Potting plants and herbs is a terrific way to garden that doesn’t depend on the yard that surrounds your home. So here are some tips for how to make your gardening and planting successful. (more…)
As Mother’s Day approaches, take the celebrated tradition of gifting flowers up a notch by buying Mom a gift that will last and be a talking point for months! Hanging baskets are the way to go for the Mom in your life this year.(more…)
Dark beers have been mysticized, made macho, or worse, made elite, for far too long. And here, in the land of IPA, there is a place for everyone to enjoy a pint of the darker brew from their favorite bar or specialty beer store.
Does eating healthy sound like it’s too expensive for you? Believe it or not, there’s a way you can eat healthy food for less, even for under $1. Here are 3 staple foods that will have you eating healthy on a budget in no time.
Most of us have the best intentions when it comes to our food. We always want the most affordable food that are as good for our bodies as they are our wallets. However, there’s a common misconception that eating healthy on a budget is nearly impossible. In fact, it’s one of the top reasons why many of us eye that fast food cheeseburger over a healthy plate of greens.
But eating well doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In fact, even if you only have a few dollars you can get the ingredients to make a hearty, healthy, home-cooked meal.
Here are three examples of healthy food you can get for $1 or less.
When it comes to eating a healthy breakfast, you have plenty of options. But to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to pick up a container of oats.
While cooked oats may not be everyone’s image of an ideal breakfast, there’s no more cost-effective way to start your day. The average serving of oats, which is around 1/3 of a cup, will cost you less than a dollar. Tacoma Boys sells containers of oats at a very affordable price, so you should be able to get a few pounds of oats for less than a couple of dollars in total. That means you’ll have healthy breakfasts for days!
But the cost isn’t the only reason to incorporate oats into your diet. Each serving contains several grams of soluble fiber to aid digestion and rid your body of bad cholesterol. Plus, you can do a lot of different things with oats. Remember your favorite oatmeal from when you were a kid? Recreate a healthy adult version by adding fresh berries or cinnamon to your cooked oats. Some people even enjoy making their own granola or no-bake energy bites with peanut butter. The options are endless, it just takes a little creativity.
Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart, the more you eat, the more you… save!
Beans are a fantastic option for eating healthy on a budget. They’re an affordable meal that won’t leave you hungry a few hours later. Cooking up a cup or two of beans will help you incorporate more fiber into your diet, as well as some extra protein. For those on a meatless or plant-based diet, beans are key for getting vital nutrients.
There are tons of options to choose from:
- Black beans
- Pinto beans
- Red beans
- Black-eyed peas
- And more!
You can pick up a pound of your favorite legume for about $1 no matter where you shop, making it one of the affordable foods out there. If you have the extra cash, we recommend buying a larger bag, as you’ll ultimately save more that way.
Plus, they’re one of the most versatile foods out there.
Speaking of versatility, eggs are a common component in thousands of the world’s most beloved dishes. From omelets to frittatas to straight-up scrambled, there are dozens of ways to use a dozen eggs.
In terms of health benefits, eggs contain protein as well as vitamins D and B. Many people look to egg whites as the more nutritious portion of the egg, but there are benefits to both the white and the yolk. Egg whites are fat free, carb free, high in protein and low in calories. However, egg yolks contain vitamins A, E and K along with healthy fats the body needs. Also, compared to the whites, egg yolks are more rich in folate and vitamin B12.
Most stores offer organic eggs for a very low cost per egg, so stock up! You can also look to your community for fresh eggs. Here in the Pacific Northwest, backyard chickens have been gaining popularity in urban neighborhoods. It’s very likely you have a neighbor with chickens who gets fresh eggs every day. If the chickens are productive, they will often have a surplus and sell the eggs locally for great price. Check out your community message boards online to see if you can score some fresh eggs.
You don’t have to give up on taste when eating healthy low-cost foods.
These three foods for eating healthy on a budget will keep your stomach and wallet full, so don’t let a tight budget stop you from eating right. Oats, beans and eggs are staple foods that are best when complimented by fresh fruits and veggies. Use the money you save to stock up on quality organic produce and meats for a well-rounded, budget friendly diet.
