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where talking about what's for dinner while you're at lunch is totally acceptable

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Let’s Trade Trader Joe’s Secrets

Trader Joe’s is unlike any other grocery store I know. No muss, no fuss. Low prices without any coupons or cards to keep up with. Simple selection without lots of brands to sift through. No artificial flavors, preservatives, or trans fats. Outgoing, helpful sales people who ring bells and don’t yell over loudspeakers. Plus, TJ’s often has ingredients that I can’t find at a larger supermarket (i.e. lady fingers, saffron, frozen artichoke hearts) but still at a reasonable price. What’s not to love?

Well, there is one caveat. Since TJ’s shelves are only stocked with one or two options for each item, it’s easy to miss things. This is why we have to share our TJ secrets! Here’s a list of things I enjoy buying at TJ’s. Am I missing anything amazing?

  1. Frozen quinoa with veggies
  2. Frozen artichoke hearts
  3. Frozen gyoza (shrimp or veggie)
  4. Water crackers
  5. Bruschetta
  6. Wake up blend whole bean coffee
  7. Chocolate truffles
  8. Dried fruit bars
  9. Almonds
  10. Pizza dough

I even love TJ’s website because they have easy recipes like this one I made my own.

Wonton Soup
Adapted from Trader Joe’s
Serves 4

Olive oil
1 package TJ’s gyoza (I used shrimp)
1 onion, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1 box chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼-½ cup cilantro, chopped
Salt, to taste

  • Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven with oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) and lightly fry the gyoza over medium-high heat until brown and crispy on both sides. Meanwhile, chop your veggies.

  •  Once gyoza has browned, remove and drain on paper towels. Add a tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and toss in the onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté until the onions start to appear translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, cooking another minute or two.

  • Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a slow simmer. When the soup has some energy, add the soy sauce and sesame oil. When the soup is officially simmering, add the gyoza. Serve in bowls and garnish with lots of cilantro.
  • Optional additions: spinach, edamame, lime juice, green onion, and/or noodles.


Beseech the Peach

Summer is good for many things—wearing flowy dresses, keeping the ceiling fan on high, resurrecting the cooler from the basement, and smelling like sunscreen. But one of the best parts of summer is the produce, and eating fresh, ripe peaches is at the tip-top of my list. Peaches are so versatile, too, in all their tangy-sweet glory. Yes, I think it’s safe to say that this juicy fruit is my favorite. Since I’ve been trying to eat them every day while they are in season, here are a few things I’ve come up with.

Trader Joe’s used to carry the very best Greek peach yogurt. Sadly, it has been discontinued, so I had to come up with my own plan. Fortunately, this turned out to be even better.

Peaches & Greek Yogurt
Serves 1

1 peach, peeled & diced
½ cup Fage plain Greek yogurt (it’s the best)
1 sprinkle turbinado sugar
1 drizzle honey (optional)

  • Mix together and enjoy immediately. This has become my favorite summer breakfast.

Next, thanks to my new favorite thing Pintrest (seriously, it’s awesome) I stumbled upon an idea for a peach salad. And it was amazing! So, here you go.

Peach & Heirloom Tomato Salad
Adapted from White On Rice Couple
Serves 1

1 ripe peach, pitted & sliced
1 medium heirloom tomato, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
Kosher salt & pepper
2 handfuls baby arugula
1-2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled

  • Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper for the dressing.
  • Place the arugula on a plate and top with peaches, tomatoes, and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle the dressing on top and serve.

And lastly, one of my favorite local haunts, Marché, is serving up lots of tasty peach treats this summer, including peaches with house made ricotta on toasted bread and the most delightfully light peach and mascarpone cake that is to die for. I found a recipe here for a Summer Peach Chantilly Cake that I am going to try ASAP. Here’s a photo of her finished product that looks just like the Marché cake:

from Eat, Run, Read

Oh yes. This is next on my peach to-do list.