Product Review: Trader Joe’s Shrimp or Vegetable Thai Gyoza & True Thai Tom Yam Soup

So yesterday we took a trip to Trader Joe’s. Obviously this ended with us buying a plethora of new TJ products to try. Then I figured, why not share our opinions? Anyways, after our trip to the store we decided to try out 3 of the products we purchased: the Shrimp Gyoza, Vegetable Gyoza, and Tom Yam Soup. 

1) Trader Joe’s Thai Shrimp Gyoza 

We cooked half of a bag of these along with half a bag of vegetable gyoza, and topped it with dumpling sauce. They were a lot larger than I had expected and a lot more delicious! The shrimp gave these gyoza a bit more texture, and you can actually see the bits of shrimp. Would we buy this again? Yes! 

2) Trader Joe’s Thai Vegetable Gyoza (Vegetarian/Vegan) 

These looked (and tasted) a lot like the shrimp gyoza. They were large, filling, and delicious! Everyone agreed the vegetable gyoza were just as good as the shrimp gyoza. The only difference is that you don’t get the little chunks of shrimp, but overall the taste is pretty similar. I like that we put half and half into the mixture, and we will definitely be purchasing more of TJ’s gyoza in the future for a quick and easy meal!

3) Trader Joe’s Tom Yam Soup (Vegetarian/Vegan)  & 

This one is a hit or miss. For me, I found it too acidic. It tasted like someone had added some lemon/lime juice to the top before I took a bite. With that being said, others loved this. Apparently, Tom Yam is supposed to be a little acidic and served atop rice (something we did not do). Maybe I would have liked it more had I served it on rice. I should also note that this is a single serve soup. We all only had a couple of spoonfuls, but now we know who would eat it and who wouldn’t haha! I personally would not buy this again, but I’m sure others in the family will. 

Hope these were helpful! I will be posting more product reviews as we try out the rest of the groceries. But in the meantime:

Does anyone have a TJ product they recommend?

Garlic Ginger Grilling Marinade

1 fat, 5 protein

I’m back! Sorry for the long time gone, but I had to share a delicious ginger marinade for the summer! I used it tonight to make a stir fry and plan on grilling the rest of the chicken on skewers tomorrow. 



If you’d like to make a stir fry using the marinade as I did just add some oil to a pan to cook the chicken. Then add whatever vegetables you’d like. I used edamame, carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli. Once everything’s cooked, pour the remaining marinade over everything and stir. I was hoping to get ride of some leftover whole wheat israeli couscous so I served the dish over that, but any grain will do. 20140714-183554-66954785.jpg

The recipe below is will be good for about 2 large chicken breasts and the macro count is for a 6oz. serving of chicken. Alternatively this marinade could be used for tofu, shrimp, or any red meats. 


3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

3 tbsp. Soy Sauce (*low sodium works fine)

3 garlic gloves, minced

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 cup water 

1 tbsp. lemon juice

>> Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Cover chicken/tofu/shrimp/red meat with marinade and let sit in the refrigerator for about 3-4 hours. 


Exchange count is for 6 oz. of chicken. 


‘Cheezy’ Complete Lunch

20140324-154859.jpg Based on the survey I sent out last week, a couple of readers showed interest in getting ideas for balanced meals and not just individual recipes.

Please comment your opinions if this is helpful for you, otherwise I plan on discontinuing this.

1 Almond Butter Toast [1.5 fat, 1 fruit, 1 grain, 2 protein]

1 Sweet Potato Quinoa with ‘Cheezy’ Broccolini [2 fats, 3 grains, 1 protein, 1 vegetable]

1 Apple [1 fruit]

1 cup Milk [1 milk]

Sweet Root Vegetable Bake and Orange Quinoa Salad Lunch


When I was about 14, a tragedy struck in the kitchen of my home. My mom screamed and called me to come running as fast as I could. She started waving her hand, “I cut my finger off!!!!!”. Her hand was covered in this purplish dye…from the beets she was cooking. “You’re not funny”.

I’m assuming I rolled my eyes or made some teenage snarly remark. The tragedy of this event? I had to run to the kitchen without cookies waiting for me at the end. If you ever decide to make this lunch, try out the old trick while you’re cutting the beets. Maybe it’ll actually work!

Sweet Potato, Beet, and Apple Bake with Caramelized Walnuts [3 fat, 1/2 fruit, 2 grain, 1 protein, 1 vegetable]

Orange Spinach Quinoa Salad [1/2 fruit, 1 grain, 1 protein, 1 vegetable]

1 cup berries [1 fruit]

1/4 cup greek yogurt [1 protein]

1 cup omega-3 fortified soy milk [1 dairy]

Healthy Black Bean Burrito Lunch


Seven years ago I went on a trip to Costa Rica with a volunteer group. We taught local children english, explored the country, and did some surfing. It was amazing!

For some reason a majority of my meals ended up being rice and beans. Um, what the heck! Boring! Where is the exotic, new, foreign, costa rican food? Well, as I mention in The Plate, beans and rice create a complete protein in a dish. It’s extremely cheap and easy to make. 20140225-151302.jpg

Well, since I’m no longer in Costa Rica and no longer being fed black beans and rice, I decided to recreate the concept of this dish. This time around, I added some zest to the black bean and exchanged the rice for a whole grain tortilla wrap. To make it a balanced meal, I served it with some tropical fruits.

1 Mexican Black Bean Burrito [2.5 grains, 2.5 fats, 2 proteins, 2 vegetables]

1/2 banana [1 fruit]

1 nectarine [1 fruit]

1/4 cup granola [1 grain, 1 fat]

1/2 cup greek yogurt [2 protein]

1 cup 1% milk [1 dairy]

What is your rendition of the rice and bean?

Sweet Potato Gnocchi Lunch





80g whole wheat sweet potato gnocchi [2 grain, 1/2 protein]

2 tbsp sour cream [1 fat]

2 tbsp raisins [1 fruit]

1 tsp coconut oil [1 fat]

1 cup berries [1 fruit]

1/2 cup greek yogurt [2 protein]

1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch cereal [1 grain, 1/2 protein, 1/2 fat]

1 tbsp almond butter [1 protein, 1 fat]

2 cups fresh vegetables [2 vegetables]

1 cup omega-3 fortified soy milk [1 dairy]