Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekly Deals 02/29 to 03/06

Welcome back to Weekly Deals. My goal here is to share natural/organic deals around the Seattle area, as well as any deals online. As always, not everything on the Weekly Deals list will be organic, but if it's not organic, it'll will: have little to no preservatives, be on the Clean 15 list (or close to it), if it's dairy it will not be treated with rbST growth hormones, if it's meat it will not be treated with antibiotics or hormones and vegetarian fed. If something is organic, it will be labeled as such. If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know :)

TOP Foods has a lot of Organics on sale this week, including beef. I'll be stocking up for sure!

So here's this week's Weekly Deals!

TOP Food & Drug - Prices good 02/29 to 03/06

Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese, 2.5 lb, $5.99
Tillamook shredded or sliced cheese, 12-16oz select varieties, $3.99
Tillamook flavored sliced cheese, 7oz pepper, habenero or white garlic, $4.99 each
Zevia Natural Soda, 6 pack, $3.99
Wild Caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillets, $7.99 lb
Fresh Pacific Manilla Clams, $4.99 lb
Wild Full Circle Alaskan Cod Fillets, $5.99 lb
Wild Flame Seared Smokey Applewood Salmon, 4oz, 2 for $5
Locally Grown Draper Valley Farms Fresh Whole Chicken Fryer, $1.29 lb
Locally Grown Draper Valley Farms Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, $3.29 lb
Asparagus, $1.48 lb
Yellow or White Sweet Corn, 10 for $5
Locally Grown Whole or Sliced White or Crimini Mushrooms, 8oz, $1.98 each
Brown Cow Yogurt, 6oz select varieties, 10 for $7
Kashi Cereal, select varieties, 2 for $6
Full Circle Organic Milk or Soymilk, half gallon, $2.99
Full Circle Organic Orange Juice, $3.99
Cliff or Mojo Bars, select varieties, 10 for $10
Pacific Natural Foods Organic Broth, 2 for $5
Wholesome Organic Sweeteners, 16-32oz, 2 for $7
Wolfgang Puck Organic Soup, 2 for $5
Odwalla Protein Drinks, 2 for $4
Full Circle Cereal Bars, $2.99
Full Circle Organic Applesauce, 24 or 25oz, 6ct, 2 for $5
Full Circle Organic Maple Syrup, 12oz, $7.99
Full Circle Unbleached Coffee Filters, $1.99
Full Circle Organic Fair Trade Coffee, 12oz, $6.99
Full Circle 100% Recycled Bath Tissue, Paper Towels or Napkins, 2 for $5
Full Circle Laundry Detergent, 50oz, $5.99 each
Full Circle Dryer Sheets, 80ct, $2.99 each
Full Circle Dish Detergent, 25oz, $2.99 each
Full Circle Chlorine Free Bleach, 2 for $5
Organic Grass Fed Extra Lean Ground Beef, 93% lean/7% fat, 16oz, $5.99 each
Organic Grass Fed Boneless Beef Perfect Sirloin, $9.99 lb
Fresh Organic Boneless Skinless Fryer Breasts, $7.99 lb
Organic Strawberries, 1lb, $3.69 each
Organic Peeled Carrots, 1lb, 2 for $3
Organic Navel Oranges, $1 lb
Organic Girl Salad, 10oz container, $4.79 each
Organic Blueberries, 6oz, $2.98
Organic Yellow Onions, $.69 lb
Organic Mangoes, $1.49 each

QFC -  Prices good 02/29 to 03/06

Wild Caught King Salmon Fillet, $8.99 lb
Wild Caught Rockfish Fillets, $5.99 lb
Certified Wild American Shrimp, 16-20 ct, $10.99 lb
Coleman Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, $8.49 lb
Cascadian Farm Organic Cereal or Granola, $2.99 each
Kettle Brand Potato Chips, 2 for $5
LaraBar, 4 for $5
Knudsen Organic Juice, 32oz, $2.99 each
Muir Glen Organic Pasta Sauce, 25.5 to 26oz varieties, $2.99 each
Kashi Pizza, select varieties, $4.99
Fage Greek Yogurt, select varieties 5-7oz, 4 for $5
Organic Honeycrisp Apples, $2.49 lb
Organic Minneolas or Navel Oranges, $1.49 lb
Private Selection Organic Romaine Hearts, 2 for $6
Private Selection Organic Grape Tomatoes, 2 for $6
Cantaloupe, 2 for $6

Albertson's -  Prices good  02/29 to 03/06  

Wild Caught Alaskan Cod Fillets, $3.99 lb (with in-ad coupon, limit 10 lbs)
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon Portions, Ahi Tuna or Swordfish Steaks, 5oz, B3G1 free
Fresh Cantaloupe, $.58 lb
Fresh Asparagus, $1.99 lb
Haas Avocados, $1.69 each
Wolfgang Puck Organic Soup, select varieties, 2 for $5
Wild Harvest Organic Grape Tomatoes, 1 pt, $2.99 each
Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent, 50oz or 32 loads, $6.99

Safeway -  Prices good  02/29 to 03/06  

Foster Farms Chicken Drumsticks and Thighs, $1.99 lb
Wild Caught Fresh Dover Sole Fillets, $6.99 lb

