Multi-stop shopping becoming the norm in these inflationary times

Shopping around for the best deals is a must-do strategy as you try to control your food bill in these inflationary times. I’ve offered several suggestions for how to do that, such as pre-planning every trip you make.

This was what awaited me during a Pandemic shopping trip in senior shopping hour at a local supermarket — packed aisles and long checkout lines. The lines are shorter these days.

Now the rest of the country seems to be catching up to me, according to data from IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm.

More than three in four consumers (78%) in April adjusted their grocery-shopping behaviors in an effort to save money amid rising inflation,” reports Winsight Grocery Business. “In comparison, 72% of consumers said they had made one or more changes to their shopping behaviors in March.”

“While the pandemic saw consumers trying to complete their grocery shopping in one trip, it seems the trend is now reversing, as 17% of consumers now visit multiple retailers to get the best deals, IRI found,” the Winsight article reports.

Only 17%? Until more of us do more comparison shopping and go to different places to get deals, prices will stay high. For more tips on finding low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar products during these high-price times, check out my smart shopping page.

A simple dish from days gone by — spaghetti with olive oil and garlic

I’m old enough to remember when Catholics couldn’t eat meat on Friday, a sign of sacrifice we no longer practice. As a child, there were many alternatives for me since I didn’t eat fish then. It was either pizza or an Italian dish called agilo e olio, basically spaghetti with garlic and olive oil.

Spaghetti Agilo e olio — spaghetti with garlic and olive oil

So it was a trip down memory lane for me to find this recipe for it on Cooking Professionally. Even if you don’t consider yourself a great cook, you can make this in minutes and impress your family and friends.

The recipe is simplicity itself.

Ingredients

• 1 pound spaghetti, uncooked 

• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 

• 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 

• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 

• 1/4 cup chopped parsley 

• 1 cup parmesan, grated, optional

I use only whole wheat or multigrain pasta these days, too much regular pasta can cause blood sugar issues for you.

Cooking it all is a nine-step process:

Continue reading “A simple dish from days gone by — spaghetti with olive oil and garlic”

If you love salmon, you will love some of these side dishes

Salmon is a go-to main course for anyone trying to eat less unhealthy fat and more healthy fat. I regularly make it now instead of the steaks and burgers I once ate before my heart surgeries. This piece from Myrecipes.com gives you 30 potential salmon side dishes. Match those with the salmon recipes you’ll find on our recipe page.

In another sheet of aluminum foil, place your four pieces of salmon and separate with aluminum foil. Then rub in marinades for each.
Grilling salmon is a luscious experience.

Avoid the ones with cream (bad fat) and if a recipe calls for salt, leave it out or cut it drastically.

You’ll see several asparagus dishes in here, I normally grill asparagus outdoors in the summer to go with salmon.

I’m planning to try the first side discussed, lemon-feta green beans, but will use the fat-free feta I regularly buy at a local supermarket. I love the idea of searing lemons. And kudos to the recipe for not adding salt — the cheese is salty enough.

Baked Halibut with Wine and Herbs — tasty and low-salt (if you leave out the added salt)

I wrote recently about buying some halibut at a new Amazon fresh store. I don’t often cook halibut, so I went looking for a recipe and came across this one: Baked Halibut with Wine and Herbs on Foodnetwork.com.

Halibut on a carrot puree that I had in a restaurant long before Covid limited me to takeout options only.

Ingredients

4 sprigs thyme

8 sprigs parsley

2 bay leaves, preferably fresh

8 cloves garlic, smashed

2 (1 pound) halibut steaks, 1 1/4-inch thick, from tail end of fish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper [leave out the salt]

3/4 cup dry vermouth [I used white wine instead, its what I had available]

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

12 cherry or pear, red and yellow tomatoes, for garnish

The recipe goes on:

Continue reading “Baked Halibut with Wine and Herbs — tasty and low-salt (if you leave out the added salt)”

Pandemic food casualty: Costco food-court salads are off the menu

I sat down at a Costco food court this week, something I haven’t done since before the pandemic when Costco foolishly eliminated chocolate frozen yogurt from its menu.

Looking at the new ordering touch screens, I realized another of my old Costco mainstay items is also gone now — food-court salads.

The wall says it all — no more salads at Costco, only junk food now.

This picture I took of the menu wall says it all — Costco has nothing even remotely low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar on its menu anymore.

For years, my regular Thursday meal there would be a salad, without the massively fat-filled dressing, and a chocolate frozen yogurt. Both are gone.

I dropped my more expensive Costco executive membership back when the chocolate yogurt disappeared. Now I’m really glad I did that then. I have no reason to eat at Costco food courts. For the stop I made recenty, I only bought a diet Pepsi for the road.

It will be interesting to see if Costco comes back with a simpler salad like McDonald’s did. Its salad joins its sheet cake, the ill-conceived asai it had replaced frozen yogurt with, and its holdout vanilla frozen yogurt as pandemic food casualties at Costco.

As the pandemic winds down, it’s becoming tougher than ever to find healthy, or at least not unhealthy, fast foods.

9 Amazing Broccoli Recipes? Let’s not get carried away, one of these sounds good

Somewhere, P.T. Barnum is smiling at this headline, 9 Amazing Broccoli Recipes Everyone Will Love. It is on a vegan website, but even there, amazing broccoli recipes? Really?

A low-salt broccoli beef recipe from the American Heart Association.
A low-salt broccoli beef recipe from the American Heart Association.

But the headline did its job, it got me to stop and read it. In fact, it’s gotten me to write about it a second time! I wrote this post back in June 2021, picking out the one recipe in nine I thought sounded good, roasted garlic lemon broccoli.

So kudos to the headline writer. As for the other eight recipes, check them for fat and salt content before trying them. And then there are some with nuts, which I never eat. If you’re nut-averse too, eliminate those as well.

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