Savvy Seafood Shopping at the Co-op

October is Seafood Month!

Seafood is a whole category of animal protein with diverse flavors, textures, and preparation methods in addition to offering serious nutritive content. Even if you love seafood, you may worry it’s too expensive to incorporate weekly or too difficult to cook well. Learn how to shop and prepare budget-friendly seafood that doesn’t compromise quality or sustainability. You can find ingredients mentioned in this blog at the Davis Food Co-op. 

You can always visit the Meat & Seafood Counter at the Co-op with questions! Our experienced Meat Cutters and Seafood Buyers know everything about the products in the case and can help with special orders if there’s something specific you are looking for. 

There’s plenty of fish in the sea. Let this blog help you find the right one for your next meal!

 

At the Meat & Seafood Counter

If you’re looking for fresh seafood, the best place to go is the Meat & Seafood Counter. Both availability and price are largely determined by the season.

In many cases, you can make swaps to save some money. Steelhead Trout and Salmon cook up very similarly as orange fatty fishes – choose whichever is cheapest. Similarly, Tilapia and Sole can be used interchangeably as well as Cod with Mahi Mahi, and Tuna with Swordfish. 

If you’re unsure of what to purchase, ask someone behind the Counter. They are very knowledgeable and friendly! 

*At the Davis Food Co-op, all of our seafood is MSC and BAP certified.

Product Highlight: Bluehouse Salmon

Bluehouse Salmon raises salmon in environmentally conscious Bluehouses, the aquaculture equivalent to a greenhouse. Their Bluehouses are 95% water, 5% fish, and use 99% recycled and filtered water. In the Bluehouse there is no waste, no escapees, and no microplastics left into the ocean. The result is a salmon with no added hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides – only all-natural, protein-rich, sushi-grade salmon. Ranked Best Choice by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and recommended by Ocean Wise.

In the Frozen Aisle 

You may have heard that frozen seafood is cheaper than fresh, and it often is! Don’t be afraid to source your seafood from the frozen aisle. Look for the following when shopping frozen seafood.

Filets in Bulk

You can find frozen filets of a wide variety of fish (and shellfish) available at the end of Aisle 10. These packages usually contain multiple individual servings/filets. Definitely price compare with what’s in the case to find the cheapest option (make sure to calculate price per ounce!) but this is a good option for someone shopping for one or a family. 

Frozen fish must be thawed prior to use. Slow, even temperature changes are best for maintaining taste and texture, which means you should thaw the portion you intend to use overnight (or all day) in the refrigerator. If you’re human and forget to do this, your next best option is to thaw in a bowl of cold water or cold running water. It will take about 15 minutes. Do not thaw in hot water, in the microwave, or on the counter. These methods not only compromise taste and texture, but allow for more potential for harmful bacteria to grow. 

Product Highlight: Pacific Seafood Clams

Harvested by hand from the West Coast of California and Baja Mexico, Pacific Seafood White Hard Clams are a rich source of protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin C, iodine, and selenium. And, as one of the cheapest frozen seafood options, frozen clams are one of your best tools in savvy seafood shopping and eating. If you don’t know what to do with clams, check out the recipes at the end of this blog!

Discount Fish (10–50% OFF)

Everyday the Meat Department freezes fresh fish from the case that has reached its “freeze by” date. You can find this 10-50% off discount seafood at the end of Aisle 10. This is a great way to save some money and try something new (ask at the Counter the best way to prepare your catch of the day). 

Sushi-Grade Fish

If you’ve heard that you must use the freshest, best quality fish for sushi and sashimi, you heard right! We stock frozen sushi-grade Salmon and Ahi. Use sushi-grade white fish for ceviche too. Thaw overnight in the fridge for best results. Sushi-grade fish may not always be the most budget friendly option (but it’s nice to know we have it).

In the Grocery Aisles 

Don’t forget about the grocery aisles when shopping seafood – you’ll find your most economical options here. Yes, we’re talking “tinned fish”, which you may have seen had its viral moment on the internet earlier this year. The internet (read: younger generations) went wild for canned Salmon, Anchovies, Sardines, etc. in part because of the affordability and sustainability of these products! 

We offer a lot of tinned fish options, so here’s what to look for. The most affordable canned fish are usually Sardines, Anchovies and Tuna (Salmon, Oysters, and fancier things can be more expensive). Mackerel, Trout and Sardines are mild and less “fishy” tasting. Anchovies are little umami bombs that melt deliciously into sauces and dishes. 

Another great way to get delicious, salty, fishy taste into your dishes is with Red Boat Fish Sauce (made with just fish and salt). Add to your next stir fry, starting with ½ a teaspoon and adding more as you like.

