Thursday, December 15, 2011

A tale of two filet mignons

Beef tenderloin
Image via Wikipedia
Beef tenderloin.

Editor's note: Today, I compare free-range, grass-fed Australian beef to domestic beef; describe another visit to Costco Wholesale, and recommend a meatless rice-and-beans breakfast.

At the Englewood ShopRite on Wednesday, I picked up a Nature's Reserve whole trimmed beef tenderloin for filet mignon from free-range, grass-fed cattle raised in Australia. 

The price was $8.99 a pound or $6.99 a pound with my store card, and my tenderloin weighs 4.32 pounds.

On a shelf in the same refrigerated case, I saw a USDA Select trimmed whole beef tenderloin from cattle raised conventionally for $11.99 a pound. It was being sold under the Excel name, a brand from a conglomerate called Cargill.

I plan to slice my tenderloin thinly and put it into freezer bags with Korean barbecue marinade. The beef will cook quickly on a stove-top grill for wrapping in red-leaf lettuce leaves with rice, kimchi and sliced garlic.

It's a fun family meal, though I won't be taking part. I'll likely prepare shrimp to wrap in lettuce and eat Korean-style.

Holiday frenzy

Costco Wholesale in Hackensack opened at 10 this morning, but the parking lot was already filling up fast. Inside, it was calmer and there was no waiting at checkout.

I picked up two packages of Vita Pure Coconut Water from Brazil -- 12 containers of 11.1 ounces each -- for $15.79. 

I have been buying coconut water from, where a 12-pack costs $17.60. Buying it at Costco eliminates the packaging and energy used to ship it to me.

The fish case held fresh fillets of wild-caught haddock, flounder and Pacific cod, each for $7.99 a pound. I bought the wonderful cod, a meaty fish that breaks apart into big flakes when cooked.

I also found a 17.6-ounce package of Galil-brand organic shelled chestnuts for $3.89, a product of China. Preservative-free pitted dates from California were $5.75 for 2.5 pounds.

Meatless breakfast

Today's rib-sticking breakfast relied on leftover organic brown rice with lentils, and black beans with diced tomato and mussels -- all topped by two eggs prepared sunny side up.

There's nothing like breaking the yolks over the rice and beans, and eating them together.

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