Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Sustenance for July 25, 2009

Sorry about getting this up late, I was not feeling well last night or this morning, and then we had to get a new head for one of JD's drums and help a friend get rid of some stuff at Half Price Books and Goodwill. We did get to enjoy a nice little feast of cucumbers, green bell peppers, hummus, eggplant dip (it was just called eggplant dip, and was better than any baba ganoush I've ever tried), red pepper walnut dip, tabbouleh, pita and fava bean salad from Phoenicia Bakery. I also scored a huge package of lavash(4 or 5 pieces of yard long flatbread) for under $2.50.

This week, Central Market has fresh haricot verts $2.99/lbs. large artichokes 2 for $5, and strawberries, 2 1-lb. containers for $3. In the beer section, they have a yummy-sounding Estella Damm Lager Beer, $5.99/6 pack, though I'm not sure if it's vegan (I don't usually drink lagers, and am not really familiar with the brewing specifics).

Newflower has:
conventional cantaloupes, 2 melons for $1.00
conventional watermelon, 4 lbs for $1.00
conventional black or red plums, $0.99/lb.
conventional white flesh peaches of nectarines, $0.99/lb.
organic yellow flesh peaches and nectarines, $1.99/lb.
conventional red or green leaf lettuce, $0.88 each
64 oz refrigerated Almond Breeze $2.49 each
Cascadian Farms frozen organic fruit, $2.49 for 8- or 10-oz.
Tempt hemp-based frozen dessert, $2.49 for 16 oz.
conventional whole pitted dates, $2.00/lb.
conventional walnuts, $3.00/lb.
Earth Science facial care products, 30% off selected varieties( I love their moisturizer with sunscreen!)
Himalaya Organique Body Care, 30% off entire line
and Diann alerted me to Newflower's 48 hour weekend sale which includes:
conventional Italian squash, 2 lbs. for $1.00
conventional mulitcolored carrots, 2 lbs. for $1.00
So Delicious refrigerated coconut beverage, $2.99/64 oz container
aloe vera juice, $9.99/gallon

Sun Harvest has some good deals on their organic produce this week:
organic romaine lettuce $0.97 each
organic blackberries in 6 oz packages, 2 for $5.00
organic Hass avocados, 4 for $5.00
organic yellow peaches, 2 lbs for $3.00
organic white quinoa, $2.99/lb.
conventional jasmine rice, $0.99/lb
red or black plums, $0.97/lb.
blueberries, $0.99 for 11 oz packages (limit 6)

Hope you're enjoying all the gorgeous stone fruit and berries!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Sustenance July 18, 2009

This week, Central Market has Black Mission or Sierra figs for 4.99 per lb. Walla Walla onions are $0.79 per lb. plus all their bulk herbs and spices are 15% off. The south location has my favorite selection of chili powders and paprikas, so now would be a great time to try something new.

Sun Harvest has:
cantaloupes, 10 for $10
Wild Oats brand frozen organic strawberries 2 10-oz. bags for $3
organic celery, $0.77 each
organic apricots or yellow nectarines, $1.97 per lb
walnut halves and pieces, $2.99 per lb.
Blue Moon, $5.99 for 12-oz. 6-pack

Newflower has
organic white peaches or white nectarines are $1.99 per lb.
organic red or green grapes are $1.99 per lb.
organic red or black plums are $1.99 per lb.
organic Soy Dream soymilk in 32 oz. aseptic containers is $1.59
Nasoya Silken Creations flavored silken tofu is $1.59 per 17 oz. package
conventional bing cherries $0.99 per lb.
conventional green bell peppers, 2 for $1
large cantaloupe, $0.98
Cool Brew Celestial Seasonings Iced Tea is 2 for $5 for 40 count packages

With the high temperatures we've been having, this is a great time to grill out, and most of the seasonal stone fruit is great on the grill.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Change is Gonna Come

Considering I've had this blog since 2006, I haven't made very many posts at all. Part of the reason is that I've had trouble maintaining a constant level of inspiration; usually I was either cooking so much I didn't have time to blog about food, or so lacking in time, inspiration, or other resources that I wasn't cooking anything fun.

The vibrant local blogging community has been having tons of meetups, potlucks and other get-togethers, and while I haven't been able to attend them all, I have met some beautiful, enthusiastic, and generous people, which has lead me look internally to see how I could better contribute. I've been thinking a lot about how I can make a blog that's a great resource, and I've come up with a few ideas. If you've been reading Vegan Vanguard for any length of time, you've probably noticed one big change already, but I plan to implement more in the coming weeks, and I would love to get your feedback.

While I haven't updated this blog regularly, I have had a continuous online presence, updating my flickr account, interacting on twitter, and participating on the VRA forums. These networks and formats, along with my personal experience--teaching, doing lots of trial and error, and grocery shopping, a whole hell of a lot of grocery shopping--have given me some ideas for new features.

In the coming month, I will be adding these features, and based on feedback, tweaking them. The first new feature is a weekly summary of the best local grocery deals. It doesn't sound like a groundbreaking idea, but I've never heard of anyone else doing it before now. Additionally, during this recession, people are looking for ways to save both time and money, and it's a rare occasion that I teach a class without at least one person asking where I bought a given ingredient. I'll be focusing on produce, and items of particular interest to vegans. The biggest piece of feedback I need is which day to post this. Wednesday is the day when new sales start, and some grocery stores do double ad Wednesdays, but I feel like most people do their shopping on the weekends, especially during the summer when the farmer's markets are overflowing. Since I'm posting on Saturday this week, I'm calling this feature Saturday Sustenance. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Saturday Sustenance

This week, Central Market has their Old Tyme varieties of heirloom tomatoes on sale for $2.99/lb. They also have small, regular and jumbo conventionally grown asparagus for $2.99/lb.

Sun Harvest has some of the best organic produce deals:
fresh organic white corn, $0.77 each
organic black plums, 2 lbs. for $3
organic cucumbers, 2lbs. for $3
organic red cherries, $2.97/lb.
conventional red cherries are $1.47/lb.
conventional brocolli crowns, $0.77/lb
conventional young zucchini or yellow squash, $0.77/lb.
conventional red or black plums, $0.77/lb.
conventional white onions, 3 lbs for $1
conventional radishes, cilantro or scallions 3 for $1
bulk long grain brown rice $0.69/lb.
and much of their body care products are 25% off this week.

Newflower has some exceptional deals in their frozen and refridgerated section:
So Delicious organic coconut-based ice creams, $2.99/pint
Nate's Meatless Meatballs, $2.49/12 oz bag
Good Karma organic rice milk, $1.49/32 oz container
organic kombucha, $1.99/16 oz jar
conventional bulk almonds, $2.99/lb.
two different brands of 32. oz organic lemonade, 4 for $5
organic red or yellow onions, $2.99/per 3 lb bag
organic zucchini 2 lbs for $3
conventional fresh green beans, $0.99/lb.
Texas-grown seedless watermelon, 2 melons for $4

Make sure to get out early and visit the farmer's market, as it's currently fig season! In addition to fresh figs, sweet corn, blackberries, peaches, tomatoes, peppers, okra, salad greens, melons, fresh creamer beans, fresh black eyed peas, green beans, radishes, beets, and eggplant are all in season in Austin. If you're lucky you might even find candy cane beets, edible flowers, or fresh young dates.