Product Highlight: Wild Planet Sardines

Wild Planet is our pick when it comes to affordability and sustainability. Wild Planet Sardines aren’t too “fishy” and have a delicious, mild flavor. Sustainably caught and firm in texture, Wild Planet Sardines are an easy way to eat lower on the food chain while gaining essential nutrients such as EPA and DHA omega-3s, iron, and potassium. 

 

Recipes

Roasted Salmon

 

  • Salmon filets
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub each salmon filet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place skin-side down on the parchment and cook for 12 minutes for every inch of thickness on the filet. 

You can take it a step further and wrap your salmon in a parchment packet with aromatics, citrus, veggies, and a drizzle of olive oil. The steam trapped in the packet will infuse the fish with flavor and cook it gently, making it tender and juicy. The parchment packet method only takes about 15 minutes at 425°F. Try lemon, capers and parsley.

Saucy Clam Pasta

  • 1 lb. pasta of choice (see what you already have!)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 heaping teaspoon Italian herb blend or dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon or more red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine (whatever you don’t mind drinking the rest of!)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 lb. clams, thawed if frozen
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving: crusty bread

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling, add salt and dried pasta. Cook until just under al dente (about 2 minutes less than the lesser cooking time). Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining pasta. Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-low heat. Add garlic, dried herbs, and chili flakes. Cook for about 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. Add white wine and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, and reduce by half, about five minutes.
After reduced and thickened, add in vegetable stock and pasta water. Bring to a boil, again, then add the clams. Lower the heat to a simmer, and put the lid on the Dutch oven. Let the clams cook until they open, about 10 minutes. Once the clams have opened up, remove from the sauce, placing them onto a separate plate. Throw away any clams that have remained closed.

Add lemon zest, juice, parsley, pasta, and a good amount of grated parmesan and freshly cracked black pepper to the cooking pot. Let simmer until the pasta is al dente, 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with salt if needed. Add the clams back to the pot and serve in bowls with crusty bread.

Mediterranean Style Fish Toasts

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 big pinch red pepper flakes 
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 2 cans sardines in olive oil, drained
  • 4 slices fresh bakery bread
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, sizzle the garlic clove and red pepper flakes for about 10 seconds, stirring the whole time. Add the lemon zest, stir, and immediately add the sardines. Cook, stirring frequently, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Toast the bread. Stir the parsley into the sardines, add a squeeze of lemon juice, and mix. Divide between the toasts and serve.

Tahini Caesar Salad Dressing and Veggie Dip

  • 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini (Soom is a great brand at the Co-op)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About ½ cup water

Combine everything except the water in a bowl or glass jar with a well fitting lid. Whisk or shake until it comes together. The mixture may thicken and “seize”. Add water a tablespoon at a time while whisking slowly until the mixture relaxes and thins. Add water until desired consistency is reached. You can do this in a blender or food processor as well. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Tuna Banh Mi

  • 2 (5-ounce) cans solid, water-packed tuna, drained
  • 1.5 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup or granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 French baguette
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced
  • Half a bunch of cilantro, torn

In a medium bowl, combine tuna, tamari, maple, sesame oil, and garlic. Mix. You can make it spicy by adding chili paste or your favorite hot sauce, but don’t overdo it since you’re adding jalapeños too. Set aside. 

Slice baguette in half (so you have 2 half size baguettes) and then slice to open each sandwich up. On one side of the bread, spread mayo. Split the seasoned tuna between both sandwiches. Then topped with shredded carrots, thinly sliced cucumbers, sliced jalapenos, and cilantro as desired. Enjoy!

Classic Tuna Melt

  • 3 (5-ounce) cans solid, water-packed tuna, drained
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cornichons or small kosher dill pickles
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 packed tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 1-2 green onions, minced
  • 2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 slices rye or sourdough bread
  • 8 sandwich slices extra-sharp Cheddar 
  • 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, plus more as needed

Place the tuna in a medium bowl and flake with a fork. Add the mayonnaise, cornichons, red onion, lemon juice, dill, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Depending on the size of your bread, spoon ⅓ to ½ cup tuna salad on each of four slices of bread, heaping it in the middle slightly. Divide the cheese among the sandwiches, tearing and arranging the cheese to fit neatly. Place a piece of bread on top of each and generously spread the top piece of each sandwich with about ½ tablespoon butter.

Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium-low. Place two sandwiches, buttered-side down, in the skillet, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottom pieces of bread are golden brown. Meanwhile, spread the top of each sandwich with another ½ tablespoon butter. Carefully flip the sandwiches, turn the heat to low, and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, until the bottoms are browned and the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining two sandwiches and serve immediately.

