Tag Archives: salty

Epic Bars: Stylish snacking

8 Dec

epicbars

You know what these are. You might deny it, but, come on. You can tell.

Even with the sleek packaging and the cool name promising an “Epic” experience, (though it delivers), you know.

It’s clear even though each parcel is veiled with the requisite hipster labels: “100% natural,” “X g. Protein,” the predictable “Sriracha” and the inevitable, “Gluten Free.”

There’s chicken, because that’s what’s for dinner anymore. And it’s NOT beef. It’s bison, the cow’s sophisticated cousin from the range.

You knew what these REALLY were from the moment you flipped the pretty package over and saw the enticing block of melded meat parts, albeit including cranberries, the tight-fitting plastic wrap clutching the treat within.

These are the next generation of on-the-go meat snacks. But you won’t find them sold at a service station. They rest in woven baskets at gourmet, high-end and unique food stores. They sit waiting for the lucky consumer in bins at the exclusive corner market in Brooklyn, and yes, at our favorite grocery mecca, Trader Joe’s.

Come on. You knew it: Beneath the slick wrapper and trendy words, these are your old friend Slim Jim with an advanced degree in delicious. “Stout James,” you might say.

What the new set of duds and fancy stores really do are take away our Slim Jim guilt. “Look at all these great qualities,” we say, trying to fool ourselves that Epic treats are more energy bar than meaty meat bomb.

We’re wrong, of course. But it’s a nervous, naughty, joyful wrong. When Epic slips out of his pop packaging, this bad boy’s all Jimbo. Healthier, classier, but still. Wink.

And while we’re devouring every speck, we choose to ignore the truth for a giddy glimpse of gas station bliss.

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.

Happy Pickle Day! Pucker up and let the celebration begin!

14 Nov Pickles from Trader Joe's

Whether you’re feeling sour or sweet, this is a dilly of a day for pickle lovers. And Trader Joe’s is no slouch in offering a tasty array of gherkin goodness.

From traditional …

Pickles from Trader Joe's

The salivation starts here.


 

 

 

 

 

… to sublime.

popcorn that tastes like a dill pickle

Pickle Popcorn, making tastebuds happy since 2015

But you can also find ingredients at Trader Joe’s to make your own fabulous pickles – and what better way to celebrate than with a brine binge?! Check out “A Good Thing To Do With Persian Cucumbers from Trader Joe’s” for a mouthwatering pickle recipe, with step-by-step instructions.

And for facts, history and recipes about National Pickle Day, check out this post from International Business Times.

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

 

Guacamole: three ways

10 Aug

In the previous post, I revealed that my refrigerator needed a little cleaning. I found a friend in a single avocado to help me get rid of the last of some cherry tomatoes and an onion:

The meeting of healthy foods: avocados, tomatos and onions

The meeting of healthy foods: avocado, tomatoes, onion

As dip-olicious as the bowl of naked guac tasted, a burst of creativity hit, and I thought of other ways to serve it.

1) My colorful meal could be used in a lettuce wrap:

Guacamole lettuce wrap

Guac wraps: Swaddled in Romaine

2) Cradled in a taco shell:

guacamole taco

Guac tac (also pictured: TJ’s Cheddar and Horseradish Chips)

Or 3) It could be returned from whence it came – from shell to shell – with kind of a “ladies’ lunch” vibe:

Guacamole to share with friends

Gussied guac

I’m thinking, you pair this guac-in-the-shell serving with some homemade gazpacho (my favorite recipe), a basket of Pita Bite Crackers and you’ve got a party going on!

Do you have other ways to serve guacamole? Please share in the comments!

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!

A seasonal reminder: Persian Cucumbers

10 Apr

Note to self: It’s time to make another batch of pickles!

Maria sent this endorsement:

“My brother turned me on to these cute seedless cucumbers. Easy to slice one up and throw in your salad for some crunch and texture. No peeling required!”

It's pickle-making season again

Pickle-perfect cukes

Thank you, Maria!

Thanks, TJ’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

Like Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Facebook: Trader Joe’s KC Fans

Related links:

A good thing to to with Persian Cucumbers – Pickle-making recipe (ThingsILoveAtTraderJoe’s.com)

%d bloggers like this: