Monday, May 22, 2006

Carrots Elegante

My husbands maternal Grandmothers recipe...Modified a bit to use heart healthy olive oil. The original recipe calls for 8 tabelspoons butter. If you like you can replace all the butter with olive oil, Use a total of 4 tabelspoons olive oil in place of the 4 tablespoons butter and two tablespoons olive oil.

Carrots Elegante
2 lbs carrots peeled and shredded
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat Oven to 350

1. Mix together shredded carrots through sugar

2. Place mixture in Large Casserole dish, top with pats of butter, drizzle olive oil over carrot mix

3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Anytime Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every body loves cookies. Cookies are good mid morning with a cappuccino, mid afternoon with a glass of milk, or mid evening with an espresso. There is no bad time to have a cookie. Of course with all those little cookies comes a lot of extra fat and calories. Solution? The semi guitl free Anytime Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie. I can rationalize these sweet indulgences anytime day or night. with only one egg and half the fat replaced by apple sauce, they are a sweet indulgence that won't give you love handles...just in time for Valentines day.

Anytime Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 c All-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter softened
1 tbs vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, Set butter on counter to bring to room temperature. Place 1/2 cup apple sauce in a fine sieve or on thick papper towels. Drain 15 min

2. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, stir well, set aside.

3. In a medium mixing bowl combine together butter, brown sugar, and apple sauce. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (2 min), beat in vanilla and egg.

4. All at once add wet mixture to dry mixture, stir till combined.

5. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts (optional)

6. Drop by level tablespoon 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet

7. Bake 375' 10 min, or until almost set. Cool on pan 2 min or until firmk. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks. Yield 3 dozen.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Bran Flax Muffins

Right off the Bob's Red Mill Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal package. These muffins are a great mid morning snack. Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal is available at Trader Joes.

Bran Flax Muffins
1 1/2 cup Flaxseed Meal
3/4 cup Oat Bran
1 cup Brown sugar
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 cup Carrots, shredded
2 Apples, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup Raisins (optional)
1 cup Nuts, chopped
3/4 cup Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
1 tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350'F, lightly grease muffin tins with canola oil

1. Mix together flour, Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

2. Stir in caarrots, apples, raisins (if desired) and nuts.

3. Combine milk, beaten eggs and vanilla.

4. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingrrredients. Stir until ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.

5. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350'F for 15-20 minutes. Yields 15 medium muffins.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Egg Flower Vegetable Soup

Happy New Year! What was your first meal of the new year? I started my 2006 with good fortune at Mandarin King. I had the egg flower soup, Kung Pao Chicken, white rice, and of course tea. Lots and lots of Chinese tea. Not a bad way to start the year! I love Egg Flower soup, it is a simple, yet satisfying soup. As an Asian staple food, it has a short ingredient list and is easy to prepare. this week I made my own Egg Flower Soup.

Egg Flower Vegetable Soup
2 tbs corn starch
2 tbs water

5 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tbs TJ's low sodium soy sauce
1/4 + 1/8 tsp powdered ginger

1 cup frozen peas
2 cups Trader Joes Harvest Hodge Podge Eight Vegetable Mix (freezer section)

1/4 cup chives

1. Combine cornstarch and water.
2. Combine broth, oil, soy sauce, and ginger in a medium sauce pan; add corn starch mixture, bring to a boil.
3. Add peas and TJ's veggie mix, cook until tender 5-7 min
4. Slowly drizzle egg into soup, stir continually
5. Add chives

Friday, November 18, 2005

Lasagna Bolognese Part Two

Tonight was my first adventure using the Fresh No Boil Lasagna Noodles from Trader Joes. The noodles worked great. It tasted great, and my house smelled wonderful as the meaty Bolognese Sauce heated up. It took me 15 min to put the Lasagna together. Not bad considering my regular Lasagna takes double that. The no boil noodles make home made Lasagna possible on a Thursday night. I got home at 6:15 had it in the oven at 6:30 and we were eating at 7:15. I used eight of the Lasagna Noodles, the whole carton of ricotta and the jar of sauce plus about half a jar of another TJ's sauce Classic Marinera. The dish was a success. I do have some lessons learned I would like to share with everyone.

Lessons Learned
The only fault of this dish was that my sauce to noodle ratio was off. Too much sauce too few noodles. When I do this again I will use more Lasagna noodles, I used the amount I normally use for Lasagna, but as these noodles get only a little bit bigger there was a little less substance then I desired. I think thinner Ricotta layers with more noodles would be better. Next time I think I will use all twelve no boil noodles. It might have all been fine if I had used only the one jar of sauce called for, but as I was over generous on the sauce on the first two layers, I had little choice but to crack open another jar. Because I had so much sauce, I skipped putting the 1/4 cup water over the top that the demo girl recommended. Really any more liquid was superfluous. My final lesson was the whole creation needed to go into a bigger dish. It was a bit too tightly packed in my 9 x 11. Next time I may sprinkle the top with mozzarella just for looks. As far as flavor it didn't need the cheese. I think these minor tweaks will make the dish even better.

