Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Don't wait for holiday to make meals a riot of flavor and color

For dinner on Sunday, we had wild-caught shrimp from Mexico -- $16.99 a pound at H Mart in Englewood -- over a moist side dish of organic quinoa prepared in an electric cooker with organic chicken stock, organic diced tomatoes, organic lentils and peeled whole California garlic cloves, all from Costco Wholesale. The shrimp were marinated in chopped garlic and fresh lime juice.


I can't get into Thanksgiving this year. Too much traffic. Too many people in the food stores.

This morning, I made my final holiday shopping trip -- to Whole Foods Market in Paramus for two small naturally raised hams for the meat eaters in the family ($7.99 a pound).

We also have four turkey legs from Goffle Road Poultry Farm in Wyckoff stored in the freezer, and my wife also plans to serve curry goat and rice with pigeon peas.

I'm planning to have a whole red snapper prepared by a family friend, a crab cake and, possibly, a wild-salmon burger. 

The last two are from Costco Wholesale in Hackensack, and already in the freezer.

A sweet Thanksgiving

I bought conventional sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's last week, and today, I picked up organic purple sweet potatoes at Whole Foods.

I'll boil them with whole garlic cloves, drain them and mash them with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, cinnamon, curry powder and other seasonings.

We'll also serve a big organic spring mix salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, pomegranate seeds and Grana Padano Cheese, all dressed in EVOO and balsamic vinegar. 

My wife went to Costco Wholesale in Hackensack on Monday right after it opened and reported it was "mobbed."

She bought pomegranates ($14.99), a 9-inch apple pie ($9.99), Earthbound Farm Organic Spring Mix ($4.79) and 3 pounds of organic bananas ($1.99).

I also went holiday shopping on Monday morning on the way home from the gym, stopping at ShopRite in Paramus for two sale items, a 5-pound box of Spanish Clementines ($4.99) and Turkey Hill Ice Cream ($1.99).

My wife steamed whole wild-caught porgy last week -- $2.49 a pound at H Mart in Englewood -- with fresh okra, onions and sweet peppers.

Quinoa with creamy garlic cloves stood in for bread at breakfast with two organic eggs, non-fat Greek yogurt with cucumbers and mint, and pomegranate seeds. I sprinkled za'atar thyme mixture over the quinoa before I reheated it.

A half-dozen jumbo California Pomegranates were $14.99 at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. Though they are more expensive, the seeds from them are far superior to those from smaller and cheaper pomegranates, such as those I bought for 99 cents each at ShopRite in Paramus.

A 5-pound box of Spanish Clementines were $4.99 at the Paramus ShopRite. The store also had 5-pound boxes of sweet potatoes for $2.49.

A beautiful display of sweet potatoes and yams greeted shoppers this morning at Whole Foods Market in Paramus. I bought about 2 pounds of organic Purple Stokes Sweet Potatoes on sale for $1.49 a pound to mash with conventional sweet potatoes from Trader Joe's.

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