Tag Archives: spinach

When is pasta not pasta? When it’s mushroom.

2 Mar

For me, cooking is usually an arts-and-crafts project or a science experiment. I imagine that certain flavors will go together well and then test the theory.

Other times, I challenge myself by trying to recreate an amazing dish I’ve had at a restaurant. Like I did this week.

Recently, I went with friends to John Bentley’s in Redwood City, Calif. Everything on the menu sounded delicious and I thought it was going to be hard to decide what to order, until I got to the end of the menu and found: “Trumpet Mushroom “Pappardelle” with tomato, garlic, basil,Kalamatas, edamame and Pecorino Romano.”

Mushroom Pappardelle

A carbless delicious beauty from John Bentley’s

The waiter said the chef created Pappardelle from mushrooms. The dish had a red sauce, and it was like a pasta dish without the pasta. I was so intrigued I had to order it. And WOW! It was SO delicious!

A week later, I decided to try to recreate the dish with a few embellishments.

For my mushroom pasta, I did not use edamame or fresh basil, although there was basil in the pasta sauce. I used shiitake mushrooms, garlic, Kalamata olives, spinach, onion, tofu and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan on top. I went with the short cut of using Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Maranara sauce.

I started by sautéing garlic and onion in olive oil.

Step one, saute onions and garlic in olive oil.

Onions and garlic sautéed in olive oil.

Then I added the mushrooms, olives, tofu and spinach.

A garden in a skillet

Ingredients. Not pictured: sauce, cheese.

After the vegetables were softened, about 10-15 minutes, I poured in some marinara sauce, sprinkled shredded Parmesan on top and. SOOO good!! (To make it vegan, don’t add the cheese at the end.)

As you can tell with the difference in ingredients and stage presence, it wasn’t exactly the meal I had at John Bentley’s, but it was close enough and very satisfying!

Give it a try!  Add your own twists, and please share your recipe thoughts in the comments.

Bon appetite!

Dip ahead: Artichoke + Spinach

26 Jun

I think there’s a petition circulating that is lobbying Congress to make artichoke spinach dip the sixth food group.

If there’s not, there should be.

I’ve eyed TJ’s box of A+S, but I’ve been shy of acquiring the package, afraid of choking on the thick fat and calorie counts.

But, there are no fat or calories in the samples at the tasting bar, right?!

Sampling Trader Joe's spinach artichoke dip at the tasting bar

Just a wafer-thin sample…

The taste I had proved to be as delicious as I’d feared dreamed.

And, actually, the pounds-per-inch factor wasn’t so bad:

[Thanks for info from fatsecret.com]

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.26.44 PM Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 10.27.13 PM

Danger: Delicious appetizers ahead

12 Dec

So, I’m at the Trader Joe’s tasting bar and the barista is offering samples of Spinach and Kale Bites.

Beware: Seductive flavor lures you to do things you didn't want to do.

Beware: Seductive flavor lures you to do things you didn’t want to do.

I  try one.

I say: This is SO good!

She says: I know!

Despite the whole kale craze, this might be my first taste. I’m a veggie lover and spinach is a fave, so it’s no surprise that these green balls with cheesy garlic goodness make my eyes pop out.

I look at the box. Well, the points it scores on flavor it loses in the calorie and fat content. Not the most I’ve seen in a snack, but enough to give pause.

I say: I’m nervous about the calories and fat content.

She says: Well, they’re appetizers, so you’re not going to have very many.

I look at her. She looks at me.

I say: Right….

We smile, sadly, knowing that what’s meant as dainty food for company is too often what’s for dinner.

Sigh.

Related Links:

Kale nutrition information

Kate and cocktails

 A word from Trader Joe’s

Skinny food Friday: Keeping it green at Trader Joe’s

23 Nov

Directly after eating any big meal, I vow to never eat again. But, of course, I do. And Thanksgiving is the mother of the big meal.

Rolling around the house today, my remedy for post-meal munching without regret is easy and delicious. As much as possible, over the Thanksgiving weekend, I try to keep it green.

Green-meal recipe:

Trader Joe’s bag of broccoli and cauliflower becomes a mouth-watering meal when you steam the vegetables, then lightly drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and spritz with lemon juice. And maybe add a little crushed garlic : )

Broccoli and cauliflower from Trader Joe's

Half a bag of broccoli and cauliflower. It’s what’s for dinner.

Alternative vegetable: Zucchini

Zucchini from Trader Joe's

Zucchini, sliced and steamed – the way Mom used to make them.

And, of course, the granddaddy of skinny meals – the salad.

The Power of Greens at Trader Joe'

Organic Power to the Greens

The power of greens.

Thank you so much, Trader Joe’s.

And thank you so much for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

Power to the Greens nutrition info

Trader Joe’s pita chips: The satisfaction of reduced guilt

20 Jul

The cracker aisle is one of my favorite Trader Joe’s sections. I have my never-fail faves (Pita Bites and Savory Crackers, for two), but also love discovering other yummy items.

The other day, these “reduced guilt” pita chips with sea salt caught my curiosity.

Trader Joe’s Pita Chips with sea salt

At first bite, the chips aren’t the salty snackers my faves are, but I had a few as an appetizer before dinner and enjoyed. Plus, I really like that the 6-oz. bag is not a one-serving size – like most potato chip bags and other chips loaded with come-hither ingredients.

Also, I dipped a chip into the rice side-dish I had during dinner and am thrilled (and a little nervous) to report that these chips make excellent dipping media. And even if your dipping sauce offers a year’s worth of calories, the “reduced-guilt” factor of the pita chips kicks in to make you feel better.

From the bag:

  • Serving size – about 8 chips
  • Calories per serving – 100
  • Calories from fat per serving – 20

Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related Links:

SuzySaid, Guilt-free pleasures at Trader Joe’s

Snacks besides fruit and veggies

Pinterest board: Dips for crowd pleasers

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