Asparagus, $1.29
Haas Avocados, 4 for $5
Sweet Yellow Onions, $.99 lb
Cantaloupe, $.99 lb
Organic Mangoes, 2 for $4
O Organics Grape Tomatoes, 2 for $7
O Organics Celery Hearts, 2 for $5
Organic Kiwi, $.79 each
Organic Fuji, Granny Smith or Gala Apples, $.99 lb
O Organics Soymilk, 64oz, $2.59
O Organics Yogurt, 6oz, $.99 each
O Organics Frozen Vegetables, 16oz select varieties, $1.99 each with club card and in-ad coupon
Open Nature Greek Yogurt, 10 for $10

Safeway is also having a four day sale, 03/02-03/05
Haas Avocados, $.88 each
Plum, Earth's Best or O Organics Baby Food, 20% off
Yellowfin Ahi Tuna Steaks, $8.99 lb
Lucerne Butter, $2.49 each
Method Cleaners, 22 to 28oz selected varieties, $2.99 with club card and coupon

Hope you enjoy these deals, and are able to utilize them! ;)

Beef Pho, in the Crock-Pot!

Once a month we get together with some of our friends and have what we call, "Beef Night". I realize this sounds really silly, or maybe even weird, but we think it's awesome. It all started in October 2009, we went to Spooner Farms' pumpkin patch and corn maze with our friends. While we were there, I bought a butternut squash (determined to find a recipe I'd like) and my husband bought a spicy BBQ sauce (it was called Bear Bite). Out of the adventures that day, we all decided that we should get together for dinner. My husband and I would make steaks with the BBQ sauce, I'd make something delicious with the butternut squash and our friends would bring the dessert. Dinner went over so well, and we had so much fun that we decided to have beef night once a month with those friends, and we've been doing it ever since. We switch hosts each month. One month my husband and I host at our home, and we provide the beef recipes and our friends bring dessert. The next month our friends host, and we bring dessert.

I'm always looking for new ways to amp up the beef when it's my turn to host. After almost three years of beef night, we've really had to put some thought into the main course. I've been wanting to make an Italian pasta dish for the last few months, and thought I'd do it this month, but when the day got closer I wasn't in the mood for it. So I got to researching and brainstorming and came up with Pho. I found a recipe for the crock-pot and it was decided. For those of you who have no idea what Pho is: it's simply Vietnamese noodle soup.

This recipe does take some time to cook, but it's all hands off while your stock cooks in crock-pot. Give yourself about 30 minutes of prep time to get everything into the crock-pot. You have to char your ginger and onions, as well as hard boil your beef bones to get rid of the scum (yuck). But then it goes into the crock pot and your essentially done! 

The only thing I had a hard time with in this recipe, was that the stock wasn't hot enough to completely cook the steak strips even though I thought I had cut it pretty thin. So next time I will either ask my butcher to cut the steak super thin, or I might put the beef in the crock-pot for a few minutes before we're ready to eat.

We served this with rice noodles, cilantro, Thai basil, limes, chilies, bean sprouts, hoisin, chili garlic sauce and sriracha. I also made some vegetable pot stickers, but that recipe is for a later date ;) Our guests were impressed with this recipe, and we all enjoyed it immensely! I was impressed that the stock tasted just like our favorite Pho restaurant. I would like to try to make Pho on the stove top next time, just to see if the depth of flavor is different than with the crock-pot. I'm not complaining about this recipe, I just like to tweak things :) I'd also like to try a chicken and vegetarian version of this. I always order the vegetarian Pho when we go out for Pho, I really like how their veggie stock tastes over the chicken or beef stock. However you like Pho though, you gotta try this recipe! You'll knock everybody's socks off!

This is a recipe for a 6.5 quart (or larger) Crock Pot. Any smaller really isn’t that great – you won’t get enough stock out of it…because the beef bones are really chunky and big. The thinly sliced meat for the bowls may be easier to slice if you freeze the chunk of meat for 15 minutes prior to slicing. You really want them as thin a possible. You can also do what I do – palm your butcher a $5 bill and he’ll slice the meat for you on his fancy slicing machine

Serves 4

For the Pho Stock:
4 pounds beef bones
1/2 onion
4 inch section of ginger, sliced
1 package Vietnamese Pho Spices (or as many of these spices as you have: 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons whole coriander, 1 teaspoon fennel, 3 whole star anise, 3 whole cloves, 1 cardamom pod)
9 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar

For the Pho Bowls
16 ounces fresh or dried rice noodles
1/2 pound flank, london broil, sirloin or eye of round steak, sliced as thinly as possible.
11 ounces Vietnamese beef balls, cut into half

For the table
1-2 limes, cut into wedges
fresh herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, mint
2-3 chili peppers, sliced
2 big handfuls of bean sprouts
Hoisin sauce
Sriracha hot chili sauce

1. Bring a large stockpot with water to boil over high heat. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the beef bones and boil vigorously for 10 minutes.

2. In the meantime, heat a frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the Vietnamese Pho Spices and toast until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Dump the spices to the empty Crock Pot or slow cooker immediately. Return frying pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger slices and the onion half. Cook until the ginger is browned on both sides and the onion half is nicely browned and softened. Add the ginger and the onion to the Crock Pot or slow cooker.

3. When the bones have been pre-boiled, drain, discard water and rinse bones briefly to clean them. Add the bones to the Crock Pot or slow cooker. Fill the Crock Pot with fresh, clean, cool water to just 1-1/2 inches below surface, add the fish sauce and sugar. Cover and set the Crock Pot or slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours. Taste and season with additional fish sauce if needed.

