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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are some older threads in the general N&GE forum along these lines, but I thought I'd start one here in TF, as the answers might be more specific to things I'm looking for.<br><br>
So, we are spending Thanksgiving week with family in the Twin Cities area. It will be the first time I've been near a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's (or even any kind of decent HFS) in more than a year. And I want to stock up on things that would make my life easier, while they're available all in one place. Any suggestions?<br><br>
I already know I'm going to buy several types of raw cheese, some organic nitrate-free bacon and sausage and perhaps deli meats (for DH), raw nuts and nut butters, and some dark organic fair trade chocolate. But any other ideas would be welcome! Especially when it comes to convenience foods, foods that are quick and easy for the family members to make, snack foods for the kids (read DH) to make themselves, etc. but still in keeping with a TF frame of mind.<br><br>
I am so excited about this trip!!! I miss the conveniences of the city, sometimes! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I'll ask my husband about his favorite convenience foods. But what you definitely need to do is go to Trader Joe's first and then fill in the gaps at Whole Foods.<br><br>
Trader Joe's out here has a very good dairy selection. They have a cream top milk which is pasteurized but not homogenized. They have Kerrygold butter and their own brand. Both are good. They have eggs from flax-fed hens for a very good price. They will hook you up with the bacon. Their nut selection tends to be well-priced and good. Good prices on sprouted breads as well. They have frozen wild fish.<br><br>
Whole Foods usually has soup bones and specialty meats like liver and wild game. This time of year you can often get good prices on whole chickens. I often find them for about $1.29/lb. Take a cooler or two in case you hit it big. The meat counter people will give you ice for your cooler if you end up needing it.<br><br>
Try to work it out so that you can go without children and spend time enjoying the stores. You will love them.
 

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My Whole Foods carries natural german salami. DS and I are hooked on it! Sorry to offend any italians, but I like it MUCH better than Italian salami. It's a great portable protein source for snacks.
 

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Sander has high praise for their pizzas.<br><br>
Both stores tend to have free samples, so if you have children with you, there is a built-in incentive system for them. Trader Joe's always seems to have a kid-friendly sample available if their main samples are things like stir-fry.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>kbchavez</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/6503463"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My Whole Foods carries natural german salami. DS and I are hooked on it! Sorry to offend any italians, but I like it MUCH better than Italian salami. It's a great portable protein source for snacks.</div>
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Is it nitrate-free? If so, I might need to find a reason to go to Sacramento! I have been looking everywhere becuase dh loves it!<br><br>
I agree with Amanda. Go to TJs first. I am an aisle wanderer when I get to go to a Whole Foods. We went on vacation in Monterey and I think I was in there for an hour. Dh calls it "Jenny-Word"<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I'm probably in the minority here, but I'll put in my .02 anyway. We don't live anywhere near a WF, but there is one somewhat close to my parent's house. I, of course, love going there if only to see what's available. Recently they built a TJ near my folks as well. We tried to go see it about three times (really bad parking situation, but that's the city's fault) before we finally got there and tbh it was very anti-climactic. I had heard so many good things here about it that I guess I was expecting something different. We ended up spending maybe 5 min at TJs before we headed to the Willy Street Co-Op instead.<br><br>
Haven't been to the one in the Cities so not sure if it's better. Definitely fun just to wander around in, though.
 

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yes, it's nitrate free! and cured with a lactic acid starter. The only thing that it needs to be perfect is to be made from pastured heirloom pigs. It tastes like summer sausage to me, which I always LOVED growing up. I've only seen it so far in California stores. (I've been to WF's in Mass and NY, too).
 

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Availability of these items are for the Bay Area, CA at least...<br><br>
TJ's:<br><br>
Definitely get some bacon and freeze it when you get home. They should have Niman Ranch and Applegate Farms I think. Be careful with the Niman Ranch because I think they make a nitrate version and a non nitrate version if that matters to you.<br><br>
If you like skinny green beans get some of their Haricots Verts from the freezer section. They have nice prices on frozen veggies and fruit if you want some things to tide you over for the winter when you can't get locally grown, like asparagus and mango.<br><br>
I love their dark chocolate covered raisins for a treat too... I always got their organic unhomogenized milk and butter (Kerrygold or Plugra or Straus) and the Straus organic yogurt or Greek Total Yogurt.<br><br>
They have great prices on non sorbate pitted prunes and almonds and cashews and all types of dried nuts and fruits. Organic raisins for putting in oatmeal.<br><br>
Plus lots of other goodies that are more treats than NT things... including wine and beer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
Whole Foods: (assuming you can't get these at your local health food store)<br><br>
-American Flatbread pizza from Whole Foods is amazing if you want something ready to go in the freezer. It's better than any pizza I can get in my area in Colorado (not soaked grains though of course but top quality ingredients).<br><br>
-Steel cut oats or organic rolled oats from the bulk section<br>
-All your spices that you're low on from the bulk section<br>
-Check out the meat counter... ours has some nice but expensive sausages and a pretty big meat selection for something "different"<br>
-brown basmati rice from bulk<br>
-any lentils or other grains you'd like in bulk<br>
-dark chocolate covered walnuts in the bulk area are a great treat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy"><br><br>
Enjoy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh, I plan to take at least two large coolers! DH is joking that we'll need a U-Haul. My poor SIL is probably going to take me shopping, and I'm already feeling sorry for her! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Thanks for all of the suggestions! Keep 'em coming, please. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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sometimes this time of year they have interesting pates, and duck confit which is a delicious spread made of preserved duck leg and fat. YUM. Jana Valley butter from New Zealand is a really nice dark yellow color... Beeler pork bacon is yummy... at some WF (not here in S. Cal) you can buy Rainforest Casabe crackers, made from just (I think fermented) casava root. Great for babies, toddlers, and grain free people everywhere who want a good cracker to eat their pate on.
 

