Trader Joe’s MUESLI CEREAL


Muesli is a classic cereal invented all the way way back around 1900 by a Swiss doctor. Muesli is a blend of whole grains, seeds, fruit and nuts.

Ingredients: Whole grain oats, sunflower seeds, raisins, rice crisps, pumpkins seeds, coconut, dried apple, sliced almonds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muesli

Trader Joe’s version of Muesli is quite good, and super Healthy stuff! One caveat about Muesli. You do need to let it soften up a bit. It needs to sit for at least 10 minutes mixed in your choice of milk or yogurt, or kefir. The longer the better. So actually the way I really enjoy Muesli is to mix some up the night before as “overnight oats” and that way its very soft and ready to eat in the morning. “Overnight oats” is not complicated. Just put some muesli/oats in a container and cover it with your choice of milk or plant milk and let it sit in the fridge.

When I eat it, I add fruit (banana, apple, berries) and a bit of something crunchy as a topping like TJ’s Grainless Granola.

A 16 oz bag is about $4.

Contains no added sugars

RAVE

How To Make Elote / Mexican Street Corn (Recipe)


Easy and everything you need at Trader Joe’s

If you’ve been in a Trader Joe’s you’ve probably seen that word – ELOTE – all over the store. TJ’s has a bit of an obsession with Elote. Just in case you don’t know what Elote is, “Elote corn” is a typical Mexican street food, being corn on the cob sprinkled with spices and cheese, served from street vendors carts. In Mexico City there are probably as many Elote carts as we have hot dog carts in NYC.

Elote corn is delicious, slathered with mayo, lime juice, dusted with chile powder and sprinkled with Mexican Cotija cheese. MEXICAN STREET CORN is not hard to make yourself, and conveniently, you can get everything you need at TJ’s. I just made some a few days ago with some really fresh corn and it was so yummy I thought I would share how to make it. You need: Fresh corn on the cob, Everything but the ELOTE SEASONING, CHILE LIME seasoning, some mayonnaise, fresh lime, and Cotija cheese (like a Mexican parmesan). As far as mayo, TJ’s Chile Lime Mayo might work great or Suzi’s Organic Mayo.

SHOPPING LIST: fresh corn, Everything But The ELOTE SEASONING blend, Mexican Cotija cheese (or Parmesan), Lime, Mayonnaise (Chile Lime Mayo?), optional, CHILE LIME seasoning

RECIPE – ELOTE / MEXICAN STREET CORN

If you can grill the corn, great, but steamed corn is fine. Cook the corn. When done, hold it with tongs (or spear on a chopstick) or just put it on some foil. Slather some mayo all over with a spatula (mayo is authentic but if mayo turns you off, just use butter). Next sprinkle on a generous amount of Everything But The ELOTE Seasoning all over. Next sprinkle a good amount of grated TJ COTIJA cheese (or Parm or Asiago). A squeeze of fresh lime. OPTIONALLY; if you want even more spice add TJ’s CHILE LIME Seasoning blend an/or a little hot sauce of your choosing. Done! Enjoy!

Does Trader Joe’s have an ELOTE obsession?

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/discover/entertaining/we-like-it-elote

https://traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/059063

Watch how fast this Elote vendor is !

   

TJ’s (fresh) SALMON BURGERS


“Made with Norwegian farm raised salmon” Ingredients include – Salmon, parmesan cheese, salt, panko breadcrumbs

Trader Joe’s SALMON BURGERS are in the fresh fish refrigerated section. They come packaged on a plastic tray with plastic wrap around them. They’re pretty soft and removing them from the package was a little tricky without breaking them. I ended up carefully cutting around the plastic wrapping with a sharp knife, till they were free. They kind of wanted to fall apart on me just trying to get them out, and I ended up sliding a spatula under each one to lift it out. So be warned, they want to fall apart on you. Frankly if this was my recipe, I would have put an egg plus some more binder (bread crumbs / panko) in the mixture – hmm, that may not be a bad idea, I may do exactly that next time and re-shape them.) I am guessing TJ’s wants you to see they are mostly fresh salmon with little binder, however in this type of “burger” made with ground fish, binders do keep things together.

