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….?

Trader Joe’s ROLLED OATS (recipe: overnight oats)


All Natural. WHOLE GRAIN. GLUTEN FREE. Loaded with fiber. What’s not to like?

Trader Joe’s ROLLED OATS are good. Among other uses, I use these to make OVERNIGHT OATS which make a terrific breakfast. Need a no-recipe recipe? Here you go: Put some rolled oats into a container and cover them with your favorite ‘milk’ (I use TJ’s Oat Milk) and add some Kefir or yogurt. Stir, cover and leave the the container in the fridge overnight. Options? Maybe add a hint of a little natural sugar, some dried fruits: raisins or cranberries. The next morning you will have yummy but not mushy Overnight Oats ready and waiting for breakfast. These DIY ones are better (and way cheaper) than the prepared overnight oats TJ sells already made in the refrigerator, which for me are way too mushy from having sit “overnight” for a few weeks (!) To Serve: top your Overnight Oats with some fruit, sliced bananas perhaps, and maybe something crunchy, like cereal or Granola. Maybe some chia seeds too! I tried TJ’s “toasted rolled oats” but I didn’t taste any toasted notes any different from these oats (those say organic and cost more of course. So I stick with buying the bag of these rolled oats. This large bag of Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats is $3.99 (for 2 lbs, or $2 per pound). Of course you can cook these oats up for hot oatmeal. Personally I do prefer the texture of TJ’s Steel Cut oats for oatmeal and buy those as well. Use these oats for baking, and cooking too. I mix these into meatloaf for the binder.

GLUTEN FREE of course.

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.

Trader Joe’s “Azmari BUUNNI Coffee” Afro-Latin blend


This blend combines Ethiopian delicacy with Latin verve…Notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry”

A blend of African & Latin American coffees
The striking, terrific graphic design of this bag of Buunii AZMARI coffee really caught my eye when I saw it recently in Trader Joe’s NEW PRODUCTS section. Bold bright colors and stylized images that say “farm” to me. Best is that the coffee inside the bag is as good as the outside. This Azamri BUNNII blend is an excellent coffee in a whole bean medium roast. In this case, an actual light-medium roast as some people complain Trader Joe’s medium roasts are a shade darker. The coffee is from a smallish coffee outfit called BUUNNI COFFEE which I am glad to learn is being sold under it’s own brand at Trader Joe’s locations in the North East. The packaging for Trader Joe’s looks different from their other packaging so likely it was specially made for TJ’s and the graphic design really works. It certainly caught my eye. Opening the convenient air-tight zip closure on the bag (yet more good design) I got a lovely coffee smell and when I ground the coffee, the aroma was truly wonderful. It did kind of have as they say “notes of chocolate, nougat, cherry…”. This coffee has a perfect mix of the best of “African” and “South American” coffee styles, for good reason, as that is exactly what this blend is composed of: two Ethiopian single origin coffees mixed with a coffee from Honduras. It has that “winy” sharp African coffee note which that is then balanced by the Latin American smoother notes of the single origin Honduran coffee. An excellent blend, roasted perfectly to bring out the best of this coffee. Trader Joe’s is selling it for $9.99 a bag (12 oz). I would buy this again, gladly and hope you give it a try; I don’t think anyone wouldn’t like this. This is an impressive “high end” coffee for a good price, well worth checking out if you see it and are a real coffee lover!

update: i went back to buy more and couldn’t find it; I am thinking (hoping) just out of stock… we’ll see – update2 – its back in stock (jun 2022)

https://www.thespruceeats.com/ethiopian-coffee-culture-765829

Trader Joe’s ORGANIC CHIA SEEDS


Trader Joe’s Organic Chia Seeds

If you aren’t eating chia seeds by now, you probably should be.

You’ve no doubt heard about what a superfood chia seeds are and all it’s health benefits. These tiny powerhouse seeds are packed with protein and Omega 3’s and other goodies. When soaked in liquid the seeds swell up into a gel. So they are great for adding to cereal, smoothies, yogurt or pancakes. They can be used as a thickener. The seeds are really tiny so be careful as if you spill some they have a tendency to go everywhere. Rather than pouring them out of the bag, I keep some in a jar so I can pour them or scoop out a huge tablespoon every day which I mix into oat milk and kefir. They take a little while to swell up and absorb liquid so I wait 10 minutes af so. A 12 oz bag of them now sells for $5.49. Trader Joe’s sells a number of superfood seed items, chia seeds, flax seeds, a mix of chia and flax, and hemp seeds. All of these tiny superfood seeds are good for you and things you can incorporate into your daily diet, especially I think at breakfast when you can eat a few tablespoons easily in cereal, yogurts, and smoothies.

