Saturday, December 13, 2014

Food shopping, leftovers for breakfast, a diabetic's nightmare

Sahara-brand Clementines are on sale for $4.99 at ShopRite in Paramus, but as the name suggests, the 5-pound boxes are from Morocco, not Spain.

The Paramus ShopRite also has 1-pound packages of Sunset's incomparable Campari Tomatoes for $3.99, compared to 2-pound packages of the same tomato for $4.99 or less at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack.

Editor's note: Food shopping is hard work and stores take a lot of short cuts on signs and other aids. Today, I also discuss assembling a quick, nutritious breakfast from leftovers, and a Trader Joe's holiday sales flier that contains so much sugar my teeth ache just reading it. 


The food we buy in our local supermarkets and warehouse stores comes from all over the world, meaning there is no substitute for reading labels.

That may look like a good price for clementines, but are they from Spain or Morocco? I prefer the Spanish ones.

Australia is known for low prices on grass-fed beef, but one of the producers, Clayton's, follows organic practices and another, Nature's Reserve, doesn't.

I've been buying Campari Tomatoes for years, but for some reason, the ones that come in Costco Wholesale's 2-pound packages taste better than those in the 1-pound packages sold by competitors.

ShopRite confused two Australian producers on the sign at left that I saw on Thursday. Three 1-pound packages of Nature's Reserve Grass-fed Ground Beef were $14.97. Clayton's Organic Ground Beef was $5.99, right.

Six enormous California Pomegranates are $14.99 at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. Each one yields 2 cups of pomegranate seeds. The seeds from ShopRite's smaller and cheaper pomegranates weren't as good.

Going clockwise, a breakfast of leftovers includes sauteed Chinese broccoli with lots of chopped garlic, sweet potatoes mashed with extra-virgin olive oil; and two items purchased from H Mart in Englewood, stewed-tofu and japchae, translucent noodles with vegetables. I often use gochujang, a vinegared red-pepper paste, on tofu.

On leftover patrol

My personal record at breakfast is clearing five containers of leftovers from our crowded refrigerator.

You won't ever catch me skipping breakfast or stopping for one of those artery clogging breakfast sandwiches at a fast-food place.

But you will find me leaving enough time in the morning to reheat a plate of healthy, simply prepared food, often supplemented by an egg-white omelet with reduced fat cheese or organic whole eggs fried sunny side up.

Most of my breakfasts include leftovers that used ingredients from Costco Wholesale, Whole Foods Market and H Mart.

H Mart, a small Korean supermarket chain, is known for its prepared tofu and other side dishes, and fresh produce and fish, such as the whole king whiting my wife bought on Friday for $4.99 a pound, dusted with cornmeal and fried for dinner.

Chinese broccoli, mashed sweet potatoes and tofu make way for a Jamaican specialty, ackee and salt fish, accented with Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce (Black Label).

An egg-white omelet with a slice of reduced-fat Swiss cheese, Aleppo pepper and za'atar thyme mixture joins more tofu and organic brown rice with organic lentils. 

Organic 100% whole-wheat pasta shells, prepared with bottled sauce, anchovies and sardines, joins japchae and two organic eggs fried sunny side up with grated Pecorino Romano Cheese.

Trader Joe's sugar fixation

The latest edition of Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer is labeled, "Holiday Guide 2014."

The 24-page sales flier, which I receive in the mail, is filled with promotions on so many sugary treats and full-fat cheeses I had to resist the urge to schedule a physical after reading it.

Caramels, fondue, chevre with truffles, scallops wrapped in bacon, egg nog ice cream, chocolate, cupcakes, shortcake, marzipan and cookies pose a real minefield for diabetics and even people who are just watching their weight and cholesterol.

I'm someone who doesn't add sugar to coffee, doesn't eat dessert and hates the taste of bottled pasta sauces with added sugar.

There is not much that interests me in this flier.

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