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Happy New Year!!! (Lots of Food Pics)

Happy 2007 Everyone!!!

A new year in a new state. I’m adjusting well to Chicagoland. I had a hard time finding a store with a good produce selection AND good prices. Whole Foods has nice produce but the prices are insane!!!! After many tries, I finally found a store with a great selection of produce and excellent prices – Caputo’s Fresh Market. Well, there is no ambiance and it gets a little crowded at times, but overall it’s a good store. Case in point: Whole Foods sells fresh Lemongrass for $9.99/lb while at Caputo’s it is only 69Β’/lb. In fact, I paid 12Β’ for the three pieces of Lemongrass I bought there. Yay!!! The produce selection there reminds me of Nino Salvaggio, which was one of my favorite stores in Metro Detroit (the Troy, MI location is the best).

Produce/Misc. bought at Caputo’s:

Groceries

Groceries

I ended up spending $37.80 for everything at Caputo’s, which I thought was a pretty good price considering produce is more expensive in the winter and $8 of that total was blackberries. Oh, the blackberries were delicious and I can’t wait to go back and get more. I ended up with 2 pineapples, 4 pints of blackberries, 2 red peppers, 6 sweet onions, 2 red onions, 4 limes, 4 lemons, bean sprouts, 12 vine-ripe tomatoes, 6 heads of garlic, 3 bunches of cilantro, 4 bunches of green onions, fresh ginger, 3 stalks of lemon grass, 2 broccoli crowns, 3 jalapeno peppers, 3 cans of tomato paste, 1 can of crushed tomatoes, 1 pint of Silk Soy Creamer, a bag of rigatoni pasta, and 6 lbs of baby Yukon Gold Potatoes.

I have to give mad props to my friend Andrea. For a house-warming present, she sent us a package of New Yasmeen Bakery’s Baklava (it’s vegan, no honey!). Needless to say, upon seeing the gift, I opened it up and helped myself to a few pieces before I took a picture. Is self control possible when vegan Baklava is involved? I think not! It was scrumptious. Thanks so much Andrea and feel free to send Baklava my way anytime. πŸ˜› Also, I want it noted for the record that I did SHARE the Baklava with Rob πŸ˜€

Vegan Baklava...Thanks Andrea!!!!

Once again, I made the Garlic Fried Potatoes from the Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East & North Africa Cookbook. It is such a yummy meal and quite filling. This time I made it with baby Yukon Gold potatoes so I left the skins on. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes from this cookbook. Bazu, you were right, my other picture of this did kind of look like mango salsa.

Garlic Fried Potatoes

I also have a new favorite “retail” store since moving here. It’s called Half Priced Books. I’ve been to two different locations already and I liked them both. They sell books, magazines, DVD’s, etc… They also buy books as well. I noticed a mix of used books as well as new books that are close-outs/overstocks. After the holidays, they had a 20% off everything in the store sale.

I bought 6 books and 1 DVD for around $32. What a spendthrift, eh? :

  • Foods that Don’t Bite Back
  • The Golden Temple Vegetarian Cookbook
  • 1000 Chairs (Excellent MCM chairs/info, I’m a big fan of Mid-Century Modern)
  • Vegan Recipes (50 recipes/250 photos)
  • Pieces of April DVD
  • The Not So Big House
  • Sweet and Natural Baking

Books

I’ve tried two recipes already from “Foods That Don’t Bite Back”. I decided to try the Indonesian-Style Tempeh and Coconut Curry recipe first. It was really good and was easy to make. It has tempeh mixed with broccoli, green onions, garlic, jalapeno, ginger in a coconut-curry sauce. Next time, I’m going to use Trader Joes Organic Frozen Broccoli (one of my favorite things at TJ’s) which will make this recipe even quicker to prepare.

Indonesian-Style Tempeh and Coconut Curry:

Indonesian-Style Tempeh and Coconut Curry

The other recipe I decided to try was the Moroccan Tomato Sauce. It is seasoned with spices like saffron, paprika, and turmeric just to name a few. I thought the recipe was fair. I ate it but I don’t think I’ll make it again. Rob liked it and said it was good but he’s had better.

Moroccan Tomato Sauce:

Moroccan Tomato Sauce

I’ve got a new gift that I’m eager to try out. Yep, it’s a Chia Herb Garden. I’m going to try growing basil, cilantro, dill, and chives with it. I’ll post the results here on my blog.

Chia Herb Garden

Hope you have a wonderful day πŸ˜€

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • rachel January 3, 2007, 3:28 pm

    I wish I lived near that store! I love baby potatoes and they are so expensive at our grocery! The curry looks yummy as always!

  • udandi January 3, 2007, 3:50 pm

    good-looking food! you’ll have to let us know if you do better selling at half-priced books than I have. i know I don’t have the best music taste, but they offered me 63 cents/CD so I ended up selling half in a garage sale and got more than what they would have given me for all!

  • veganruthie January 3, 2007, 4:52 pm

    Emmy —

    Great post! πŸ™‚ I’m glad to see you’re enjoying Chicago so much. GREAT SCORE on those groceries! I love it when people take pictures of their groceries! Oh yeah, and that tempeh looks great!

