Seen at Trader Joe’s: Jalapeños by the piece @ 29 cents!


I like that you don’t have to buy a whole bunch now; Often when I have a lot of them in the fridge, they arent used quickly enough and start to go bad and I just end up throwing out some. Now like Bananas, you can these by the piece. Naturally I will grab the biggest, freshest one I can find too to get the best bang for my buck (er, 29 cents). In fact, other than a banana I think this one of the cheapest items you can buy at Trader Joe’s? Good for the budget.

Trader Joe’s GARLIC SPREAD (with Spinach hack)


If you love garlic as much as I do, then you will adore Trader Joe’s GARLIC SPREAD . I find this stuff to be amazing. In fact, it’s become yet another TJ’s product I must have in the fridge at all times now. I think of it as much as an ingredient as a “spread”. You can use this and add it to a dish to give things an immediate flavor boost, kind of as you would fresh garlic.

A number of countries food culture’s have some type of garlic spread like this. In Lebanese cooking, they have the garlic spread, “Toum” (basically what TJ’s spread is). In Greece, they have a spread called “Skordalia” which is made from garlic, olive oil and potato. In the South of France they have the yummy yellow garlicky mayonnaise called, “Aioli” famously served with Bouillabaisse. Garlic with lemon acts as an emulsifier for the oil giving you a thick spread. Trader Joe’s version like Lebanese toum is an emulsified paste of garlic, oil, lemon juice and salt, traditionally made in a mortar and pestle. They did not skimp on garlic. TJ’s GARLIC SPREAD is so garlicky it’s not funny. True Garlic lovers will want to try this on everything. I came up with a great hack for Frozen Spinach, which you can make into a yummy dish in about 2 minutes with this garlic dip. See my recipe hack down below.

So what can you use this Garlic Spread on? To start with just try it on thin slices of toasted baguette, which will be match well with a salad or soup like croutons or garlic bread. This stuff is especially good for any pasta dish. Just toss in a spoonful into your finished pasta, especially tomato pasta (PESTO ROSSO? Add some of this to jazz it up! Use this instead of butter for cooking grilled cheese sandwiches. Put a little into your tuna or egg salad. Eggs, try some in an Omelet for some kick. Salmon or other fish, for sure. I’ve found it’s fantastic in mashed potatoes to jazz them up. Almost any vegetable dish will be enhanced with a spoon or two of this vegan garlic spread, so it’s ideal for vegans and vegetarians as well as us non-vegetarians. It was amazing on the CHICKEN SHAWARMA. Greek yogurt plus some of this spread makes and instant super easy tasty sauce. Here’s a recipe I came up with using spinach. This is a great tasting spinach dish in under 2 minutes.

SPINACH WITH GARLIC SPREAD HACK – Two ingredients: frozen spinach and garlic spread. Put the spinach in a colander and rinse it with water for about a minute until its defrosted. Shake or squeeze out most of the excess water. Toss the spinach in a pan with a little olive oil (or butter!) and cook for a minute or so till done to your liking (don’t overcook it) Add in a nice heaping tablespoon of the Garlic Spread and mix it in. Grind in fresh black pepper and a pinch of salt and its ready. It will look a little bit creamy and taste absolutely delish.

In fact most vegetable dishes will be enhanced with a spoon or two of this VEGAN spread, so it’s ideal for vegans / vegetarians to give a enormous flavor boost to most things. One thing to remember, it does have some calories as like a mayonnaise, its mostly oil. 2 Tbls have about 150 calories. Its $2.99. GREAT ITEM!

Trader Joe’s “COWBOY CAVIAR” (corn & black bean salsa)


“Corn, black bean and pepper salsa. Smoky sweet with just the right amount of kick” – Trader Joe’s

This is a must try, if you never had it. Both my wife and I really, really love this terrific salsa. We both even think it could be a pick for a TJ’s Top Ten.

“Cowboy Caviar” – You gotta love that name. “Cowboy Caviar” is a typical South Western dish made with kernels of corn, beans (black beans and/or black eyed peas) in a tomato base. Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar is a great version, maybe more in a salsa style with corn, black beans, red bell peppers, onions, jalapenos, lime juice and spices, with some kick to it, from chipotle chiles in adobe which give it a bit of heat plus a smoky undertone. TJ’s doesnt have the heat level rating on the jar. Call it a medium heat? This stuff is soooo good as a salsa, as a dip for chips, like the Corn Dippers, on top of tacos, on top of rice, with eggs, mixed into veggies, alongside grilled chicken, or as a little side dish…. you name it, I think it will perk it up. Its a really good pantry item to have on hand. You can put out some of this with chips or crackers and you can have something in a few seconds for unexpected guests. A jar now goes for $2.99 (13 oz)

I would buy it again.

Trader Joe’s HASH BROWN POTATOES


Trader Joe’s sells these frozen hash brown shredded potato patties. They are pretty good. I see a lot of people buying them. Maybe because they kind of resemble MacDonald’s potato patties? Basically these consist of three ingredients, potatoes, oil and salt. You can bake them as suggested on the package. A toaster oven will work for that too. It doesnt say this but you can make them on the stove in a pan, which is what I did. I added a tiny bit of oil to a non-stick pan and cooked them on low until the first side was golden brown, then flipped them, about 15-20 minutes in total. I would say you want these as crispy as possible. Now I don’t have an Air Fryer but I’ve seen other people report you can cook these in and Air Fryer and they work well getting nice and crispy without adding more oil.

