Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Sustenance for September 26, 2009

After an unseasonably cold and wet week, forecasts are saying we'll have a warm and sunny weekend, which will be perfect for the Texas-sized potluck with Melisser of The Urban Housewife. It's been good weather for baking or roasting, and the produce at this time of year is delicious slow roasted or baked into sweet or savory goods.

In a semi-related vein, much of our garden was eaten by bugs and others pests long ago, and most of what wasn't eaten withered and died during the long, hot drought, but our trees and a few herbs are still alive and I'm excited to say that the lemons on our Meyer lemon tree are finally starting to to turn yellow. I wish I knew how to tell when limes were ripe, as I imagine the Mexican limes should be ready to eat soon as well. I've been eagerly anticipating the time when we could harvest some fruit from any of our trees, as we've had kaffir lime trees since 2005, and fig trees since 2006--we also have a banana tree, but it's really young, and I don't think it will fruit until 2010 or 2011, if at all in this climate. The kaffir trees have yet to flower, though we have been able to use the leaves in some dishes. The fig trees have produced figs for two years, but late rains last year made the fruit unsalvagable and this year the fruit was eaten by bugs or rodents before it had ripened enough to pick.

In grocery news, this week Central Market has extra large pomegranates, 2 for $4.00, and organic Honeycrisp apples $2.99 per lb.

Newflower has:
conventional asparagus, $1.47 per lb.
20 oz. packages of super cherry tomatoes, 2 for $3.00
conventional jumbo cauliflower, $0.99 each
organic Hass avocado, $0.99 each
Tofutti Cuties, $2.49 for an 8 pack
Pacific Foods non dairy milks, $1.59 for 32 oz.
Pacific Foods organic broth, $0.99 for 32 oz.
conventional raw walnut halves, $2.99 per lb.
Newflower brand artichoke bottoms, $1.99 for 14 oz.

Sprouts has:
hot house tomatoes, $0.49 per lb.
conventional red, orange or yellow bell peppers, $0.77 each
conventional Bosc or Barlett pears, $0.77 per lb
conventional Red delicious, Gala, Jonathan, Granny Smith or Fuji apples, $0.49 per lb.
conventional Sno-White cauliflower, $0.99 each
conventional raw almonds, $2.99 per lb.
conventional Brazil nuts, $3.99 per lb
15 oz. Westbrae organic canned beans, 5 for $5.00
Cascadian Farms organic frozen vegetables, $1.69 for 16 oz.
Tofutti Cuties 8 packs, 2 for $5.00

Sun Harvest has:
conventional cantaloupes 10 for $10.00
conventional large navel oranges, $0.77 per lb.
conventional strawberries, 1 lb. packages, 2 for $3.00
conventional Bartlett or red D'Anjou pears, $0.97 per lb
organic Bosc pears, $0.97 per lb.
organic Fuji apples, 4 lbs for $5.00

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Sustenance for September 19, 2009

Today is my sweetheart's birthday! I made him his birthday meal last night, and today we plan to hang out with friends and eat German Chocolate cupcakes. I'm really excited because after having a record breaking heat wave--where we had 100+ degree temps every day, and a terrible drought--we finally received tons of rain and have had relatively cool weather this past week, so hopefully Austinites can take advantage of that this weekend.

This week Central Market has red or white organic seedless grapes $0.99 per lb.

Newflower has:
conventional cantaloupe, 3 melons for $1.00
conventional jewel or garnet yams, $0.99 per lb.
conventional green beans, $0.99 per lb.
conventional kiwi fruit, 5 for $1.00
refrigerated Silk soymilk, 64 oz. for $2.49
organic cauliflower 2 heads for $4.00
organic gala apples of barlett pears, $1.40 per lb.
organic bunched broccoli, $0.99 per lb.
organic Cascadian Farms frozen vegetables, $1.99 for 16 oz. bags or 7.4-10 oz boxes
organic High Country kombucha tea, $1.99 for 16 oz. bottles

Sprouts has:
conventional green beans, $0.77 per lb.
conventional sweet potatoes, $0.77 per lb.
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze, 32 oz. packages, buy one at$2.29, get one free
Seapoint Farms organic frozen edamame, 14 oz. bags, 2 for $3.00

Sun Harvest has:
conventional Hass avocados, 4 for $1.00
organic green onions, 2 for $1.00
organic green or red cabbage, 2 for $1.00
organic barlett pears, $0.77 per lb.
Imagine Foods Almond Dream, 32 oz. packages, 2 for $4.00
conventional bulk pecan halves, $5.99 per lb.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Saturday Sustenance for September 5, 2009

The big foodie news in Austin this weekend is that a new grocery store, Sprouts, has opened two Central Texas locations, one in Round Rock, and one in Sunset Valley. I haven't been to the either of the Texas locations yet, but I checked out Sprouts the last time I was in Colorado, and was struck by Sprouts' similarities to the Newflower chain(called Sunflower in Colorado). I'm glad to have more choice and I have no doubt that there will be insanely low prices, but one thing that I find kind of...aggravating about both of these stores is the subtitle, "Farmers Market" that both companies tack on to the end of their respective names. Don't get me wrong, I do shop at Newflower because it's close, convenient, and reasonable, but it doesn't compare to, and could never take the place of Sunset Valley Farmers Market for me. I guess I just want to reaffirm my love of real farmers markets, and encourage you to check them out before going to a grocery store, especially since they have the freshest, most seasonal, local produce.

There's not really much advertised at Central Market this week for vegans, but one item of note is that the Westgate location is now carrying the Soyatoo organic topping cream in aseptic containers (the non-aerosol variety) for $3.99 a package. I've only tried this once with cocoa powder for a quick, light, chocolate whip cream style frosting for cupcakes, but it worked nicely and was way better than the aerosol version (which inexplicably smelled like play dough). Soyatoo used to be available only through mail order, and while you can still get it from places like Pangea and VeganEssentials, one of it's best attributes is the convenience it offers, and that's not really apparent when you have to order it two weeks before you plan to use it. One other great thing about it is that is has a pretty long shelf life if left unopened. It is also available at Wheatsville, although I'm not sure of the price there.

Newflower has:
conventional Hass avocados, 3 for $1.00
organic bunched broccoli, $0.99 per lb.
organic red, green, or black seedless grapes, $1.99 per lb.
organic Italian or yellow squash, $0.99 per lb.
Boca burgers, 10 oz packages for $2.49
and their 48 hour weekend specials include:
organic Just Tart Cherry pure cherry juice, 32 oz. $3.49
conventional cluster tomatoes, $0.99 per lb.

Sprouts has:
conventional red, orange or yellow cluster tomatoes, $0.99 per lb.
conventional whole seedless watermelons, $0.99 each
conventional green beans, $0.99 per lb.
organic red leaf, green leaf, or romaine lettuce, $0.99 each
44 oz. bottles of Wholesome Sweeteners organic agave nectar, $5.99
Garden Burger veggie burgers, 10 packages 2 for $5.00
frozen Wyman's Berries, 12--15 oz. packages 2 for $4.00

Sun Harvest has:
organic broccoli, $0.97 per lb.
3 lb. bags of organic gala apples, $2.97
organic red of green seedless grapes, 2 lbs. for $4.00
organic Bartlett pears, $0.77 per lb.

Happy Labor Day weekend!