Although I work and have worked at a locally owned 70 year old grocery store for the past four years, I still can’t hide my excitement for the new arrival of Whole Foods into town. There has been controversy and concern over the past several months (and years!) about the competition, being that it is less than 5 minutes walking distance away from Shopper’s. Frankly, I couldn’t be more thrilled–now I know where I will be going every day on my lunch break. I have confidence, like I’m sure most of my co-workers and dedicated customers do, that we will be fine. At first, the excitement is high and we probably will be a little slow, but things will slowly go back to normal and people will be back in their regular routine. So, that being said, the more the better. I never in a million years would have imagined a Whole Foods in Santa Cruz. And now it’s here and it’s super exciting (to me, anyway)! I secretly want to work there (and am not ashamed of it…) but I know I have it really good where I’m at so instead I’ll just enjoy being a customer. Today was the opening day (over the weekend they had a parking lot party with tons of free food samples and other goodies… I took home about 10 different kinds of cookies, ginger juice, stickers, and more!) and I drove there as fast as I could after class. The parking lot was PACKED but luckily my parking karma kicked in and I got a spot. I probably spent about an hour in there taking it all in. It was like a museum. Everyone else was doing exactly the same. There’s a taqueria, pizza bar, KOMBUCHA BAR, in addition to the regular salad bar and deli case and bakery. Quite impressive. This is what I ended up getting for $35 (some really good deals included):
NEW GT’S KOMBUCHA FLAVORS FOR ONLY $1.99! Kombucha is taking over my fridge.Hemp milk, sweet potato chips ($1.50), organic oranges, vegetarian eggplant meatballs, green curry paste, spinach bolani, butternut squash ravioli & walnut gorgonzola ravioli ($2 ea)
Plus a basket of organic strawberries ($1.50) and some garbanzo bean flour for experimentation…
Who knew about these new botanical flavors? Superfruits: yumberry juice, goji berry juice, and camu camu juice.Botanic No. 3: lavender and elderberry.Botanic No. 7: hibiscus, orange peel, chamomile, and fresh-pressed ginger.Botanic No. 9: bilberry, honeysuckle, and red clover.Uh, hello, as if Kombucha couldn’t get any more amazing?! (If you couldn’t already tell, GT’s Kombucha is my #1 VICE.)
Here’s how to do it if you’re interested:
-Puree 1 mango sliced/peeled/dissected with 1 1/2 cups plain non-fat Greek yogurt in a blender until smooth.-Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of sweetener (I used agave nectar) and 1/2 cup 1% milk and blend.That’s it! And then you can chop up some pistachios for the top and sprinkle on a little cardamom. Just like what they give you at the Indian restaurants. This makes about 3 servings so you can keep leftovers for later or for breakfast!
I also made a really amazing salad: I sauteed up some shrimp in ginger jam, green onions, garlic, and sesame oil. I emptied the pan to saute a medley of vegetables: asparagus, red bell pepper, green and yellow zucchini, mushrooms, and red onion, and added a little smoked paprika and cumin. Once those were done, I topped the veggies and shrimp on top of romaine, arugula, and other salad mix. Added a little gorgonzola, cilantro, and topped it with a miso ginger dressing. Avocado would have also been a great addition, as well as some slices of tomatoes. I love making easy, inventive, delicious dinners! It’s so satisfying… try it!
Now I’m going to go indulge in some left overs and new yummy things and possibly bake something for the first time in over a month. I’ve had my eye on these vegan chocolate peanut butter brownies for a while now and they look so irresistibly easy to make. And then I’m going to sit down and watch my new favorite addiction: MAD MEN. Holy shit, so freaking amazing in every aspect. I love the style of everything and I want all of the clothes. Basically I want to be a Mad Men girl. Please? I’m trying to not get carried away and pace myself with the episodes… I’m only on #9 from Season 1.
And um, I rarely develop girl crushes, but Joan is one exception…
DAAAYYYUM! I love her.