Trader Joe’s Hot Weather, Must Have, Summer Staple Items!


Its HOT all over the U.S. at the moment. Here’s just a couple of suggestions for some Trader Joe’s staples that are good to have on hand for hot weather, that can make easy pantry meals you don’t have to cook, or barely have to, and you can just throw together quickly.

Canned Salmon

TJ’s Fresh (cooked) Roasted Salmon Fillet

Greek Chickpeas

Hummus

Pita Bread / Pita Chips

Norwegian Crispread

Eggplant Garlic Spread

Shaped Pasta (tuna pasta salad)

Cans of Tuna

Rye Bread

Baked Tofu

Japanese Sesame Dressing

Coleslaw

Greek Yogurt

Ice Cream (your pick)

Parsley, Lemons, Olive Oil, Red Onion, Celery, Lettuce, Salads

Trader Joe’s fresh, fully cooked, ready to eat, ROASTED SALMON FILLET


This is now one of my favorite New Products at Trader Joe’s. A fully cooked, lovely fillet of Roasted Salmon. Find it in Refrigerated near the fresh fish and smoked salmon. This cooked piece of salmon is so handy and convenient, especially for hot summer days, or anytime you don’t want to cook (or smell) fish cooking. The salmon is fully cooked but just barely, it’s incredibly moist, so you can even heat it up a wee bit if you like, which I did. Now the first time I bought this I didn’t check the dates carefully, and when I opened it, I smelled the tiniest bit of a fishy smell. A sprinkle of lemon took care of that and it tasted fine. However the second time I bought it I checked a few packages and noticed some had a date maybe a day or even two older than another package. So naturally I picked out a package with the most recent date, and when I opened it that night for dinner the salmon had no smell at all. So check the packages carefully and get the latest dated ones.

For under five bucks you get a lovely fillet of farmed Atlantic salmon from Norway. No bones. Skin on. You can slip off the skin in a second. I actually enjoy salmon skin if its crispy. So I tossed the fillet into a hot pan skin side down for maybe 90 seconds to crisp up the skin. Then I flipped it and gave it about 30 seconds on the top side too to get a little sear and color (this is all completely optional of course as it is already cooked). However I did think it was slightly improved with this little searing and I was very careful not overcook the fish. Plating it up I sprinkled some TJ’s DILL SEASONING BLEND on which is a perfect match for this. I flaked up the fish with a fork, put it on a plate with a squeeze of lemon. It was delicious and a pretty good deal for $4.99 (5 oz portion) Of course the fresh Norwegian farmed Atlantic salmon TJ sells for $10/lb is an even better deal if you don’t mind cooking.

note a little color from my searing the fish briefly

To second time I tried this salmon I thought it would be perfect to make some Japanese “Nori Hand Rolls”.

Sushi Style Salmon Hand Rolls Bites

I made some Sushi Rice and served up these tasty little bites of Salmon Hand Rolls (“Temaki Sushi”) with the salmon and matchsticks of cucumbers on TJ’s SEAWEED SNACKS (nori). One piece of salmon was enough for two of us with the rice and other things. We REALLY enjoyed these sushi bites. You take a square of nori in one hand, gently spoon on a little sushi rice add some salmon and cukes, then pop the whole bite into your mouth. This is super tasty. Really, try making this, it’s fun and delicious.

Want to learn how to make sushi rice? Its not hard and TJ’s carries the rice vinegar (you have salt and sugar). Sadly I’m afraid they’ve discontinued the CALROSE RICE they had! I’m bummed about that as med/short grain rice is best for sushi rice and it was easy to get it at TJ’s while they had it. Oh well. In a pinch, Jasmine works if you can’t get short/med grain rice.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/99211/perfect-sushi-rice/

I would think even though this salmon is cooked its still best to use it the day you buy it, if you can. If not, you could keep it in the coldest part of the fridge to use the next day (or in a pinch freeze the whole package and when ready to use, do an overnight defrost in fridge).

PS – If you dont like / eat salmon skin, and you have a pet, don’t throw it away; Wash it off as much as possible and give it to your cat or dog. They’ll likely go nuts getting some healthy healthy Omega-3’s and fish oil.

Trader Joe’s suggest this goes well with the new TAMARIND SAUCE (I’ve yet to try it)

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/recipes/60-second-tamarind-salmon

60 Second Tamarind Salmon
Sweet and tangy with a gentle heat, Trader Joe’s Tamarind Sauce delivers maximum flavor with no prep time required. Slather it on a Trader Joe’s Fully Cooked Salmon Fillet and serve atop a bed of rice or salad greens for a protein-packed, positively satisfying meal that’s ready in about a minute. For a pleasant crunch, top with Trader Joe’s Crispy Onion Chips and fresh green onions.