At Tacoma Boys, we pride ourselves on offering customers the healthiest foods at the fairest prices. So, stop into one of our three locations today to see just how affordable eating well can be.
Is cooking difficult for you? Don’t worry, it is for a lot of people. Figuring out recipes, shopping for the ingredients, cooking and washing the dishes can be a lot of work! However, no matter how busy you are, there is no need to eat junk food. Here are 4 easy meals you can make, with all ingredients from a Tacoma specialty market.
We know that when life gets hectic it’s hard to eat healthy. You may want to get busy in the kitchen but find yourself exhausted after work. It’s very easy to get in the habit of eating whatever’s fast and convenient.
The good news is that you don’t need to hit the drive-thru or order take-out on those days that seem so tough. With just a few ingredients, you can make simple, quick meals that are healthy, too!
You should be able to find all of these ingredients at a Tacoma specialty market. As a safe bet, hit up Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce which is bound to have these ingredients and more. And, you know they’ll be fresh and delicious!
Want to know more? Keep reading to learn 4 these easy recipes.
1. One Pan Chicken
For some recipes, the cleanup can be worse than the cooking itself. Watching those dishes pile up is no fun!
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about a huge cooking mess when it comes to this simple, one pan, chicken recipe.
Just place your Tacoma Boys vegetables of choice on one side of the pan, thickly diced chicken breast in the middle, and diced potatoes on the other side. Then, bake at 425 for 45 minutes.
You can have fun with a one pan chicken recipe by switching up your veggies and seasonings. Here are some of our favorite ways to add a little flavor:
- Use Italian dressing on the chicken
- Season veggies with some garlic powder and olive oil
- Add some olive oil and pepper on your potatoes.
2. Ahi Tuna Salad
Are you looking for something a little more unique? This Asian-inspired salad will do just the trick. Ahi Tuna is a popular dish at a lot of Pacific Northwest restaurants, but it’s actually very easy to cook at home!
You can get Ahi Tuna steaks, avocados, carrots, bell peppers, and cucumbers from your local Tacoma specialty market. Grate your carrots, slice the other veggies, and toss them with a green spring mix to create a salad base.
For cooking the tuna; first, you’ll want to season it to your liking. We recommend using kosher salt, cayenne pepper and whole peppercorns.
Lightly sear the Ahi Tuna by melting butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Gently place the seasoned tuna in the skillet and cook to a desired doneness, 1 1/2 minutes per side for rare.
Place your cooked tuna on top of your salad mix, and voila! You can finish it off with store-bought or home-made ginger sesame dressing.
3. Pot Roast
Now that fall is here and winter is quickly approaching, many are looking for the perfect comfort food to indulge in. For many of us, that can look like a delicious pot roast.
Just stop in to your local Tacoma specialty market for chuck roast, carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery. Season your roast with some rosemary, garlic salt, pepper, and thyme. Place the roast in a slow cooker with your chopped veggies, diced potatoes, and some beef broth. Cook on low heat for 6 to 8 hours (for a 3-pound chuck roast).
Plus, you can use any leftover celery for a healthy snack! Just smear on some peanut butter for the ultimate go-to treat. Same goes with extra carrots, just pick your favorite dip and you’ve got plenty of snacks for later.
4. Shrimp Boil
Are you craving something Cajun? We have just the thing! Enjoy a southern shrimp boil with this easy and cheap recipe.
All you need is:
- Andouille sausage
- Corn on the cob
Cut your corn into quarters and dice your potatoes.
Throw everything into foil packets with some olive oil, Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes at 425 and voila!
Tacoma Specialty Market Meals
If you need something quick and affordable for dinner this week, look no further than Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce! We are where folks go when looking for a Tacoma specialty market. Click here for a location near you.
When you search for a “butcher near Tacoma,” do you consider the different services they may offer, and ways they cut and season the meat? Here are 5 things a butcher can do to improve your meat market experience.
A recent USDA study found that pre-packaged meat (the stuff on Styrofoam, wrapped in plastic) had over 211 different drug residues. Why? Because those meats are sourced from “factory farms”.