    Half Priced Books is originally from Texas, and I’ve loved it my entire life. Unfortunately, Bozeman has no Half Priced, so I’ve actually gone to TWO while we’ve been here on vacation! I’m bringing back an entire carry-on full of the books I’ve scored. I just picked up an old version of Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons today. πŸ™‚ Don’t forget to check out their VCR tapes if your have a VCR. They’re usually like $1.

    Peace!
    Ruthie

  • Dreena January 3, 2007, 5:58 pm

    Hi Emmy,

    Vivacious directed me your way… I just posted on my blog that I’m looking for recommendations for veg dining/shopping in the Detroit area – Southfield (1500 Town Centre) and also near the COBO conference centre. I have a sister that is going there for a week with her family this Sat, and is looking for info on vegan/veg cafes/restaurants and stores. Vivavious mentioned you posted about some spots a while ago, but I didn’t find anything in a search on your blog. If you have a moment, can you give me any suggestions??!
    Thanks,
    Dreena πŸ™‚

  • Sara January 3, 2007, 6:51 pm

    All that produce, wow!! It looks amazing for this time of year. All that food looks great and the books too! Sounds like you are settling in well.

  • bazu January 3, 2007, 8:18 pm

    Hi Emmy!
    I love this post, especially your produce find- score! Your produce shop reminds me of the kind of places I used to go to in California, but haven’t really found here in NY. Everything you bought looks so good, especially the blackberries and lemongrass!
    Vegan baklava- drooooooool. Once again, I’m very jealous. Andrea is so nice to send you a little taste of home. Everything else looks good- I have some tempeh that I need to cook, and I’m thinking of doing something like what you did.
    I’m glad you’re finding some hidden gems in Chicago.

  • Midwest Vegan January 3, 2007, 9:43 pm

    I’m glad you’re adjusting to Chicago. The store you found looks like a keeper.

    I envy your book haul. The bookstores here leave a little to be desired so I’m going through bookwithdrawal. It’ll be fun to see what you make from the cookbooks.

    I bought my mom the chia herb garden for Christmas. I thought it was pretty cool. I hope it works.

    Happy new year!

  • melody January 4, 2007, 10:57 am

    wow! you got some awesome deals… I wish we had a store like that..

  • johanna3 January 4, 2007, 11:23 am

    im green of envy, Lol so much food and books for so cheap!

    you really now how to strech the money there!

    i love your food too!

  • pinknest January 4, 2007, 12:25 pm

    mmm, baklava! and happy new year. i can’t believe you got all that for so cheap.

  • Kati January 4, 2007, 3:27 pm

    I’m glad to hear that you’re adjusting to Chicagoland. I sure wish I could avoid shopping at Whole Foods (without a car, I’m kind of stuck though) – the one in my area doesn’t even have a good produce section, so it’s overpriced PLUS it has a poor selection. All that to say – I’m jealous of your produce haul!

    And vegan baklava! Whoa that sounds amazing.

  • aTxVegn January 4, 2007, 6:35 pm

    Hi, Emmy! I’m so glad you found and like Half Price Books! They’ve been in Austin many years and my entire family frequents them often. Chase can even get textbooks there!

    The Whole Foods alternative sure is a great find. I think since we have the landmark store here, no one dares to compete. Thank goodness for farmers market.

    I love anything coconut curry. Your dish looks terrific!

  • Aurora's Mom January 5, 2007, 12:02 pm

    Hi Emmy:

    Happy New Year to you & Rob….great pics.

    We have a couple of Half-Price book outlets here in Canada. I wonder if it’s the same co. That’s where I got my Stitch’N’Bitch book for $10. (you’d think I’d won the lottery or something when I found it… I was so excited ;o)

    So glad you’re posting again!

  • Melissa West January 5, 2007, 8:32 pm

    Wow! You’ve been busy! Love all those books you found at your new favourite retail location.

    Vegan Baklava! Now I am seriously impressed!

  • Vivacious Vegan January 6, 2007, 10:23 am

    Looks like you’re really getting off on a good start. Congrats on the new grocery find. You got some great deals. I think I need to search harder to find a place like that here.

    What a kind friend! Vegan baklava – WOWWWWEEEE!!!

    I just looked up that bookstore and they don’t have one in my town. πŸ™ Oh well.

  • Randi January 7, 2007, 3:03 pm

    cha, cha chia!!

  • cja January 8, 2007, 11:06 am

    Everything looks so good! I love that bookstore, too. We used to have a few in Indiana and I would raid the cookbook section every couple months (in fact, if I visit there ever, I should remember to check it out).

    I have that North African cookbook, too, so maybe I’ll try those potatoes soon!

    Great post!

  • vicki January 9, 2007, 1:10 am

    hi emmy! mmmm, i’d love to try the tempeh coconut curry – it looks so tasty! and how fun to have an herb garden – be sure to take photos of the plants & the foods they season.

  • andrea February 5, 2007, 10:35 pm

    Glad you liked the baklava, and will gladly send more your way πŸ™‚