Trader Joe’s carries a few superfood seeds: CHIA SEEDS, FLAX SEEDS, HEMP SEEDS. I saw a whole “smoothies section” featuring these seeds plus other products good to make your morning smoothie

https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-chia-seeds

Trader Joe’s PINEAPPLE SALSA


Trader Joe’s PINEAPPLE SALSA

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this but I was actually pleasantly surprised at how much I did like it when I tasted it and how good this salsa really was. I think the name put me off. Actually it’s quite good and I think if most people try this, they will like it too. Even though pineapple is in the name and is listed as the second ingredient on the list of ingredients, it doesn’t stand out and taste “pineapple-y” or overly sweet; it is completely blended into the other flavors. It does have a hint of sweetness but it tastes like salsa, not pineapples. I have a feeling this is salsa that even people who don’t like salsa will like! You know the “I don’t like salsa; its too spicy for me” type. As you can see from the “heat scale” on the label this is a fairly mild salsa with only a small amount of spiciness. Now as pork and pineapple are a famous match (eg, tacos al pastor) I would try TJ’s Pineapple Salsa on top of some Carnitas tacos. It would be great also on nachos, rice, shrimp, salmon, eggs, or anything you can think of. You could brush this on at the end of grilling / broiling chicken and it would great. A 12 oz jar is $1.99, so at under two dollars this is one of the cheaper salsas on offer at Trader Joe’s. I would gladly buy this again. Ingredients: Tomato, Pineapple, Onion, Green Pepper, Vinegar, Cane Sugar, Salt, Garlic, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Red Pepper

Trader Joe’s High-Oleic ORGANIC SUNFLOWER OIL


Trader Joe’s High-Oleic Organic Sunflower Oil

I normally use a good deal of olive oil for cooking. However there are times when you want, or a recipe specifies, to use a “neutral flavored oil”. Meaning you shouldnt use olive oil which has a distinct flavor. In this case the oil I use is this TJ’s Organic Sunflower Oil. It’s a very good neutral vegetable oil, in fact, it’s a fine all-around cooking oil. Basically whenever I am not using olive oil, I’m using this sunflower oil. For example it’s what I use when I am making a Chinese or other Asian dish which always specify a “neutral” vegetable oil that won’t affect the other flavors in the dish. Plus Sunflower Oil is good for high heat, good for Wok cooking. I had to look up “high-oleic”. But this sunflower oil is High Oleic means its quite healthy too, maybe even more than olive oil. And this oil is ORGANIC. TJ’s Organic Sunflower Oil is quite reasonable at $3.99 for a 33.8 oz bottle, which is of course far less than olive oil. So you probably want this as your “other” oil, like me. I would buy this again.

UPDATE: (Jun. 2022) Product seems to be M.I.A. Possibly either a supply chain issue and hopefully not discontinued.

Trader Joe’s EGGPLANT GARLIC SPREAD


“A traditional Bulgarian recipe that pairs well with pita or flatbread. Use as a dip or as a spread on sandwiches, toast or crackers”.

Ingredients: Eggplant, red peppers, water, sunflower oil, tomato paste, sugar, sea salt, dried garlic….

This spread, which is made in Bulgaria, is absolutely delicious. I tried this (vegetarian) spread as a dip served with some warm flatbread – a combo made in heaven. I can easily see this used in other ways besides being just a dip or spread. You could serve this on top, or on the side of say grilled chicken or fish. Or pasta. Add a few spoons to your pasta dish (or gnocchi or polenta) along with lots of garlic and olive oil. Inside an omelet? Sure. Now as yummy as it is, personally I would like more garlic. I have a feeling if your (Bulgarian) grandma made this spread it might actually have enough garlic in it to kill vampires. My late Jewish grandma (Romanian by birth) made a delicious roasted eggplant spread that had a ton – and I mean a ton – of garlic in it and it was fantastic. So just to see if more garlic would be a good addition with this spread, I mashed up a few cloves of garlic, mixed it in and let it sit for an hour to develop. OMG, it was now even better, if you love garlic of course. So I suggest doing this and adding a slug of good olive oil too. If you do this, the spread tastes homemade! However even just out of the jar, this spread is delicious, kind of an “Eggplant Caviar”. This spread is something I can easily see putting out for guests who suddenly showed up, along with some crackers, which would take all of 2 minutes of work, and would look impressive and have them asking you “yum, this dip is delicious; did you make it?”. If you put a few cloves of garlic in it, I would tell them with a straight face, yes I did. Its $2.69 for a 12 oz jar. Serve with warm pita or naan, or flatbread or toast or crackers…..

I would buy this again.

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