4. When you are just about ready to eat, you’ll prep the rest of the ingredients for the Pho bowls. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the beef balls and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove the balls, keeping the water boiling and now cook the noodles according to package instructions. If you are using fresh noodles, all they need is a couple of minutes. Drain immediately.

5. Strain the stock with a fine meshed sieve. Discard the solids.

6. Line up 4 large bowls on counter. Distribute the noodles, beef balls and thin steak slices evenly amongst the bowls. Ladle the hot Pho stock into each bowl. The hot stock should cook the thin steak slices. Serve with lime wedges, fresh herbs, chili peppers, Hoisin sauce and Sriracha hot chili sauce at the table.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Meatless Monday - Whole Wheat Pizza with Zucchini and Arugula

I had the best lunch the other day, one of my very favorite pizzas. It's lite and delicious, quick and easy. This pizza is simple: It's a thin and crispy pizza crust, drizzled with olive oil or butter, then topped with thinly sliced zucchini, sharp white cheddar cheese, and spinach or arugula that's been tossed with a simple lemon vinaigrette and sprinkled with Parmesan. Doesn't that sound divine? Yes, it does.

You par-bake the dough, spread some butter on the crust or drizzle with olive oil, then you lay thinly sliced zucchini pieces on top and bake for about 10 minutes. While your pizza is baking, toss the spinach with the lemon dressing and set it aside. Pull it out of the oven, and sprinkle on the cheese, put it back in the oven and bake until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle on some black pepper, and let it cool for a few minutes then top with your salad mixture, slice and enjoy!

Since the other day it was just me and my daughter for lunch, I made my pizza on a whole wheat flat bread from Trader Joe's, and I didn't bother par-baking it. I had a wonderfully luxurious-seeming lunch in less than 10 minutes. Now for a recipe :)

Whole Wheat Zucchini Pizza

1 Lb whole wheat pizza dough
1T butter, melted
1-2 zucchini thinly sliced, with a mandolin if possible
1T extra virgin olive oil
2oz extra sharp white cheddar cheese (or any cheese of your choice. Parmesan is good also)
2-4c baby spinach or arugula
1/4c shredded Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4c olive oil
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425. If you have a pizza stone or a stoneware baking pan, let that preheat in the oven as well.

Roll out pizza dough fairly thin. Place it on your pizza stone/stoneware or a cookie sheet and bake for five minutes. After five minutes, remove pizza crust from the oven and spread butter over it. Then top the pizza with the zucchini slices, covering the entire pizza crust. Drizzle the olive oil over the zucchini and put pizza back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes or until crust is as crispy as you'd prefer.

While pizza is cooking, combine lemon juice, olive oil and garlic in a jar with a lid and give it a good shake. Add salt and pepper to taste then drizzle over spinach or arugula and set aside.

Once pizza is done, top with shredded cheddar and bake another minute or two until cheese has melted. Grind some freshly ground pepper over the melted cheese and let the pizza cool for a few minutes. Top pizza with spinach or arugula salad, then sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Cut into wedges and swoon. I mean serve :)

Chicken Cordon Bleu Crepes

You know those nights when dinner time is looming, and you're not sure what you're going to make? Yeah, well that's been my problem for the last few days. Maybe it's because we've been working on helping our daughter get healed from this STUPID virus, maybe it's because I tried a new soup recipe and it wasn't good, or maybe I got way too excited over the pizza we had over the weekend and everything else sounds boring. I don't know, but either way I've been stuck in a what-to-make-for-dinner-rut. So tonight I was thinking about something that sounded good, and was searching on my Pinterest boards when Chicken Cordon Bleu popped into my head. I had everything on hand to make it... the only problem was that my chicken was completely frozen. So, I got to thinking and had an idea. A deliciously wonderful idea. Chicken Cordon Bleu Crepes! I looked on Pinterest to see if a recipe like that even exists, and it did! I found a recipe here, but I tweaked it to fit my family's needs.

This is a whole wheat crepe (you cannot tell these are whole wheat) filled with ham, shredded chicken, mushrooms, spinach and Swiss cheese. This is the kind of recipe that you can use to clean out your fridge, just throw in whatever you've got! We liked this so much I think I'll experiment with some more savory dinner crepes in the future. Who am I kidding, the whole wheat crepes turned out so good I'll probably be having them for breakfast in the morning! I'm sorry I don't have a picture of the finished product... I kinda ate it before I remembered. Sorry bout that! At least the picture I DO have is helpful for you to see how to layer the ingredients, right? I kinda thought so ;)

Chicken Cordon Bleu Whole Wheat Crepes

Makes approximately eight crepes

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 warm water
2 large eggs
2 tblsp melted butter
1 1/2 tblsp sugar
dash of salt

Mix together all ingredients. Take batter and pour into the middle of a greased non-stick pan (smallest will work best) over medium heat.  Pour a little less than 1/4 cup at a time.  Rotate the pan so that the dough spreads out thin and even over the bottom of the pan.  Once solid, and golden on the bottom, flip. Let cook for another minute or so, and remove.

1 chicken breasts, shredded
4 slices of ham, cut in half
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1 cup fresh spinach
12 sliced and sauteed mushrooms (optional)

Layer ingredients on each crepe, then roll. Place seam side down onto a 9x13 pan.