The patties were pretty tasty, especially with the fried egg I had them with. I gave them a good dusting of black pepper and that improved them too. I can see you using these at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Things they match well with include ketchup, eggs, bacon, sour cream, or of course pretty much anything that would go well with potatoes. There are 10 patties in a package which now goes for $2.29. Trader Joe’s also sells frozen shredded hash brown potatoes in a bag, that is not in patty form just loose, the way you would normally make hash browns. Those would be good for adding things in during cooking such as some chopped onions and peppers, so also useful.

Trader Joe’s KALAMATA Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($5!)


Great price on a good extra virgin olive oil from Greece, single origin, Kalatmata olives. I really like the attractively designed tin it comes in too. “Bright and grassy in flavor with a light bitter finish”. I like it’s taste. 16.9 oz. $4.99? Super!

Seen at Trader Joe’s: OLIVE TREE Plants For Sale!


Olive Trees?!? Yes….wow, cool. For $13 it’s yours. Need to make up with someone? You could give them an olive branch!

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC FLAXSEED MEAL


Unfortunately Trader Joe’s recently seems to have discontinued their Whole Roasted Flax Seeds and replaced it with this version, Flax seed meal, meaning already ground. Bummer for me. I preferred the whole flax seeds to this already ground version! However if this is the only choice, then I will get this.

I have a second coffee grinder just for grinding up seeds and spices. I ground the whole flax seeds just before using! Oh well! I may go back to buying whole flax seeds elsewhere (Whole Foods?) however for the time being, I have these. I’ll use them for mixing into my TJ’s Kefir, and making smoothies and other stuff.

Good for Smoothies of course or adding into baked goods or pancakes. I even found this in a section called “Smoothies” at Trader Joe’s with things people make them with.

Keep this in the fridge after opening.

Trader Joe’s GREEK CHICKPEAS with parsley and cumin


Absolutely great pantry item. For out of a can, this is really tasty. The flavors are good, they have lemon, parsley, cumin, garlic and black pepper and the seasonings have permeated the chickpeas so they are way more tasty than if you just poured on sauce. My only small complaint is they used cheap (soybean) oil instead of olive oil to cut costs. However this is easily fixed with your own EVOO. I poured off most of the sauce and added a glug of good Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which improved it. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice too while you are at it, which will brighten it up so it tastes like you almost made it yourself. This would be great for say a picnic. We ate it as a side dish with some Falafel. Good match. Or add a can on top of salad to add some bean protein. Trader Joe’s describes this as kind of a “deconstructed hummus” as it has many of the same ingredients in it as hummus does. In fact I served it alongside some hummus and even put a bit of this on top of the hummus which is a typical serving style to put a few chickpeas on top.

A can is $1.99. PRODUCT OF GREECE.

I would buy this again.

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/greek-chickpeas-with-cumin-and-parsley-060205

Trader Joe’s DILL PICKLE SEASONING BLEND


NEW ITEM
Trader Joe’s “Seasoning in a Pickle” Dill Pickle Seasoning Blend.

Another of those products Trader Joe’s comes up with that until you tried it, you had no idea you needed, and then having tasted it you realize you now need this to be in your life, always. How do they do that?!

So yet another good addition to Trader Joe’s ever growing seasoning blends. I really like this DILL SEASONING BLEND. Basically if you like dill or pickles so will you. It’s loaded with dill and yes, tastes like a dill pickle with bit of pucker, the tang coming from vinegar (powder). So what can you do with this seasoning? For one thing, it’s great with potatoes. I sprinkled quite a bit on some mashed potatoes and it made them taste really special. It will be great with potato salad. Boiled or roasted potatoes. I even tried it on cottage cheese and I liked that too. Eggs? For sure. Salmon? Perfect. Especially good on the new Roasted Salmon Fillet. Dips: mix it with Greek Yogurt or sour cream. Coleslaw for sure! Basically I will be experimenting with this and try it on everything I think it might work with.

Give it a try. $2.49 a jar. I would buy it again.

https://www.traderjoes.com/home/products/pdp/seasoning-in-a-pickle-seasoning-blend-072778

“Made from a mix of alluringly aromatic spices, including garlic and dried dill, plus bright & zippy powdered vinegar, this stupendous Seasoning lends its tangy, salty, and delightfully dilly pickle profile anywhere it’s used. Sprinkle it generously onto roasted veggies or baked potatoes straight out of the oven, shake it over freshly scrambled eggs or Ground Beef Patties just before cooking, or make a dill-licious dip by mixing a few heaping tablespoons into a tub of sour cream or Greek yogurt.”

For those of you into the BUTTERMILK BRINED CHICKEN I have a feeling this will turn it into a way tastier bird.

Trader Joe’s ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS


Of all the different kinds of hummus Trader Joe’s sells, I wanted to try this one for awhile. When I finally tasted it, I was very pleasantly surprised at how good it is. In fact the ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS just became my new favorite of all the hummus I tried. It just has that little extra something from the roasted garlic which makes this a standout for me. It’s delicious and has just the right amount of the mellow roasted garlic flavor that blends perfectly with but does not overpower the overall flavor of the hummus. It was $1.99 for years but has gone up to $2.29 (8 oz) Yes, all of TJ’s hummus has gone up, sigh! Try this with TJ’s PITA CHIPS which are go great with hummus or eat the hummus with your favorite chip, crackers, or warm naan or pita bread.

NEED SOME SERVING IDEAS….?

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