Overall liked the process, liked using the no boil noodles. I have about 6 of the noodles left so I am going to do a roll up with it...Also feeling inspired to turn the noodles into something Asian...More to come.

I paired the Lasagna with a Just The Leaves Romaine salad garnished with quartered Cocktail Tomatoes, and Black Olives. I dressed the salad with home made Greek Balsamic Vinegar salad dressing.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lasagna Bolognese

I am still on an Italian thing, though I did make a great Asian stir fry last night using The TJ's Hodge Podge vegtable mix and TJ 's Basmatti Brown Rice. I really need to devote a whole post to the Basmatti Brown rice as I have found it cooks different then any other rice I've used. Different in a good way-the kernals stay completely intacted with out getting starchy or Risotto esque...but I digress. Back to Italian, so the demo in Trader Joe's Tuesday was Lasagna using Fresh No Boil Lasagna noodles, Bolognese Sauce and Ricatta. I am going to make that up tonight...can't wait! I've made my Lasagna for years without pre-cooking the noodles (really who has time to cook noodles?) My method involves making the Lasagna the night before with lots of liquid then letting it sit over night (minimum 8 hours). The Lasagna noodles absord the liquid and soften. Tonight will be the first time I use no boil noodles. I was a little hesitant being the penny pincher that I am. No Boil Fresh Lasagna Noodles have to be more expensive then dry, right? But The TJ's demo girl sold me when she said the whole Lasagna can be made for under eight dollars. In my head that is less then $2.00 a serving which is acceptable. So I threw all the ingredients in my cart and headed on my way. Bolognese sauce really makes the Lasagna taste rich. I'll post tomorrow and let everyone know how it goes.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Trader Joe's Today Vol 1

Here is what I saw at TJ's Today...

Lots of fun stuff to try. The demo was Chickenless Chicken Nuggets those are pretty yum. I am not a veggie, but if I were I definately could survive on stuff like that. I also saw today that TJ's sells Broccoli Nuggets and Spinach Nuggets...Very intriguing. I am not sure what a Broccoli Nugget tastes like but I am intriguid, very intriguid. There are about 5,000 products I would like to try TJ's! I do try one or more new things each time I go to TJ's. At the rate of one a week it will take me pretty much forever to try all the TJ's product's but I am undaunted! My goal is to try every single one of them. Today, I brought home for the first time TJ's Basmatti Brown Rice, Fresh Salsa from the refrigerated section (to go with the Organic Corn Chips I discovered last week), Trader Joes Favorite Five English Cheese Wedge, and all natural PB Joe Joe's. I've been eyeing those PB Joe Joe's for a while at least since TJ's did their back to school display. I was particularly pulled in by the fall display of TJ's Apple Cider and Mini Oatmeal Raisin Cookies...Yum! I love TJ's cider, warm a little up and you will agree with me that this is the taste of FALL.

I was the victim of a Cart Napping again today, 2 weeks in a row another TJ's shopper has absent mindedley taken my cart. I'd like to think that TJ's shoppers are so engrossed in the amazing TJ's products that they forget which cart is their's or that possibly my cart has so many amazing well selected things in it that other TJ's shoppers "accidentally" take my cart. I am not sure what the deal is, but I will keep you posted on the cart napping...:)

Have you ever noticed that the average TJ's shopper is more attractive then a regular grocery store shopper? I'm not kidding, check it out. It has to be the food. I am a true believer that you are what you eat.

One thing I love about TJ's is that I always end up talking to various random people. Today it was a man looking at Gelato...he asks "Is this good" and since I have the very brand he is looking at in my freezer, I say "Yes". I have one of those faces that looks like I will answer your question and give you a fair answer...I look that way because I will. So seems like I am always helping other shoppers out in TJ's with "Oh, I've tried that and it is good. Try putting it with...". I seriously need to just start handing out cards with this web address. That would be helpful..

All for now...Have a good one

Monday, October 17, 2005

Trader Joe's Goes to The Movies

I love the movies, but I dislike movie theater food. I can think of many better things to eat then popcorn greased with butter "flavor" oil or processed cheese nachos (cheese just shouldn't come from a can). It is not that I am completely opposed to popcorn or nachos. I have many fond memories of these foods, most of those memories occurring in jr. high school. Nachos and popcorn were fine at jr. high basketball games, but now that I am almost thirty I don't want to pay $12.50 for flavorless, fat, processed food. To me it is just not worth the price.

