What's for Lunch? & Trader Joes
I want to start this post by talking about what I don't like buying from Trader Joe's, and 2 products that I can't live without...
First off, I NEVER buy frozen fish from Trader's (it's mostly from China, Vietnam, Bangladesh.....), and I don't like their produce at all. I don't like it because it's not fresh, it's always in a bag, which is great in a pinch, but TJ's produce seems to always be soggy or wilted or on its way out. I recently had to throw out a bag of their onions and sweet potatoes, since they were rotten in less than a few days, and the lettuce is always slimy.
Just my opinion and my experience, you are allowed to disagree.
However, I do go to Trader Joe's for my nuts, chocolate, frozen veggies, less expensive Kelly Gold butter and Vermont Creamery creme fraiche, which is always in my fridge.
But the 2 products I must have on hand is their corn salsa (in the chip aisle)...........it is amazing in chili, w/ chips and in omelets. I love it.
The other item is their OLIVE TAPENADE (in the refrigerated section).
Whenever a recipe calls for a cup of chopped kalamata or manzanilla olives, I now use their olive tapenade.
It is excellent on fish or chicken, or on crostini with some warm goat cheese and it's all natural.
I use it on my roasted cauliflower with some raisins tossed in and it's the best.
Ok, enough talking about product endorsements (which, by the way, I do not get paid for).
I woke up craving this salad, so I made it for breakfast and ate the eggs warm.
This salad is sort of a Salade Nicoise minus the potatoes.
It is best served when the eggs and beans are warm and good olive oil is a must.
White Bean Salad w/ Trader Joe's Tapenade & Tuna: (serves 4)
1 can of small white beans (Goya makes a tiny, firm white bean, perfect for salads)
1 can of good tuna, packed in oil (I like Tonnino brand), drained
1/2 cup of chopped mixed olives (kalamata & manzanilla w/ pimentos), or pre-made tapenade
1 lb. of haricot vert (skinny French style green beans)
4 hardboiled eggs, peeled & sliced in half
good olive oil for drizzling
squeeze of a lemon
Cook the eggs in boiling water for about 12 minutes. Peel and set aside.
In the same boiling water, cook the green beans (skinny beans only take about 2 minutes). Drain and refresh under cool water to keep them crisp and bright green.
In a bowl, mix the rinsed beans with the tuna and mix with the olive tapenade.
Arrange everything on a platter and drizzle with good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Season with flaky sea salt and enjoy.
Also, I've bought cottage cheese on more than one occasion only to find it green with mold when I open it up at home (and it was still sealed and well before the sell-by date). Of course they're happy to refund or replace but I'm kind of leery now. Lots of other items I do like them for though.
We live in Arizona during the winter and their produce and flowers are spectacular, as is their liquor dept.
However, when I come back to the east coast, the flowers are lousy, the produce blah, and some of the products are not there (they are regional).
and my east coast store has no booze. :(
Love their greek full fat yogurt, have you tried?