I try to only go to Trader Joe’s once or twice a month. While I love the store, my wallet doesn’t like it as much as I do, so I try to keep my visits to a minimum. By making once or twice a month trips, I learn to plan better and I always feel like there is something new when I go. Today was no different. I have already dug into 2 of the products, so I will share my thoughts with you on those now.
I think I tend to forget about lentils during the warmer months and depend on them strictly in the fall & winter. One of my favorite comfort dishes is Honey Baked Lentils, though it is a little time consuming to make. It can be done with good planning, something I strive to do more of. I found a package of steamed lentils as I was heading to the back of the store to check out the samples. I thought they would be great to try for salads or to mix in with quinoa or make veggie burgers. The package (serves 5) was under $3.00.
The lentils are on the gluten-free list, but don’t have the “G” symbol on the box. Each 1/2 cup serving is 120 calories, has 0g fat, 8g fiber and 9g protein. The ingredients are simply: lentils, salt & natural flavor. For lunch today I tossed these on top of a spinach salad and topped with a drizzle of French dressing. I am thinking of making a new veggie burger recipe with the remainder by adding quinoa & spices. If that turns out well, I will make sure to share.
While the lentils may have been around Trader Joe’s for a while, the fig butter has not. I stalk the nut butter, fruit butter & preserves aisle on a regular basis just in case there are any leftover pumpkin butter jars waiting to go to a good home. The fig butter was sitting there with a “I’m New” sign. Who was I to let leave it there? Of course I grabbed it and tossed it into the cart. As I was driving home I was lamenting the fact that I would have to wait until tomorrow to try the fig butter for breakfast, when I decided that I would have a bagel with lunch today! To go along side of my spinach salad with steamed lentils, I toasted an Udi’s gluten-free bagel and topped it with a schmear of cream cheese & fig butter. Oh, WOW! This was an amazing combination and one I can see repeating tomorrow morning and many days thereafter.
The fig butter has only a few ingredients too: figs, water, sugar, lemon juice concentrate & pectin. The blurb on the side of the jar suggests the fig butter as a spread on toast or cheese. It went very well together with cream cheese, but I can also see using this as a spread on the Ener-G crackers I mentioned the other day or as a mix-in for oatmeal!
The other 2 “new” items I picked up that I haven’t had the chance to sample yet: Coconut milk (unsweetened – to drink or use in coffee or cereal) and South African Smoke Seasoning Blend. I will make sure to share my thoughts once I give these products a try.
Have you tried any of the Trader Joe’s products that I mentioned above? If so, which ones and what did you think?