The Bounty of Bulk: Use Your Noodles

Skagit Valley Food Coop_Bounty of Bulk_Oct 27Welcome to our latest segment focusing on the wondrous world of bulk: pasta. Buying in bulk is great for saving money on these pantry essentials, from couscous to spaghetti to shaped pasta. The Co-op stocks a dozen different types of noodles and pasta, including gluten-free quinoa and corn rotelle.

Accessorize your noodles with some garlic, onions, and leeks (local from Ralph’s Greenhouse in Mount Vernon, WA) and you’ve got a great base for many meals. Choose hearty and healthy whole grain pastas, and add seasonal vegetables, cheese, tofu, or your preferred cut of meat. Here are a few choice recipes from our customers and staff:

Seasonal Vegetable Orzo Salad Recipe

Orzo - “orzo” is the Italian word for barley. However, orzo pasta is made from semolina durum wheat, not from barley. It’s a versatile, rice-shaped pasta. A classic for cold vegetable salads and comfort meals, use orzo to add texture to soups. It’s a great deal in bulk — only $1.79 per pound!

Make a delightful, yet simple orzo salad: Read more The Bounty of Bulk: Use Your Noodles …

New Feature: The Bounty of Bulk


A world of wonderful bulk items!

Oh, the Co-op’s Bulk Department. A mysterious, magical place of over 650 items, many of them organic, including flours, grains, dried cereals, pasta, teas, herbs, and coffee. Because the Bulk Department can be a confusing place — even for those of us who work here — we’ve decided to start a new web & e-newsletter feature to get you (and us) better acquainted with all that Bulk has to offer. Each post (save this one), we’ll focus on a particular section of the Bulk Department (i.e. liquids, or herbs), and give you a few insider pairing recommendations from staff and customers.

Bulk Teaser: Get a bit of our grind-your-own almond butter (bulk #0350), and a few (ahem, many) dried unsulphered Black Mission figs (bulk #7763). Dip figs in the almond butter. Devour. Bliss!

Shopping in bulk is a great way to save money, reduce packaging waste (by bringing your own container), and buying exactly what you need. We’ve got the best selection of bulk foods around — from whole foods, staple ingredients, snacks, and more for your pantry.

Stop by and meet our bulk specialist Ian or another grocery representative. We are happy to help you find what you need and address any questions  comments or concerns.


Use the handy scale to weigh up reusable containers.

Buying in bulk is an interactive experience. Here’s how it works: Select the item you want, take what you need and write down the bulk bin number on your container. If you bring your own container from home (we encourage it!), please include its tare weight by using our handy scale, located underneath the almond and peanut butter grinders. Use the designated oil pen and mark your tare weight on the container — it’s that simple! Or you can use the plastic bags or containers that we have on hand throughout the department.

Our Bulk Department is extensive and offers many certified organic and gluten-free options. We offer bulk baking flours and sweeteners, dried fruits, beans, rice, soup mixes, salt, chocolate, grains, cereal, and granola. That’s not all — we also have nuts, seeds, and naturally sweetened snacks and candies. View our entire list of our Bulk Grocery List here. Read more New Feature: The Bounty of Bulk …

In the Kitchen with Jill

20120613-DSC02484The task at hand for me this New Year is to stretch the ole mighty dollar. Oh I could tell you that this is because I want to save money and pay off credit cards, but the truth is I want to take a vacation. A real vacation where I have to buy a bathing suit and new flip flops.  I want to sip on a tropical drink and read a book, while my feet nestle in the warm sand.  Looking at my biggest expenses, I realized that there were two that I could reduce without feeling a great deal of sadness or loss.  One is my food budget and the other is my unbudgeted earring spending. No, I am not giving up delicious food, or beautiful mercantile adornments to wear, I am just re-evaluating what I spend, and how I use it. Read more In the Kitchen with Jill …

In the Kitchen with Jill…

bepeasWhen I was five, I attended an amazing school in Santa Monica, California. It was the quintessential “hippie” school house on the block, and it was spectacular.  Math was taught in the kitchen cooking, using real measurements that meant something. Books were read aloud with inflection and a cadence that honed my storytelling skills. There were chickens and gardens and walking field trips to learn who our neighbors were.

One of the school’s neighbors was a store called the Co-opportunity Natural Foods Store, and this was my first introduction to a food co-op.  It was 1976 and to say it looked anything like a “store” would be a stretch.  There were barrels of beans and grains and not much more.  The woman who gave us the tour was probably the age I am now and I was enthralled with her.  She was so excited to talk to us about what a co-op is, the benefits to the community, and her passion for food. Looking back now, I realize how much our own co-op family have the same passion for food, our local community, and the benefits of food co-ops. I haven’t been back in some thirty plus years, but I know that store has grown, much like ours here. So as I reminisce about the past, I wish you a Happy New Years and bring you a barrel full of black eyed peas for luck.

Black Eyed Pea and Kale Salad

  • 1 cup black eyed peas
  • 1 cup kale, finely chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 3/4 cup yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Combine kale, spinach, black eyed peas, peppers, and green onions in a bowl.
  2. In a small skillet, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil and saute the shallot until caramelized. Add the red chile flakes and continue to cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and add the remaining oil, cider vinegar, and dijon mustard and whisk or stir to combine.
  3. Toss the salad with dressing, season with salt and pepper, and serve.


In the Kitchen with Jill…

haridraThe bitter cold days of last week are hopefully behind us, far, far behind us. My body did not enjoy that cold blast at all. In fact, it rebelled. Not caring how many layers I put on, it mocked me with a hardy, ” that’s all you got?” Speaking of hardy, this is always the season for robust and full-flavored foods; warming our tummies and settling into our winter waistlines.

Working as a cashier, my secret pleasure is looking at your groceries and making a meal out of what you have purchased. Creepy? Nah, fun!  Eggs, Texas toast and milk… French toast. Lemons, cayenne and maple syrup… New Years master cleanse resolution (a little early, dude. Enjoy the fruit cake while you can). You see the game?

Of late, we have had an abundance of fresh turmeric come across our conveyor belts and this one stymies me. Yes I know the medicinal attributes are amazing ( digestion, circulation, inflammation) but my question is, what are they doing with it? What’s a girl in the kitchen to do? Experiment! Here is a drink that I made with turmeric that was delish and amazingly good for you. So if those frigid days come a callin’, I’ll be ready…sort of.

Turmeric Tea

1 cup Coconut milk (or almond)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh grated turmeric (be warned, it stains! wear gloves)

1/8 tsp nutmeg

A dash of cayenne

Honey to taste

Put coconut milk, spices and honey in a sauce pan and heat up slowly on low heat.  If you put it on high heat the coconut milk will get too thick. Pour and drink!