Product Spotlight: Favorite Trader Joe’s Frozen Foods as Meal Prep!

Because the Fearless Flying Kitchen is based out of San Diego,  it’s rarely cold outside for the holidays, but baby it’s cold inside… with our favorite frozen section items for meal prep!

Fast and flavorful, these nutrient dense meals are pretty much the easiest meal prep ever (with some seasonal fall flare!)

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Product Spotlight on: My Fav TJ’S Frozen Foods as meal prep!

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Bonnie Kuss

Ingredients

  • Frozen Roasted Root Veggies
  • Frozen Grilled Cauliflower
  • Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers
  • Cruciferous Crunch
  • Seasonal Pepita Salsa
  • Avocado number to go

Directions

  1. Open Box of frozen burgers. Follow instructions on box and either pan cook, ( my personal fav) or use a sheet pan and cook for 10 in the oven at 400. I love these because they have minimal ingredients, TONS of flavor and pack a protein punch. After cooked I cut each into strips.
  2. Open frozen root veggies, place in microwave bowl and cook for 5 minutes. DONE
  3. Open Cauliflower, place in microwave bowl top with 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil, microwave for 3-4 minutes. Add Salt and Pepper. Done!
  4. Open Cruciferous Crunch , line bottoms of Tupperware with 1 cup . Add ½ cup root veggies, ¾ cup cauli, chicken burger strips, and top chicken with salsa.
  5. I like to eat these cold as a salad, maybe adding a little extra salsa and a TJ’s ‘Wholly guacamole’ pack if I’m feeling extra, or simply warmed up !


Written by Bonnie Kuss, Trader Joe’s enthusiast and nutrition student extraordinaire!

Product Spotlight: Trader Joe’s Traditional Premade Carnitas

Low maintenance with BIG seasonal flavor- Carnitas and Butternut squash enchiladas for a dinner party.

I thought of this idea when I had leftover butternut squash cans in my pantry and carnitas in my fridge… it all seemed to fit together after that!

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TJ’s Traditional Premade Carnitas

  • Servings: 8-10 Enchiladas
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Recipe by Bonnie Kuss

Ingredients

  • 2 Cans TJ’s butternut squash puree
  • 1 jar chipotle salsa
  • ½ cup chicken broth, veggie broth, or water
  • 8-10 Tortillas of Choice ( Corn or flour )
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • ½ cup Fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 round of TJ’s Queso Fresco Or 1 wedge of Cotija crumbled
  • 1 Package Carnitas TJS pre made
  • Make it totally Vegetarian or add extra fiber by using 2 cans of drained black beans instead of Carnitas.

Directions

  1. Combine puree, salsa, and ½ CUP broth or water in bowl, add spices and stir set aside
  2. Place carnitas into separate bowl and shred or chop into small pieces add 1- 1 ½ cup of sauce to pork and stir to combine
  3. If using corn tortilla, warm in a pan with oil oil to prevent cracking before rolling, If using flour tortillas feel free to skip that step. Lets get rolling!
  4. Place 1 cup sauce on bottom of pan
  5. Take 1 tortilla, add 2 rounded TB full of sauced meat, 1 TB cheese and roll up, set inside pan seam side down and repeat * *Continue rolling until you have used all your filling.
  6. Pour remaining sauce mixture on top of enchiladas. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes, after 20 minutes remove foil and sprinkle with ½ – ¾ cup cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes until cheese has mostly melted.
  7. Top with the fresh cilantro right before serving!


Fall Harvest at Trader Joe’s

It’s almost Fall, and Trader Joe’s is already unleashing seasonal items in stores across America. If you take a peak at the Trader Joe’s Instagram Feed, you’ll see some of their delicious new products. We took to the aisles and bought some of our favorites and wanted to share them with you. Check out our latest video featuring:

  • Pumpkin Pie Perfect Bars
  • Grain and Seed Batard
  • Halloween House Decorating Kits
  • Harvest Alfredo Sauce
  • Apple Cider Donuts
  • A Great $5 White Wine
  • (And, of course…) Pumpkins and Pumpkin Spice

We also make a delicious pizza out of the Harvest Alfredo Sauce using Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Broccolini, Pancetta, Mushrooms and Fresh Mozzarella Cheese. You can check out that recipe HERE.

What’s your favorite fall treat from Trader Joe’s??

Top Runner’s Fuel at Trader Joe’s

FFK Top Runner Fuel from Trader Joes

Here at the Fearless Flying Kitchen, we just love strapping on our sneakers and running for a ridiculously long time. In order to do that though, you need to fuel your your body with enough energy to keep you going. Most runners rely on simple, easily digested carbohydrates to help provide the energy that is needed on long runs. Runners also need to focus on hydration, both from water and also replacing electrolytes (like sodium and potassium) that are lost in sweat, which help with water retention.

Most runners are familiar with the brands of runner’s food, like Stinger, Gu, Gatorade, etc. and while they are definitely a part of our running fuel plan, we sometimes like to think (and eat) outside the box.  However, we went on a mission at Trader Joe’s to find fuel for runs, as well as great foods for pre and post workouts.


Caramel Bites (Stroopwafels)

Caramel Bites from Trader Joe's

These delicious mini-waffles filled with caramel come from Holland. They are very similar to the Honey Stinger Waffle brand products and are easily digestible. We love having these as pre-race fuel, about 15-30 minutes before a long run.


19 Cent Bananas!

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Bananas at Trader Joe’s are a steal! You really can’t beat the price at 19 cents per banana. Granted, most races provide bananas at the finish line, this is a great item to have on hand at home to give your body a boost of potassium.


