Trader Joe’s finds

Two Low Carb Dinners

I wanted to share two recipes with you that we tried last week. Here is the first:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs:

Balsamic Braised Beef Short Ribs |Paleo
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
From: http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/balsamic-braised-beef-short-ribs-paleo/
Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs. of bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • ½ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole dried dates
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Spice Blend:
  • 2 tablespoon of course sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of dried sage
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together course sea salt, dried rosemary, dried sage, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  2. Pat dry bone-in beef short ribs. Rub spice blend into both sides of the short ribs.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add coconut oil to pan and sear the short ribs for 2-3 minutes per side or until slightly browned.
  4. Put the short ribs in a slow cooker with a tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, whole dried dates, and smashed garlic cloves.
  5. Cook for 4-6 hours on low or until beef is tender.
It doesn’t look pretty but it tasted really good! I made some sesame cucumber salads to go with it and the tartness of the salad was the perfect combo with the ribs.

We each had one (they were pretty big beef ribs) and then a few nights later had the leftovers and we both agreed that they were even better reheated as leftovers.

Michael made this dinner, even though crock-pot cooking isn’t something he likes to do, and it was really good! We both want to make it again in the future.

The second “recipe” wasn’t really a recipe but it was “lowish” carb and on the diet plan. I picked up the carrot “noodles” from Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and we finally tried it.

Here are the stats on the carrot noodles:

8grams of carbs in a serving of carrot noodles. I also bought a jar of low carb spaghetti sauce. I hadn’t tried this brand before and another reader recommended a low carb marinara but it was really expensive when I finally found it! This particular bottle was half the price of the other one so I grabbed a jar to test it out.

A serving of this marinara was 5 grams of carbs. I also loved that it didn’t have a ton of sugar in it like a lot of red sauces have. We had some Trader Joe’s Turkey Meatballs on top with some fresh parmesan and opened a not-so-low-carb bottle of wine to go with dinner:

So how was the dinner? Really good! We both liked it a lot.

The carrots weren’t overpowering in flavor. They were slightly al dente, but I’m so used to eating spaghetti squash instead of real pasta noodles that it didn’t feel weird to me. The sauce? Fantastic! We both LOVED it! It was super spicy. We’d definitely make this dinner again.

I did comment that it needed some garlic bread. 😉

Grocery Bag

I go to Trader Joe’s once a month. Generally I skip a lot of the produce there because it’s really expensive and nothing special. I just don’t see the worth in it. I can get similar organic produce at my Fred Meyer. And during the summer I usually buy my produce at a local farm stand by the house.

But Trader Joe’s is the perfect spot for specialty items.

I generally buy most of my cheese at TJ’s. You can try tons of different kind of fun flavored cheeses and it’s not that expensive! Definitely my favorite go-to cheese spot. And if I’m craving Indian food, I love the TJ options.

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Some of my favorite TJ finds that I get every time: 

  • The Vegetable Masala Burger (these veggie burgers are DELICIOUS!! and only 140 calories)
  • Kefir
  • Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (great for on top of steaks or in salads)
  • TJ smoked Gouda slices (great for snacks and only 100 calories)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cubed butternut squash (because I’m lazy)

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  • The fingerling potatoes are super cheap at TJ’s and delicious with breakfast
  • A big bag of kale
  • Chocolate
  • TJ pizza dough (I buy a bag every time I go and throw it in the freezer for the next time we want homemade pizza)

New to me this trip:

  • Riced Cauliflower – after hearing about this for like a year I finally decided to buy a bag and see what all the fuss is about
  • Buttermilk biscuits
  • Cinnamon instant oatmeal
  • Tri-colored carrots (I know they’re just regular carrots, I got taken in by the purple ones–what can I say?)

So after my grocery visit I whipped up lunch while Logan took a nap. Roasted butternut squash, sliced apple and a slice of Smoked Gouda cheese. It hit the spot on the gray, rainy day.

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Portland was hit with some stormy weather this weekend. I was glad I went out in the morning to get my grocery shopping finished before the wind and rain got really bad. (The so-called storm of the century never really hit, by the way.)

I was craving some comfort food. After a week of being sick and the rainy Fall weather, all I wanted was some soup and biscuits. I made the buttermilk biscuits from Trader Joe’s and then this soup:

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The mixture made a ton of food! But that was good for lunches for the week. And I froze a ridiculous amount. Seriously, make this if you have to feed 10 people!

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Yes, I did use the “good” wine in this recipe! The only change I made to the recipe was using spicy sausage instead of mild. Because we always like spicy more than “mild”!

Trader Joe’s Buttermilk Biscuits:

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Damn, these biscuits are to die for.

I ended up leaving out the zucchini at Michael’s request. After eating the soup I agreed that the zucchini would be a weird addition, even though it called for it.

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I don’t know that I’m a good critic of this soup because I’ve been sick with a head cold turned sinus infection turned bronchitis…I asked Michael what he thought of the soup because it tasted “bland” to me…and he was like “um it tastes like fire”…so yeah. 😉 Not a good gauge. But I will say that it felt very hearty and filling and healthy. And the biscuits were the perfect addition!

What are your favorite must-have Trader Joe’s items?