supermarket smarts

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Battle of the Guacamole

Written on April 19, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

We love a good guac, but between homemade and premade, do you know which kind you should be buying? We explore the options:

 

Homemade

Making guac at home puts you in the driver’s seat–chunky or smooth, spicy or mild, plain or fully loaded, the choice is yours! The fresh taste and absence of additives easily offsets a few extra pennies.

 

Store Bought
Many refrigerated guacamoles from the deli section or produce aisle contain natural ingredients and tastemuy bueno.(Skip any with ingredients you wouldn’t use at home.) These convenient dips get the green-light when you’re tight on time.

 

It’s a tie!

Choose whichever method is most efficient for you, then use it in all kinds of recipes, like these:

 

Shrimp and Guacamole Lightening Rounds

 

Guacamole-Bacon Corn on the Cob

 

Surf ‘n’ Turf Tacos

 

 

 

Related Links

Supermarket Smarts: Radishes

Battle of the Rice

A Waffle for Every Occasion

Knockout Nachos!

Written on April 17, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Cool new tortilla chips, awesome topping combos and our expert nacho-building tips will take your snack to new heights!

 

Nacho Tips

 

Build it right: For perfectly balanced bites, distribute the fixings between the layers of chips, not just on top.

Cheese it up: Don’t skimp on the queso. Shredded cheese takes up lots less space once it melts, so pile it on!

Melt it down: 350 degrees is the ideal nacho-baking temperature for melting the cheese (but not burning the chips).

 

Nacho Variations

 

Chicken Verde Nachos (pictured)

Layer with shredded chicken, salsa verde, pinto beans, roasted poblano slices and shredded mozzarella; bake.

Top with pickled jalapenos, cilantro, sour cream with lime zest, chili powder and sliced radishes

 

Veggie Delight Nachos

Layer with roasted corn kernels, grilled sweet onion slices, shredded jack cheese and black beans; bake.

Top with guacamole, sour cream and salsa

 

BLT Nachos

Layer with shredded pepper jack, chopped tomatoes and chopped cooked bacon; bake.

Top with shredded romaine hearts, halved cherry tomatoes, more chopped cooked bacon and sour cream

 

Aloha Nachos

Layer with shredded Colby jack, chopped pineapple, thinly sliced red onion and chopped pan0fried ham; bake.

Top with chopped parsley and chives

 

 

Related Links

Mexican Made Meatless

Corn Tortillas Reborn

Pumpkin Quesadillas

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Radishes

Written on April 5, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

This stellar spring ingredient is meant for more than just the crudités platter! Here are just a few reasons why you should be buying it now:

 

 

The Product

There are about 100 radish varieties, ranging in size from tiny to tremendous. (The world’s heaviest, from Japan, weighed more than 68 pounds!) Some of the most common varieties (pictured above) include cherry bellies, plum purples, burpee whites, white icicles, French breakfasts, watermelons and Easter eggs. Talk about some fun names!

 

Why You Should Buy It

Radishes have a sweet and peppery flavor, which sines when roasted under a chicken, pickled in vinegar, braised in broth or beer, buttered and salted on toast or shredded into coleslaw.

 

How You Should Use It

From completely raw to slowly cooked, here are some delicious radish recipes to take advantage of this spring:

 

Sauteed Radishes with Herbs

 

Grilled Bread with Ricotta and Radishes

 

Mango-Radish Coleslaw

 
 

Related Links

Battle of the Rice

A Waffle for Every Occasion

Vegemite

 

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Battle of the Rice

Written on March 15, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Rice is one of the most versatile, affordable and easy-to-use ingredients, ever. But with so many versions at the grocery store now, how do you know which type is the most cost- and time-efficient? Let’s explore the options.

 

The Product

Traditional, instant, boil-in-bag and fully cooked rice all have their pros and cons, but we found that instant rice is light, clump-free and super speedy to cook. Pour the par-cooked rice into boiling water, turn off the heat, cover, and in 5 minutes you’re good to go.

 

Why You Should Buy It

The convenience and goof-proof results are worth the prep time of just 11 minutes and price of 19 cents per oz.

 

How You Should Use It

Cutting out cooking time means you’ll have more time to spend on carefully crafting a recipe. Here are some ideas that utilize the convenience of instant rice:

 

Gingery Chicken Fried Rice

 

Sweet and Saucy Shrimp and Green Beans with Rice

 

Chocolaty Rice Pudding

 

 

 

Related Links

Battle of the Egg Whites

Battle of the Peanut Butters

Battle of the Store-Bought Pie Crust

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: A Waffle for Every Occasion

Written on March 8, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Have you noticed an influx of waffle-centric recipes and menu items lately? We’re spotting waffle hot dogs in Hawaii, made-to-order waffle sandwiches in DC, the beloved Wafels & Dinges in NYC and we can’t forget to mention Rachael Ray’s 2nd annual Waffle Week! The breakfast staple is no longer reserved for morning, and why should it be, when you can add savory ingredients like herbs and spices, toppings like spicy jam and dijon-mayo and even batter mix-ins like cornmeal? So before you finalize your grocery shopping list for the weekend, make sure you have the waffle 4-1-1 (trust us, your family will thank you):

 

The Product

Frozen, fresh or from scratch, waffles are taking menus and recipe ideas by storm.

