Get Your Freekeh On with Balsamic Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, and Feta

Sometimes I do Q&As on Instagram and lots of people have been asking me lately how I shop for the week.

The answer: I do a Supermarket Sweep every Monday at Cookbook in Echo Park. It’s a SuperMarket Sweep because you get the store to yourself, but you only get ten minutes, so you have to go as fast as you can. Here’s my strategy: dry goods first (Rancho Gordo beans, pastas, ancient grains like freekeh (more on that in a sec)), fruits and vegetables next (I load up on as many as I can; I feel like you can’t buy too many fruits and vegetables during Covid, they can go into salads, side dishes, desserts), and, finally, I buy three proteins to dole out over the week. One of those proteins is almost alway sausage because sausages work in soups, pastas, or you can cook them whole in tomato sauce and serve over polenta.

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Rice Salad with Olives and Pine Nuts

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The smartest food bloggers rave about the recipes they post in the first paragraph so you’re positively dying to click ahead and read the rest. Me? I kind of do that, but I also can’t help being a truth-teller. So yesterday, I was honest when I said that I loved the Franny’s Toasted Almond Gelato recipe I made, but I also said it tasted–just very slightly–like snot. Now I’m here to tell you about a rice salad that I made from Staffmeals (quickly becoming one of my most-used cookbooks) that I enjoyed, but not fully, mostly because of how I cooked the rice.

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Dinner at Whole Foods

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I met my grandparents for dinner last night at the Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center. My grandparents are here in the city for the next week, and choosing a place to eat can be a bit tricky. Once I took my grandmother to The City Bakery for lunch, and when she saw the price tag–$13 a pound for the salad bar–she nearly fainted. But my grandmother does like salad bars, as does my grandfather–it affords them choices and control–and so a good option for them both is Whole Foods.

They’d been to this Whole Foods before. Last time they visited New York, they stayed in my Chelsea apartment (I used to live in Chelsea) and took the bus up there on a regular basis. So that’s why Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center was the perfect place to meet them, last night, for dinner.

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