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Adapting My Great-Grandmother’s Recipes for the Co-op’s Holiday Meal

Adapting my Great-Grandmother’s Recipes for the Co-op’s Holiday Meal

Reflections by Marketing Specialist Christine Ciganovich

Each July, at the peak of summer, the Marketing Team begins planning the Holiday Meal. The Co-op has hosted the Holiday Meal, a free hot meal on Christmas Eve, every year since 1985 (read more about the Holiday Meal here). The first meal was hosted by a LGBTQ+ couple, both employees of the Co-op, whose families wouldn’t take them in. Seeing that others in our community also had nowhere to go for the holidays they organized a meal for any and all to attend. The event continued the following year, evolving into a community wide effort on Christmas Eve to provide a free and warm meal for as many as 700 people. Scheming for this year’s Holiday Meal, its 38th iteration, began some weeks ago in a meeting in the Teaching Kitchen on a very hot July day.

The Co-op’s Ends say we exist to provide “access to healthful, local and high-quality food,” among other things, but we keep coming back to this one as we’ve seen food insecurity grow in our county and among our shoppers in recent years. Naturally, our conversation about this year’s Holiday Meal started with access. When considering need in the county, especially our most vulnerable unhoused or elderly housebound neighbors, most can’t get to the Vet Memorial Center in Davis, where the meal is, so that’s something serious to consider. In the past we’ve offered meat and vegetarian meals to accommodate as many diets as possible. We also pull this off with a volunteer team and as many donations as possible. 

Soon a plan came together: we partner with shelters and community organizations like Meals on Wheels, Yolo County with existing networks to provide meals to those who cannot attend the sit-down dinner, which will still take place as so many have made it a part of their holiday tradition. The meal itself needed deciding upon too. What would be delicious, nutritious, accommodate the most diets, and be relatively easy for a volunteer team to make 600 portions of in about 8 hours? In the past, we’ve done traditional American holiday foods (turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, etc.) This is my very favorite kind of puzzle to solve. Making a meal so large requires so many moving parts. It is the peak logistical and creative challenge for me. And then I had a lightbulb moment: tamales. In truth, vegan tamales.

“Hear me out: vegan tamales solve all of our problems,” I told Marketing Manager Vince. They’re a main course that serves both meat eaters and vegans and they’re gluten free too. We can make 1200 between now and December and freeze them, which means our main course is already taken care of before we even pull up to the Vet Memorial Center on 12/24. This also means I can train the whole Marketing Team on how to make tamales, a valuable skill! From there it was easy to decide to scrap the traditional sides in favor of spanish rice, (vegan) refried beans, and a kale and pepita salad. A quick text to my mom and subsequent trip to her little metal recipe box meant I was adapting my Great-Grandmother, Ofelia’s, recipes for rice and beans to feed 600 people just twenty minutes later.

My Great-Grandmother was born in Mexico in 1911 and immigrated to the United States as a girl. She was a gifted seamstress, making dresses for golden age Hollywood starlets. She would later make my Halloween costumes and teach me how to sew and crochet. Summers were spent with my Grandma and Great-Grandmother until I was a teenager and they watched me, my brother, and my cousins before we started school while our parents worked. 

Both matriarchs were gifted cooks and my Grandmother, Norma, still is. When we were young my brother and I pestered my mom to make “Nana’s rice and beans” at home, because five days a week wasn’t enough. The elder women always seemed to leave out an ingredient measurement or forget that the rice *has* to be *this* brand or just gave vague instruction (“Smash beans – not a lot of juice” for example) until, after many attempts, my mom had some recipes written down, possibly for the first time in their many decades of use.

Truth be told, I hadn’t made these recipes myself, but always looking over my Great-Grandmother or Grandmother’s shoulder. To make enough rice for 600 for the Holiday Meal, I reckon I ought to be able to make a single batch, so I grabbed ingredients from the Co-op and went to work in our Teaching Kitchen. Soon the whole building filled with the smell of rice frying in oil, something I hadn’t smelled in a very long time. It was a very special moment, essentially facilitated by my workplace, and so I was standing in the Kitchen, heart very full, crying a little bit about how beautiful it all was.