 

Why You Should Buy It

They’re versatile and essentially a blank canvas for a myriad of ingredients. Sandwich buns? Croutons? The perfect chip replacement for dip? The possibilities are endless.

 

How You Should Use It

Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a get-together, turn your average recipes up a notch by replacing regular breads and buns with waffles. Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

Entertaining? Make these mini Chicken ‘n’ Mini Waffles for an almost-instant appetizer

 
 

Why use French bread croutons when you can have waffle croutons in this breakfast-inspired Bacon, Egg & Spinach Salad?

 
 

The perfect sandwich for breakfast, lunch or dinner: Cheddar-Whole Wheat Waffle BLTs

 
 

Spice up your morning with these Savory Ricotta Waffles with Red-Hot Jam

 
 
 

More Supermarket Smarts

Vegemite

Egg Whites

Avocados

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: National Frozen Food Month

Written on March 1, 2014 at 10:00 am , by

Did you know March is National Frozen Food Month? Not only is this a great excuse to keep your freezer fully stocked, but also it gives you a reason to try some great freezer-aisle products. So before you head to the grocery store this weekend, make sure to check out these two new breakfast items that deserve a prime spot in the ‘ol ice box:

 

Good Food Made Simple Breakfast in a Bowl pairs bacon, sausage or veggies with egg whites for a fab fuel-up. ($3.49)

 

 

 

Made with organic eggs, cheddar and bell peppers, PJ’s Organic Denver Breakfast Burritos are portable A.M. meals. ($3.39)

Related Links

what is vegemite?

battle of the egg whites

how to pick the perfect avocado

 

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Vegemite

Written on February 15, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

In the brand-new March issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray, we share eight delicious toast topper ideas. One of them is Vegemite Toast, a classic salty Aussie spread that is finally hitting it big in the U.S. But what the heck is this stuff?

 

The Product

Vegemite is an Australian breakfast staple, which celebrated its 90th birthday last October and is still going strong.

 

Why You Should Buy It

Made from brewer’s yeast, the super-savory, slightly nutty spread has a concentrated flavor and a tarlike texture, so a little bit goes a long way.

 

How You Should Use It

Vegemite toast is the most classic use, but also try stirring a tablespoon of the umami-rich condiment into a Bolognese sauce, or mixing a few tablespoonfuls with honey and EVOO to make a marinade for grilled chicken.

 

 

Related Links

How to Pick the Perfect Avocado

Corn Tortillas–Reborn!

Battle of the Peanut Butters

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Egg Whites

Written on February 8, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

Before you head out to the grocery store this weekend, make sure you know which egg whites are most cost- and time-efficient.

The Product

It may seem tempting to buy a box of egg whites, but fresh whites come with some savings and a built-in bonus: yolks!

 

Why You Should Buy Them

Fresh whites are not only half the price of packaged whites, but also their pure eggy flavor and fluffy texture make the effort of separating your own eggs well worth it.

 

How You Should Use Them

Use the yolks for mayo, pudding or carbonara sauce so none of your egg goes to waste. Then use the whites in these following recipes:

 

 

Cheesy Baked Spinach and Egg Whites with Bread and Fruit

Key Lime Meringue Pie

Passion Fruit Fizz Sour

Related Links

How to pick the perfect avocado

Corn tortillas–reborn!

Supermarket smarts: Peanut butter

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: How to Pick the Perfect Avocado

Written on January 25, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

The best guacamole is made with creamy fleshed Hass avocados at the peak of ripeness.

Here’s how to pick ‘em:

 

 

1. Look for a forest-green fruit. Darker skin means riper flesh.

 

2. Cradle it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. Guac-ready fruit will give slightly.

 

3. Flick off the stem. If it pops off easily and what’s underneath is bright green (brown means it’s overripe), you’re good to go!

Once your avocados are ready to be used…

 

Spread ‘em on toast with eggs for the perfect protein-packed breakfast.

 

Blend ‘em up with sweet ingredients for an Avocado Semifreddo.

 

Or, mix ‘em up with all sorts of ingredients for 11 different twists on guacamole!

Related Links

How to Pit an Avocado

How to Make a Guacamole Mix-in Bar

9 Ways to Make Guacamole

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Corn Tortillas– Reborn!

Written on January 11, 2014 at 9:00 am , by

 

The Product

So you’ve made our Low & Slow Chipotle-Maple Beef and stacked it high into Smoky Beef Tacos (pictured above). Now what to do with all those extra corn tortillas? Read on!

 

Why You Should Buy It

Corn tortillas provide a heartier texture and flavor than flour tortillas, and also contain more nutrients and less calories. Their ingredient list is very basic, and their shape, durability and flavor are perfectly versatile for a wide array of Mexican and Latin dishes.

 

How You Should Use It

Even if the tortillas get a little dried out, have no fear! Give them new life as sweet snacks (fry bite-size pieces and toss in cinnamon sugar), savory toppings (brush strips with EVOO, season and bake) and hearty mains (use in place of lasagna noodles or while them in a food processor and use like breadcrumbs). Here are some recipes to get you started:

 

Corn and Salsa Tortilla Soup

Southwestern Lasagna Torta

Huevos Rancheros

Related Links

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

Store-Bought Pie Crust

La Tortilla Factory Multi-Grain Wraps