Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Costco's cabernet, Olivia's Organics and a quinoa search

The label of Olivia's Organics Baby Romaine boasts, "Proudly grown by American farmers," which seems to be a pointed reference to competitor Earthbound Farm, which uses organic greens grown in Mexico and the United States.


I finally uncorked a bottle of Kirkland Signature 2012 California Cabernet Sauvignon that I bought three months ago, and was bowled over by this deliciously complex red wine.

At $7.99, a 1.5 liter bottle -- the equivalent of two normal bottles -- was a bargain when I bought it around Thanksgiving at the Costco Wholesale in Wayne.

Check out the description of the wine on the back label:

"A classic Cabernet Sauvignon with vibrant, juicy flavors of black currant with broad, red fruit notes that linger on the palate and are surrounded by hints of spice and sweet smoke with a graceful finish of cherry and mocha."

Yes. The wine tastes that good.

Both the Kirkland Signature Champagne from France, left, and the California Cabernet Sauvignon, right, are wonderful.

Organic salad greens

Sometimes, you can find bargains in organic produce at the International Food Warehouse, 370 Essex St., Lodi.

Last week, I bought three 5-ounce packages of Olivia's Organics Baby Romaine for $1.50 each with a "best by" date that gave me four days to finish them.

One salad I made included baby romaine, blueberries, cinnamon-dusted almonds and Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The fruit, nuts, cinnamon and cheese all came from Costco.

The Olivia's Organics plastic tub has a hinged cover with a simple tear-away sealing strip, compared to competitor Earthbound Farm's more complex, two-piece plastic tub.

Both are triple washed, meaning they can go straight from the package to the salad bowl. 

Costco Wholesale carries only Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix, but I've seen both Earthbound Farm and Olivia's Organics at ShopRite at higher prices. 

A salad made with Olivia's Organics Baby Romaine.

Quinoa search

I bought 4-pound bags of Tru Roots Organic Quinoa from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack at least three times last year, but I have struck out finding it in 2014.

I prepared my last cup of Tru Roots quinoa on Monday night, serving it with jumbo shrimp.

I found it at online retailers for about $7 to $8 a pound, but I am not willing to pay that much.

Today, I stopped at Hackensack Market on Passaic Street, and found a 12-ounce bag of Incagen-brand 100% Organica Quinua from Peru for $3.99.

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a nutty tasting whole grain with fewer carbs than rice or pasta.

Jumbo shrimp with fresh garlic, ginger and thyme served over organic quinoa.

On Monday, I saw boxes of Italian organic penne and fusilli pasta at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack for $8.99 or about $1.12 a pound, a bargain compared to supermarkets. But I'm waiting for Costco to start selling organic whole wheat pasta, which I now buy at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods Market for $1.39 a pound.

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