Since then, the weather has cooled, the students have returned, and our Tamale Tracker tells me we’re 3 ahead of schedule at 103 cooked and frozen tamales. Only 1,097 to go! Although the Holiday Meal is probably the largest undertaking of the Marketing Team each year, it is truly a store-wide and community wide cooperative effort, and this year more than most with so much preparation happening beforehand. I want to give a huge shout out to Fresh Operations Manager James, the Meat Department and the Deli Department for letting us use their equipment and freezer for tamale production and to Store Operations Manager Rocio and Center Store Specialist Mike H. for helping us secure ingredients at this early stage in the process. The team at Meals on Wheels, Yolo County is helping ensure homebound seniors in Davis get to participate in the meal in addition to donating the kitchen equipment we’ll need to make it all. Many more folks from the Co-op and from across the county will be responsible for the success of this year’s meal. I feel deeply humbled and so very proud to share my family’s food and history with our community as a small part of that effort.

The Meal is still several months away! We’ll share more about it, including how you can volunteer or donate, as we get closer to December. Until then, happy Hispanic Heritage Month! Myself along with General Manager Laura and Store Support Manager Briza have been sharing family recipes at the registers. Look for those recipe cards until October 15th or find them all here.

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Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 Staff Recipes

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrated each year from September 15th through October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the cultures, histories, achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans. September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month as the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores (1810), which marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence. It was this moment that eventually led to independence for the Spanish colonies that are now recognized as the countries of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. For a great list of resources related to Hispanic Heritage Month, we encourage you to visit this page here from the National Museum of the American Latino.

 

For the last few years, we’ve asked our staff to share their favorite family recipes with our community during this month. You can find these recipes at our registers over the next few weeks or collected below for your enjoyment. All of the ingredients for these recipes can be found at the Co-op, excpet where noted. 

Laura Sanchez, General Manager

Ensalada de Nopales

This is my mom’s recipe for a nice salad, healthy and refreshing recipe. Perfect for summer barbecues. Buy Nopales that are already cut.” -Laura S. 

  • Bag of cut nopales, approximately ½ pound (find at La Superior in Woodland)
  • 2-3 fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped 
  • 1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • The juice of a lemon 
  • ½ tbs of olive oil
  • A pinch of oregano, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • For serving: queso fresco, chips or tostadas

In a pan with water, boiled the nopales with a small amount of salt and onion for about 20 minutes. Turn off the pan and rinse the nopales with cold water. Let them sit until the nopales cool off or rinse them with ice water.

In a bowl, mix the nopales, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion and cilantro. Set aside. 

In a small bowl mix the olive oil, the lemon juice, the pinch of crumbled oregano, salt and pepper. 

Put the olive oil and all the ingredients with the nopales. Refrigerate for about 1 hour and serve. You can add crumbled Mexican fresh cheese when serving. You can serve them on tostadas or eat them with corn chips.

Beef Chile Colorado

  • 2 pounds of beef, cubed
  • 1 28-oz. can of Las Palmas Red Chile Sauce
  • ½ white onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a deep pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Sauté the onion until soft and translucent, but not brown. Remove cooked onion from the pot.

Add the meat and brown nicely. Once the meat is brown, add the onion and the can of red chile sauce. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, then transfer to the crock pot.

Cook in the crock pot for 5 hours on high or 7-8 hours on low. Serve with red or white rice (recipe below).

Chicken Fajitas

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs chicken breast cut into thin strips (about the same size so they cook evenly)
  • Olive oil, about 2-3 tbsp
  • 1 tsp salt (maybe 1 and 1/2 tsp if you like your food on the saltier side)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Limes
  • For serving: tortillas, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese

Mix olive oil and spices to make marinade.

Add chicken to the marinade, mix, and marinate at least 1 hour (in fridge).

Heat pan, add a little olive oil, once hot add chicken and cook about 8 mins (turning about half way so they cook evenly) until no longer pink. Also, cooking time depends on how thick the chicken strips are, thinner = less time. Once done cooking squeeze some fresh lime if you like.

Serve with tortillas, guacamole, sour cream and/or shredded cheese.

Briza Ramirez, Store Support Manager

Sopa de Fideo

  • 8 oz. package of fideos (You can substitute with thin spaghetti, vermicelli noodles, or angel hair pasta broken into 1inch pieces if you cannot find fideos – we do carry fideos at the Co-op)
  • 3 very ripe tomatoes (Roma or Plum but any tomato will work)
  • ¼ white onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cube of chicken bouillon or equivalent (you can also use a vegan vegetable cube)
  • 6 cups of water or broth
  • Salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil

Cut the tomatoes in half. Puree the tomatoes, onion, bouillon, 2 cups of water/broth and garlic in the blender. Set aside.

In a pan, preheat 3 tbsp. of vegetable oil to medium-hot. Add the noodles and stir to coat with oil. Continue stirring until the fideo pasta has turned golden brown and a few strands have turned deep brown. Browning the noodles adds depth of flavor to the soup. When the noodles are browned, add the reserved mixture and add the remaining 4 cups of water/broth and stir. Bring the soup to a boil at medium heat and then cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is soft but not mushy. Adjust with salt to taste.

