... grocery shopping.
i'm kind of a health nut. my boyfriend is most definitely a health nut. and after years of being nutty we've kind of turned away from the non-organic food purveyors of the world for everything but our paper products and cleaning supplies. the major issue we're suffering from in doing this is a financial one. yeah, whole foods, you know i'm talking about you. you are a pricey little number, aren't you? but alas, i do like whole foods. and that is why it is first on my list to discuss.
if you're living a GF lifestyle, i'm willing to bet that you find yourself lost amongst the shelves at whole foods market about once a week. maybe even more if you're livin' large without the aid of an auto to help you carry those biodegradable bags home. (forget about lugging those suckers in the rain. don't go there.) whole foods has so many GF options, scattered in their bakery section to their packaged goods to their prepared foods. heck, they'll even bake you up a GF cake and write your name across the top if you're really pumped about it. they've also gone through the trouble of preparing info about GF diets, store-specific lists of products that gluten-avoiders can consume, and recipes for those of us that are so inclined.
i will be sort-of inclined on saturday. dan is heading out early that morning to take the LSATs and when he gets home i want to have a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies waiting for him. (how great am i, right?) no, he's not GF, but i want to eat some too! as long as the mix is tasty enough he doesn't seem to mind at all that he's going wheatless during snack time. i usually go with one of pamela's cookie mixes, but i may venture out for something new this time. maybe. pamela's are just so good! i'm heading to whole foods at some point today to grab some stuff and we'll see what i can find.
i love playing that game.
the last time i went out on a wild food hunt i wound up snaring myself some pizza crust mix made by namaste foods. oh my word. it was crazy good. probably the best GF pizza crust i've ever had, and i've had a whole bunch ranging from mixes, to pre-made, to complete frozen pizzas. It was wonderfully seasoned with oregano and rosemary and it baked up to a thin, lightly crispy, browned crust. i rolled it out into an oblong, uneven mess on a large cookie sheet, and i topped my 1/2 with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and some chili flakes. dan went a little more loopy and added some chicken strips and pepperoni to his. even though i rolled the crust thin, it held up to dan's meaty masterpiece, and it reheated just fine for each of our subsequent pizza meals that came from that initial, massive creation. i give this one 4 thumbs up, because dan's here adding his thumbs to mine. wish i had a picture to share.
okay, okay. come back with me to the topic at hand. let's wrap this bad boy up with my second health-food store of note. this one, while not super GF friendly, offers unbelievable deals. i have to say that this one is probably my favorite.
the prices at this joint are unreal, especially if you've become accustom to the whole foods money scale. i frequent this place to grab some flash-frozen fish filets that are usually only about $4 or $5 for two large, fresh pieces of salmon or halibut. i was there yesterday and picked up a large bag of frozen jumbo shrimp for only $5.99. (i am going to cook from a recipe tomorrow night! more on that then...)
TJ's is not the place to get your GF cake mixes, pastas, or anything specialty like that. it is the place, however, to nab some amazing kalamata hummus, organic bananas, slivered raw almonds, chicken tamales and whatever cheeses strike your fancy. this time the goat cheese struck mine.
i say that they're not super GF friendly. well, that's in comparison to whole foods. they really do try to lend a hand, and in an effort to gain affection from our side TJ's has prepared a GF list of products sold in its stores that's available on the website or via this link here. i suggest you take a peak before going because some of the options on there might surprise you. i was a bit surprised and i've shopped at TJ's a billion times before between chicago and when i lived in boston.
okay, on to the fun stuff. joe (we're on a first-name basis now) has special contracts with various vineyards and wine distributors, and this allows the store to sell wines that you will not find anywhere else for prices that will make you feel like you've already had a glass or two before going to the store. ever heard of two-buck chuck? it's actually $2.99 chuck now but this is where it comes from. unless you're 19 and really want to get wine-tanked with a bunch of friends, let me suggest another option for your palate. my most favorite wine there is called zarafa.
i'm missing the necessary accent marks because i haven't a clue how to type them. anyway, the sauvignon blanc and pinotage from this brand are mighty tasty. the former is light and delicate and absolutely delish when sipped with one of TJ's fish dishes. the latter is an airy red with an incredible cherry aftertaste that i'd imagine would be fantastic with some dark chocolate. or maybe some pamela's chocolate chip cookies.
it's time for me to write a grocery list. happy shopping gluterinis.