Cooking with Trader Joe’s

I love Trader Joe’s. Joe is my religion. The only downside of shopping at Trader Joe’s (for me, at least) is that sometimes it’s not a one-stop experience, especially if you’re picking up particular recipe ingredients.

Enter Cooking with Trader Joe’s, a rather large recipe resource. The site’s content is mostly user-generated, wherein users can upload and share recipes, as well as rate and review others. You can also create and print out recipe lists.

The pure beauty of it (aside from new meal ideas) is that every recipe utilizes items carried by Trader Joe’s, so unless your local TJ’s is out of something in particular, you’ll be able to pick up everything you need all at once. It’s brilliant.

This weekend, we made two recipes from the site: Potato Spinach Soup and Spicy Buffalo Pesto Pizza. Both were awesome. I used my own leftover pizza dough (use of frozen pizza dough = successful!) for the pizza instead of the TJ’s dough, so our pie was smaller and used fewer buffalo wings. Highly recommended.

P.S. The Cooking with Trader Joe’s site is the companion site for various “cooking with Trader Joe’s” cookbooks – I don’t happen to own any, but they are definitely tempting.

More pizza, this time: cheeseless.

Cheeseless whole wheat pizza

I had lots of whole wheat flour at home and a hunger for something bready and crusty. So I decided to make whole wheat pizza again. I was also determined to use some leftovers and not pick up anything extra at the store.

I doubled the amount of whole wheat flour this time and cut back on the white stuff, making for 2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups white. I divided the dough up before rising and froze the extra three portions for later.

The dough still rose quite well, despite the fact that our apartment is, um, cold . . . because I propped up the bowl next to my space heater. It worked. I seemed to have inherited at least some of my mother’s resourceful genes.

For the tomato sauce, I used the half can of whole peeled tomatoes I had in the fridge – cut them in half, shook out the seeds, chopped them up. Sauteed a bunch of garlic in olive oil over medium heat for a minute, threw in the tomatoes, as well as one smaller can of diced tomatoes I had lying around. Pinch of salt and pepper. Three small sprigs of thyme. Let cook until nice and thick, then added some more pepper for extra kick. Removed the thyme sprigs before using, of course.

I spread it across the dough once it was ready, then sprinkled a bunch of torn spinach on top. Since I didn’t have any cheese at home, I just didn’t use any. And it was SO GOOD.┬áNext time, maybe I’ll use crushed red pepper in the sauce and roasted vegetables for the toppings.

Actually, I lied. This wasn’t totally cheeseless, because I sprinkled some Parmeson on top after baking. Can you blame me?

Spinach and bean stew with poached eggs

Spinach and bean stew with poached eggs

The most recent post on Smitten Kitchen is for Chard and White Bean Stew. I love Smitten Kitchen. I could spend days and days perusing her archives.

I made her stew last night, with a couple of adjustments. I used white kidney beans and black beans because those were the only ones I could find while shopping during my lunch hour at Trader Joe’s. And I used spinach instead of chard, also due to availability.

It came out pretty well. Not as thick as Deb’s appeared to be, but still pretty tasty. I froze the leftovers and am curious as to how they’ll taste in, say, a couple of weeks’ time.

The poached egg on top is courtesy of my newly-acquired poach pods, which make poaching eggs extraordinarily simple. I love them. And they look like cute little lily pads on your stovetop! Bonus!