You can garnish with queso fresco, avocado cubes, and my favorite, pickled jalapeños.

Red Tomatillo Salsa

  • ¾ lb of tomatillos (husks removed and washed)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ white onion
  • 10 Chile de Arbol peppers for a spicy sauce, 5 if you want it mild
  • ½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Place tomatillos, onion and garlic in a medium heat skillet. Keep turning your tomatillos and garlic to get an even roast until they are soft and roasted, about 18 to 20 minutes. However, garlic cloves will roast faster so remove them and add to your blender or food processor after just a few minutes.

In a separate skillet or over the open fire, toast the chile de arbol peppers as evenly as possible. It takes about a minute. Make sure to not burn them or your sauce will have a bitter taste. Remove the stems once they are roasted..

Process tomatillos, onion, peppers, garlic and salt in a blender until a slightly chunky sauce forms. You can add some water in case it is needed and if you want it on the smoother side. This salsa will last up to 3 days refrigerated in an airtight container.

Pozole Estilo Jalisco

  • 2 1/2 lb stewing pork
  • 2 lb pork neck bones (call ahead and ask for the Meat Department to determine availability)
  • 8 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 2 cans hominy 28 oz, you can use yellow or white (but if you can find purple, you should give that a try!)
  • 3 Chiles Anchos, deveined and soaked in hot water until softened
  • 1 very ripe tomato
  • 2 Chiles de arbol, toasted (optional)
  • salt 

Garnish

  • 1/2 sm green cabbage, finely sliced
  • ½ med onion, finely diced
  • 1 bunch radishes, round slices
  • Limes, cut into wedges
  • Tostadas
  • Hot sauce (Chile de arbol based)

Trim off excess fat of stewing pork and pork neck bones. Cut into 2-3 inch pieces if possible. Place in a large bowel with cold water and rinse well.

Place meat in a 6qt pan and cover with cold water. Water level must be approx. 6 inches above submerged meat. Add onion, 4 garlic cloves and salt (1 to 2 tablespoons) to the pot.

Bring to a fast and hard boil,then reduce heat to a gentle boil. After approx. 15 min of gentle boiling. remove and scoop off the gray foam that has appeared on the top. And taste for salt, if more is needed, add to your taste and boil the meat for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until meat is tender.

Open the cans of hominy and drain the liquid. Give it a quick rinse, reserve half a cup of the hominy, and add the hominy to the broth.

In a blender mix the chiles anchos, the remaining 4 garlic cloves, some salt, the ½ cup of hominy, 1 cup of the meat broth and the tomato. If you want your pozole spicy add the chile the arbol as well, otherwise you can omit it. Blend until smooth. Be careful when blending with the hot broth as this can cause pressure in the blender.

Add the sauce into the pot and let everything simmer for 30 more minutes.

Serve the pozole in a bowl, and garnish with cabbage, onion, radishes. Serve on the side lime wedges and tostadas.

Christine Ciganovich, Marketing Specialist/cooking class instructor

Spanish Rice

In truth, this is Christine’s great-grandmother, Ofelia’s, recipe.

  • 12 oz. long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 6 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 ¾ cups no salt veggie broth
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ cup slices green onions (green and white parts)

Combine rice and oil in a pot with a well fitting lid. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring very frequently, until the rice is turning golden brown and smells nutty.

Add remaining ingredients and stir. Turn heat up to bring to a simmer. Once bubbling, put on the lid, turn heat all the way to low, and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the lid on for an additional 10 minutes to finish steaming. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Chilaquiles

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 12 corn tortillas, cut in half and then into 1-inch strips
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 38 oz. Las Palmas Red Chile Sauce (1 large can plus 1 small can)
  • 2 cups shredded Jack and cheddar cheeses
  • For Serving: cotija cheese, sour cream, avocado slices, fried eggs, black olives, pickled jalapeno

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add tortilla strips and fry until the edges are lightly browned and crispy. Pour sauce over tortilla strips. Add green onions and 3/4 of the cheese. Stir to ensure all tortilla strips are evenly soaked with sauce and the cheese and green onions are well incorporated.

Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over everything. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melty.

Serve as is or with all the toppings.

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Rawgust Recipes: Raw Foods for Summer Scorchers

Rawgust

This is not a hardcore raw food blog. You don’t need any fancy equipment to make these recipes. And you certainly won’t be making raw spinach and apple “tortillas” for raw “burritos”. This is not that kind of raw food blog, no offense. 