2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons white whole wheat flour
2 cups milk
4 oz/1 cup Swiss cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter and then add flour, cook for one minute then whisk in the milk. Cook until thick then remove from heat, stir in cheese. Pour over crepes. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Top with fresh parsley, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Thrifty Thursday - The Dirty Dozen & The Clean Fifteen Fruits and Veggies

After a few weeks of mentioning The Clean 15 and The Dirty Dozen during the weekly deals, I'm finally gonna explain them. So we know that we should eat more fruits and vegetables, and also that organic produce is preferred. But what happens when your budget doesn't allow for you to buy all organic produce? Well, that's where the dirty dozen and clean 15 come in. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) put together a list of produce that will help you determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues and are the most important to buy organic. You can lower your pesticide intake substantially by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated produce.

The EWG recommends buying organic whenever possible. Not only is it smart to reduce your exposure to pesticides, but buying organic sends a message that you support environmentally friendly farming practices that minimize soil erosion, safeguard workers and protect water quality and wildlife. However, they know that organics are not accessible or affordable for everyone, so they created the Shopper's Guide to help consumers make the healthiest choices given their circumstances. EWG always recommends eating fruits and vegetables, even conventionally grown, over processed foods and other less healthy alternatives. (Paragraph borrowed from EWG FAQ section)

Pesticides are toxic by design. They are created expressly to kill living organisms -- insects, plants, and fungi that are considered "pests". Many pesticides pose health dangers to people. These risks have been established by independent research scientists and physicians accross the world. As acknowledged by U.S. and international government agencies, different pesticides have been linked to a variety of health problems, including: brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone disruption, skin, eye and lung irritation. Now, if you pick five servings of fruits and vegetables from the 12 most contaminated would cause you to consume an average of 14 different pesticides a day. However, if you choose five servings from the 15 least contaminated fruits and vegetables, you'll consume fewer than two pesticides per day. (Paragraph borrowed from EWG FAQ section)

You can check out the EWG's website for more info, it's very easy to read and understand. It's also quite fascinating! You can also download the EWG app for your smartphone so you can reference the list while you're at the grocery store. You can also find the full list of fruits and veggies here, the lower the numbers = more pesticides.

Introducing the Dirty Dozen - 
1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines - Imported
7. Grapes - Imported
8. Sweet Bell Peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries - Domestic
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/Collard Greens

And Last But Not Least, The Clean 15 -
1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet Peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe - Domestic
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

I hope you find this information helpful, and that it helps you eat better and keep your budget down!

Weekly Deals 02/22 to 02/28

Welcome back to Weekly Deals. My goal here is to share natural/organic deals around the Seattle area, as well as any deals online. I mentioned the Clean 15 produce and the Dirty Dozen produce last week, and I said I'd tell you more about it on Thursday. I didn't get to that last week (my baby has been in and out of the doctor's office for the last two weeks, sometimes life gets in the way), so I will address it this week.

As always, not everything on the Weekly Deals list will be organic, but if it's not organic, it'll will: have little to no preservatives, be on the Clean 15 list (or close to it), if it's dairy it will not be treated with rbST growth hormones, if it's meat it will not be treated with antibiotics or hormones and vegetarian fed. If something is organic, it will be labeled as such. If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know :)
So here's this week's Weekly Deals!

TOP Food & Drug - Prices good 02/22 to 02/28

Tillamook Medium Cheddar Cheese, 2.5 lb, $6.99
Wild Caught Alaskan Cod Fillets, $3.99 lb
White Onions, $.39 lb

QFC -  Prices good 02/22 to 02/28

Fresh Asparagus, $.99 lb
Organic Locally Grown Fuji or Braeburn Apples, 10 lbs for $10
Organic D'Anjou or Bosc Pears, $1.49 lb
Organic Mini Peeled Carrots, 16oz, 10 for $10
Organic Strawberries, 16oz, $3.99
Organic Red Bell Peppers, 2 for $3
Annie's Natural Mac & Cheese, 10 for $10
Nancy's Yogurt, 32oz, $2.49
Cliff Crunch Granola Bars, 5 pk, $2.99
Wild Caught Alaska Salmon Filet, $8.99 lb
Wild Caught Dover Sole Fillets, $4.99 lb
Wild Caught Lobster Tail, $6.99 lb
Wild Caught Swordfish Fillets, $9.99 lbLocally Grown Draper Valley Farms Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, $4.99 lb
Locally Grown Ranger Free Range Whole Chicken, $1.59 lb

Albertson's -  Prices good 02/22 to 02/28 

Laura's All Natural 92% Ground Beef, $5.49 lb
Wild Caught Alaska Cod Fillets, $4.99 lb
Wild Caught North Atlantic Lobster Tails, $6.99 each
Amy's Kitchen Frozen Pizza, 13-14oz, $7.49
Organic Wild Harvest Celery Hearts, 1 lb pkg, $2.99
Haas Avocados, medium, $.99 lb
Fresh Red Grapefruit, $.99 lb
Fresh Mini Watermelon, $3.99 each
Fresh Yellow Onions, 3 lb bag, $1.49 lb