I cooked these pan fried, in a tablespoon of butter first dusting them with some panko breadcrumbs all over before sautéing them. They are a bit under seasoned so I would give them a hit of salt and pepper. I could not taste Parmesan cheese though it’s listed as an ingredient probably as a binder.

“Cook 4-5 minutes, flip and cook another 4 minutes or to desired doneness.”

We did serve them as burgers on toasted hamburger buns and they were pretty good. I put some Tzaziki sauce on them but realized what I should have used: TJ’s Tartar Sauce – Of course that would match with these! I will get some for when I have these again. These were pretty good as burger on a bun but they might be equally good without bread just served on their own with some sides (rice, potatoes, veggies…?) and some lemon. They do need a bit of some sauce to liven them up, and next time I will try them with tartar sauce which should match perfectly with these salmon burgers. And don’t forget fresh lemon which will perk these up. Maybe a pinch of hot sauce too.

Two salmon patties cost $6.29 (just over $3 each) I would buy these again.

SHOPPING suggestion: Salmon burgers, buns, tartar sauce, lemons, lettuce.

TJ Mediterranean Style Hummus


Trader Joe’s sells SO many varieties of hummus. They may even have too many…. Don’t even get me started on “chocolate hummus” which I think is a crime against nature. Anyway this one is My TJ hummus. My “Go To” favorite. I think it’s their best one, one reason being that this “Mediterranean Style” hummus includes TAHINI in the ingredients. Incredibly, at least to me, is that some versions of hummus on offer at Trader Joe’s do not have Tahini in the ingredients. I don’t get this as Tahini (sesame paste) is an integral part of a hummus recipe and it is why it tastes good. I can only imagine some people don’t like tahini or its calories? Or an allergy? OK that must be why TJ sells hummus both ways, with or without it? Anyway their “Mediterranean Style” hummus is very tasty. It is a little fancier as on top they have a few pine nuts and spices. This is the way hummus is normally presented. When you serve it put it in a shallow bowl. A squeeze of 1/4 lemon would be good IMO (mix in juice). Run your spoon to make a circular groove all around the hummus and add a pour of your best EVOO. Sprinkle a bit of spice (Ajika for example, or ground cumin or zaatar) all around the perimeter attractively. Voila!

Serve with warm pita or naan or other flatbread.

The Mediterranean Style hummus costs about $4 for a 16 oz tub (it’s 50 cents more then the regular one with no tahini).

BTW, you can easily make hummus (which I occasionally do) Here’s a good recipe

https://www.themediterraneandish.com/how-to-make-hummus/

https://www.thespruceeats.com/our-favorite-hummus-recipes-4164898

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/what-people-get-wrong-about-making-hummus/2015/09/04/72c7c844-4dc5-11e5-902f-39e9219e574b_story.html

Trader Joe’s British Style CRUMPETS


Did you know that TJ sells “British Style Crumpets”? Maybe you didn’t even notice them, near the English Muffins. Well you may want to try these crumpets if you have never tried them. They are delicious and and quite different from English Muffins or most toasted breads. Crumpets are soft and full of holes almost like a pancake. Crumpets unique hole structure makes them great at absorbing melted butter of course as well as jam going into all those glorious holes. That is what makes them so scrumptious. Toast these up gently, until slightly golden brown, then top with good French or Kiwi butter and your favorite jam (or marmalade). They are both a bit soft and a bit crunchy, a fantastic combo. These crumpets are about $3.29 for a pack of six crumpets that come in two sealed plastic compartments. Personally I cut them in two and freeze one for later.