This is the kind of raw food blog that celebrates the bounty of summer produce while acknowledging summer’s reality: it’s really hot and running the AC is expensive. So let’s skip the oven, all heat sources really, and go straight to raw preparations of our favorite fruits and vegetables!

What is raw food? 

For some, eating primarily raw foods – uncooked and unprocessed – is a dietary and lifestyle choice. There are many definitions of what a raw food diet is, with most providing a temperature food should not be heated above. We’re not going to get too technical here. For our purposes, raw means we won’t be using heat (stove, oven) to prepare these veggie-forward dishes. 

I am not a raw foodie. A lot of my diet comes from cooked foods. In fact, my body has a much easier time digesting cooked vegetables than raw ones. But I can’t go through life only eating cooked veggies, so here are some of my favorite raw foods I’ve been eating on repeat! Find all of the ingredients for the recipes below at your Davis Food Co-op. 

 

Kelp Noodle Salad

I love this kelp noodle salad by itself, stuffed into spring rolls, or as a way to give second life to leftover proteins.

  • 1 package Kelp Noodles
  • 1 lemon, cut in half, divided 
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tamari 
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Water to thin
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • ½ small red onion sliced
  • 2-3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • ½ small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 small daikon radish, grated
  • Handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
  • Optional: lime wedges for serving

Rinse kelp noodles in cool water. Transfer to a mixing bowl or storage container and fill with water until covered. Squeeze juice from half a lemon over noodles. Stir and let sit for 30 minutes to tenderize noodles. 

In a large bowl, whisk together juice from the other half of the lemon, tahini, maple syrup, tamari, and sesame oil. Add water 1 teaspoon at a time if needed to thin to dressing consistency. Add veggies, cilantro, and sunflower seeds to the mixing bowl. 

Drain kelp noodles and transfer to a cutting board. Chop several times to make noodles smaller (2-3 inches). Add noodles to the veggies. Toss together and serve with lime wedges.

Crunchy Topper

I usually have a sweet and savory version of this in my pantry, although I toast everything in the oven at home. For this iteration, no toasting necessary. Use this sweet crunchy topper over yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, fruit, mixed into nut butter (then use on a PB&J), or over ice cream!

  • ½ cup raw walnuts or pecans

  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds

  • 5-8 pitted dates, depending on how sweet you like things

  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

  • ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut 

  • ½ cup gluten-free rolled oats 

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Big pinch salt

  • Optional: 1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder

  • Optional: 1 tablespoon cacao nibs

  • Optional: 3 tablespoons roughly chopped dried fruit such as cherries, mangos, or blueberries

Add walnuts/pecans and pumpkin/sunflower seeds to a food processor. Pulse a few times to roughly chop. Add dates and pulse a few more times to loosely combine. Add seeds, coconut, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse a few more times until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in any optional flavorings. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 weeks.

Customizable Tomato Salad

I make this for dinner about 3 times a week in the summer. It comes in handy when I realize my dinner plate isn’t very colorful or when I have 6 cherry tomatoes and other odds and ends left from the week or when the tomato plants in the backyard just won’t quit.

  • Tomatoes (whatever you have on hand), cut into wedges (large tomatoes) or halved (cherry tomatoes)
  • 1 summer vegetable (cucumber, zucchini, or corn) OR 1 summer fruit (watermelon, peaches or cantaloupe)
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Chopped fresh herbs (basil, mint or parsley) 
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Optional: feta cheese

Start with whatever tomatoes you have on hand. Little ones can be halved and large ones can be cut into wedges. 

Decide what your secondary ingredient is. Slice cucumber, cut zucchini into small cubes or cut kernels from the ear of corn. You can also choose a fruit as your secondary ingredient, which I do when I buy a large melon and need something to do with any leftovers. Cube whichever fruit you choose. Add to a bowl with tomatoes, red onion, and herbs. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, a generous pinch of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add a little feta if you have it on hand, otherwise, serve at room temperature.

Caesar’s Zucchini

Caesar Dressing

  • 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 small clove of garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or tamari if gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil, like avocado
  • 2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, add cheese, egg yolk, mustard, lemon stuff, garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire/tamari, oil, tarragon, chives, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Cut the zucchini lengthwise into long strips roughly the width of a pencil. Place in a large bowl and toss with the salt and pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes. Pour half of the dressing over the zucchini and toss to coat. Add more dressing as desired. Let sit for 3 minutes, but not much longer as the zucchini will continue to release liquid. Serve zucchini pieces alongside a main dish or heaped on toasted bread.

Apple Horseradish Sandwich Spread

I like this on a whole wheat slice stacked sky high with a rainbow of veggies, plenty of pickles, and cheddar cheese.