Safeway -  Prices good 02/22 to 02/28 

Muir Glen Pasta Sauce, 25.5oz select varieties, 2 for $6
Lucerne Butter, 2 for $5
Lucerne Cheese,   8-oz chunk or 12oz queso fresco, select varieties, 2 for $4
Lucerne Cheese, 32oz selected varieties, $4.99
Jumbo Cantaloupe, $.79 lb
Haas Avocados, 4 for $5
Mini Watermelons, $3.99 (02/24 to 02/27 only)
Foster Farms Locally Grown Whole or Split Whole Chicken, $1.79 lb
Wild Caught Fresh Dover Sole Fillets, $6.99 lb
Wild Caught Swordfish Fillets, $8.99 lb
Cliff Balance Bars, 1.76 to 2.4oz bars, $.99 each
 Organix Hair Care, 4 to 13 oz shampoo, conditioner or stylers, select varieties, BOGO Free, save up to $6.99

Hope you enjoy these deals, and are able to utilize them! ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Weekly Deals, 02/15 to 02/21

Welcome back to the second week of my Weekly Deals. My goal here is to share natural/organic deals around the Seattle area, as well as any deals online. I mentioned the Clean 15 produce and the Dirty Dozen produce last week, and I said I'd tell you more about it on Thursday. I didn't get to that last week, so I will address it this week.

Like last week, not everything on the Weekly Deals list will be organic, but if it's not organic, it'll will: have little to no preservatives, be on the Clean 15 list (or close to it), if it's dairy it will not be treated with rbST growth hormones, if it's meat it will not be treated with antibiotics or hormones and vegetarian fed. If something is organic, it will be labeled as such. If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know :)
So here's this week's Weekly Deals!

TOP Food & Drug - Prices good 02/15 to 02/21

Locally Grown Draper Valley Farms Fresh Fryer Drumsticks, $.89 lb (02/16 to 02/18 only)
Personal Watermelon, $2 each
Haas Avocados, medium, 2 for $1

QFC - Prices good 02/15 to 02/21

Organic Navel Oranges or Minneolas, 10 for $10
Organic Strawberries, 16oz, $3.99
Organic Private Selection Salad Blends, 2 for $6
Kiwi, 1lb package, 2 for $3 OR 2 kiwi for $1
Personal Size Watermelon, 2 for $6
Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, $8.49
Locally Grown Draper Valley All Natural Whole Chicken, $.89 lb
Simple Truth Organic Soy milk, half gallon, 2 for $5
Wallaby Organic Yogurt, 6oz, $.99 each
Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips, 5.5oz select varieties, 2 for $5
Kashi Heart to Heart Cereal, select varieties, $3.49
Kashi Entrees, select varieties, $2.99
Power Bar, select varieties, 10 for $10
Albertson's - Prices good 02/15 to 02/21

Fresh Cantaloupe, $.99 lb
Fresh Mini Watermelon, $3.99 each
Fresh Mangoes, $1.49
Fresh Asparagus, $1.99 lb
Haas Avocados, large, $1.69
Fresh Sweet Onions, $.99 lb
Fresh White or Button Mushrooms, $3.99 lb
Wild Harvest Organic Salad Blends, 2 for $6
Tillamook Cheese Slices, 2 for $6
Foster Farms Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, $4.99 lb
Draper Valley Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, $5.49 lb
Wild Caught Alaska Cod Fillets, $4.99 lb
Wild Caught Rockfish Fillets, $6.99
Wild Caught Jumbo Dungeness Crab Clusters, $8.99 lb
Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon Fillets, $6.99 lb
Wild Harvest Cage Free or Omega 3 Eggs, $3.59
Organix Shampoo or Conditioner, select varieties, B1G1 Free

Safeway - Prices good 02/15 to 02/21

Wild Caught Fresh Rockfish Fillets, $6.99 lb
Wild Caught Royal Red Crab Clusters, $9.99 lb
Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Fillets, $9.99 lb
Wild Caught Alaska Snow Crab Clusters, $8.99 lb
Foster Farms Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks, $1.99
Foster Farms Fresh Whole Fryer, or Whole Split Fryer, B1G1 Free
Organic Pink Lady or Braeburn Apples, $.99 lb
Organic Navel Oranges, $1.29 lb
Organic Green or Red Leaf Lettuce, $1.69 each
Organic Spinach, $1.69 each
Organic Heirloom Tomatoes, $3.99 lb
O Organics Salad Blends, 2 for $5
O Organics Milk, 64oz, Buy 2 save $1
Odwalla Snack Bars, $.99 each
Haas Avocados, $.99 each
Sweet Yellow Onions, $.99
Kiwi, 3 for $1
Ruby Red Grapefruit, 5lb bag, $3.99 each
Safeway Farms Sugar Snap Peas, 2 lb bag, $6.99 each
Lucerne Greek Yogurt, 6oz, $.89 each
Lucerne Butter, 2 for $5
Lucerne Natural Sliced Cheese, $2.49
Pacific or O Organics Soup, 2 for $5
O Organics Rice Pouches, 30 oz, $2.99
O Organics Broth, 32 oz, 2 for $5
O Organics Pasta Sauce, 25 oz, 2 for $5
O Organics Preserves, 11 oz, $2.99
O Organics Salsa, 16 oz, 2 for $5
O Organics Apple Juice, 64 oz, $2.99
O Organics Spices, select varieties, B2G1 Free
O Organics Butter, $4.49
O Organics Canned Tomatoes, 2 for $3
O Organics Extra Virgin Olive Oil, B1G1 Free
O Organics Frozen Vegetables, 2 for $6
O Organics Canned Vegetables, $1.09

Hope you enjoy these deals, and are able to utilize them! ;)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day Desserts - Chocolate Berry Pie & Apple Crumb Cheesecake Pie

Happy Valentine's Day! I thought I would share a dessert that I've made for Valentine's Day a couple of years ago, as well as the dessert I'm making for tonight.  

