Tag Archives: healthy

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.

If it’s watermelon time, it must be summer

2 Jun

It’s not the heat and it’s not the pool opening. It’s not the strappy dresses and sandals or the birds chirping too early and the fire-pitless porch parties lasting past midnight.

What tells me it’s summertime is the large, cardboard box full of big green orbs that greets me when I enter Trader Joe’s.

I received that happy welcome last weekend. There was even a woman handing out watermelon samples at a makeshift tasting station. She advised that the sweetest watermelons were ones with yellow on them. Taking her word for it, I grabbed (if you can “grab” a bowling ball without finger holes) a fine looking specimen and weighted down my cart immediately.

At the official tasting station, they were sampling Watermelon Cucumber Juice. Good stuff! I’d bought a container the week before, but hadn’t opened it yet. As Persian Cucumbers are one of my shopping-list staples, I looked in my cart and thought, “Cukes, watermelon…why not make my own juice?!”

Hydratedly inspired, I searched for a recipe and found a three-ingredient drink I thought I could master. The third ingredient was lime juice – and I found that it makes ALL the difference!

(Although there are several sites with similar recipes, mine came from AllRecipes.com. Thanks, AllRecipes!)

How To Make Watermelon Cucumber Cooler:

I used:

  • 4 Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 the fruit from a watermelon
  • 2 limes

Trim the ends off your cukes and cut into bite-sized chunks.

Cut the watermelon into chunks.

Combine the cuke and watermelon chunks and liquify in a blender or food processor.

Stir in the juice from the limes. It’s OK if a little lime fruit drops in, too!

It makes a pitcher-full of juice. Enjoy!

This is what it looked like:

Glass2 ingredients

Notes: The cukes were unpeeled. The watermelon had very few seeds, so I just let the few involved get mixed in the batch.

I had planned to make a fizzy drink by adding carbonated water to half a cup of juice, but I got caught up in the deliciousness, and the batch was finished before I remembered I wanted to do that! Next time.

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

 

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

Nuts about Trader Joe’s

7 Aug

I received the following message from my friend Maria. She, her mom and brother each have a favorite nut offering from the shelves of their local TJ’s on the East Coast of the U.S.:

First: Raw Almonds. My brother loves  these healthy raw almonds. They’re already packed in convenient single-serving bags so you don’t overeat.

And they’re a great price, less than $6 per pound. You don’t pay extra for the convenience of single packs!

packs of almonds

Single servings of handfuls

Second: Marcona almonds. My favorite. How did I miss these on my first trip to southern Spain in the ’90s, and how did I go so long without knowing about this special almond?

I just discovered these this past May on my second trip to Spain. Marcona almond trees only grow in the southern part of the country. They’re pricey but so worth it — crunchier and flatter than regular almonds. They’re roasted in oil, and the Trader Joe’s version includes rosemary seasoning.

Marcona almonds from Spain

A Spanish find

Finally: Pepitas. Shelled pumpkin seeds. My mom loves these.

They give you extra magnesium in your diet and taste great! No struggling with shells either. 🙂

Delicious pumpkin seeds

Pepitas: Not just a seasonal snack

Thanks, Maria!

Salivation Sunday: Summer salad video

19 May

This is a vegan offshoot of one of my favorite salads: Using watermelon in a savory way. The veggies are so delicious, by the end of this Anthropologie video, I want the bowl of salad in front of me immediately! Still waiting for that online feature.

Happy Sunday!

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