Tag Archive: Trader Joe’s


I love that song. If fact, here it is for your viewing and listening pleasure.

Ok then, back to the food. This was one of those Ok, I Have Some Yakisoba Noodles and Random Vegetables So Let’s Throw Them Together “recipes”.  So let’s get to it!

1. First, I said a word of thanks for living in a town with a Trader Joe’s because they have organic tofu for well under $2/lb.

2. Then I cut one block into cubes. Yeah, I know my cuts were kinda uneven. Oh well. While I was cutting the tofu I was heating about 1 Tbs. oil (canola and corn blend, but use whatever you want as long as it holds up well to heat) in a large skillet. Just a note here about tofu – if you have time and you’re planning on browning it, press it first. You’ll get much better results and it won’t stick to the pan as easily. I was in a hurry so I didn’t do it this time.

3. I added the tofu to the skillet, giving it a quick shake to keep the cubes from sticking and cut 2 medium carrots into strips. Kind of like wide matchsticks, but feel free to cut them however you want. Go on…go crazy.

4. Then I sliced 1 yellow onion into strips about 1/4 – 1/2 inch wide. I also check on the tofu because it was starting to brown. Once most of the moisture has evaporated from the pan it’s important to check it every few minutes so it doesn’t stick. Or you could use something other than tofu. Whatever you want.

5. Once the tofu had browned on most sides I removed it from the pan before adding the carrots and onion because this was a particularly soft block and I knew it would fall apart if I left it in while cooking the other ingredients. If I had mushrooms I would’ve used them, too, but I used them all in the Turkey Tetrazzini the other day.

6. While the carrots and onion softened on medium heat I cut 2 large celery stalks and about 3 cups green cabbage into thin strips. Some other veggies that would be nice to add if you have them on hand are zucchini, Napa cabbage, baby corn, water chestnuts or snow peas.

7. I added the cabbage and celery to the skillet (I’d love to have a wok, but don’t have room to store it) and continued cooking it all for a couple of minutes.

8. You may be wondering, “Where’s the garlic??” Don’t worry, it’s coming. Next I broke up the noodles a bit with my hands before placing them on top of the veggies. I don’t know the exact measurement of the noodles, but I got them at Costco and they come in a two pack. I used one of the packages.

9. Let me just apologize in advance for this section. I made the sauce while the noodles steamed over the veggies and just like every other time I’ve made this I didn’t measure anything except for the 1/4 cup light soy sauce I used as the base. I added maybe 1 Tbs mirin, 1 Tbs sugar, 1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar, 1/4 tsp ground ginger (fresh is so much better, but I didn’t have any), 1/2 tsp black pepper, 6 cloves minced garlic (fresh, that I minced myself) and enough water so the whole thing equalled 1 1/2 cups. Just be sure to taste the sauce before adding it to the pan. It’s a lot easier to adjust before it’s mixed in. I stirred it until the sugar dissolved then poured it over the noodles, mixing it in and breaking up the noodles with the spatula. Then I added the tofu back to the skillet and tossed with the noodles and sauce, heating the whole thing through.

10. I topped the finished product with sesame seeds. Yumm! This one’s a family favorite.

I think I’m falling in love…with fresh sage. I bought some from Trader Joe’s a few days ago for a Martha Stewart recipe that involved browning chicken sausages then simmering them in apple cider with fresh sage, onion, salt and pepper until the cider reduces to a delicious, syrupy glaze. Usually when I buy fresh herbs I forget about them until it’s too late and remorsefully discard them. This time I remembered the sage was in the fridge and that it goes great with turkey. A quick google search led me to a few easy recipes for turkey tetrazzini which I modified to work with what we had on hand. The finished product was delightful. Here’s the recipe. Serves 4-6

12 oz uncooked pasta of your choice ( I used organic gemelli)

1Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped small

2 large stalks celery, diced

10 oz sliced mushrooms (I used pre-sliced ones from Trader Joe’s)

1 jar Ragu Light Parmesan Alfredo sauce

2 c cubed, cooked turkey breast

4-5 fresh sage leaves, sliced in thin strips

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

1. heat olive oil on medium in large skillet

2. saute onions, celery and mushrooms until soft

3. while veggies are cooking, boil pasta according to directions on package and drain

4. add cubed turkey to skillet and heat through

5. add sauce, sage, salt and pepper to skillet and heat through

6. add cooked pasta to skillet and toss to coat

7. garnish with sage leaves if desired and enjoy!