Photo Credit HERE
This year my husband and I decided to stay in and celebrate as a family. My husband is cooking me dinner (grilled NY Steaks, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms and garlic mashed potatoes), and I'm in charge of dessert. If it were up to me, I'd make something rich and decadent and it would definitely include chocolate. But tonight my husband mentioned that Apple Pie sounded good :-/ So being the foodie that I am, of course I'm not going to make a plain old apple pie. I searched Pinterest for dessert recipes for two, and I came across the coolest blog! It's called Dessert For Two, and it's full of all kinds of recipes with servings (mostly sweets) for two people. In the past, I'd just make a normal sized dessert, and we'd eat it for a few days after. Buuuuut since I'm working my behind off to lose this weight, I'd rather not have a week's worth of decadent dessert sitting around. So, to my delight I found a recipe for Apple Crumb Cheesecake Pie. Um, hello!! That's a step up from Apple Pie! It sounds easy enough, and most of all DELICIOUS!!

Two years ago, I made a Chocolate Berry Cream Pie from Cooking Light. It has a chocolate crust, a cream cheese filling and a triple berry curd that you make yourself! This was a great blend of flavors and we really liked it! If you're leary of fat free or reduced fat groceries, just use regular ingredients.
I hope you have a wonderful day! If you're still looking for a delicious Valentine's dessert, give one of these a try!

Apple Crumb Cheesecake Pie, via Desserts For Two
Yields 1 small 6″ pie.
  • 5 ounces (1 cup) flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small apple (I prefer Honey Crisp)
  • pinch of orange zest (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Caramel sauce for serving (optional)
  1. First, make the crust: stir together in a small bowl with a fork the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and use your finger tips or a pastry cutter to blend it into the flour.
  2. Once all the butter pieces are about the size of small peas, add the vinegar and a small amount of water, stirring between each addition. Add enough water so that the dough comes together in a ball, but isn’t overly sticky.
  3. Form the dough into a disk, cover it in plastic wrap, and let it chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the crumb topping: combine all ingredients except butter in a small bowl. Add the butter and rub it in until well incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Now, peel and dice your apple into 1/4” chunks. You should end up with about 1 cup of diced apple pieces.
  6. Add the apple to a medium bowl and toss with the cinnamon, flour, salt and orange zest (if using). Set aside.
  7. In another bowl, beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, egg, sugar and cornstarch. Set aside while you prepare your pie crust.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  9. Roll the pie dough disk on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 8-9” in diameter. Carefully transfer this to a 7” pie tin and fit it in the bottom gently (do not ever stretch pie dough—it will shrink back in the oven). Fold the overhanging dough under the edges to form a double crust and make a pretty edge, either with a fork or your fingers. Do not prick the bottom of the dough with a fork. Transfer the pie tin to a small baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven. If the crust has puffed up, gently push it back down before pouring the cream cheese mixture on top. Add the diced apples on top, followed by the crumb topping. Bake for 30-40 minutes. If the crumbs aren’t brown enough, broil for a few minutes. This pie is great at room temperature, or even chilled. Serve with caramel sauce.

  • 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 20 cookies; such as Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter,
  • 1 egg white
  • Cooking spray Fillng:
  • 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup Triple Berry Curd


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. To prepare crust, combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a fork until moist. Press into bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
  3. To prepare filling, combine cottage cheese and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a food processor; process for 1 minute or until smooth. Add eggs and egg yolk; process until smooth. Spoon filling into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. To serve, spread Triple Berry Curd evenly over top.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Meatless Monday Ratatouille, Remy Style

Welcome back to Meatless Monday! This week we're talking about a Ratatouille, but it's not your traditional ratatouille. Traditional ratatouille is a vegetable dish consisting of onions, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers, fried and stewed in oil and sometimes eaten cold. Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish, but also may be served as a meal on its own accompanied by pasta, couscous, rice or bread. The version we are making today was inspired by the Disney movie Ratatouille. I don't know about you but when I saw that movie, I was immediately hungry and wanted to make the same ratatouille that Remy made. His version features thinly sliced and layered vegetables, rather than a stew. I went in search of a recipe, and Smitten Kitchen had exactly what I wanted.

I've made this dish numerous times, and it always gets rave reviews. Not only is it pretty to look at, but when you tell the kiddos it's the same ratatouille that Remy made, they'll be a lot more inclined to eat their veggies! A few times I've made this, I've substituted portobello mushrooms for the eggplant and it's worked perfectly. This comes together fairly quickly, especially if you've got a mandoline slicer to make easy work of slicing the veggies. This would be a great meal served up with some pasta, creamy polenta, couscous, quinoa, rice or bread with a nice salad. Give this recipe a try and impress not only your guests, but the kids too!

1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
1 cup tomato puree (such as Pomi)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small eggplant (my store sells these “Italian Eggplant” that are less than half the size of regular ones; it worked perfectly)
1 smallish zucchini
1 smallish yellow squash
1 longish red bell pepper
Few sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish, approximately 10 inches across the long way. Drop the sliced garlic cloves and chopped onion into the sauce, stir in one tablespoon of the olive oil and season the sauce generously with salt and pepper.

