Dinner

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?

Sweet Potato Stacks

1 fat, 1 fruit, 1 protein, 2 grains

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As you know, I have a huge sweet tooth. This is my go-to dessert for dinner. It is such an easy recipe that can be made ahead of time and assembled in seconds to serve.

I could go on and on about my love for this recipe. I make so many variations of it. When I’m not trying to be fancy with my presentation, I cut the sweet potato into cubes and serve them over brown rice with the other ingredients. Delicious.

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Quick Facts: Sweet Potatoes are high in vitamins A, C, and B6. They have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and blood sugar regulating components. To absorb all the benefits of beta-carotene it’s important to eat the sweet potato with some fats.

Don’t forget to please fill out this brief survey when you have a chance! I will be posting the results this weekend.

1 sweet potato [2 grains]

1/4 cup full fat greek yogurt [1 fat, 1 protein]

2 tbsp raisins [1 fruit]

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tbsp agave

>> Cut the sweet potato into disks (or cubes). Bake at 350F for about 20-30 mins until cooked through. Layer disks with yogurt and raisins. Drizzle with cinnamon and agave. *

*As I said, I prefer serving the sweet potatoes in cubes over brown rice. To keep the same exchange counts, simply use 1/2 sweet potato and 1/2 cup brown rice.

Sweet Potato, Beet, and Apple Bake with Caramelized Walnuts

3 fat, 1/2 fruit, 2 grain, 1 protein, 1 vegetable
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I grew up in a Russian family. Signature dishes I could always find on the dinner table included walnut beet salads, a main course with potatoes, and the classic apple pie- “sharlotka”.
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Today I decided to draw inspiration from my favorite dishes to create a 3 course meal in one bite. Ok that sounds a little gross, but imagine these textures and sensations all at once: crispy, soft, crunchy, sweet, tangy…but how?!
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Honestly, I could probably eat this dish for breakfast lunch and dinner. It is so versatile you could serve it as a main course, a salad, or a side. I’m hesitant to say dessert, but what the heck, add a dollop of cool whip on top, sprinkle it with raisins, and try it out. I think I’m actually going to try this. I’ll get back to you, but let’s just say I’m not expecting much.

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Other than the delicious taste, this dish is so nutritious! It has all of the food exchange groups in one. The beets provide antioxidants, the oils/nuts add healthy fats and proteins, and the sweet potatoes and apple provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

1 beet [1 grain, 1 vegetable]

1/2 sweet potato [1 grain]

1/2 apple* [1/2 fruit]

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp coconut oil [1 fat]

1 tsp olive oil [1 fat]

1/4 cup chopped walnuts [1 protein, 1 fat]

1/2 tbsp sugar

>> Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and chop the sweet potato and beet. If you want the beets crunchy*, toss the sweet potato and beet with 1 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Spread on a sheet and bake for 15 mins. While they are baking, chop half of the apple. Add the apple to the sweet potato and beet, and bake an additional 15 mins. On the stovetop, heat a skillet with a tsp of coconut oil. Roast the chopped walnuts and then add the sugar, stirring often so the sugar doesn’t burn. Finally, remove the bake from the oven and top it with the walnut glaze.

*I recommend a sweeter apple such as Fuji or Gala.

**If you want the beets soft add half of the oil, salt, and cinnamon to the sweet potatoes and add the other half to the beets separately. Place the beets on tin foil and fold the foil over to create a “beet pocket”. Bake beside the sweet potatoes.

What were the staple dishes in your family growing up?

Mexican Black Bean Burrito

2.5 fats, 2 grains, 2 proteins, 2 vegetables

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Well well what do you know, more snow in the forecast! All morning I was dreaming of laying on the beach. The sun radiating above as I dug my toes into the warm sand. Ahhh, the good life.

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Then I snapped back to reality.

Since I can’t lay in an all-inclusive resort, I decided to bring some Mexican flavors up north. I filled my burrito with none other than the black bean. Black beans are packed with fiber, and according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they also have more antioxidant activity than other beans to fight against cancer and the aging process.

Would you look at that! I went to Mexico and came back younger using the recipe below:

1/2 cup drained black beans [1 grain, 1 protein]

1/4 cup corn [1/2 grain]

2 cup vegetables (I used onions, tomatoes, peppers)  [2 vegetables]

1 tsp. olive oil [1 fat]

1 whole grain tortilla [1 grain, 1/2 fat, 1 protein]

1/5 avocado [1 fat]

1/2 lemon

GARNISH: slice of lemon, cilantro, spinach

SPICES: chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, chile pepper, garlic powder
*use all, some, or none depending on your preference

>>Heat oil in a skillet and brown chopped vegetables. Add corn, black beans, and spices. Squeeze about 1 tbsp. lemon juice over mixture. Serve on whole grain tortilla with spinach, cilantro and avocado.

Teriyaki Tofu Quinoa Stir Fry Dinner

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2 oz baked tofu- teriyaki flavor [1 protein, 1 fat]

1 cup quinoa [1 protein, 2 grain]

2 cups vegetables [2 vegetables]

1 tsp oil [1 fat]

1/4 cup hummus [1 protein, 1 fat]

1/4 cup greek yogurt [1 protein]

1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean Crunch [1 grain]

1 cup berries [1 fruit]

1/2 tbsp almond butter [1 fat]

1 apple [1 fruit]

1 cup fortified soy milk [1 dairy]

Veggie Burger Dinner

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1 whole wheat pita [1 grain]

2 whole wheat graham squares [1 grain]

1 cup steamed vegetables [2 vegetables]

1 veggie burger [1 protein, 1 grain, 1 fat]

1/4 cup hummus [1 protein, 1 fat]

1/3 cup cottage cheese [1 protein]

2/5 avocado [2 fats]

2  egg whites (1/4 cup) [1 protein]

1 apple [1 fruit]

1 cup blueberries [1 fruit]

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