So my first experiment with my new Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook was quite the success. The only item I couldn’t buy at TJ’s was the Daiya cheese that was needed to veganize the dish but all the others were in their aisles.
Behold the very easy to make and quite delish Tamale Bake!
Soooo good. Seriously.
Ingredients (the Vegan Meow Mix version)
2 18 oz. tubes pre-cooked polenta, each tube sliced into 9 rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 zucchini squash, sliced
1 (12 oz.) package Soy Chorizo
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
1/2 TJ’s Enchilada Sauce
1 cup Daiya Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat and oil skillet. Saute zucchini until soft (about 5 minutes). Add chorizo, stir, and remove from heat. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch baking pan (or use an 8 x 8 if making a half batch). Place the polenta on the bottom, overlapping as necessary. Sprinkle half each of the chorizo mixture, beans, enchilada sauce, and cheese. Repeat with the second layer. Cover and bake for 45 minutes until the cheese is melted and casserole is piping hot. Sprinkle cilantro evenly on top.
With as much as I talk/blog about how much I love Trader Joe’s you would think I’m getting paid. I should really work on making that happen. 😉 Until then, I’ll just be content with sharing the products I love from our local TJ’s.
One of the best things about Trader Joe’s products is that so many of them are cruelty free and happily display the bunny that let’s us know. We’ve been using the Oatmeal Exfoliant for months. HUGE bar of soap that smell GREAT and costs about half of what those fancy schmancy soaps cost.
Smell good goodies!
The other three are new items that we picked up just last week. Again, all cruelty free and saving us some $$. The Trader Joe’s Spa facial cleanser is awesome. It smells good and gets all nice and soapy-foamy with just a dab. I love bubbles tickling my face. 😀 Next is the Moisturizing Shaving Foam. Kit Kat has been on the look out for one like this for months. Another smells great product that is gentle on the skin and doesn’t leave him rubbing ice all over his neck due to razor burn. Hooray for keeping the ice in the freezer! Lastly, is the Air Therapy room spray. So this isn’t actually a TJ’s brand product but they sell it and we love it. One sprays fills a room and lasts forever. GREAT stuff!
On the food end of Trader Joe’s, I picked this cook book up last night:
Yes! Dinner's Done!
I’m most excited that all the ingredients in the recipes can be found at TJ’s. No making a separate stops to get all the items needed for one dish. Not all the recipes in the book are veggie, but most of the recipes give great suggestions on how to easily make them that way in a snap. Again, hooray! I’m sure to be trying LOTS of these recipes soon. Stay tuned.
My goodness it has been way too long since I’ve been here! Let’s just say that me baking a little one in my own “oven” has made for one lazy gal. I’ll try to not be so remiss from now on. I’ve missed you all. 😀
With said little person on the way, both the hubby and I are definitely looking to have a good variety of easy to make meals at the ready. Something tells me that we won’t have quite as much time to be whipping up elaborate things, but simple can be fabulous, right?
Last night we made a yummy spicy peanut bake. Three ingredients, 25 minutes, and on the way to yum.
This is all you need:
One, two, three and you're ready!
We’ve tried some of the other Taste of Thai seasonings but this one is by far our favorite. It’s sweet and spicy all at once and just has a great flavor. We make things easier by going ahead and buying the seitan already made and in nice little strips. Remember, we want easy! As for the rice, throw a cup in the rice cooker and you are on the way to perfect rice. (What did I do before my little rice cooker?!)
So you just put the seitan in a glass pan, coat it with the mix, cook just a few more minutes than recommended on the back of the packet for chicken and you are ready to go in no time at all.
Sweet and spicy!
So good. So easy. So filling.
My love for this tasty dish was born when I was living in Kanab, Utah. About once a month or so I’d make a “trip to the city” of St. George to do some shopping for items I couldn’t get in my little town. I looked forward to the gorgeous drive and to the sushi/thai goodness that awaited me at Benja.
I’d start my visit off with a Thai Iced Tea and nice bowl of edamame:
So so so good!
Next I would gorge myself with an order of avocado sushi, cucumber sushi, and then some more avocado sushi! Oh and don’t forget the miso soup!
The best way, though, was to always end the meal with their delicious mango with sticky rice. Since moving from Utah, I hadn’t had this so was over the moon to find it in the frozen section of Trader Joe’s. (They aren’t paying me to love them up, I swear, I just love them!).
So earlier this week, Kit Kat and I popped open the happy little package and prepared to nom.
Oh the excitement!
And nom we did! Here is a close up (a little late, I was excited to try!).
One of my favorites!
Once again, TJ’s didn’t let us down. The mango was sweet, the rice was sticky, and this dish was delish!
While I’m shaking off the winter slumber, my hot cocoa mugs and tea diffusers are about to take their places in the cabinet and get their own well deserved rest. Many a green tea and Abuelita got me through the cold winter days, but now it’s time to say goodbye (for now).
I’m not shy about my love of Trader Joe’s and when it comes to getting it right in the summertime beverage department, I love them even more. Pretty much every TJ’s original drink that has crossed my lips, I’ve loved. (Well, with the exception of one orange mango type juice, but everyone has a bad day, right?) Currently, I’m hooked on these three yummy little numbers:
Yes, we are talking the sweetest of sweet drinks including root beer, sweet tea, and orange cream soda (liquid heaven). And I know, I know, it’s almost a shame to not swig these straight out of the glass bottles but my favorite way to have them go down is over ice and through a colorful bendy straw.
These three offer amazing flavor and are made with natural ingredients like so many of my other favorite TJ’s creations. The sodas are even made with triple filtered water, because only once or twice would just be silly. 😉 I also know that it can be a challenge at times to find a cruelty free root beer, but no worries here with theirs. See, the label says it loud and proud:
Thumbs up, baby!
I’m sure I’ll discover a lot more wonderful surprises in their aisles as the weather gets hotter, but for now these are top spots 1, 2, and 3. What’s your favorite summertime drink?
Having lived in one of the most Vegan friendly places on Earth for two years (Hey, hey Eugene, Oregon!), I really didn’t oooo and ahhhh over Trader Joe’s like so many people I knew. There were several little local grocers that carried everything my little Vegan heart desired and then some. Having lived in three places since then, I’ve come to appreciate those places in a way I didn’t when I had them a bike ride’s distance from my little apartment. (Hats off to Sundance, I miss you!).
Now living once again in the desert, this time in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I’ve actually discovered what people were ooooo-ing and ahhhhh-ing about in their testaments about Trader Joe’s. Good cats, people, this place rocks my colorful non-wool socks right off! So many new and delicious Vegan options (I’m having a love affair with their edamame hummus) and my new favorite grocery store by far. (So I’m late to this game, sue me.)
I love that I’m able to get fresh, organic fruit and in the same basket fill up on amazing snack foods. (My snack cabinet at home is pretty impressive now that I’ve discovered TJ’s!). This brings me to the point of this post as I have found some of the most AMAZING cookies that have ever crossed my lips. I’m serious. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, get your Chuck Taylors on right this minute because you are going to want some of their Maple Leaf Cookies stat. The box describes them as “two flavorful leaf-shaped cookies that provide the necessary crunch and contrast tastefully with the luscious maple creme filling” and man they aren’t lying.
Maxwell and Maple Leaf Cookies. Both are amazing.
So go get these. Now. Make sure you grab more than one box because these things are simple incredible. Trust me on this one.