So, if you’re not interested in eating meat with residual antibiotics and hormones, then it’s time to visit your local butcher!
Sourcing meat from a local butcher near Tacoma is an easy and sustainable way to incorporate organic meats into your meals.
Read on for the 5 things you didn’t know you could ask your Tacoma butcher.
1. They Cut and Tenderize for You
Some cuts or dishes require special equipment (like a bone saw). If you don’t have one of those in the depths of your pantry, there’s no need to fret.
Just ask your butcher to cut or tenderize the meat for you.
They’ve got the necessary equipment and space. Plus, it’ll save you a load of prep time once you get home.
2. They Season Your Meat for You
Who better to season the meat than a person who works with meat for a living?
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce we have our own brand of rubs and sauces that perfectly pair with the cut you’re looking for. Most butchers have their favorites for beef, pork and chicken.
All you have to do is ask, and prior to the packaging, the butcher can season the meat to perfection.
Now that the meat is cut and seasoned, it just leaves the cooking to you! All you have to do is gather your ingredients and recipe to get dinner going.
3. Your Butcher Near Tacoma Can Special Order
Are you looking for something a little out of the norm? Maybe a goose or a turducken (that would be a chicken inside a duck, inside a turkey)?
Ask the butcher! They can work miracles behind the meat counter.
They may not have what you want on hand, but if you give them a few days’ notice, they can most likely order it for you!
If you’re short on time, you can always give one of our stores a call and the meat department will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
4. They can Teach You a Thing or Two
Some people avoid the butcher counter because they don’t know what kind of meat to ask for or what to do with it once they get it home. If that sounds like you, it’s okay! Just tell the butcher.
It’s actually a lot of fun for us if you have no idea what you’re looking for. It’s like giving an artist a blank canvas and letting them create a masterpiece. The butcher might ask you some questions like:
- Which cuisines you typically enjoy?
- What type of dish you’re looking to cook?
- What’s your skill level?
The butcher can then offer suggestions as and instructions on the best way to prepare the cut.
The average American consumes about 200 lbs. of meat each year. So, you might as well learn how to shop for it, and cook it well!
5. Your Butcher Can Help You be Environmentally Friendly
Last but not least, a butcher near Tacoma can help you source your meat sustainably. They know that purchasing an entire animal from a local and reputable farmer is the best way to guarantee that the meat is a high quality and doesn’t get wasted.
If you don’t live with 12 other people, then buying a whole cow or pig is unrealistic. One option is to find a group of friends who are interested and having a butcher divide, package, and prepare the animal into equal parts for the whole group.
You’ll have fresh, frozen, meat for an entire year!
Now Try it Out!
At Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce, we are proud to be an amazing option when looking for a Butcher near Tacoma. Not only do we offer an amazing meat section, but thousands of labels of beer and wine, fresh produce, and amazing specialty food items. Not to mention our ceramic pottery, floral and planting options.
Come and visit one of our expertly trained butchers, and embrace what Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce are proud to offer the greater Tacoma area. You’ll never find our meats under plastic or on Styrofoam plates. Our all-natural deli case meats are fresh, organic and hand wrapped, just like in the old days.
Read Next: 5 Easy Meals You Can Make in Minutes
Now that it’s Fall, farmers markets have shut down. But that doesn’t mean the quality of your meals has to go down. Fall and Winter actually bring a bounty of healthy and tasty foods, too! It’s as easy as visiting a natural grocer like Tacoma Boys or H&L Produce.
Fall is Harvest Season!
There’s a lot to miss about summer, but Fall brings a whole new variety of delicious and heart-healthy fresh fruits and vegetables. Because our inventory is constantly revolving you can always shop on a budget without sacrificing quality. Every week we are changing the specials and bringing in new foods and beverages. If you like trying new things, you’ll never get bored at one of our markets. We believe that Quality is Always the Better Buy. We sell the best and leave the rest alone.
October & November Selections
Our #1 tip for saving money while eating healthy is to shop in-season. But that’s not always easy! So what’s good right now? There are plenty of in-season fruits and vegetables that you can buy without breaking your bank.
