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.
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.