supermarket smarts

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Battle of the Rice

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

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

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

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

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

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!

 

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

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Peanut Butter

With new products hitting the grocery stands every day, it’s hard to keep up with the latest food trends. Have no fear; we’re here to help! Each week, we’ll be highlighting a new product that’s worthy of a spot in your shopping cart and your kitchen.

The Product

At only $0.22 per ounce, jarred peanut butter comes in a variety of flavors and textures. Comparably, fresh ground peanut butter costs $0.27 per ounce and takes time to prep before you can grab it off the shelf!

 

Why You Should Buy It

It’s convenient, it’s cheap and if you pay attention to labels (beware of sugar and hydrogenated oils), you’ll find many natural options that are as pure as the fresh ground version.

 

How You Should Use It

Though we’d never turn down a classic PB&J, peanut butter makes a great addition to dips, sauces and desserts:

 

Peach-Jam-Glazed Shrimp with Spicy Peanut Butter Dip

Peanut Chicken Noodles

Peanut Butter Fritters

Related Links

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

Store-Bought Pie Crust

Plastic-Wrapped Mozzarella

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Cocoa Buffs

New hot chocolates are pushing the kiddie classic in delicious new directions–and leaving plain powdered mixes in the dust. Here are our six favorite new mixes. BYO marshmallows!

 

Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cups

The old-school packets catch up with the times thanks to these single-serving cocoa capsules. No need to stir out the lumps–the machine takes care of that for you! $8.79 for 12 servings

Ghiradelli Chocolate Caramel Premium Hot Cocoa

The San Francisco chocolate company does its classic hot chocolate mix one better by blending it with sweet, buttery caramel. $4.89 for 9 servings

Chuao Chocolatier Deluxious Dark Drinking Chocolate

A cocoa for true chocolate lovers: This powdered mix has big chunks of Venezuelan dark chocolate that melt into a rich, smooth cup. $15.95 for 9 servings

City Bakery Hot Chocolate

New Yorkers are hooked on this Manhattan cafe’s decadent mix of heavy cream, whole milk and dark chocolate. Thanks to these handy cartons, now the rest of the country can taste what all the fuss is about. Just heat and drink! $3.99 for 2 servings

Land O’Lakes Arctic White Hot Cocoa Mix

Instant cocoa lightens up with this sweet, creamy white-chocolate blend. Simply add hot water, stir, then sip. $5.49 for 12 servings

CocoaPlanet CocoaMint Chocolate

Delicious straight out of the package, these peppermint-flavored organic dark-chocolate disks can also be stirred into hot milk to make a refreshing twist on hot chocolate. $2.99 for 1 serving

Written by Robin Jones

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Hot Drink Recipes

Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

An Extract for Every Occasion

Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

With new products hitting the grocery stands every day, it’s hard to keep up with the latest food trends. Have no fear; we’re here to help! Each week, we’ll be highlighting a new product that’s worthy of a spot in your shopping cart and your kitchen.

The Product

Pillsbury Gluten Free Thin Crust Pizza Dough delivers one large crust or six personal pies for an almost-instant pizza party! ($4.99)

 

Why You Should Buy It

With so many people on a gluten-free diet, play it safe with this dough that tastes and feels just like the regular stuff.

 

How You Should Use It

Did someone say pizza party? Forget the marinara and mozzarella–try one of these pizza alternatives:

 

Pizza Pie

Go Green Giant Calzone

Aloha Pizza

Related Links

Store-bought pie crust

Multi-grain tortilla wraps

Food in a tube