Tag Archives: meal

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!

Advertisements

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

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

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.

My own private Guacamole

9 Aug

I love avocados. I love cutting them open and eating them straight from the shell. What a well-designed food – it comes with its own serving bowl!

I’ll get TJ’s mesh bag of avocados and go through them quickly, trying to make them last through the week. The other day, I was ready to dig into my last avocado of the bag when I thought, “I’ve got part of an old onion, some withering grape tomatoes … hmm.” Add a sprinkle of salt, and, voila, a makeshift fiesta for one!

The meeting of healthy foods: avocados, tomatos and onions

The meeting of healthy foods: avocado, tomatoes, onion

If I’d been planning to make guac, I’d have had some cilantro on hand, I might have used more spices and even, (why not?), glance at a recipe. But this was tasty to me!

Then I started thinking, what else can I do with this tasty mixture? My thoughts about optimizing guacamole are in the the next post. : )

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. : )

%d bloggers like this: