Asparagus and Avocado Salad; the weekly shopping; the weekly menu

Asparagus and Avocado SaladAsparagus_tomato

How do you shop?

I was trying to decide this morning, as I drove to a second hypermarket after already having been to one, plus a local green grocer….

Am I becoming more picky about my purchases?

Or are the stores becoming less accommodating?

That second question was rhetorical…  I know the answer.

There was a time when I stopped at the best (naturally) supermarket in the area, on my way home from work on a Friday, and, in a little over an hour, bought everything we needed to sustain mind, body and soul for the week.

The last time I was in Minneapolis I went to that very same supermarket, still considered rather top of the heap (they have/had Baccarat crystal in the gift shop!!!!), and couldn't believe that I could ever have shopped there. The fresh produce was abysmal, all pre-cut, pre-packaged; as was the meat. The dried foods were mostly 'just-add-water' convenience foods. I couldn't find brown rice, quinoa or plain Arborio.

I should digress here for a minute… The French are all about making life easier, as well.  They just do it differently.  My brown rice, for example, (Uncle Ben's brown basmati) cooks in 15 minutes, as does the barley I buy.  But they are both plain, not 'flavored', having all the additives and other stuff that I found on the American shelves.

So, then, what is my current shopping dilema?

My tastes have expanded dramatically.

To get Scottish Highland Oatcakes, Spanish Pimientos, Alubias (white beans) and the Peruvian coffee I like, I have to go to one store. 

The best butcher is at a different store, but I really like the sausages made by a third and the lamb is best at yet another.

One store has absolutely gorgeous produce, but never has anything 'exotic' like sunchokes.

The local market has the best carrots and asparagus, but for green garlic and globe artichokes, I have to go to the green grocer.

I like the paper towels at the local discount chain, which is where I also buy my Coke Light.

I try to organize my menus so I only go to one, possibly two places each week.

Naturally, I often fail.

I once read about a woman who was feeding her family of 100 on nothing… Clipping coupons and frantically driving all over town to get the best deals. 

All I could think was what a waste of time – and how much was she spending on gas to save the grocery money.

Now I'm doing much the same but without the virtuous motives.

I'm doing it, not to save money, but merely to please my own taste buds.

I certainly can't take responsibility for this attitude!

I'll blame it on this blog!

Did I mention that the 'A's are in? (asparagus, artichokes, avocados)

Asparagus and Avocado Salad

Asparagus and Avocado Salad

8oz (250gr) green asparagus
1 avocado
6 large cherry tomatoes
Soy Vinaigrette

Snap off ends of asparagus. Roll cut asparagus in 1 inch (2.5 cm) lengths. Fill large saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling drop in asparagus and parboil for 2 minutes. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water. Spread them on paper towels and pat dry. Put the dried asparagus in a bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss lightly to combine. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes.
To Serve: Slice the tomatoes in half or thirds. Remove avocado from shell. Cut into cubes,  Add tomatoes and avocado to asparagus and toss lightly.

Soy Vinaigrette 

1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs good olive oil
1 tsp walnut or sesame oil

Combine all ingredients and whisk well to combine.

In addition to the above, for the week of April 3 we have Scrambled Eggs with Green Garlic, Veal Paprika, Risotto with Avocado, Spinach with White Beans and Red Peppers….

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12 thoughts on “Asparagus and Avocado Salad; the weekly shopping; the weekly menu”

  1. Ummmm…when first married a neighbor & I used to clip newspaper coupons together one night and then make a day of shopping the next day; to save money. Like you today, I find myself going multiple places to get specific different things from the only place in town that carries it. Can I blame that on my blog? I don’t think entirely because I think I’ve been doing that much longer than I’ve had my blog.

  2. I would prefer to shop in a single store for convenience sake, but I go where the food is fresh and flavorful, even if that means more than one stop. Also, now that I’m retired, I shop more frequently, which makes it easier to find the best/freshest. Nice.

  3. I have to do the same thing. Favorite butcher is about 2 hours away so once a quarter pack it in the truck and make a drive with coolers to stock up. Fresh produce I am hit or miss and something I really have to just curse and change the whole recipe because I can’t find X or X that looks decent anywhere.
    However, I miss farmer’s market badly because it is one stop shopping for the most part.

  4. I’ve shopped in the past at that same Minneapolis story–B—–y’s. It has changed in recent years, and not as good as years ago. In Florida, we find that we need to go to several grocers each week to get what we need. No butcher specialists around here, unfortunately. Then we go to Costco once a month for meat, etc. I can’t imagine working and doing all this running around, but then, we ate differently then also. I’ve lived long enough to know what I want to eat and how I want it cooked. If it means extra trips to find the ingredients, so be it. Life is too short to settle for cheap food. Amen!!

  5. I used to do the exact same thing when I lived in the 7th arrondissement in Paris: I lived within walking distance of an excellent market street, an ED (discount supermarket for the non-French) and a tiny Franprix. I somehow juggled all my menus and managed to hit each of these stores sometimes several times a week… plus a G20 if I needed any American ingredients.
    Now I have a two-level Champion mega market, plus I live right near rue Mouffetard. I hit the markets of rue Mouffetard first and then round it out with Champion… it works now (finally) but I feel your pain!

  6. KNow what you mean isn’t it just annoying that the good things that you like all get replaced (or taking out of stock) by NEW-NEW-NEW versions, better and healthier.. not!, added extra salt and flavorings, precut (with brown edges yuk!)… ah the times we live in….

  7. I’m laughing because I have the same type of shopping problem here. I wish I had my own store so I could only stock the things I prefer!
    Love the sound of the salad. Saving right now!

  8. Tanna, Ah, yes, I remember those coupon days…..
    Zoomie, sometimes I think I make work for myself – I just found another wonderful green grocer….
    Jeff, I refuse to go out for ‘one’ thing… always make a change first.
    Susan, Yup, that’s the one!
    Emiglia, I’ve never lived where I could walk to a store….
    Lien, I HATE precut… I have a knife, thank you!
    Kalyn, now that’s an idea…. Can I shop at your store?

  9. Hi Katie
    Just filled up my glass of water and have sat down to catch up on your blog. I am babysitting our littlest one and she is asleep.
    I know what you mean I love going to my local shops but sometimes I bite the bullet and supermarket shop. WE are quite lucky here in NZ we have excellent produce as well and even the supermarket stocks good food. But we must keep the little local shops going. I love my little fishmonger, butcher and greengrocer all next door to one another . That’s great.

  10. Oh, I’m so with you on this. Why, oh why, can the best of everything not be sold at one store – or at least at adjacent stores?! I also find it unsettling when I go back to South Africa for a holiday and shop in the stores where I always used to shop – and then get frustrated at the stuff they don’t have (and that I’ve got used to here in the UK!). Love the sound of the salad! Just gotta find me some ripe tomatoes now…

  11. Wonderful salad dish! This nice salad dish is made very easily. We can decorate it many different ways. I make it everyday and eat with meal. Thanks for this great post. I like to visit this recipe site.

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