TJ’s CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN DIP


“A zesty dip with hearty black beans and the smokey kick of chipotle peppers”

Trader Joe’s CHIPOTLE BLACK BEAN DIP is delicious. I buy it all the time to have in the panty. I find this matches especially well for one thing with tortilla chips and especially with TJ’s Organic Corn Chip Dippers. It’s got a nice spicy kick from chipotle chiles. This dip is also excellent used as an ingredient. When I make quesadillas or tacos I either spread a little on the tortilla before cooking them, or just serve some on top or on the side. It has a spicy and smokey back beat from two kinds of chiles, ancho and chipotle peppers, which also gives it a bit of mild/medium heat. Naturally as dips go, this is way healthier to put out for people as opposed to dips which have way more fat and calories like a sour cream or cheese dip. You can even mix a jar of this with a can of the refried black beans which will make a nice side dish or a less spicy but still tasty dip. If you try this, you will love it too.

Match these with the fantastic CORN CHIP DIPPERS

A jar is $1.99 (12 oz)

TJ’s Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chiles


We start with vine ripened tomatoes, then we fire roast them to a subtle smokiness before adding organic green chiles… They’re ready to use in salsas, sauces, soups and stews….”

Ingredients: Organic fire roasted tomatoes, organic tomato juice, organic green chili peppers, organic vinegar, sea salt, citric acid, calcium chloride”

These excellent organic diced tomatoes are a great pantry item, and in fact I always keep a few cans ready as they’re so useful to have on hand. They are indeed “fire roasted”, you can even see little bits of char. You can use this just as-is on your tacos and quesadillas as a simple salsa or make a slightly improved one quickly in seconds by just adding a few things (ie, chopped onions, garlic, cilantro).

Use these as an ingredient in sauces, stews or soup as you would any canned tomatoes, but these will be tastier than plain ones. These make the base of terrific rices dishes, say cooking some Mexican rice or what have you, mixed in for some of the stock or water. And other cuisines too… I made a delicious Italian Ariabiatta / Puttanesca style pasta with a can of this, olive oil, a spoon of tomato paste, lots of garlic, capers, olives, a spoon of Bomba and some grated Pecorino over the finished pasta (or try this with Gnocchi). It only took about 5 minutes to come together and the finished pasta dish with Gnocchi was delicious. We devoured it.

$1.69 for a 14.5 oz can. There is a plain just tomato version too for $1.49 if you don’t want them with green chiles.

TJ’s CHILE LIME CHICKEN BURGERS


I buy Trader Joe’s ground chicken in the fresh meats section pretty regularly, however I came across these Chile Lime Chicken burgers (in the frozen section) which I had not seen before and thought I would get them to see if they were any good. I saw on the internet these are a bit popular. Ingredients are: “ground chicken, onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, natural flavor, salt, lime juice concentrate and red pepper flakes”. Well that sounds OK, right? Inside you find four burgers (1/4 lb each) so they are not very thick, quarter pounder size. I took two out and left them to defrost overnight in the fridge. As they are pretty thin I think they probably just need a few hours to defrost in the fridge so one could probably even take them out in the morning and have them ready for dinner.

I put them into a hot cast iron pan with a spoon of EVOO to grill them up, and cooked them for 3-4 minutes a side. To serve them, I put them on toasted buns spread with a nice amount of TJ’s CHILE LIME MAYO (tasty!) which was perfect for these as they are not juicy like beef burgers of course. They were actually pretty tasty served this way as burgers with lettuce and tomato, that chile lime MAYO and a few extras. If you make them like the picture on the box, with a bit of guacamole, I am sure that would be really tasty.

Would I buy them again? Well to be honest I prefer the softer texture of the fresh ground chicken in a burger over these. These were just a little tough texture wise, and frankly I can easily add a few ingredients to ground chicken myself each coating it with maybe AJIKA or CUBAN SPICE, and form a bit thicker patty of maybe a 1/3 lb. Therefore I probably would not buy these again. However you might like the obvious convenience of having these in your freezer.

These cost $3.49 for the package (16 oz containing 4 burgers). They are no doubt lower in fat than beef burgers having only 6g fat each.

TJ’s Organic Roasted Teriyaki SEAWEED SNACKS


TJ’s Organic Roasted Teriyaki SEAWEED SHEET SNACKS (aka Korean Gim/Kim)

These are very similar to the single pack roasted Seaweed Snacks TJ carries. You know, the little green sheets of seaweed that American kids love! These however come in a convenient “six pack”. They are labeled Organic and “Product of Korea” and “teriyaki flavor”. Unlike Japanese nori seaweed sheets which are sturdy and solid (used in making sushi) these Korean seaweed mini sheets (aka Gim or Kim) have been roasted with sesame oil making the texture much airier and crumbly so they will break apart if you bend them too much. So while not great for rolling up as traditional sushi, I do use these to make a kind of “easy sushi” style mini hand roll. Putting a spoon of Asian rice in the middle, then something on top of that (especially good with Spicy Tuna*) and a few strips of cucumber. These are so tasty. You can hold the seaweed in one hand and add the other things carefully, bend it gently and pop it in your mouth in one or two bites. Quite yummy this combo! See pic and also Maangchi’s descriptive How To in the link.

$3.49 for a six pack. I have a feeling these may work out to be a bit more economical than the single packs?

TIP: snip a few sheets up into little thin strips for a super rice topping.

* EASY SPICY TUNA RECIPE (using canned tuna)

Drain the water or oil from a can or two of your favorite tuna fish. To the tuna, add 2 tablespoons of Mayo. Then add about a tablespoon (or two) of your favorite hot sauce of your choosing such as Sriracha, Zhoug, Peri-Peri or whatever you like, to taste (you can add more if its not spicy enough when you taste it with the rice). You might add a few chopped Hot and Sweet Jalapenos to the mix. Add a chopped scallion or two, mix everything together, and refrigerate for an hour to blend the flavors. Serve with cooked Asian rice and these Seaweed Sheets.

HOW TO MAKE EASY SUSHI MINI HAND ROLLS: Hold a sheet of seaweed gently. With your free hand, put a teaspoon or two of cooked rice on it gently and make a slight indentation for the tuna topping. Add some spicy tuna and strips of cucumber. Not too much in one square or it may fall apart, just enough for a nice big bite. Put in to your mouth carefully!

You can also the tuna just putting some a spoon on top of asian rice in a bowl. You put a little tuna, a crunch of cuke, and then cover that with a square of seaweed. Carefully “fold it” (bend gently) into a little package using chopsticks (or your fingers).

Naturally you can use other toppings. Smoked salmon and avocado is a classic too.

Serving these with some Kimchi on the side would be great.

TJ’s “Peanuts For Chocolate!” ICE CREAM


Trader Joe’s Peanuts For Chocolate! Ice Cream

OMG. This new ice cream offering from Trader Joe’s is to die for (or rather kill you?) It should have a label on it: Warning “Highly Addictive”. I frequently see none in the case, as people are grabbing this stuff up.

Tasting it, I found it overwhelmingly rich but it was hard to stop tasting it, putting my spoon back in and saying over and over “just one more little taste”. A few minutes later I noticed somehow a third of the box had magically disappeared. It’s chocolate ice cream crack.

This ice cream sounds like something Ben & Jerry might have dreamed up: “Chocolate Ice Cream with Chunks of Chocolate Peanut Butter Joe-Joe’s Cookies and Peanut Butter Swirl” – this a very rich dark chocolate fudgey ice cream with textures of stuff here and there (cookie) and the occasional swirl of peanut butter. It didn’t look like the package exactly but no matter. It is simply incredibly delicious and addictive if you are a Chocoholic, like your humble narrator. The combination of chocolate and peanut taste is amazing, and incredibly rich. Listen I am not saying this is the healthiest thing in the world to eat, ‘cuz let’s face it, it sure as hell is not, however every once in a while, you can tell yourself you deserve something special for getting through this difficult period, you know…. So if you want to satisfy your deepest darkest chocolate addiction, this stuff will do it. I promise you though that little pint of ice cream will go way quicker than you imagined. Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t sell this in the bigger quart size.

$3.29 for a pint.

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