Shakeology 3-day Cleanse – Day 3

Just as I thought, the kids found the frozen strawberries so my first shake of the day was Greenberry with mango puree from Trader Joe’s. I love that stuff. There have been too many times where I’ve shelled out good money for fresh mangoes, waited patiently for them to ripen and then cut them open to find they’ve turned brown even though they’re barely soft. No more! The frozen puree is perfect for shakes and it’s not stringy. Between the ice and mango I ended up with a very large shake. It didn’t all fit in the 16oz shaker cup. I just wish my camera did a better job of capturing the color. It’s actually much more vibrant and not really the color of pea soup.

I got a late start to my day (notice the time on the stove when I made my first shake) so I didn’t end up following the plan exactly. If I had weighed myself before I started I would’ve been more concerned with doing things exactly according to plan so I could share my results, but I got what I needed out of it. I definitely feel less fluffy, my clothes are fitting much better, and I’m hydrated again. And perhaps the most important benefit, I’m just interested in eating things that are good for me because I need them instead of eating whatever just for the taste. It’s amazing how much your mindset toward food can change in just three days. Once you realize how much better you feel after eating healthy you don’t want to go back to eating junk because you realize it’s just not worth it.

You may be wondering, “What is this Shakeology 3-Day Cleanse of which she speaks?” Well, basically it’s a 3-day cleanse using Shakeology. Sorry, just couldn’t help myself. Seriously, though. You follow the same plan for three days in a row which includes drinking  three shakes made with water and ice (one for breakfast…and you can add some fruit to that one…one for lunch and one for an afternoon or evening snack). You have a piece of fruit for a morning snack and dinner consists of a large salad, 4oz lean white protein like chicken or fish or beans for vegetarians, and 2Tbs lowfat salad dressing. You also drink a lot of water and some green or detox tea without sugar or artificial sweetener (stevia is fine). The purpose of the cleanse is to jump-start a weightloss program or hit the reset button by cleaning out excess water weight and toxins, but without starving yourself.

This is the third time I’ve done the cleanse. Well, the second time around I didn’t do the three full days so it’s more like 2 2/3. I decided it was time for another round because I’ve been eating a lot of high sodium foods lately and I feel fluffy. Plus, it’s recommended to do a cleanse with the changing of the seasons so it’s a good time since it’s the beginning of Spring. The first time I did it I lost over 8 lbs. which was pretty amazing and the second time it was over 4 lbs., still a great result considering I only stuck with it for two days. I won’t know how much I’ve lost this time because I lent my scale to a friend a couple of weeks ago so I don’t know my starting weight. It doesn’t really matter to me, though. I’m doing it because I want to feel “clean” again, if that makes sense. I’ve always felt great after I’ve done it and found myself craving the healthiest of foods afterwards. Always a good thing. I also struggle with remembering to drink enough water daily and doing the cleanse helps me to be properly hydrated. I believe the term for it is homeostasis. Whatever it’s called, I like it.

My sleeping schedule has almost completely shifted to that of someone who works a night shift so I didn’t have my first shake until after 2pm. I made it with 8oz water, 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology, 1 scoop Shakeology fiber boost, 1 small banana and 4 ice cubes.  So far, I’ve had 16oz water and need to step that up. I’ll continue to check in through the day and night.

