Tag Archives: dinner

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!

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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!

Happy Summer! Recipe time: “Where Pasta Meets Kale”

21 Jun

Trader Joe’s serves up the ingredients for a healthful, nutritious, filling and yummy meal!

The intersection of fresh kale and hearty pasta

The intersection of fresh kale and hearty pasta

It’s Brussels Sprouts time, again!

29 Jan

A bag of shredded Brussels Sprouts = good eating ahead!

What’s that you say? You don’t like Brussels Sprouts?! Well, then, feast your eyes on a raspberry tarte or homemade lemonade. The rest of you, come with me to Brussels Sprout heaven.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts from Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s does the shredding. You do the eating.

Start by sauteing some garlic and onion in olive oil.

Sauteed garlic and onion

Add more onion and the bag of B. Sprouts. Include the balsamic vinegar and water as recommended on the bag.

BowlOfBrusselsSprouts

When done, I also squeezed some lemon juice on top. I did not use bacon, but that could be a meat-eater’s happy addition.

I separated the batch into four containers for easy access at meal time.

Here’s the official recipe, but be creative and make it your own:

RecipeBag

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

28 Nov
Thank you for following Things I Love at Trader Joe’s! We’re thankful for you!
 
Thankful for good friends and family

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

Podcasts:

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