Meatless Monday: Cornbread and Pinto Beans

Cornbread for Meatless Monday

Cornbread for Meatless Monday

You never know what you will learn when you listen to the radio, right?

Today we were listening to NPR whilst doing errands, and heard about a new marketing plan for better health: Meatless Monday’s

The announcers made a lot of good points about how much fat and cholesterol you could avoid adding to your diet by not eating meat on just one day a week. Whose diet would not benefit from a little cut in fat, cholesterol and calories? So we decided to give this a try.

Our Meatless Monday Meal: Cornbread and Pinto Beans

For the cornbread we used the Trader Joe’s Cornbread Mix and make a few additions of Pepper Jack Cheese & Green Onions before baking.

Cornbread with Pepper Jack Cheese and onions

Cornbread with Pepper Jack Cheese and onions

We followed the Trader Joe’s box directions and then added ½ cup of pepper jack cheese cubes and about 1/3 cup sliced green onions just before we slid the pan into the oven. WOW the whole house smelled wonderful for the 30 or so minutes that this baked…

Trader Joe's Pinto Beans

Trader Joe's Pinto Beans

For the Pinto Beans, we just opened up a can of Trader Joe’s Pinto Beans, and heated them up with a teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning, onions and a clove of garlic. (you could add any your favorite spice blend too) You could also serve baked beans if you like…. We wanted to serve the beans up, but if we wanted to make a quick bean soup- you could add water and Trader Joe’s vegetable stock to the pan….some leftover veggies….yum…. Maybe we will try the soup in the fall?

This was a wonderful inauguration to Meatless Monday for us! The whole place smelled great, and we had a delicious meal. We also nibbled on some carrot sticks and some cherry tomatoes- as well… YUM! This is going to be a tasty new tradition around our house!

Cornbread hot from the oven

Cornbread hot from the oven

Oh yeah, the cornbread… here is a small warning… the cornbread smelled wonderful and we dove right into the pan just as it came out of the oven…. If you could wait a bit (yes I know nearly impossible, right?) your slices will look a bit better. Our pieces were all crumbly and just about fell apart on us… but when we went back for a second piece, the squares held together much much better.

What did you serve on Meatless Monday?

Trader Joe’s Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing

Trader Joe's Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing

Trader Joe's Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing

Tender white fish, draped over a scoop of crab meat stuffing… ahh what could be better? The fact that all you had to do was thaw and heat this delicious main dish? YES! Thanks to Trader Joe’s.

We have purchased this tasty main course fish for many years now. They are one of those “sure thing” items that we turn to when we are having VIP Company or a special celebration and want to make something extra special. (birthday/ anniversary/ promotion etc…) Good for beginner cooks too!

They would be perfect for date night as well.

We like many things about Trader Joe’s Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing especially:
1. They are sold individually (you can buy just what you need)
2. They thaw in a bowl of cool water quickly
3. They heat in under 30 minutes
4. They look good
5. They taste FANTASTIC!
Another cool thing? They hardly take any planning. You can just take them from the freezer and thaw them in a bowl of cool water about 30 or so minutes before you want to bake. Then heat the oven and remove the fish from the packaging and place on a foil lined pan (spray foil with no-stick spray or spread lightly with oil).
Cover with more foil and bake (exact time is on the package, I tossed my package before posting! Grrrrrr).

EZ Date Night Dinner Thanks to Trader Joe's

EZ Date Night Dinner Thanks to Trader Joe's

While the fish is cooking, I usually heat or cook some vegetables and rice for the meal. We love to serve this fish with Trader Joe’s Bean So Green- the garlic butter sauce is just fantastic with the crab meat stuffing!

By serving Trader Joe’s Pacific Flounder with Crab Meat Stuffing, you can spend some extra time on the vegetables and rice, OR keep the meal simple and then spend your energy on lighting the candles in the dining room….
We hope you get a chance to try this product soon!
Let us know what you think

Trader Joe’s Pecan & Hazelnut Crusted Salmon

Trader Joe's Fish and Vegies for Dinner tonight

Trader Joe's Fish and Vegies for Dinner tonight

Like salmon?

Well, we sure do and we found a new product at Trader Joe’s that is just wonderful:

Trader Joe’s Farm Raised Pecan & Hazelnut Crusted Norwegian Salmon (now that’s a mouthful!)

Now, you might be wondering how this tasty little number has escaped out notice for so long? We are wondering that ourselves. In our defense, it seems that our Arizona Trader Joe’s store, has created a new section in the cold case which can only be described as “Salmon Land”. There are a number of different packages of smoked salmon, and also a number of different packages of fresh salmon to try. (Yes, you guessed right-  we are going to be “tasting” all those new kinds of salmon soon)

As you know, we both just LOVE nuts, so when we saw this package of salmon with nuts all around, we knew what we were going to have for dinner tonight!

This meal for two was so simple to make that it would be great for those who are just learning to cook.  You can add your favorite side dishes (maybe you like rice or carrots or corn) and just have a quick and delicious meal.
Now, truthfully, the directions on the package were a bit lacking, and so we just cooked the fish the way we normally would. There were two pieces in this package, so we just placed each piece on a piece of tin foil (use a bit of oil or spray on the foil so the fish does not stick) in a pan, and cooked it in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Trader Joe's Fish and Vegies in the pan

Start Cooking!

We also served the fish with one of our favorite Trader Joe’s frozen vegetables: Trader Joe’s Brittany Blend (a mixture of green beans, yellow beans and carrots) as well as a piece (or two or three…) of Artisan bread. This week it was Trader Joe’s Artisan Bread-Roasted Garlic with Thyme- YUM!
This meal was just wonderful. The fish had a nice crunchy nutty crust that gave a special flavor to the entire meal. We just love that vegetable blend (good color on the plate as well) and the bread? Well, what can we say but YUM!

This meal would make a great special occasion dinner (think Mother’s Day Dinner) or a easy meal any night of the week (Hey it’s Wednesday!).

Trader Joe's Fish dinner

Ready to Eat!

So check out your refrigerated fish area the next time you are at Trader Joe’s- there may be a great surprise in store for you.

PS- that cute little wedge of lemon comes with the Fish- Nice touch Trader Joe’s!!