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC BROCCOLI SLAW


This makes a really good coleslaw. We really liked this as a slightly different coleslaw from the regular cabbage one.

I made the recipe like the package describes with one difference, basically using way less than the “1 cup” of dressing they suggest. You don’t need that much; if you need more sauce just add a little vinegar and a little honey or palm sugar.

Yes it does say “organic shredded broccoli stalk”. I promise you won’t even know, the finished slaw will soften up and be like any regular coleslaw after it marinates for awhile (20-30 minutes).

COLESLAW RECIPE (my modified version): Dump this in a bowl. Add one grated apple (grate on box grater with skin), a handful of dried cranberries or golden raisins, add about an ounce or two of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and add just enough of your favorite dressing to lightly coat things (maybe a 1/4 to 1/3 of cup? The package says 1 whole cup of dressing – come on, that’s way too much. I used TJ’s Organic Ranch Dressing. Or you can just add some mayo. A sprinkle of DILL SEASONING will be nice in this. Mix everything up and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes in the fridge to marinate. It will soften up. The slaw can easily stay in the fridge for the next day. This is a very tasty and healthy side dish!

You can even sauté these veggies for a cooked dish.

Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD


NEW PRODUCT: Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD. This is one of those Trader Joe’s products which once you try, you say to yourself “This is something I didn’t even know I needed but now that I know how good this is, I want this in my life from now on”. I saw this the other day in the NEW PRODUCTS section. Like so many Trader Joe items, you see it and are instantly curious to try it and see if it’s any good. Well guess what? TJ’s DILL PICKLE MUSTARD is really good. It tastes exactly what the name says it is, mustard with dill pickles. It’s a very good classic American yellow mustard with dill pickles in it and a lot of dill flavor. Hitting two good tastes combinations at the same time. If you like dill pickles you will probably love this as much as I did. I put it on a hot dog and it was so yummy. What if I put this on a cheese sandwich? What about on a melted cheese sandwich? I can even see mixing a little bit of this into mashed potatoes too…?

$1.99 (9 oz bottle) I would buy this again.

TJ Fresh Mozzarella Log (w/ CAPRESE SALAD recipe)


 

RAVE

I think I can get this review in just in time for End of Summer when one can still find excellent tomatoes. The perfect thing to pair with juicy farm fresh tomatoes is this Trader Joe’s Fresh Mozzarella Cheese Log. Unlike the firmer low moisture “pizza” mozzarella, fresh mozzarella is a softer milky fresh cheese. Fresh mozzarella is perfect for pairing with tomatoes, basil and good virgin olive oil for a super easy and delicious classic: a “Caprese Salad” (Insalata Caprese) Caprese Salad is the simplest of Italian salads, with sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, dressed with olive oil. Like a Pizza Margherita, it features the colors of the Italian flag: green, white, red.

This mozzarella is shaped as a log and is pre-sliced into rounds which makes this super convenient and easy. Open it, and put the rounds of cheese on a plate with sliced tomatoes. You can arrange them artistically, alternating tomato and round of cheese if you want to impress but even just cutting the slices into quarters and tossing with cubed tomatoes is fine! Douse with some good extra virgin olive oil of course! Sometimes I add a few capers and a little of the caper liquid.

With some good bread you have a super easy dinner or lunch and a small slice of heaven ready in minutes especially if you can find great tomatoes. Serve this salad to guests and they will love it. And the fresh mozz is good of course just eaten as is, put on a cheese plate, or used to make a terrific sandwich.


A 1 lb package is $4.99 ($5.99) which for fresh mozzarella is as usual, a pretty good deal chez Trader Joes.

RECIPE CAPRESE SALAD (INSALATE CAPRESE): Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella on a plate or platter. Tear up a good number of fresh basil leaves and sprinkle them all over everything. Drizzle with some good extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. (OPTIONAL: some jarred capers with some of their juice, or a very small amount of a vinegar especially Balsamico) Serve with a nice crusty bread.

(Post Summer) If you can’t get great tasting beefsteak tomatoes get the small cherry egg shaped Italian tomatoes Trader Joe’s carries. They are a little expensive but are really tasty, cut in half, and mix up with cut up mozzarella. Can you make pizza with this mozzarella ? Yes, it will give up some more liquid so a super hot oven is important.