Tag Archives: Trader Joes

Trader Joe’s hoe

So, I have been at my internship for far over half a year now, and I still have not gotten to partake in what I was looking forward to most. The main endocrinologist, (we’ll call him Dr. X) prescribes his patients a diet to aid them in their quest to become pregnant or just to balance their hormones. As a nutrition aficionado, I was really excited to sit in on him advising his patients about their diet, and we even talked about me possibly developing some recipes to go along with the diet. Week after week, though, I have either not been available at the proper times, or the patient hasn’t been willing to let me sit in the room with them. Last week, I finally thought I was going to be able to shadow a new patient visit and I was all set to disappear into the corner to listen. The nurse approached the new patient in the waiting room to make sure that it was okay if ‘our new intern sat in and listened’ to the appointment. I couldn’t hear the patient’s response, but when the nurse turned and came to find me, I could tell from her face that the patient had said no. She told me that the patient had gotten really flustered and said no before she had even gotten the full question out. Apparently, she was a bit shaken up from being pulled over on the way to the appointment. Although disappointed, I understood. But it got me thinking about vulnerability and control.

Getting pulled over is scary and sometimes completely unexpected. It makes one feel vulnerable and like they don’t have control over what happens to them. Many things in life be that way; deaths, arguments with loved ones, illnesses, accidents, and loss. It is often in this state of emotion that I find myself denying others or just being a bit bitchy. I think the logic is something like,  I cant control this, this or this, but I can deny this person this thing, or I can say this in this particular manner. Maybe this is all ridiculous, but my guess is that the patient felt the desire to get a sense of control back, and the quickest and easiest way to do that was to deny the first request made to her. Not only was she exerting control over something that related to her, but, better yet, she was able to exert control over another person. For many people, control = comfort. This is goes along with the thought that most eating disorders are not actually related to food, but a desperate attempt to have control over something, anything in one’s life. I don’t know exactly how I feel about that, but I definitely am going to start watching myself for patterns of vulnerability/frigidbitch.

Anywho, enough philosophical blabber and on to a recipe or two! This first recipe is from the magazine Whole Living. I was so excited because the star ingredient was ricotta and I had a whole new tub of it in my fridge. I got so amped to make it that I ended up forgetting…. the ricotta. However, it was so delicious without it that I didn’t realize I had left it out until I started to blog it!

Crispy Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas, and (maybe) Fresh Ricotta

Recipe: Serves 2-4, depending on snack or meal

1 bunch broccoli rabe, rinsed and trimmed

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained

2 cloves garlic, sliced

3 tbsp EEVO, plus extra for drizzling


1 cup ricotta (apparently, this is optional because its damn good without)

crushed red pepper flakes (don’t leave this out!)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions – Heat broiler. Toss broccoli, chickpeas, and garlic with oil; season with aslt. Broil 2 minutes then flip and briol until leaves are crisp, about 2 more minutes. serve topped with ricotta and red pepper flakes. Add lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

This was so satisfying and tasty. When served with, chicken or scrambled eggs, it made a delightfully complete meal. 

This next food item can hardly be considered a recipe. It’s pretty much an easy, no brainer meal that can be made in under 10 minutes. Furthermore, I purchased all of the ingredients at Trader Joes. I might just start a Trader Joes Recipe series, because that seems to be what I live off these days. Itssodarncheap.

Whole grain pasta tossed with wilted spinach, goat cheese, caramelized onions and smoked andouille sausage

Ugly photo but it tasted supair good.

Recipe: Serves 1

1 cup cooked whole grain pasta

1 TJ’s smoked andouille sausage (or the chicken apple sausage)

handful baby tomatoes

1 cup spinach

handful mushrooms

3 tbsp onion, chopped

2-3 oz goat cheese


Directions – Prepare the pasta and sausage according to directions. Saute the spinach, mushrooms, and onions with a dash of olive oil over the stove. In a bowl, combine the pasta, veggies, sausage and goat cheese. Toss, top with shake of salt, and enjoy!


Chickpeas * 1 cup contains 164% of your daily needed molybenum, 85% of your manganese, 70% of your folate, 20 grams of fiber, and grams of protein!Molybenum is important because the body uses it to detoxify sulfites. These sulfites come from preservatives, including prepared foods like a restaurant salad bar! Because of their high fiber content, chickpeas can lower cholesterol, keep you fuller for longer, and prevent a blood sugar spike.

Whole wheat pasta * unlike refined white flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Onion * Contains quercitin, an antioxidant that halts the growth of tumors! Also, studies have linked regular onion consumption with lower cholesterol and reduced risk of colon cancer. A prime source of chromium.

Mushrooms * a great source of niacin, potassium, and selenium!

The best way to get your professor’s attention..

If you ever want to get someone’s attention – and I mean anyone – munch on kale chips in front of them.

I was at my Biochem professor’s office hours with about 20 other students itching to get some tidbits about the midterm and was having zero luck getting his attention to ask a question.

