Grocery shopping to relieve stress: Albuquerque edition

When I get stressed, I have this habit of buying food. And with a move overseas drawing nearer, and several fabulous grocery stores with great vegetarian and gluten-free selections within easy biking distance, I’ve been stress-shopping. Since I’m in Albuquerque, I decided to try out some (fairly) locally-made products, things I can’t get back in Detroit (or Poland!)

Viviana's delectable Italian blend penne, topped with spinach and parmesan. Gluten free.

Viviana’s delectable Italian blend penne, topped with spinach and parmesan. Gluten free.

First stop was the La Montanita Co-op on Central Avenue. I love this place: a deli counter with vegan and gluten-free baked goods and freshly made green chile tamales, local produce, friendly staff. When I lived in the southwest, I made sure to have a membership to this co-op. Here, I discovered a new favorite pasta: the flavorful, savory and tender penne made by Viviana’s Food in Denver. Basil and garlic give this pasta a delicate herb flavor, so it needed no other sauce aside from olive oil and sea salt. (I also topped mine with wilted spinach.) Looking at their website made my mouth water— they have a line of other flavored gluten-free pastas.

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A second stop was to the Vitamin Cottage on Wyoming— I needed to stock up on gluten-free, veggie multiple vitamins. Alas, I wandered too close to the aisles that did not sell vitamins, and I discovered they also sell cheesecake. Pie in the Sky Bakery makes creamy, individual-sized cheesecakes, with a nutty, satisfying crust, gluten-free. I tried the strawberry cheesecake, and loved the perfectly sweet strawberry that was swirled into the cake— and I now have a new favorite gluten-free cheesecake maker (second-up in Moon Dance Desserts sold in Hiller’s.)

Pie in the Sky's strawberry cheesecake, with gluten-free crust.

Pie in the Sky’s strawberry cheesecake, with gluten-free crust.

Final stop was at Sprout’s, near where my friend works. (I still remember when this place was a Sunflower’s Market.) Here, I picked up some gluten-free mac and cheese, as well as some Sol Cuisine veggie burgers (review in an upcoming post!) And yes, you may be sensing that “comfort food” is a theme of this blog. There’s something very comforting about frozen macaroni and cheese— and Sprout’s does a pretty good one, the rice pasta had a good texture and a simple cheesy sauce.

Sprout's mac and cheese.

Sprout’s mac and cheese.

I’m traveling in a few hours, and have more about Albuquerque to post— but it may be a few days. What are your grocery stores to shop at?

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