Trim the ends off the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. As carefully as you can, trim the ends off the red pepper and remove the core, leaving the edges intact, like a tube.

On a mandolin, adjustable-blade slicer or with a very sharp knife, cut the eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper into very thin slices, approximately 1/16-inch thick.

Atop the tomato sauce, arrange slices of prepared vegetables concentrically from the outer edge to the inside of the baking dish, overlapping so just a smidgen of each flat surface is visible, alternating vegetables. You may have a handful leftover that do not fit.

Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs with your fingertips, running them down the stem. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dish.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit inside. (Tricky, I know, but the hardest thing about this.)

Bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes, until vegetables have released their liquid and are clearly cooked, but with some structure left so they are not totally limp. They should not be brown at the edges, and you should see that the tomato sauce is bubbling up around them.

Serve with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, alone, or with some crusty French bread, atop polenta, couscous, or your choice of grain.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Weekly Deals 02/08

Hey ya'll, sorry this is coming so late. We've had a crazy two days around here with our little lady getting sick, and a long trip to the doctor. Soooo better late than never, right? Thanks for understanding :)

This is our first week of Weekly Deals. My goal here was to share natural/organic deals around the Seattle area, as well as any deals online. One thing I want to mention here is I'll be sharing deals on the "Clean 15" fruits and vegetables. I'm going to tell you more about the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 tomorrow. Not everything on the Weekly Deals list will be organic, but if it's not organic, it'll will: have little to no preservatives, be on the Clean 15 list (or close to it), if it's dairy it will not be treated with rbST growth hormones, if it's meat it will not be treated with antibiotics or hormones and vegetarian fed. If something is organic, it will be labeled as such. If I come up with anything else, I'll let you know :) 
So here's this week's Weekly Deals!

TOP Food & Drug - Prices good 02/08 to 02/14

Locally Grown Draper Valley Farms Fresh Chicken Whole Fryer, $.99 lb
Wild Caught Oregon Shrimp Meat, $4.49 lb
Wild Caught All Natural Scallop Meat, $4.99 lb
Mangoes, $.78 each
Green Cabbage, $.38 lb
Locally Grown Yellow Onions, $.19 lb

QFC - Prices good 02/08 to 02/14

Locally Grown Draper Valley Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Buy 1 Get 1 Free (Save up to $7.49 with card)
Wild Caugh Copper River Sockeye Salmon Filets, $9.99 lb
Organic Ground Beef, $5.99 lb
Coleman Organic Whole Fryer, $2.79
Wild Caught Snow Crab Sections, $5.99 lb
Certified Wild American Shrimp, $10.99 lb
Wild Caught Rockfish Fillets, $5.99
Foster Farms Ground Turkey Breast, $5.99 per 20oz package
Organic & Locally Grown Braeburn, Cameo or Fuji Apples, 10 lb for $10
Horizon Organic Milk, select 8oz singles, 10 for $10
Locally Grown Whole White or Crimini Mushrooms, $2.99
Fresh Asparagus, $2.99
Organic Blueberries, 6oz, 2 for $6
Organic Private Selection Organic Romaine Hearts, 3ct, 2 for $6
Organic Large Haas Avocados, 2 for $4
Organic Minneolas or Navel Oranges, $1.49 lb
Organic D'Anjou or Bosc Pears, $1.29
Nature's Path Organic Cereal, Bars or Toaster Pastries, 2 for $5
Luna or Luna Protein Bar, 10 for $10
Tom's of Maine Deodorant or Toothpaste, 40% off
Silk PureAlmond Milk, $2.99

Albertson's - Prices good 02/08 to 02/14

Wild Caught North Atlantic Lobster Tails, $4.69 3 days only, with coupon from ad
Fresh Red Grapefruit, $.69 lb
Wild Caught Fresh Whole Dungeness Crab, $6.99 lb
Good Earth Organic Tea Bags, 18ct select varieties, $3.99
Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips, 5.5oz select varieties, 2 for $5
Fresh Asparagus, $2.99 lb
Fresh Yellow Onions, 3lb bag, $1.49

Safeway - Prices good 02/08 to 02/14

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Filets, $8.99 lb
Yellowfin Ahi Tuna Steaks, $8.99
Fresh Asparagus, $1.99
Foster Farms Ground Turkey Breast, 20oz package, Buy 1 get 1 free, save up to &7.99 on 2
Foster Farms Whole Cut Up Chicken, $1.99 lb
Foster Farms Fresh & Easy Boneless Skinless Chicken, $4.49 (or Tenders, thin sliced or marinated selection $4.99lb)
O Organics Italian Soda, 1 liter, $2.99
Organic Minneolas, $.99 lb
Organic Haas Avocados, 2 for $3

Hope you enjoy these deals, and are able to utilize them! ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Healthier Blackberry Bars

Last summer, my friend Dixie and I had big plans for canning blackberry jam. So we got together a few times and picked TONS of blackberries. We washed them, dried them then froze them. But we never got around to canning jam. That being said, I have 3 gallon sized bags full of frozen blackberries. I've been using them in my morning smoothie, but I still have a lot left! I'm not complaining at all, but when asked to bring something to share to a Super Bowl party I decided to make a dessert featuring the berries. I looked on my Pinterest boards and found a dessert I'd been wanting to make, Blackberry Pie Bars. They were easy to make, and were absolutely delicious! I can't wait to make them again.

