Tag Archives: eating

How to make the best popcorn ever

31 Mar

How to make popcorn that’s easy, healthy and super yummy! It just takes three ingredients from Trader Joe’s and a microwave popcorn popper.

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!

Tuna salad sandwich salad

12 Aug

How to make a tuna salad sandwich without the bread

Combine:

  • One can of tuna
  • 1/4 to 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Several chopped dill-pickle sandwich slices
  • A bowl of torn lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes to taste (not shown)
  • Dressing: A smattering of olive oil, drizzled balsamic vinegar and the juice from half a lemon
The alternative tuna salad sandwich

Forkfuls of gluten-free goodness

Same sandwich, just served in a bowl instead of a plate. Oh, and without bread. Details.

How to survive the summer heat

18 Jul

I don’t tell many people about this, but I have Almostitis.

Almostitis is the condition where you want one thing, but you buy something almost like it to save on money, calories and fat content.

Almostitis is not a matter of simply deciding to buy something you like that’s healthier than something else you like. It causes you to buy something you don’t like as much, when you have a craving for something else. Yet, in the moment of purchase, you delude yourself that “this” is going to be just as good, and maybe even better!

Then these cheaper, less-caloric and lower-fat selections sit in our cabinets, refrigerators and freezers until they evaporate or mold.

What does this have to do with surviving summer heat?

A big part of my Almostitis has been about not buying the ice cream I really want. There are pints of fruity sorbet frost-bitten in my freezer. Bars of ice milk cushioning my frozen dumplings.

These cold symptoms boiled to a head a few weeks ago when I wanted to make a root beer float. Instead of buying some vanilla ice cream, I  brought home a container of vanilla frozen yogurt. The most unsatisfying result of so-called good intentions, and the pinnacle of wrong.

The only cure for Almostitis to go to the root of your desire and buy the seminal item. Delicious, refreshing and satisfying.

So, this is one way I’m beating the heat this week:

Trader Joe's Mint Chip ice cream

Pint of summer survival

It’s been a long time since a pint of real, creamy ice cream was walked through my door.

Welcome home.

What’s your favorite TJ way to survive the summer heat?

 

Best. Pizza. Ever. #1

5 Jul

This is the first in an occasional series. Creating pizza with unlikely ingredients. Unlikely ingredients, that is, if you’re not me.

For me, these are standard, go-to flavors: dill pickle slices and Vidalia onion on a thick flour tortilla painted with a dense film of tomato-basil sauce., topped with shredded Quattro Formaggio.

Top a tortilla with tomato sauce, onion, pickles and cheese, and you've got a pizza

Mexipickletalian: Pizza #1

Some may say it’s weird. Some may run screaming to find comfort only in their sacred pepperoni and black olive. But folks, as the title alludes, this is only the first of many more creations ahead that I call, “Pizza.”

Wait with wonder and anticipation. Or fear. : )

Once upon a time there was pasta and olive oil…

3 May

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” ~Federico Fellini

Pappardelle and olive oil at Trader Joe's

A family classic

Some days I go to Trader Joe’s with a shaggy shopping list thinking that something delicious will be waiting for me, like Prince Charming in food form, sitting between the string cheese and shaved Parmesan.

This is one of those fairytale displays that takes your hand and suddenly you’re at home with an amazing meal. Magical scents waft through the house as gourmet goodness fills your stomach.

Olive oil drizzled over lemon pepper pappardelle ribbons is all you need for a fabulous dinner, of course. But,  additional items can add a twist to the classic.

Some other favorite pasta-dish ingredients:

  • steamed asparagus
  • capers
  • kalamata olives
  • grilled chicken
  • tuna
  • grated Parmesan
  • artichoke hearts

What’s your favorite go-to pasta addition or recipe?

Cutest little taters ever: Recipe

12 Apr

Fact #1 – I don’t eat a lot of carbs (aka starch), so otatoepays are generally ixnayed.

Fact #2 – These teeny tiny potatoes are some of the cutest root veggies I’ve ever seen, and I wanted to eat them.

Small potatoes

Teeny tiny taters

Fact #3 – A friend was coming over. Timing is everything.

And so, a meal was born including tiny, thinly sliced potatoes and other small veggie items.

Trader Joe's mini taters scramble up well with tofu, tomatoes, garlic and mushrooms

Tiny tater small scramble

How to make tiny tater small scramble:

Spread oil olive in a skillet. Season with a clove of chopped garlic.

Add:

  • Thinly sliced tiny potatoes
  • Quartered cherry or grape tomatoes (keep it small)
  • A block of cubed sprouted tofu
  • A cup or two of chopped onions
  • A quarter pint of baby bella sliced mushrooms
  • Sprinkle a little salt
  • Heat until potatoes are softened
  • Enjoy with a friend!

On an uncanny note, this morning the following Harvest Public Radio story aired on my local NPR station: “Potato Industry Banks on Linda.” It’s about the decline in potato consumption and the efforts of the U.S. Potato Board to entice people to bring potatoes back to the table. Timely.

[This post is completely independent of any public radio programming and is not funded by the U.S. Potato Board or Trader Joe’s.]

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

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

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Related links:

Why potatoes are healthy [besthealthmag.ca]

Potatoes healthy food guide [eatingwell.com]

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