Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Guess Who’s Back?!

23 Jun

As my buddy Kanye or was it Nas or perhaps P. Diddy once said, “Guess who’s back in the muthf’in house??!”

Yup! ME!

My hiatus has been long, but muy necessary and muy exciting! I decided to quit my job and relocate to the city I love, and I have therefore been eating out of bags, containers and drive-thru windows. My heart is happy, but my guts are ready to mutiny. This past weekend, after celebrating my 33rd birthday, I decided rather than lose my power to something called “entrails” for goodness sakes, I had better get my act together and cook. My wallet will be much happier too.

An adequate amount of shame finally arose to the surface last weekend as I was chowing down on a very delicious barbequed rib when someone said, “Aren’t you vegan?” My answer was, ‘Not when it comes to ribs.”

Which is not entirely true. I’ve just been a hot mess when it comes to meat and eating. I tend to revert to eating meat during highly stressful times. This didn’t happen when I smoked, however, I’d rather live with the pain of inhaling a burger. I do not want to die from inhaling tobacco. So meat it is. Now that I’ve started running regularly and also I’m back at it with yoga, my desire for beef has greatly diminished. Thank goodness!20130623-212200.jpg

All this was the prompt for my trip to Trader Joe’s, which is literally walking distance from my house. It was time to get myself something good to eat. Now normally, I’m anti-too many pre-made meats. But I realize that the reason it’s been so easy for me to eat poorly is that my standards have been too stringent. Either I’ve got to be in the kitchen cooking like I normally do, fancy, most things from scratch, etc. or I’ve got to eat like a dying carnivore. This black and white thinking is neither sustainable nor realistic.

The transition back to healthy eating has to be painless or else I won’t make it. Therefore, I loaded up on seitan sausages, tempeh, polenta, and some other stuff. For tonight’s recipe, I was craving polenta. I paired it with Trader Joe’s Italian sausages, roasted red and yellow peppers, and their delicious Power Greens. I believe even the diced tomatoes I used were from Trader Joe’s. The result was a delicious meal that immediately made me exclaim, “Holy Crap!!” My roommate thought something was wrong, but I clarified, “I’m fine. That’s just really fricking good!” It’s vegan, mostly gluten-free, it’s got carbs, protein, greens and it’ll hold me until my morning smoothie. A good way to start the journey back to good eating. My entrails are happier already.

And apparently somebody named Crooked I sang “Guess Who’s Back” featuring Snoop Dogg. Who the hell is Crooked I?!



Chocolate Cherry Avocado Muffins & Miss Piggy

10 Mar finished muffin

Miss Piggy

Gotta love Miss Piggy

When I was younger, I LOVED Miss Piggy! So sassy and fierce and always dressed like Tammy Faye Baker! She was amazing. And she could put those other muppets in their place in a nano second. Who’s decision was it to make her a pig, though? I mean, is there some hidden chauvinist agenda in making the most awesome character in the Muppets crew a PIG?

Anyway, I loved Miss Piggy. Miss Piggy loved Kermit. Kermit was green like an avocado. Avocado was this week’s challenge item. See how I did that? Wasn’t reaching at all.

I made muffins this week for the challenge. And I’ll be eating them, along with the delicious Gala apples I picked up from Trader Joes, for breakfast this week. They aren’t like these cupcakes, like kick your mama good, but they are solid, lightly sweet and definitely nutritious. And come on, who doesn’t love a muffin that’s got avocado in it?

A plethora of yummy, nutritious ingredients

A plethora of yummy, nutritious ingredients

What’s In Them

Ripe avocado

Ripe banana

coconut oil

light brown sugar

arrowroot powder


almond milk

flour (garbanzo, brown rice and coconut flour)

oat bran


baking powder

baking soda


cocoa powder


sweet cherries

dried cranberries

shredded coconut

One of my favorite foods. This one was super ripe and ready to be eaten.

One of my favorite foods. This one was super ripe and ready to be eaten.

wet ingredients

Avocado, cherry and banana became a lovely fruit cream.

finished muffin

Chocolate Cherry Avocado Muffin

When Chilaquiles Met Sin Huevos Rancheros

6 Sep

I wanted something good. Something complicated and robust. Something to feed my hungry lion at home to make him say, “Oh My GOSH!” I didn’t come up with anything like that exactly, but what I did throw together made me excited. And very, very full. There were several parts, so it’s probably better not to be ravenous and in need of food!


What I Put In It:

3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp mexican oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup white wine
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 chipotle pepper
juice from 1 lime

two loaves homemade seitan
1 tbsp olvie oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 small yellow onion
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup white wine
1 roma tomato
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp mexican oregano
2 tbsps worcestershire

Black Beans
can black beans drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp cumin
splash tomato sauce (about 1 tbsp)
~1/4 cup of not beef bouillion
1tbsp butter

1 zucchini
1 squash
bay seasoning (or salt and pepper)
~3/4 cup not beef bouillion

Handful of Chips (I used Trader Joe’s Spicy Flax)

What I Did:
For the sauce, throw everything in the blender and blend on high until chipotle pepper is well chopped. Couldn’t be easier, right?!

Slice each portion of seitan into thin, thin slices. If you have a grater with large holes, that might work just as well (that hasn’t be tested, though. Just a hunch!). You don’t want them too thin that they fall apart.

NOTE: the seitan is made using a version that I always have on hand which is the Steamed White Seitan found in VIVA VEGAN! I’m sure, however, that store bought would work just fine. Or boiled chicken, if you’re into that sort of thing.

In a large skillet, cook the olive oil and garlic over medium heat, careful not to burn the garlic. Add the onion after about 30 seconds, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. I threw the cumin

Raw and Unadulterated.

on top and stirred it all around before adding the wine, Worcestershire and tomato sauce. This should simmer for about 15-20 minutes. According to Terry Hope, you want your seitan to look juicy. You want juicy seitan, don’t you? If it’s dry, throw in some more wine, tomato sauce, or diced tomatoes.

While that cooks, heat your not beef broth in a large skillet. Add sliced vegetables and season with salt, pepper or -as I used -bay seasoning. Cook covered for 10-15 until they are soft and most of the liquid has absorbed. If your veggies start to stick, add more water, adjusting seasonings to taste.

Beans, just throw it all in a saucepan and let it do its thing.

The chips were a divine inspiration! Not really, but they did turn out quite tasty! After you’ve made the sauce by throwing everything in the blender and giving it a whirl, take a handful of chips, put them in a bowl and coat them in the sauce, twirling them around. You want the chips to be covered, but not drenched. Place them in an oven safe dish and cook them for 10 minutes at 350.

Once all is done, take the baked, sauced chips and place them on a plate. Pile 1/4 cup of seitan mixture on top of that, then 1/2 cup vegetables and finally 1/4 cup beans. This doesn’t have to be exact, but you do want more veggie than seitan or bean or the meal can get quite heavy. Top with chopped cilantro, and dig in. It’s heavenly, don’t you think? Maybe not heavenly, but a marriage I wholeheartedly endorse. Chilaqueros. Yum.