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Lemons+Ravioli: A match made in Trader Joe’s heaven

5 Nov

It was another tasting bar moment. One paper-cup-sized bite and I knew what was for dinner.

The TJ’s staffer added some prosciutto and dressing to her sample. I tried something different. (My recipe’s below.)

Ricotta and lemon filled ravioli = tasty wonder

Lemony, cheesy, ravioli-y


My recipe for delicious ravioli from Trader Joe's

This is how my mixture looks in a square bowl.

JA’s TJ’s Lemon Ravioli Recipe:

Bag of Girasole Ricotta & Lemon Zest Ravioli
Bundle of fresh asparagus
3-4 Tbl fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
Drizzle of olive oil
Sprinkle of salt
Juice from half a lemon
To make it meaty, add half of TJ’s flat of “Just Chicken”

Combine. Serve. Enjoy!

Tortilla soup, your way

8 Nov

I love going off the beaten path. That’s definitely true when it comes to travel, but also when it comes to veering from any norm: Mix-and-match clothing; home design; cooking.

And when it comes to reconstructing what’s for dinner, my favorite tailor-made dish is soup.

Last night, tortilla soup became palatable to a paleo-dieting friend by leaving out the tortillas. Just as delicious as with.

Tortilla soup. Hold the the tortilla.

Tortilla soup. Hold the tortilla.

I loaded it with chicken, but take away the chicken and it becomes a veggie delight. Leave out the tomatoes and add some white beans, and your acid-adverse friends will chow down.

Here’s what I put in the pot. Take note, but don’t be afraid to make it your own. You can’t go wrong.

Tortilla Soup Recipe – without tortillas

  • 3lbs chicken breast (I used TJ’s frozen chicken to keep the cost down.)
  • 3TBs olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 quarts of chicken stock – try veggie stock, plain water, or go a completely different direction with something like TJ’s Butternut Squash soup
  • 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • a whole lot of cumin and chile powder (unmeasured/to taste)
  • A dash of salt
  • Sides: chopped cilantro, chopped onion, sliced avocado, shredded Parmesan cheese, shredded Cheddar cheese, hot sauce

Buon appetito!

Celebrate Dumpling Week all year round

1 Sep
Dumplings thanks to Trader Joe's

xie xie, TJ’s.

Whether you’re in China, Italy, Russia or Mississippi, dumplings, no matter what they’re called locally,  are often what’s for dinner.

National Public Radio honored the small, doughy, culturally shared food with a week of its own. NPR offered dumpling stories, information and how-tos including pierogi, tortelloni and shumai. (NOTED: they all end with an “i.”)

If you’ve noticed our header photo, you’ve probably guessed that TJ’s Chinese Gyoza Potstickers are one of our all-time faves and a grocery-list regular. Likewise, TJ’s shumai. So, we were extremely thrilled about the coverage and the week-long commemoration.

If you missed the tweets, the instagram pics and vids or the broadcasts, here are a few links to help you catch up and/or relive the moment:

NPR’s Instagram gallery

Catch up on the Twitter conversation


Recipe for a cool summer night

15 Aug

You have to realize that “cool summer night” is not a term we use often in August in Kansas City. In fact, could this be a first? Probably not, statistically speaking, but for me it is.

However, the stars aligned for my cooking sense this week, preparing me for just this sort of fluke weather.

onion and chicken combine to make soup. Water was an essential ingredient, too.

Hot soup on a cool August night

Recipe for a healthy summer hot soup:

1) Poach three or four frozen chicken thighs.

2) Reserve the water to use as stock.

3) Wait 24-48 hours for a chilly day in August.

4) Transfer chicken stock to pot, add:

  • three chopped onions
  • three minced cloves of garlic
  • a handful of chopped cilantro
  • slices of fresh lemon

5) Ladle into a bowl

6) Add salt, fresh lemon juice and freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste.

Enjoy and stay warm until the 90-degree weather returns in a few days.