The recipe comes from Brown Eyed Baker, but I adapted it and changed a few things to fit my needs. I used whole wheat flour, and coconut oil instead of white flour and butter. I also squeezed the lemon juice from my zested lemons into the blackberry filling. I imagine you could use any berry, fresh or frozen, for this. Yum yum!!

Blackberry Pie Bars, Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 18 bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 55 minutes

For the Crust and Topping:
Zest of 2 lemons
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 cups white whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups coconut oil, or unsalted butter, cubed and chilled

For the Blackberry Filling:
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
¾ cup white whole wheat flour
Pinch of salt
Juice of the two zested lemons (optional)
6 cups fresh blackberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and the lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar until all of the sugar has been moistened. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lemon sugar, all-purpose flour and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until the pieces of butter are no larger than the size of peas, about 10 to 12 pulses.
3. Measure out 1½ cups of the crumb mixture to use for the topping and put it in the refrigerator until needed. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10 minutes while you prepare the filling.
4. To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, sour cream, flour and salt until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in the blackberries. Spoon the mixture evenly over the crust and make sure all of the blackberries are in one layer and not sitting on top of one another.
5. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly over the filling. Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Meatless Monday! Mushroom Barley Soup

Happy Monday! Today is my first posting for Meatless Monday. Some of you may be wondering, why meatless? Don't you like meat? Please understand, I LOVE meat. Lovelovelovelovelove meat. But in the last year or so, I've been really taking a look at our budget, especially our grocery budget. That's where I have complete and total control :) I wanted lower our grocery budget, while still eating delicious, organic and natural foods. It wasn't long before I stumbled upon the concept of cutting meat out of your menu for one day per week. It's not only great for your budget, it reduces your carbon footprint, and it's also a great and healthy way to start the week! We've actually really liked it, and my husband doesn't even notice we're not eating meat.

I found today's recipe on Pinterest, have I mentioned how obsessed you can become with Pinterest?! It's amazing! Anyway, this recipe comes from another blog called, Alisa Cooks, she's got a lot of gluten free and dairy free recipes. The recipe is quick to prepare and has an amazing depth of flavor. It's Mushroom & Barley Soup. It's chalk full of mushrooms, barley (I used pearl barley b/c it's what I had on hand) and seasoned with tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, garlic and thyme. There's just something about the flavor combination of the balsamic vinegar and the thyme that made this taste fancy and kind of French. I absolutely adored it, and was almost surprised at how much my husband liked it. He commented on how delicious it was a few times during lunch, which melts my heart :) This recipe is delicious and low calorie for those of you who care, by my calculations it was (per cup of soup) 92 calories, 1.8g fat, 2.3g fiber, and 5.2g protein. This would be great served up with some sandwiches and/or a salad. We had it with grilled cheese and freshly cut cantaloupe.

The only changes I made was using half the amount of oil, chicken broth instead of beef or mushroom broth and using salt instead of Miso. She also said you can make this in the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours, I might try that next time. You can also add more veggies as you like, such as carrots or celery. Please give this recipe a try, you'll love it!

Mushroom & Barley Soup from Alisa Cooks
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • ½ Medium Onion, slivered (about 1¼ cups)
  • ½ Cup Dry Barley, rinsed (I used the inexpensive pearl barley)
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced (or about 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 8 Ounces Sliced Button or Cremini Mushrooms
  • 4 Cups (1 quart) Beef or Mushroom Broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • ¼ -1 Teaspoon Salt to Taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Miso Paste (or simply more salt to taste)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste
Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until they are translucent. Reduce the heat just a touch, add the barley, garlic, and thyme, and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, followed by the broth, tomato paste, vinegar, bay leaf, and I would start with ¼ teaspoon of salt and the miso if using. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow the soup to simmer for at least 1 hour, or until the barley is nice and tender. Season to taste with additional salt (see my notes in the post above) and black pepper to taste.
Yields 2 hearty, meal-sized servings
I had planned to make this soup crock pot-style, but as usual, I ran out of time. It should do well in a slow cooker; set on low for 6 to 8 hours, allowing the barley time to cook.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Where We're Headed

Since taking a couple of months off from writing, I've decided to get a little more focused and organized when it comes to the posts. I've had a few ideas bouncing around, and I think I've found something that encompasses what I want to express and share with you, my reader! At our house, I'm all about frugal living, DIY anything, eating natural/organic with little processed food and being crafty! So those are the things I'm going to be sharing here, just a little more organized :) I'm going to give a new outline a try, and I'm hoping it'll keep me flowing better with posts. So here's what we're going to try:

Monday = Meatless Monday- I'll be sharing meatless recipes with you each Monday. You'll love this because it's a great way to stretch your grocery budget. And don't worry, it's not all beans and tofu ;)

Tuesday = Recipes

Wednesday = Weekly Deals - I'll be sharing the best deals for natural/organic foods our local grocery stores have on sale for the week

Thursday = Thrifty Thursday- I'll be sharing tips, projects, ideas and recipes that will help you to save a few bucks

Friday = Recipes

Saturday & Sunday = No posts

 The blog is still heavy on the recipes because let's face it, I started this because of my love for cooking and wanting to share it with you all! Wednesday's post will be lite because we have church twice that day, and it tends to be a busy day with our family. Weekends will also be taken off because it's family fun time! :)

So there you have it, this is what you can expect from me in the coming weeks. Stay tuned next week for the new format change!