For the Fruit Lovers
- Apples and Pears
- Oranges and Tangerines
All the Best Veggies
- Broccoli and Cauliflower
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cabbage, Lettuce and Spinach
Other Seasonal Favorites
- Sweet Potatoes
Consider Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce to be your farmers market that stay open all year long. It’s a total game changer! Some fruits and vegetables maintain a great price year round.
The first one that comes to mind is the cucumber. Another thrifty choice is cabbage. A head of cabbage is great no matter what season you’re in, and like the cucumber, it can be eaten a number of ways, so it’s definitely a go-to vegetable for any meal.
Fruits You Can Always Find
- Citrus Fruits
When searching on a budget, sticking to these fruits and vegetables won’t let you down.
A Natural Grocer That’s Open Year Round
Tacoma and Puyallup both have great farmers markets, but they are forced to close by the end of October. Thankfully, you can have the same experience at Tacoma Boys and H&L produce all year long. Did we mention we’re open 24 hours a day? That means we’ve got you covered whether you’re looking for a quick lunch or a midnight snack.
Think of us like a permanent farmers market but with more options. Having brick-and-mortar locations allows us to offer a lot more than a pop-up market. When you visit, you’ll find a variety of produce indoors and outdoors. Inside, we also have a fresh meat department, thousands of different beers and wine, unique gifts and snacks.
If you like exploring the aisles, you can discover something new each time you visit. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a favorite food or beverage and can’t find it anywhere, let us know and we’ll do our best to order it for you.
Check Us Out
If you’re looking for an alternative to farmers markets for the Fall and Winter seasons, you should definitely check us out. As your local natural grocer we are known for carrying what’s fresh, local, organic and in-season.
When it comes to our suppliers, we truly only want the best. The food we sell comes from farmers and suppliers who care about giving customers quality, no matter what the occasion or time of year.
Give us a call to learn more about what we can do to help you and your family eat healthy all year long. We look forward to hearing from you.
Having a mental menu of easy meals to make can be oh so useful! Your, friends, family and guests will all appreciate your cooking genius that helps you glide through those early morning wake-up calls and late night hunger pangs.
Don’t Get Hangry
“Hangry” isn’t just a fun word to say, it’s a gosh-darn real thing! According to scientific research, hunger contributes to poor decision-making and impulsive choices. A drop in blood-sugar levels for even the healthiest of athletes can make for grumpy times.
Skip the rumbling stomach, cranky guests, and crying kids by preparing healthy meals in fewer than 12 minutes. Here are five easy meals you can prepare at home.
Salads for Life
Salad is a quick and easy go-to meal. Either keep a rotating selection of greens in your fridge, or pick your own fresh lettuce from your garden or patio.
Spruce up your leafy greens with chickpeas, beans, veggies, seeds or nuts. Then drizzle your creation with some super healthy vinegar and olive oil.
To make it more filling, you can add a slice of crispy bread. If you love meat, add tuna, chicken or a boiled egg. For extra flavor, sprinkle some kosher sea-salt.
Some Egg-celent Choices
Eggs are a quick and easy way to add protein and flavor to left overs. One example is to pour that box of fries from the night before in a frying pan with butter. Add some chopped deli ham, maybe some onions, scallions or spinach. Once heated, add a scrambled egg and some cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Voila! An amazing hot breakfast.
Have some leftover beans and rice from your favorite Mexican restaurant? Consider adding a fried egg, and wrapping it all into a burrito or make a burrito bowl.
If you’re looking for something a little different, try a normal cheese omelet with chimichurri. Chimichurri is a green sauce that consists of garlic cloves, parsley, olive oil, red pepper flakes, red wine vinegar and kosher salt. Chimichurri is great with an omelet but also goes well on fish, tacos, steaks and sandwiches.
Avocados are amazing. They are rich in healthy fats and protein. They are filling, and are great for your digestive system. As an added bonus, eating avocados year round helps to support small town economies in Mexico.
