner for a hot evening.

With fresh wild salmon fillets just $9.99 a pound at Sprouts through Wednesday, there's no reason to reserve that for a weekend dinner, so it's the plan for tomorrow. I was originally going to do it indoors on the grill pan, but as the heat will continue through tomorrow, we might just have to send the family griller outside instead.

With the heat, I wasn't in a mood to concoct a big chowder or heaven forbid a hot casserole this weekend, so instead of a reheat, our super easy dinner for Tuesday will be a real cheat, since I just picked up a bucket of cooked chicken for $6.99 at Whole Foods on today, the last day of their weekend sale. At least I somehow managed to resist their buttermilk-brined fried version, opting for the slightly more virtuous straight bbq style instead.

We'll want some sort of pasta by Wednesday, and the temperatures should have cooled back to the 80s to accommodate it. It should also be something vegetarian following our chicken bucket binge, but I'm afraid I haven't quite figured out what it will be yet. Ditto for Thursday on the planning, but more salmon burgers from Lucky's sale through Wednesday remain a possibility. I like them even better than the ones Whole Foods does, and Lucky's sale price is half the price Whole Foods charges, even when on sale.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Boulder Farmers' Market Today

Just a reminder that today's the Farmers' Market from 8 to 2 to downtown Boulder. Also the one at the fairgrounds in Longmont, with slightly shorter hours there. If heading to either, you might want to go earlier rather than later once the heat builds up.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Alfalfa's Grand Opening Sales

With Alfalfa's new store in Louisville now open, special sales are being offered both there and at the Boulder store through Wednesday, July 9th. Looking particularly good to me are Niman Ranch 12 ounce sausages nearly half off at $3.99 each, organic Kingdom English sharp cheddar $5 off at $7.99 a pound, farm raised Shetland salmon fillets $9.99 a pound, $6 off (with fresh wild in season, it's kind of hard to be tempted by farmed, but the Shetland name maybe implies a fine Scottish one?), housemade ham and cheese macaroni salad just $2.99 a pound, a whopping $4 off (and made with organic ingredients), three-packs of Julie's organic ice cream bars better than half off at $2.29, and Boulder Canyon chips three for $5 for the five ounce bag.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day, and try to stay cool this weekend!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Four-Day Sale At Whole Foods

For this 4th of July weekend, Whole Foods is offering us an extended sale running from today through Sunday. Both bbq and fried chicken are $6.99 each for eight pieces, 30% off, and there's an unspecified fresh coconut water that's $3.99 each, $1 off (won't find me going anywhere near that one - can't stand coconut). And there's also this:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This Week's Hot Grocery Deals (IMHO)

We have new sales starting today at our Boulder Sprouts and Whole Foods stores, while the current one continues at Vitamin Cottage through July 12th. Here's what's looking good to me now.

In Sprouts' new sale through July 9th, the stunner to me is fresh wild Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets for just $9.99 a pound ($12.99 at both Safeway and King Soopers, and I think it was $19.99 yesterday at Whole Foods). Some of that will definitely have to go on the grill this 4th of July weekend. Value packs of boneless skinless chicken breasts are $2.49 a pound, bone-in ribeye steaks are $8.99 a pound, whole or cut up chickens are $1.59 a pound, and bone-in country style pork ribs aren't the best sale price at $2.99 a pound, but they sure are good in a smoker or even just on a grill. Full 22 ounce racks of baby back ribs are $12.99 each, which must be in addition to the freshly cooked ones previously reported that will be available Friday and Saturday. On the fish side, that salmon really is the headline. They also have flash-frozen swordfish or Alaskan cod fillets for $7.99 a pound, but only once did I find the swordfish to be domestic. There's also a special three-day Sausage Spectacular, with all varieties $2.99 a pound.

In organic produce, green curly kale is just 98 cents a bunch (I might just have to try to replicate Oak at Fourteenth's kale and apple salad), on-the-vine cluster tomatoes are $1.98 a pound, white peaches are also $1.98 a pound, five pound bags of carrots are $2.98 each, red or green grapes are $2.98 a pound, and cantaloupes are 88 cents a pound. Elsewhere in the store, my favorite Blue Diamond Nut Thins are great at $2 a box (that's some of the regular type, not the artisan), a bunch of holiday snacks are $2 a bag (I see some quinoa chips and Garden of Eatin' chips in the picture), Santa Cruz organic lemonades are four for $5 (it also says "buy 4 get 1 free"), Greek Gods Greek yogurts are $1 each, and Green Mountain Gringo salsas are $3 a jar.

In Whole Foods' new sale through July 15th, I'm liking fresh swordfish steaks for $17.99 a pound, although that's only $2 off the usual. (Yup, I'd pay $10 more per pound to get a fresh domestic or Canadian swordfish rather than a frozen one from Singapore.) Lobster tails are $7.99 each, and they are always either from Maine or Canada (Sprouts also has some lobster tails for $6.99 this week). Whole American red snapper is $12.99 a pound, but I'm afraid I don't really know how to deal with a whole fish. Organic grape tomatoes are $2.50 a container and organic raspberries are $2.99 a container. Honest Tea's organic lemonade and limeades are $1.50 for 32 ounces, and the flavors are Whole Foods exclusives, and Frontera's great salsas are $3 each. For your holiday dessert, there's peach raspberry lattice pie for $9.99 each, $5 off.

One-Day Sale At Whole Foods

At least for today, we're seeing the return of the Wednesday one-day sale at Whole Foods, something that's been in hiding for quite a while. Today it's Applegate antibiotic-free beef hot dogs, half off at $3 a package.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

BBQ Ribs At Sprouts

Once again, Sprouts is offering to make a summer holiday easier on your cooking schedule, again doing baby back ribs cooked on a mesquite grill at $12.99 a full rack. The ribs will be available Friday and Saturday, the 4th and 5th, from 11 am to 6 pm or while they last.

Planning Generally In Chaos

The genesis of this blog was friends asking me to share my weekly lists of dinner plans, which are mostly inspired by what's seasonal and also what's on sale at Boulder's natural grocery stores (with the two generally overlapping). However since I started the blog, the feedback I'm getting from a larger audience (thank you!) is that the sale information is of more interest than, ahem, what we're having for dinner. I'm trying to keep up on the sales front, but you may have noticed have been slipping back a bit on the dinner plan lists. This is partly because as I predicted, getting into a CSA this year, as much as I'm totally enjoying it, is wreaking havoc with my planning process. Where I used to have a list with seven straight lines and a clear idea for each day's dinner, my list now looks like something coming out of an asylum, with arrows redirecting mains and veggies everywhere. This is probably a good thing for my too structured brain, but apologies if you actually liked the dinner plan lists. Happy July!