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I haven't been at WF in ages, so I can't speak to what they carry that's notable. Well, other than the 99% cacao chocolate <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
But, I'm in TJs fairly regularly. From an NT perspective, I'd recommend:<br>
- Organic walnuts. They definately have the best price. I stock up there for making crispy nuts.<br>
- Niman Ranch bacon and stuff. I'm lucky to have sources for good local pork products, but I go to TJs for the Niman Ranch stuff when I visit my MIL in Phoenix.<br>
- Organic avocados. They generally have the best price by far. If you stock up, you can mash them, season with lime juice and salt, pack flat in baggies (suck out all the air) and freeze.<br>
- Raw almond butter. Unless you make it yourself from crispy nuts <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
From a... less than NT perspective <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I recommend:<br>
- The sweet and spicy pecans and the thai chili and lime cashews. Highly, highly addictive. If you put the cashews in a baggie with pretzels or other treats, the flavor rubs off on it all. Yuuuum.<br>
- Fage greek yogurt. The whole milk stuff with the little compartment full of honey. I've tried mixing my own yogurt and honey, but it never tastes as good.<br>
- Organic hummus. They get it Just Right. My girls can eat that stuff by the gallon.
 

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Oh, I almost forgot: both have good cheese sections, especially if you don't have a lot of options. Trader Joe's cheese have great prices and they have some unpasteurized hard cheeses- you'll just have to look at the labels.<br><br>
Oh, and TJ's had THE best price on Gerolsteiner sparkling water I've ever seen. I drink it 50/50 with kefir water or add elderflower syrup to it for a "soda". And I'm saving the empty bottles to make my own sodas (one day LOL).
 

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At TJ's<br>
Creme Fraiche<br>
Wild Salmon frozen and the cheapest I can find<br>
Butter<br>
Organic Blueberries (frozen)<br>
frozen fish<br>
coconut milk (they only have light though)<br>
sparkling water<br>
organic coffee<br>
grass fed beef, and they have lamb, but I'm not sure if it is grass fed, organic chickens<br>
avocados<br>
cheap carrots<br>
cheap eco apples<br>
(you probably can't buy ices cream, but they have Rainbow Bridge, which is my favorite)<br>
sausage<br>
lunch meat (applegate)<br>
cheese<br>
olive oil<br>
condiments<br>
nuts and raisins<br>
vanilla extract<br>
torbinado (sp?) sugar (I am wondering if this is even close to the quality of rapadura, it is a lot les $$$ at tj's, I got some yesterday)<br>
A lot more, but that's all that has popped in so far!
 

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Oh, you also want quick foods-<br>
they have yummy already made guacomole, in a box (it is better than the frozen kind that they also carry.) one of the box varieties is spicy.<br><br>
I always get there frozen pizzas, they have organic ones that aren't that expensive.<br><br>
The west coast stores used to have these amazing spicy ahi tuna stir fry- fajhita (I can't remember exactly what it is called, but it is in with the frozen mexican stuff). They don't have it in the mid-Atlantic.<br>
They have reasonably priced shrimp<br>
We just tried a really yummy Thai red curry sauce- it was very spicy.<br>
They have Reeds extra ginger brew
 

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That reminds me, TJ's has my favorite ever canned soup for easy lunches-- Wild Salmon Chowder. Very healthy and a great price for wild salmon. It also has veggies, in a red sauce, Manhattan style.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, I am definitely buying some of the frozen wild salmon! And some shrimp. And maybe other fish. I love fish!!! But we can't really buy any here that isn't farmed. (That chowder sounds good, too.)<br><br>
Do you all notice a difference between organic and commercially grown avocados? Because I can't really taste a difference, and I usually buy those commercially grown as they don't appear to have a high chemical load. I just noticed that more than one of you suggested organic avocados ...<br><br>
99% cacao chocolate ... yuuuummmmmmmmm!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yummy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yummy">
 

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<b>TJ's:</b><br>
sprouted wheat noodles. (I've heard some people like them and some don't. I'm not a big noodle eater anymore but I think they're decent.)<br>
GREAT selection of nuts.<br>
sprouted breads at a great price.<br>
awesome bacon<br>
some raw cheese<br>
fish<br><b>WFs:</b><br>
raw honey<br>
great meat selection<br>
a few raw cheeses<br>
sprouted wheat pizza crust (so yummy!)<br>
brown cow yogurt (not raw but cream-topped)
 
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