Veggies from heaven

When you make fresh produce a core part of every meal, it pays to know where to get the best produce for the best price.

For me, that used to be Costco, but the list of vegetables I will no longer buy there keeps growing. The latest maddening experience was buying a bag of fresh snap peas there a week ago, one week before the stamped “best by” date (which was today), only to open them the next day and find that they were all slimy. Gross! So they sat in my fridge all week, getting slimier, I’m sure, until I plopped them down on the returns counter with my receipt this morning. Snap peas, never again from Costco. Baby carrots, never again. Broccoli, never again. Green beans, never again. Mini peppers, never again. Cucumbers, one more chance. Lettuce, always touch and go.

Hello, my pretties!

But that really doesn’t matter anymore, because I have found a new magical land, filled with all the beautiful produce I could want (and some I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams), and at a price that makes me weep with joy. Let’s just cut to the chase and call this my new happy place, shall we?

I have shopped at Uwajimaya a handful of times previously, but for some odd reason never fully explored their produce department. Don’t ask me why not, because I don’t know. Maybe it was because I was mesmerized by all the aisles of wondrous non-perishable items that make it possible to prepare all manner of Asian cuisine (this includes Indian).

Considering my newfound love for green smoothies, I all but hyperventilated when I saw how many varieties of fresh kale and other greens were on offer. This place rocks my world.

I mean, why pay $6.99 a pound for fresh ginger at my local health food store, when I can pay $1.59 a pound for a plump, gorgeous chunk of the delicious and health-promoting tuber?

Hello, my…not so pretties!

I’ve mentioned that I abhor standard-issue supermarkets, and the ones in my area have sub-par produce sections, which is really the main reason I shop for food. Organic dairy, whole grains, seafood and other minimally processed foods find their way into my cart, sure, but produce is the star. I’ve found over the years that when I’m eating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables, everything else seems to fall into place, nutritionally. That was true when I was a vegetarian, and it’s true now that I embrace the carnivorous side of being an omnivore.

And, really, what’s not to love about a store that sells cactus pads right alongside….well, I don’t really know what that is. Maybe I’ll pick one up next week!