So, I pulled out a snack.

It was green and flaky. It looked like seaweed. It was delicious.

It was kale chips.

In the midst of talking, he abruptly stopped, mouth hanging open, and asked, What are you eating? I responded with a meek …Kale chips…Wanna try one? And he did! After saying you couldn’t pay me to eat that, he popped one in his mouth and liked it. Keep in mind that this is man who wears cowboy boots and jeans to lecture and only eats animal fat and protein and seems to imbibe on a daily basis.

He continued to eat my chips for the rest of office hours.

This shiz costs you 7$ for a tiny bag at Whole Foods and 9$ at Daily Juice in Austin! My recipe only costs 2.50$. Score!

Homemade Zesty Kale Chips

Recipe: Makes 1-2 servings

1 bunch kale, destemmed

1/4 cup cashews

1 small red bell pepper

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp yellow curry paste or powder

1 clove garlic

1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp chopped sweet onion

1/2 tsp cumin

sea salt

Directions – Combine everything except the kale in a blender. Blend until smooth. Rub the mixture onto the kale stalks. Lay the stalks single file on a baking sheet.

If you want them to be more raw (but I am pretty sure they wont count as raw still) you can bake them for a 3-4 hours until crispy at your lowest oven setting. You can go up in temperature (until about 350) and the baking time will decrease. Simply remove from the oven when they are crisp.


Also, just another quick little dinner idea for you!

Wasabi crusted chicken with brown rice, vegetables, and peanut sauce

Bad lighting :( delicious though :)

Recipe: Serves 1

4 oz chicken

1 tbsp wasabi powder

1 egg white

precut zucchini & carrots

1/2 cup brown rice, prepared

1 tbsp peanut flour

1 tsp teriyaki sauce

2-3 tbsp peanut sauce

2-3 tbsp peanuts

Directions –

1. Dip your chicken breast in 1 egg white. Then, cover in wasabi powder. Cook on the stove until white all the way through.

2. Steam your veggies. I simply put them in a bowl, covered, and microwave for 90 seconds with 1/2 tbsp water. Drain (but drink the liquid)!

3. To prepare your sauce, take 2-3 tbsp of a store bought peanut sauce (I used Trader Joes, but you could also just use some type of milk/almond milk and increase the peanut flour) and mix with the peanut flour and teriyaki sauce.

4. Toss the rice and veggies in the sauce. Top with wasabi crusted chicken. Sprinkle on a bit more wasabi and the peanuts. Enjoy!


Kale * Extremely high levels of vitamins K, A, and C! Also has manganese, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants.

Onions * contain anti-aging antioxidants phenolics and flavonoids. A study by Dr. Liu showed that pungent and Western yellow onions protected the most against colon cancer, while pungent yellow, Western yellow, and shallots protected the most against liver cancer.

Peanuts * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

White bean dip: Two ways!

I am basically incapable of purchasing pre-made goods that I know I can make. It’s actually a problem because I don’t end up making all the things that I can, and so I go without. An example of this is Trader Joe’s white bean hummus dip. I had been hearing about it for ages but refrained from purchasing it. I bought the white beans and assumed I had everything else I needed to make it. Wrong. Instead, I went with the flow and created my own delicious white bean dip that I can’t imagine TJ’s can beat. It goes really well on lentil chips or pita chips! Seeing as I made about 20 ounces of it, I had to start getting creative for uses for it. Thus, these two wraps were born.

White bean dip & smoked salmon wrap with spinach, onions and tomato

Too classy to eat in class.

White bean dip & turkey bacon wrap with spinach, onions and tomato

Yeah buddy, rollin like a big shot

Of course, each was sprinkled with sea salt and rolled in a whole wheat tortilla! These were perfect for taking to school (or work) with an apple and bag of nuts.

LD’s White Bean Hummus dip

Recipe: Makes.. a lot

3 cups cooked white beans (I actually soaked dried beans, drained, and cooked them myself)

4 garlic cloves

3 tbsp tahini



1 tbsp olive oil

garam masala


lots of soy sauce

balsamic vinegar



dijon mustard

lemon pepper

1 tbsp honey

Im sorry for the lack of measurements! I just kept adding more until it tasted good.

Directions – Throw it all in the blender and blend away!

Eventually, though, I sucked it up and went to the store to buy the spices and sun-dried tomatoes to make the TJ’s dip. It is delicious! My version is a bit lower fat, higher protein than the original so the texture is thicker, but I loved it. I ate it with pita chips, in wraps, thinned out as a dressing, and made these cute little appetizers with it:

Lentil chip, bean dip, sour cream, smoked salmon, and sea salt!

Homemade TJ’s White Bean Hummus Dip

Recipe: Makes about 3 cups

3 cups white beans

4 garlic cloves

3 tbsp tahini

4 sun dried tomatoes

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp parsley


fresh ground pepper

Directions – Throw it all in the blender and blend away!