So what’s the best way to eat an avocado? Everybody is raving about their avocado toast these days, but have you considered an avocado and tomato grilled cheese sandwich? It’s an excellent choice for lunch or supper. Because of the avocado’s texture, you don’t need to use much cheese, which gives you that grilled cheese satisfaction, with more of a healthy kick.
To make this sandwich all you need is one avocado, one ripe tomato, butter, mozzarella cheese slices, sliced bread and some salt. It’s important to salt the tomatoes before putting the sandwich together.
Frozen Chicken Fillets
One of the best things for quick and easy meals are frozen chicken breast fillets. They are thin enough to cook quickly, and are small enough for portion control. If you have frozen grilled chicken, you can put this recipe together in no time.
A quick a flavorful recipe is to pan-sear your chicken and spice it with some Tacoma Boys Cajun seasoning. Make sure it’s cooked all the way through, then spend a few minutes sautéing pre-chopped zucchini and squash (click for some other Cajun veggie ideas).
At your local Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce we carry frozen chicken, along with an amazing selection of fresh chicken from our meat department. If you’ve never had free range, organic chicken, stop in today and try some. You won’t be disappointed!
South Western Steak Salad
It may be difficult to believe that a healthy steak dinner could be prepared so fast but timing is everything. While your steak is cooking, you have time to assemble the salad and put together a light and creamy chipotle dressing.
This meal can be packed with ripe tomatoes, silky avocado, and fresh summer corn. Not to mention your favorite cut of deliciously marbled steak. For an added crunch, serve this meal with crushed tortilla chips.
To up your sophistication level when it comes to quick and easy meals — our H&L Produce location offers dry aged beef. The slow aging process breaks down the protein in the beef, allowing for a buttery smooth texture that is found at the finest steak houses. Order yours today!
How is your Spice Library?
Take a naked breast of chicken and add a little salt, pepper and olive oil. You have yourself a delicious entrée. Now let’s switch that up with some pre-made seasoning from your very own Tacoma Boy’s spice library.
There is no need to hit up the popular fast food options. Within easy reach you can your meal to match your mood. From Mexican to Cajun to Italian or Curry. Having a well stocked spice library makes cooking fun and easy!
Stock The Essesntials
One of the best ways to ensure your kitchen is ready for quick and easy meals is to stock up on the essentials. It’s also a great way to make sure you are eating healthy!
A supply of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper can take you a long way toward eating fast and healthy meals. Butter, your favorite seasonings, rice, pastas and jarred sauces are another ways to ensure you have the means necessary to eat well at short notice.
Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce have a huge selection of specialty foods, from pickled quail eggs to spicy salsas and pasta sauces. Take a look the next time you are in and stock up for your next last minute feast.
Tools for Easy Meals
Cooking tools are important as well. A good sharp knife for slicing fruits, veggies and meats. A cutting board and bread knife. Take note that having multiple knives, measuring cups and cutting surfaces can make your cooking time more efficient. One cutting surface and knife for your veggies, another for your meat, etc.
As for cooking surfaces it’s great to have a pot for boiling water, another for warming sauces. A non-stick frying pan and a colander to drain your noodles and vegetables. Make sure that all of your cooking utensils are safe to use on hot surfaces! Some spatulas are NOT heat resistant. Nothing like melted silicon to ruin a meal.
Clean as You Cook
It doesn’t take much to create small habits of cleaning as you cook. Rinse that sauce pan with hot water while the sauce is still pliable. Wipe off those counters and clean those cutting boards while the sauce simmers.
If you think about it, keeping a clean cooking area just makes sanitary sense! By taking these small steps and more, you will end your prep time with considerably less to clean once finished.
Believe it or not, a dishwasher is a huge time saver! Combine it with dishwasher friendly pots, pans and utensils, and your evening can be spent with the ones you love — even if that’s just your favorite actor on Netflix.
Easy Meals: A Wrap-Up
Cooking easy meals at home shouldn’t be too difficult. Just make sure you’re ready and know your way around the stovetop and microwave.
No matter the time of day, you can get affordable fresh produce from Tacoma Boys and H&L Produce to prepare your hot home-cooked meals in minutes. Contact us today at any of our three locations.