Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trader Joe's Tuesday Slips Lazily Into Wednesday

I am late with this Trader Joe's Tuesday tip because I was traveling yesterday. When I'm on planes I don't normally speak to the people next to me, but I had the great pleasure of sitting next to a magical 90 year old woman from Oklahoma. Jean was on her way to Los Angeles to visit her 90+ year old cousin and his lovely wife, who I had the pleasure of meeting for a brief moment at LAX. Her cousin invited her to come out for a lovely trip out to the desert to view the Spring flora and fauna that are now gracing the dry landscape.

We didn't speak the entire time, but food was a good part of our conversation because when we started to take off we both mentioned how ravenously hungry we were. So I gave her an energy bar I knew I wasn't going to eat, and later we both bought snacks. I bought a turkey and cheese sandwich, and she watched as I dismantled it, halving its size, when I removed the turkey. I told her I was a vegetarian who eats fish too. Later she said "Well I don't eat as many vegetables as my doctor would like..." So, I threw out some ideas for her, and had some more up my sleeve but didn't want to overwhelm her.

For people who hate veggies, gather up these goodies at Trader Joe's:

Cucumbers -- They usually have at least two varieties at TJ's. Slice up a few cucumbers, drizzle with their Red Wine Vinegar, a little Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper and Red Chili Flakes -- yes, RED CHILI PEPPER FLAKES -- kicks it up a notch and gives the cooling dish a wee bit o' heat.

Corn -- Grill it to give it an extra caramelly taste -- yes, even if it's not grilling weather -- but if it really is too darned cold, steam it. Then rub with butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper and CUMIN...yes, CUMIN! It's unbelievable.

Avocado -- Mash one up, squeeze in a lime (or lemon), add salt and pepper. Spread on your favorite toast.

Asparagus -- Preheat the oven to 450. Trim and rinse a bunch or two of asparagus. Grate the rind of a lemon. Throw it on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and the lemon juice of the lemon. Add the lemon zest, salt, pepper and toss. Bake for about 7 minutes, toss it around so it evenly cooks, then cook for another 5 to 7 minutes (depending on how thin the asparagus). It's good if they get a few burnt edges...yummy!

Green Beans -- Steam them up (TJs also has the packets you just clip and put in the microwave), toss with toasted almonds, lemon juice, olive oil, maybe a tablespoon of butter just for a little added flavor, salt and pepper and some grated parmesan cheese.

Buon appetito!

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