Grocery shopping as an experience

My bag from Main & Vine’s opening day, 2016.

Grocery shopping is a personal thing. Grocery marketers would like to think they give you an experience.

We all know why we go to specific stores. There are intangibles beyond prices and convenience that draw people in. Costco and Sam’s Club has the warehouse-bulk niche. Trader Joe’s has the specialty items. Whole Foods makes you feel like even that Mac and Cheese box you bought at its store is healthy (though maybe not). Then there is just I-need-to-get-everything-on-my-list shopping, which Walmart, Kroger and Safeway are happy to help you with. Continue reading “Grocery shopping as an experience”


Let’s talk grocery stores for a minute


Have you been to a Trader Joe’s lately?

I remember when they opened on my birthday in Olympia a few years ago. We stayed away for weeks knowing we wouldn’t be able to get into the parking lot. When we finally did go, we had to circle the lot a few times, park far away and then once inside, you had to walk. And keep walking. There were so many people it was like being in a guided art exhibit where you are allowed to linger only a few seconds on each piece. The aisles were jammed and in perpetual motion.

That is a grocery retailer’s dream scenario. Not so much for a consumer.  Continue reading “Let’s talk grocery stores for a minute”

New year, new house, new recipe

Hello! What happened to me? Well, last year we sold our Olympia house and moved to Key Peninsula. We bought a new house (new to us, it was built in 1998) and it was only December when we reached a point that we could take a small break from the endless upgrades we’ve been making to the place. I normally write about plant-based living in this blog, but bear with me on this one. I will veer back to food by the end of this. So read on. Continue reading “New year, new house, new recipe”

A new spin on Fiesta Salad and the magic of miso in dressings

Impromptu Fiesta Salad.
Impromptu Fiesta Salad.

It is now officially hot in the Northwest. Temps are hitting the 90s and today will have the added bonus of humidity. This salad used to be our go-to hot weather dish even before we went plant-based, and I’ve modified it beyond the old salad-with-a-bottle-of-Catalina-dressing version. Now it uses miso, and you would never know the difference! If you already have a salad made and a can of beans on hand, this comes together in a flash. Continue reading “A new spin on Fiesta Salad and the magic of miso in dressings”

Savory Oatmeal on Meatless Monday

Savory oatmeal.
Savory oatmeal.

You hear a lot of talk about “Meatless Monday” on social media. Here’s a different recipe that is plant-based and might inspire you to branch out and go meatless on your Monday … maybe for the first time ever. This recipe is affordable, quick, and so easy that you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen now.

Continue reading “Savory Oatmeal on Meatless Monday”

New Feature: Dinner and a Documentary

When we went plant-based, there were two things that needed to be a constant in life to keep with it: new recipes and inspiration from others. So occasionally on this blog I now will offer a recipe suggestion, either new or one from a previous blog post, along with a documentary recommendation to keep you inspired on your own health journey.   Continue reading “New Feature: Dinner and a Documentary”

Quick Turmeric Stir Fry


Turmeric, while making everything it touches yellow, also can be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. I’ve always added a healthy teaspoon to my breakfast smoothie, which also contains enough cocoa powder not to turn yellow, but using it with vegetables or tofu will give your dish a sunshine glow.  Continue reading “Quick Turmeric Stir Fry”

Quick and Easy Veggie Molé Chili

Great molé-inspired Mexican chili on a cold day.
Great molé-inspired Mexican chili on a cold day.

I’ve heard some call molé sauce the curry of Mexico. Maybe, but ever since I first had it with chicken (yes, a long time ago) I have loved the way it flavors Mexican meals. So, here’s a vegan chili version using my adaptation of the sauce. Guaranteed to make your home smell delicious when it’s on the stove! This comes together in about 10 minutes. Continue reading “Quick and Easy Veggie Molé Chili”