Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vegetable stew, guacamole and rising prices

Aguacate / AvocadoImage via Wikipedia
Wholly Guacamole is packed with avocados.

I keep on discovering new items and old favorites at Costco in Hackensack that help me forget I haven't eaten meat or poultry for more than a year.

A new favorite is Stonewall Kitchen Old Farmhouse Vegetable Stew, packed with potato and carrot chunks, and peas and other veggies that are fresh-tasting and firm to the bite. The ingredient label lists 10 vegetables, plus herbs and spices.

The delicious, milky looking broth contains no dairy. Two 20-ounce portions were $7.99, and they can be frozen.

An item I tried a couple of years ago is appearing more frequently at meals after my son fell in love with the guacamole at Rosa Mexicano in Hackensack, where the appetizer is prepared table-side. The restaurant's guacamole is priced at $12, but contains only two avocados.

Costco's Wholly Guacamole claims to have 15 Hass avocados "in every batch" or five in each of the three 16-ounce portions. It's a much better deal.

Check out the ingredient list: Hass avocados, jalapeno puree, dehydrated onion, salt, granulated garlic. That's it. And it's made in Mexico. I paid $8.49, and it's enough for three meals, plus it can be frozen.

I serve the guacamole after adding a liberal amount of Goya's spicy Salsa Taquera, though you can use chunky salsa or any other hot sauce.

Salsas picantesImage by saguayo via Flickr

Rising prices

Costo's prices are trending upward for its own Kirkland Signature brand of smoked wild salmon and 100% whole grain bread.

Now, a pound of Boskovich Farms' organic spinach has jumped to $4.49, from $3.79; and three, long gourmet cucumbers went up 20 cents, to $3.99. 

I've also noticed substantial hikes -- about $2 -- in the price of apples and other fruit sold in 4- or 5-pound packages. 

Other items, such as 2 pounds of salted pollock from China for $6.39, have held the line. Frozen Pacific cod was $14.99 for 2 pounds, just under the price for fresh fillets you sometimes find in the fish case.

Two pounds of Sunset-brand Roma and Campari tomatoes have held steady at $4.99 and $5.49, respectively.  The price is high, but the tomato taste is intense.
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