Ok, it’s now 10:46pm and so far so good. Around 6:00pm I was waiting for my kids to get done with their karate class and realized I should be eating some fruit. Since I hadn’t planned ahead I went to Albertson’s to find something. I have no idea how people can afford to shop there on a regular basis. I walked around, fairly hungry, but not at all tempted because of sticker shock. I finally decided on a 10oz bag of organic frozen strawberries that was on sale for $2.79. I drove back to the dojo and used my teeth to rip open the bag because even though it was resealable, it had to be cut open. I ate half the bag, or about 1 cup, for 70 calories and 4 grams of fiber. It was enough to tide me over for a while.

I was feeling great when we got home and it was still light outside so I went for a walk. Since I still had two shakes and the salad with protein to eat I figured I’d better get to it. As soon as I got back I made another shake with 8oz water, 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology, 1 scoop Shakeology fiber boost, 4 ice cubes and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. It was delicious. I forgot how good it feels to be only consuming healthy food. I don’t even know if I could put it into words, but it’s something like feeling energized and balanced and clean and light. It’s all good. Delightful even.

After I fed my husband and kids I made the salad with “artisan” lettuce, 1 tomato, 4 radishes, and two small carrots. Not feeling like dealing with raw chicken, I opened a can of organic garbanzo beans from Trader Joe’s. I knew those would come in handy someday. I topped the salad with about half the can and 2Tbs of lowfat cilantro dressing, also from Trader Joe’s. It was a lot of food and very satisfying. Now I just have one shake to drink before I go to bed. I think I’ll have it around midnight since I’ve been going to bed around 3:00am. I’d also like to get in at least another two liters of water. So far I’ve had four. I was supposed to drink two cups of tea, but that hasn’t happened yet. We’ll see. Actually, maybe I’ll make some right now. Talk to you tomorrow…Day 2.

The great thing about Costco is that you can get some fantastic deals, but it can also mean having huge amounts of just a few things on hand. With the Great Snowstorm of 2011 they were predicting, I knew I’d better get some more food or we’d be eating pretty much nothing but edamame, popcorn, sliced turkey and Cheerios for the next few days. That’s where Trader Joe’s comes in. If you don’t have one where you live, consider moving. You can get the best stuff there for such a great price and you can usually get in and out quickly. Besides most of the food we had for dinner, I picked up some frozen mango puree, among other things, which is a key ingredient in my favorite Greenberry Shakeology recipe. I’m sure you’ll be seeing it soon.

Breakfast – Chocolate Shakeology made with 8oz water, 4oz 1% milk (always organic by the way), a little vanilla extract and a bit of cinnamon

AM Snack – P90X Wildberry protein bar (decided to change things up a bit – usually leave this flavor for the kids because it’s their favorites)

Lunch – leftover 6in turkey sub from our Februany feast the night before – it was a delightful discovery as I really didn’t feel like making anything, 6c Smart Pop popcorn sprinkled with garlic granules and cayenne pepper

PM Snack/Post workout – running out the door to take the kids to karate I completely forgot my recovery drink (which I can feel today :/ ) Grabbed a slice of whole grain white bread and 6 extra thin slices of turkey and ate it on the way to the car. I wasn’t going to have a repeat of the pizza and cake incident. Speaking of which, it seems I wasn’t the only one dealing with a frosting addiction. One of my best friends recently made a cake for a birthday party and had thrown the leftover frosting away (in a sealed container) which she later dug out of the trash and ate with a spoon. Yes, she did give me permission to disclose this information. 🙂

Dinner – 3oz seasoned turbot (one of Chef Ramsey’s favorites and I can see why), 1c broccoli, 1/2c zucchini, 1/4c yellow onion, 1tsp olive oil, 1/4 cube chicken boullion, 1 large slice cracked wheat sourdough bread, 1tsp Smart Balance original spread

Dessert – (also thanks to Trader Joe’s) 10 TJ’s multigrain pretzel sticks, 2Tbs Rondelle Cranberry Orange spread (only $.99 for an 8oz tub), 1 mandarin orange

Total Calories – 1735, Protein – 112 grams, Carbs – 220 grams, Fat – 52 grams, Fiber – 30 grams

Protein 24%, Carbs 49%, Fat 27%

Total calories burned – 3307, deficit of 1572