February 2011

Green Spotlight:  Notes from Nancy GrantCooking and serving lots of tasty foods from the deli kitchen takes great recipes and attention to the tiniest details. That includes thinking about energy use, water consumption, and ways to prevent waste.Deli manager Jill Webster says the job’s easier because she’s surrounded by helpful “green thinking” team members.Valley Natural Foods co-op general manager Susan McGaughey believes in purchasing the most energy-efficient kitchen appliances available that save money in operating expenses in the long run. Today’s co-op kitchen features large stand mixers, slicers, a high-tech convection oven, plus a ten-rack “combi” oven that can steam and bake different kinds of foods at the same time. Such multi-tasking is simple with programmable controls that help prevent energy waste.Webster also counts on her keen-eyed deli staff members to turn off equipment when it’s not needed. Webster says

If you're thinking of avoiding restaurant crowds this Valentines Day, go for preparing a fresh meal at home using a  few ideas from the co-op:Start with a simple salad of mixed tender greens, top with thin slices of pears, crumbles of goat cheese and walnuts. Drizzle with bottled (or your own home-made) vinaigrette.Select a couple of 100% grass-fed or traditional-finished heart-shaped rib eye steaks from our meat counter (special $8.99/lb pricing for a limited time!) Sprinkle them with salt and pepper, then combine some melted butter and minced garlic and spread on the steaks with a brush.  Grill or broil on top rack of oven for about six minutes on each side for medium rare, and a little more time for medium well.Serve with a side of classic mashed potatoes or garlic and chive twice baked potatoes from the deli service counter. You can also saute fresh broccoli florets