Don Lee Farms Sweet Potato Cakes
$4.97 for a 1.25-pound container; Costco; www.donleefarms.com
This unlikely blend of sweet potatoes, quinoa and almonds – all organic – comes ready to eat in small patties great for a side dish, snack or even a lunchbox. Best when crisped in an oven, they’re quick and tasty.
Explore Asian Organic Edamame Spaghetti
$9.49 for a 2-pound box; Costco; www.explore-asian.com
These thin, green noodles – more like angel hair than spaghetti – are made from nothing but soybeans and water, making them both healthy and a power-punch of protein. They have a neutral flavor and work well with most sauces.
“United Tastes of Texas: Authentic Recipes From All Corners of the Lone Star State”
$25; 272 pages; Oxmoor House
Fourth-generation Texan and food/wine writer Jessica Dupuy traveled the Lone Star state to connect with top pitmasters in five distinct regions and showcase the recipes for their best dishes. Such as? Well, how about salsas (avocado-mango, tomatillo), slow-smoked brisket, beef ribs, smoked turkey, pork stew, red chili pork posole, cheesy enchiladas, Frito pie, black-eyed peas, pecan pie (the pecan is the state tree) and many more. Dupuy’s informative sidebars on techniques, gear and cooking tips also will help the home cook get goin’ the Texas way.
Passage to Vietnam Lemongrass Chicken Stir-Fry Sauce
$3.39 for a 7-ounce package; Raley’s and other retailers; www.passagefoods.com
Sweet and citrusy, with a lemongrass and ginger zing, this sauce makes post-work mealtime a snap. Just add it to your favorite stir-fry ingredients and, well, stir.
Shrimp at El Pollo Loco
$5.50-$6.80; various locations; www.elpolloloco.com
El Pollo Loco specializes in fresh chicken marinated in citrus juices, herbs and spices. Now the national chain has added chili-lime shrimp to the menu, through March 11. It arrives four ways: By burrito ($6.50), tostada ($6.80), bowl ($5.50) and tacos ($6 for two). We sampled, we liked. There are 10 outlets around the Sacramento area.
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