Step in inspiration! Saturday night, I finally solved my love the movies-hate the food dilemma... I took Trader Joe's to the movies! Enlisting the help of my largest hand bag, I filled it with Thick Cut Fine Herb and Goat Cheese Potato Chips, and in a really daring move Imported Italian Chocolate Gelato. The key to the Gelato was bringing two spoons and several napkins from home. I warn you the Gelato is only for the daring as you will have to watch that you don't knock it over in your purse. Guys I am not sure how you are going to pull this off....May I suggest you date a lady who carries large hand bags? My date and I waited to munch down on our booty till the lights went out. Even under the cover of darkness I detected some jealous looks from our seat mates when when we pulled out the loot. No more over priced nachos, or greasy popcorn for me, from now on Trader Joe's goes to the movies.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Linguine and Meatballs

This is my version of spaghetti and meatballs I use Linguine noodles instead of of spaghetti. I prefer the way the marinara sauce sticks to the flat Linguine noodles.

Linguine and Meatballs
1/4 c TJ's corn chips with flax seed, finely crushed
1/4 c dry Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 lb TJ's ground turkey
2 large egg whites

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cups TJ's Classic Tomato Marinara sauce (1 26 oz jar)
3 cups hot cooked imported Italian Linguine (8 oz dry)

1. Combine first seven ingredients (corn chips through egg whites) in a bowl.
2. Shape meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs (approximately 16), set aside.
3. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large skillet. Place meatballs in preheated skillet. Cook5-7 min, brown on all sides.
4. Pour one jar TJ's Classic Marinara Sauce over meatballs. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Serve over hot cooked Linguine.
Yeilds 4 servings.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Orange Protein Power Drink

I am on a breakfast thing, and why not. Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. Mom knew it and so do nutritionists. If you are going to stay alert till noon or nine you need to have breakfast. I love this quick drink in the morning with my Joe's O's cereal. If you do not like soy milk, tofu or soybeans this drink is a great way to add soy to your diet.

Orange Protein Power Drink
1 to 1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 scoop TJ's vanilla flavor Soy Protein Powder

Mix till well combined. Enjoy Cold.
*note if this is all you are going to consume for breakfast double the amounts.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Good Morning Granola Cereal

Want to start your day off right? Of course you do...try this heart healthy granola

Good Morning Granola Cereal
Combine the following in your cereal bowl:
1 cup TJ's all natural granola
1 tbs cranberries (TJ's orange flavored is my favorite)
1 tbs walnuts slightly crushed
1 tsp ground flax seed meal (Bob's Red Mill, available at TJ's)
1/2 cup TJ's Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk....or if you just Don't do Soy....Cows Milk, Rice Milk, Almond Milk, your choice

Good For You Facts:
Oats-good source of fiber
Cranberries-great for your urinary tract (I hate that word...urinary)
Walnuts-heart healthy fat
Soy Milk-flavnoids 25mg a day may reduce the risk of heart disease. 1/2 cup TJ's Organic Soy milk has 4.5mg flavonoids that is almost 5% of the daily recommend value!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Dark Chocolate

It seems appropriate that my first post should be about chocolate. Cake is nice, cookies are pleasing, but when I really want something wonderful I reach for chocolate. The world is divided into two kinds of chocolate lovers: milk and dark. I have a general theory that a persons choice of chocolate tells a lot about their personality, but I will save that for another post. Suffice it to say I am a dark chocolate person. I like my chocolate bitter and intense with a hint of roasted coffee flavor. I am encouraged to read that dark chocolate contains flavonoids (see I knew chocolate must be good for me!), but truth be told if it didn't contain flavonoids I would eat it anyway!

About a month ago I tried Trader Joes Dark Chocolate Bar. I was really impressed with the taste and texture of this chocolate. TJ's dark chocolate is intense, smooth and pleasingly bitter. The chocolate is sold in three packs of 1.75 oz bars for $1.29 ( .43 cents a bar). For the quality I think this is a really great deal. The milk chocolate is equally as good, sweet and creamy. I haven't tried the mint, but now that I am writting this post I am inspired to do so. I like to keep a few bars stashed away in the pantry for "chocolate emergencies". I don't like to eat much junk food, but I find one square to half a bar makes a great dessert completely satisfying my craving for something rich.


Welcome to My Trader Joes Blog...Here you will find Great Recipes, Product Reviews, and Information on Healthy Eating The Trader Joes Way. Happy Shopping and Happy Eating!