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Monday, August 7, 2017

Food shopping: Your melon needs a belt, salmon bounty, veggie burgers, fish balls

Costco Wholesale in Teterboro was offering several brands of seedless watermelons last week, including one that urged shoppers to "protect your melon" and "buckle up," above. The label also shows a body with a melon head wearing a seat belt.
Yum-Yum! was another brand sold at the Costco warehouse store off of Route 46 in the Teterboro Landing Shopping Center.

-- HACKENSACK, N.J.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

We're at the height of the season for fresh wild salmon, sugar-sweet seedless watermelons, Jersey peaches, plump blueberries and other great "summer foods."

Unfortunately, no single warehouse store or supermarket can satisfy my family's need for them and offer great prices, too.

So, me and my wife continue to make the rounds at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro and Costco's Business Center in Hackensack; H Marts in Little Ferry, Englewood and Ridgefield; H & Y in Ridgefield, part of another Korean supermarket chain; and ShopRites in Paramus, Englewood and Hackensack.

When I posted this, I also should have mentioned our occasional visits to Whole Foods Market in Paramus for naturally raised meat and wild-caught Gulf Shrimp, as well as moderately priced organic whole wheat pasta, salsas, sauces and beans sold under the 365 Everyday Value label.

I also go to Trader Joe's for good deals on juices and organic sweet potatoes, and uncured, antibiotic-free bacon and hot dogs for the meat eaters in the family.

If nothing else, going food shopping several times a week is good exercise.


NYT Cooking

I've been looking over lots of recipes during a trial subscription to NYT Cooking, but won't be paying to continue.

Sam Sifton, the ebullient editor, doesn't offer much to a senior citizen like me who is watching his cholesterol and weight, and who doesn't eat meat or poultry.

Here we are at the height of the fresh wild salmon season, and I haven't seen a Times recipe for sockeye or any other fish.

Sifton, Melissa Clark and other Times staffers eat lots of chicken, beef and bacon -- without a cautionary note on poultry and meat raised on harmful human antibiotics and growth hormones.


MORE FOR LESS: A bounty of fresh wild salmon means I can buy a bigger fillet at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro. Here, I prepared a reduction of organic diced tomatoes, shallots, garlic, red wine and seasonings, and served the grilled salmon with fresh herbs from my garden and a homemade tzatziki or yogurt sauce (non-fat Greek yogurt, grated cucumbers, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice).
$5 PER PERSON: At $9.99 a pound, a Sockeye Salmon fillet of about 2 pounds yielded eight serving pieces (two for each member of my family) for about $5 per person.
ORGANIC VEGGIE BURGERS: A 3-pound, 12-burger package of Dr. Preager's Organic Harvest Veggie Burgers, made with organic chickpeas, quinoa and vegetables (normally $14.49), was on sale for $10.99 with an instant coupon at Costco Wholesale in Teterboro.
GO FISH: Fish balls made with fillets, shrimp and tofu are sold frozen at the H Mart, 260 Bergen Turnpike in Little Ferry, for $5.99 a pound (and on Sunday, you can try a free sample near the fresh fish counter). I prepared a broth of organic chicken stock, red wine, water sake, sesame oil and seasonings, and added a large bunch of mustard greens, chopped and washed, in the last few minutes of cooking.
WHOLE WHEAT PASTA: Though not organic, Barilla 100% Whole Wheat Thin Spaghetti and 100% Whole Wheat Linguine are on sale for 99 cents (1-pound box) at the Little Ferry H Mart until the end of the year. I also found a 3-pound package of Japanese-style soba or buckwheat noodles made by Danya in Korea on sale for $4.99.
SWEET MEXICAN MANGOES: I've been buying a box of Ataulfo or Champagne Mangoes from Mexico every Sunday at H Mart in Little Ferry. These wonderfully sweet mangoes have grown in size and price. Now, you get 16 mangoes for $12.99.
 SHOPRITE SEARCH: I'm searching for a ShopRite to replace the disorganized store in Paramus, where I've been stopping on the way home from the gym two or three days a week. Today, I went to the Hackesnack ShopRite, above, and couldn't find much. The store carries yams, but not sweet potatoes, and didn't have any Jersey peaches. Other produce was priced higher than I'm used to from the Paramus ShopRite and Little Ferry H Mart.
NATURAL COLD CUTS: At the Hackensack ShopRite, I did find Black Bear-brand Smoked Ham and Herbed Turkey Breast, both raised without antibiotics, at $4.49 for a 7-ounce package, right.
FOR GARLIC LOVERS: We've been buying 3-pound pouches of peeled Christopher Ranch California Garlic from Teterboro Costco ($8.99), but the cloves sometimes get moldy before the "best by" date. Today, I boiled 3 pounds of yams and lots of garlic cloves from a new bag, then drained and mashed them with extra-virgin olive oil, adding cinnamon, curry powder, red-pepper flakes, black pepper and other seasonings.
Two other brands of seedless watermelon sold at the Teterboro Costco, above and below. The melon grown in Maryland or Delaware invites shoppers to "experience the local flavor," above.