Trader Joes

Coffee and Cocoa Fix

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Trader Joe's Coffee and CocoaAs I’ve written about before, to keep my grocery spending in check without feeling deprived, I allow myself one impulse buy when I go to the store, if I want it. The other day while grabbing some things for the week at Trader Joe’s, I picked up this Coffee & Cocoa blend.

I think I made it about twenty minutes before brewing a pot. I have one of those little 4-cup coffee makers, so a pot is really not that much compared to what most people think of as a pot of coffee, but I digress.

Anyway, it was really good! The cocoa flavor is subtle but distinct. There is definitely no mistaking this stuff for hot chocolate, though—it’s more like a rich, smooth coffee with a little hit of je ne sai quois (I guess I do remember some of my high school French after all). Not bad for a $6.99 pick-me-up.

Any favorite impulse buys lately? 

Black Garlic Quinoa Stir-Fry

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Have you ever tried fermented black garlic? I saw some when I was at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago,and I just had to try it. I’m glad I did! It’s mild and a little bit sweet and adds a note of wtf-is-this-awesomeness to a humble stir-fry.

black garlic quinoaI made this the other night when faced with a craving for a grain & veggie /vehicle-for-poached-egg dinner. I made a large amount so I would have leftovers for the next day, but you can definitely make a smaller amount if preferred.

Serves 2 (or 1, twice)


  • ~2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 head black garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 10-oz package shredded brussels sprouts
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste, if desired
  • ~1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup roasted golden beets
  • 2 poached eggs
  • tahini, for drizzle (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and cook a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add shredded brussels sprouts and cook until wilted and hot. Add soy sauce and salt/pepper if using.
  4. Add quinoa and beets. Cook until flavors are well-blended.
  5. Serve hot. Divide into two bowls and top each with a poached egg. Drizzle with tahini if desired.

Have you ever tried black garlic? What are some of your favorite dinner recipes? 

More pumpkin things–this time with bacon!

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So the other day I mentioned I picked up some of this:pumpkin ravioli

Well, I also picked up some of this: Uncured Bacon

If you’re rolling your eyes in the manner of, “Wtf is this stuff, dietitian bacon?” that’s fair—I prefer to let the experts work with “the good stuff.” I really have no business handling any of the applewood-smoked whatever-the-hell. All I really know how to do with bacon is microwave a few strips and then crumble them over things.

pumpkin ravioli with brusselsAnyway, I wanted to see how pumpkin ravioli paired with shredded brussels sprouts and bacon. Turns out, my hunch was right on. This was fabulous! Highly recommend.

I think the hardest thing in the whole process was slicing the shallot I sautéed before adding the shredded sprouts and crumbled bacon. I ended up adding a little parm on top, but follow your taste buds.

Any favorite new food combinations you tried recently? 

Pumpkin Things

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OMG so many pumpkin things at Trader Joe’s right now! And so many more to try…I allowed myself a few impulse buys yesterday afternoon on my after-work grocery run. Can’t wait to give these a try.

IMG_3568I am also amused that the pumpkin things match my orange kitchen: )

What was your last impulse buy? 

What I Ate Wednesday #124

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1.) Full moons and PMS should not be allowed to coincide, but that is neither here nor there.

2.) After fighting an August cold last week/weekend, I’m finally feeling like myself. I could tell something was up when I noticed I wasn’t as hungry during the workday… Though I enjoyed some of the usual sick-day staples like soup over the weekend while I recovering, the extra downtime also gave me a chance to try a few new things in the kitchen and clean out my cabinets and freezer a little.

3. Um, Happy What I Ate Wednesday? So let’s get to the “What I Ate” part of this post, shall we? Thank you as always to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party. Take a visit to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

Haha I’m fully aware that my “sick day” appetite probably still involves more food than a lot of people’s normal day, but hey, what’s normal for you is normal for you. I know a lot of people avoid dairy and certain other foods when they’re under the weather, but in general, I tend to feel that we should eat what we crave when we’re sick. My only rule is that I make sure to work in lots of fruits and veggies and plenty of fluids. With a few exceptions, it seems like, more or less, that’s all I really wanted to eat anyway this go-around.

  • Breakfast: I’ve been eating this zucchini-carrot oatmeal a lot lately. What started as a way to use up baby carrots has become a new favorite—go figure.

  • Lunch: Friday when I came home early from work, I enjoyed some ravioli soup
  • Snack: Being sick always makes me crave green apples for some reason. I also swear by turmeric tea.
  • Dinner: Sunday night I combined a can of Trader Joe’s Masala Simmer Sauce (weird springtime impulse buy) with a can of chickpeas and a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies. It was good but not spicy enough. A little curry powder fixed that. I enjoyed it over some cauliflower rice (pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor and cook with some minced garlic in a little coconut oil—almost too easy), which I would totally make again—it was really tasty and soaked up the sauce so well!
  • Dessert: Warm, roasted plumcots + cold Greek frozen yogurt—perfect for a sore throat!

What do you find yourself eating when you’re sick? 

Summer Awesomeness

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Happy Friday, guys! Keep the Firmoo giveaway entries coming!

Here are a few things I’ve been digging on this week:

…and I just saw “This is the End” last night. Really f-ing funny. I laughed so hard for so long you could consider it an ab workout !

What are you digging lately? 

What I Ate Wednesday #96: Graduation Week

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So this week marks a very special edition of What I Ate Wednesday.  It is officially my last week as a dietetic intern—graduation is tomorrow night! I still remember how excited I was the day I found out I’d gotten into the program. When I first started participating in the WIAW blog-hop, I was still almost a year from starting, and here I am, about to wrap it up. As always, thanks to Jenn for hosting the weekly link party. To see more WIAW from other bloggers, visit Peas & Crayons.

Here’s what I ate on Monday. It was a busy day of running around to meetings, studying, and cleaning, so I needed to make sure I kept my energy up.

Breakfast: Oatmeal with a chopped plum & ground flax, topped with applesauce & peanut butter

Lunch: salad with a Trader Joe’s salmon burger; toast with hummus and roasted eggplant; an unpictured square of dark chocolate

Snack: Greek yogurt with berries & cereal

Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with leftover roasted veggies & kale, chicken, and parm

Snack: sliced banana with nonfat ricotta and 1/2 tsp maple syrup

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?