This post is part of the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Fit to write

Veggie chili + onion soup = Recipe born via Trader Joe’s

22 Feb

This is what I was up against this morning:

Blizzard of Oz

Snowpocalypse 2013

The storm was forecast all week, giving us time to fill our car tanks and stock our pantries. I’d made the pre-storm-weatherer’s obligatory trek to Trader Joe’s, but when the day came, what was I really going to eat?!

Like a gastronomic incantation, I was surrounded by one word via radio and social media: “Chili.” So, naturally, I thought to myself, “Soup sounds good!”

I looked around and noticed two softball-sized onions in their prime. “Onion soup! Love it!”

Then I looked in my cabinet and saw the lone can of TJ’s Organic Vegetarian Chili I’d bought after a mouth-watering moment at the TJ’s tasting bar. The chili seed that had been sown in my psyche was about to burst through my brain and onto the stove.

This is what happened next:

onion soup plus chili

Onion soup and chili: an idea is born

Another element of the equation was that my neighbor mentioned she was making chicken soup. So, instead of keeping everything vegetarian, I found a box of chicken stock that was in sore need of being used and made that the broth for my onions. (You can easily substitute water or veggie stock.)


onion soup and veggie chili on the stove

Simmering stew buddies: onion soup and veggie chili

I ladled one scoop of chili into my bowl and covered it with the onion soup.

And, voila:

chili in a bowl

Is it chili? Is it stew? I don’t know, but it’s good!

Accessorizing: I added a splash of balsamic vinegar and sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top. I would also recommend adding some lemon juice.

If you’re in the way of this winter’s wicked weather, be safe, stay warm and eat well!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you 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:

Fooducate rates TJ’s Organic Vegetarian Chili

Battle of the vegetarian chilis (TJ’s vs. Whole Foods)

Trader Joe’s “must haves” Faves from 2012

2 Jan

Trader Joe’s constantly comes up with wonderful items. While I love trying the new offerings, I find there are staples that I buy over and over. I have to have them on hand – TJ “must haves.”

I’d love to hear what TJ products you can’t live without! Please share your faves in the comments.

Here are 15 of mine that were featured on Things I Love at Trader Joe’s in 2012:

Roasted chicken from Trader Joe's

Pure deliciousness, without the oiliness.

Dark chocolate espresso beans by Trader Joe's

Dark chocolate espresso beans by Trader Joe’s

Peppermint hard candy

Peppermint hard candy

Trader Joe's Gummi Vites

Trader Joe’s Gummi Vites


Grilled Chicken Breast Strips

Grilled Chicken Breast Strips

Trader Joe's Chicken Sausage

Trader Joe’s Chicken Sausage

Tj's bananas, 19 cents each - No joke!

Tj’s bananas, 19 cents each – No joke!

Orange Blossom Honey, oo la la!

Orange Blossom Honey, oo la la!

Snack mantra: tomatoes and edamame. (Y)om.

Snack mantra: tomatoes and edamame. (Y)om.

Quinoa Duo with vegetable melange

Quinoa Duo with vegetable melange

Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

Dark Chocolate Honey Mints

Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Savory Thin Mini Crackers

Savory Thin Mini Crackers


Thank you, Trader Joe’s for a year filled with good things!

And thank you 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

Chicken Chili Lime Burgers from Trader Joe’s

26 Nov

I had a Chile Lime Chicken Burger for dinner tonight. I cooked it – about 7 minutes per side. I toasted an English muffin as the bread element. Sliced onion, spread mustard and layered pickle rounds.

I thought I’d take a picture of the sandwich beauty in front of me. Then I thought, a bite out of it would be photogenic. Then I took another bite. A few more, and there was only a half sandwich left on the plate.

So, I thought, well, half a sandwich could work, too. After that, I’m not sure what happened, but I think my inner carnivore was unleashed because suddenly there was no sandwich left on the plate.

Here’s a picture of the box and the block of large frozen patties:

Trader Joe's Chili Lime Chicken Burger

An easy, chicken way to get your burger fix

There are four in the box. I recommend recreating the scene I mentioned above and enjoying again and again and again and again.

Sorry for the missing photo.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s

And thank you 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:

Nutrition info

What’s Good at Trader Joe’s review

Homemade Trader Joe’s Chicken Chili Lime Burgers


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