  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1-3 tablespoons water
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped 
  • 1-4 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • Generous pinches of salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a blender, starting with the lesser amounts of water and horseradish, unless you know you love horseradish. Add water to achieve desired consistency. Spread on a sandwich!

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Juneteenth Celebrations in Davis this Month

 On January 1st, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved Black people in Confederate states, at least it did on paper. About 500,000 of 3.9 million enslaved people were able to liberate themselves by escaping behind Union lines between 1863 and the end of the war in 1865. The rest – the vast majority – remained enslaved. The Emancipation Proclamation also authorized Black men to join the Union army. These men would be crucial to the Union’s war effort, especially as Northern forces swept through Confederate territory liberating enslaved populations. After the Proclamation was issued, slave owners in Mississippi and Louisiana marched more than 150,000 enslaved Black people west to Texas, beyond the reach of Union forces at the time. Texas remained under Confederate control until the spring of 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect. On June 19th, 1865 in Galveston, Major General Gordon Granger announced, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This is the day we celebrate as Juneteenth (“June” plus “nineteenth”), the day freedom came to those enslaved folks still living under Confederate control in Texas, at least symbolically. Granger’s announcement also asks the newly freed people to “remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages,” which exemplifies how ending slavery and upholding white supremacy can completely coexist, almost in the very same sentence.

Between 1916 and 1970, half of the southern Black population, nearly 6 million people, migrated north and west to escape segregation, widespread lynching, and a lack of social and economic opportunities in the Jim Crow South. This movement northward is known as the Great Migration. Black Texans took Juneteenth with them. Starting in the 1920s, Black communities celebrated in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Seattle in the west. In Hayes Turner’s words, Juneteenth is “a potent life-giving event … a joyful retort to messages of overt racism … a public counter-demonstration to displays of Confederate glorification and a counter-memory to the valorization of the Lost Cause.” You can learn more about the history of Juneteenth in this blog we wrote.

There are Juneteenth celebrations all over the country today. In 2021, President Biden made Juneteenth National Independence Day an official federal holiday. Find Juneteenth events happening in and around Davis below. 

Juneteenth Celebrations

Support the Black community by buying Black at the Co-op. Look for the “Black Owned” shelf tag on products from departments across the store. See all of our inclusive trade brand partners here.

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Pride Events in Davis this Month

June is Pride Month!

Pride Month wouldn’t exist without queer and transgender people of color. More specifically, it wouldn’t exist without queer and trans people of color fighting back against police brutality. If this is news to you, read about the history of Pride and queer political activism in this blog we wrote last year. If you’re somewhat familiar with the history of Pride, you might know that the riots at the Stonewall Inn, which occurred from June 28th to July 3rd, 1969, are the impetus for the Pride events we know today. With these deep roots in political action, Pride has grown and spread all over the globe. Scroll through this blog to see Pride events happening in and around Davis! 

Shop queer-owned brands by looking for the shelf talker on our shelves. You can see all of our inclusive trade brands here.

It is imperitive the Co-op be a safe and inclusive space for shoppers, Owners and staff. You can read about our decision to include pronouns on nametags to that end here

Pride Month Happenings

The Co-op will be at Davis Pride on 6/4 from 10-2 in Central Park! Come say hi and get one of these *limited edition* pride stickers. Happy Pride Month!

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May 13 – International Hummus Day Recipes

Happy International Hummus Day!

Hummus can be a versatile tool in your kitchen. It’s a vegan and gluten free source of fiber, protein, and other phytonutrients. It is traditionally made with mashed chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini (sesame seeds ground into a paste), lemon, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Enjoy hummus with raw veggies and toasted pita bread or use it as a sandwich spread. Always have some on hand to top a grain bowl for lunch or dinner. And hummus is easy to riff off; use what you have on hand to create delicious flavor combinations or try some of our recipes below!

Not into making your own? We got you! Our Deli makes several flavors fresh each week. Find plain, Kalamata olive, and roasted red pepper hummus in the case across from Mermaid Sushi. You can find the rest of our hummus offerings on Aisle 13.

 

Sonjia’s Hummus

  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
  • 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of cayenne to taste (to kick it up, optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water (if needed for thinning consistency)

Use a food processor: Process garlic. Add drained and rinsed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and optional cayenne. Process until smooth, adding water as needed. Can be made with just olive oil (add additional 1/4 cup, and no water, for a richer flavor). Taste and adjust salt.

If serving at a party, place in an attractive bowl and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle of paprika and shopped parsley. Pairs well with pita chips, cut veggies and goes great in wraps and sandwiches!

Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Roasted Beet Hummus

  • 1 medium or 2 small red beets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinse
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water
  • ½ teaspoon each of cumin and coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Serve with: 1 small baguette, sliced and toasted, radishes or other veggies, sesame seeds, finely chopped parsley, pine nuts

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Drizzle the beet with olive oil and then wrap the beet and garlic together in foil. Place on the baking sheet and roast 30 to 40 minutes, or until the beet is fork-tender.

When cool enough to handle, peel the beet skins under running water using your hands. Chop the beet and place it in a blender. Add the roasted garlic, chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and water and blend until smooth. Add cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Chill until ready to use.

Garnish with sesame seeds, pine nuts and parsley and serve with toasted baguette slices and/or crispy raw veggies.

Roasted Garlic White Bean Hummus

  • 1 head of garlic plus olive oil
  • 19 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced; to garnish

Roast garlic.  Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top ¼ inch off of a head of garlic, then wrap in aluminum foil; drizzle olive oil into head before sealing. Roast for 45 minutes, then remove from oven and cool until it’s safe to handle.

In the meantime, assemble remaining ingredients in the food processor.

Squeeze the roasted cloves out of the garlic skin into the food processor. Process for 30 seconds – 1 minute, scrape sides of processor and repeat until smooth and creamy.

Green Hummus

  • 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley 
  • 1 cup (packed) raw leafy greens of choice (arugula, kale, spinach, etc. ), tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup chopped chives or green onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, or more to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1-3 tablespoons water if needed to thin consistency

Combine in a food processor and run until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. 

Lemon and Turmeric Hummus

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp yellow curry powder
  • ¼ tsp salt, or more to taste

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Cut the lemon in half and place cut-side up on a parchment-lined baking tray. Roast for 10 minutes, then allow to cool. Juice the roasted lemon. 

Add the roasted lemon juice, along with all the remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste test and adjust the seasoning to your liking. 

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Things to do on May 14th – Alternatives to Mother’s Day

May 14th

Alternatives to Mother’s Day

May is a beautiful spring month. Flowers are in bloom, especially after our very wet winter. The weather is finally warm enough to wear dresses and shorts, to feel the sun’s fire on your skin. This is a time to reconnect and grow after months of seasonal dreariness. 

May is also home to Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate mothers and motherhood. For some, it can be a painful month and the constant reminders of motherly love often don’t fit with everyone’s experience of having a mother. Some businesses, like Etsy, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, and Uncommon Goods offer subscribers the option to opt out of receiving emails about Mother’s Day.

Whatever your reason for choosing not to celebrate, we are here to offer you some alternatives to enjoy May 14th and the whole month of May.

May 14th Ideas

Have a self care day! Everyone’s idea of self care will be different, but do try to do something that makes your feel good, loved, safe, etc. (and if it’s too hard to feel good on this day, don’t be mad at yourself that it is). Some ideas are yoga, meditation, hiking or walking, joyful movement (exercise that you actually like doing that actually feels good to you), crafting, spa day, baking or cooking, gardening, reading, napping, calling a friend, the list goes on. 

May is bike month. Grab coffee and lunch to-go from the Co-op, put on some sunscreen, and take a leisure bike ride with some friends through our beautiful small town! Looking for a longer ride? Grab a Davis Bike Map at the Customer Service Desk; head down Russell Boulevard and Putah Creek Road to Winters for Turkovich or Berryessa Gap Wines or Old Davis Road to Dixon to visit the Barn & Pantry

Spend the day in your yard or indoor jungle. Spring is the time for repotting and propagating indoor plants and sprucing up your outdoor garden. Stop by the Patio to grab some new soil, fertilizer, pots, and plants! Check out our blogs on Propagating and Container Gardening, and our Plant Care Guides.

Have a sibling, friend, or pet day instead. Use this day to celebrate the strong relationships you do have. Plan out your ideal friend date, bundle at home or go out and enjoy the spring weather. Just like a self care day, this will vary for everyone. Here is an example of how I would do it: (1) early climbing/yoga/walk followed by matcha (2) go back to my house for hanging on the couch (3) then we make a huge and complicated meal (4) and then we eat it several hours later when it is finally done! 

Spend the day with someone who needs a mother. Sign up to volunteer at the SPCA or foster/adopt at Hearts for Paws Rescue in town. Finding a way to share some love, with a creature that will unconditionally love you back for a walk and some snuggles can be a great way to emotionally heal. Volunteering with both organizations takes a little time and training to qualify. If you are last-minute looking for some snuggles, ask some friends with pets if you can pet sit for the day!

Weekend Happenings

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