Scandinavian Swimmers

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One of our favorite treats, both on the road and off. At least when we are running, our bodies are using them immediately. We normally chew on sports beans or gummy bears on long runs when you want something to chew on. This is a great option that doesn’t have artificial colorings or harmful preservatives.


Freeze Dried Bananas

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This is a great, not messy option to bring on the road with you. Lots of sugar, lots of potassium, all quickly absorbed for energy while you are running.


Manzanita Olives

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Who here sweats? WE DO! Normally, if you are running in hot weather, or aren’t adapted to conserve sodium, you will likely loose a lot of sodium in your salty sweat. Sodium is very important for runners because it helps retain water, and loosing too much sodium in sweat can upset the fluid balance in your body. This super salty snack is portable in individual packs, perfect for taking on a hot, trail run.


Trail Mix

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Healthy fats and sugars and protein – Oh my! We love trail mix for a post-run recovery snack. Trail mix has a nice blend of protein, carbohydrate and fat that will help your body rebuild protein and glycogen stores. Trader Joe’s has so many varieties of Trail Mix to suit your taste buds. When we want a basic and healthy mix, we’ll go with theGo Raw Trek Mix. When we want some chocolate in the mix? Tempting Trail Mix (although not the best for transporting). The best part? Individual bags to take on the go!


Date and Nut Bars

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Again with the post run fuel – Very similar nutritionally to trail mix, just blended together into a bar (or, bite) form. This is similar to Lara bars, but with chia seed (Omega 3!)


Beef Jerky

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While this might not seem like the best fuel for runners, I find that at around mile 17, the simple carbohydrate fuel just doesn’t settle well in my stomach. I start to crave savory foods and chewing. Beef Jerky is a great option, because it is salty, tastes savory, and you can chew it for a while (you could even spit it out if you really wanted to, but it is so delicious, why?)


Other important things you’ll find on the aisles of Trader Joe’s

  • Bottled Water – Such a great deal. Comes in a variety of sizes to meet all your hydration needs.
  • Chocolate Milk – My favorite post-run recovery drink. The perfect blend of protein and carbohydrates.
  • Pasta Noodles (Imported from Italy!) – Pasta is a great way to carb-up the night before a big run. It’s always good to choose something with lots of carbs and not a lot of fat, so a pasta with a marinara sauce is preferential to a pizza loaded with cheese and fatty meats or a macaroni and cheese type of meal.
  • Honey Nut O’s – This is my favorite pre-long-run breakfast. It’s the only thing that doesn’t disrupt my tummy. However, everyone is different and tolerates foods differently.

Classic Black Beans

For a long time, Trader Joe’s was really lacking in the dried legume department. But lucky for me…about a year ago, they introduced dried black beans, and life has never been the same.

If you find cooking beans from scratch intimidating, you are not alone! Before I started making them from scratch, I imagined an all day process that was very labor intensive. But if you have gone through the process before, then you’ll know just how easy it can be. Beans are a very forgiving food to cook, they just need a little bit of (mostly) hands-off time. Having this classic recipe in your back pocket, I guarantee you’ll start stocking up on this staple.

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The process really starts the night before. First, empty your 1lb bag of black beans into a large pot and sort through it for any rocks or random beans that might have made their way into the bag (totally common to find stuff like this in raw beans. If you find one, just discard it). Then cover with water, about 2 inches above the bean line, and let sit out overnight. You can cover if you like.

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Next, you’ll dump out the water (in a strainer? using your hands to strain it? You pick) and refill the pot with fresh water, about two inches above the bean line. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. You’ll add the rest of the ingredients (diced onion, garlic, bay leaves and salt), and continue to boil and add additional water until fully cooked, about 1-1 1/2 hours.

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You will want to occasionally try the beans, and add additional salt as needed, just keep in mind that the flavor intensifies as the water evaporates, so over-salting can be a thing. If that happens, you can always add additional water. Make sure to cook until it is soft.

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I love to top my side of beans with the new TEENY TINY AVOCADOS. Great flavor combination! This recipe makes about 6 cups of cooked beans (breaking down to 12, half cup servings).

 

Classic Black Beans

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Bag Black Beans
  • Lots of water
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Salt (+ more to taste)

Directions

  1. Empty black beans into a large pot, look through beans to make sure there isn’t anything funky in there (sometimes rocks or other beans make their way into your bag) and cover with water (about 2 inches above the bean line). Let sit overnight. 
  2. When ready to cook beans, drain soaking water and refill with fresh water, about 2 inches above bean line. Turn heat to high and add onion, garlic, bay leaves and salt. 
  3. Let boil until beans are soft and cooked through (usually close to an hour), stirring occasionally and adding additional water as it evaporates. 

Do you have any secrets to the perfect pot of beans? Concerns? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Product: 100% White Wheat Flour

White-Wheat-Flour

 

I love to eat healthy…but within reason. Veggies are wonderful, fruits are delicious, whole grains are great, lean protein is pretty tasty too. But some times, people take “healthy” food a little too far into the “in edible” realm (there is a reason it is sometimes called cardboard).

I have been perfecting my waffle recipe over the past year, trying to find the right mix of “healthy” and “delicious.” Often, whenever I would use oats or whole wheat flour, the final product would be too dense and earthy. Then, I discovered this 100% White Wheat Flour from Trader Joe’s. It provides the perfect backdrop for a healthy, yet flavorful dish. The perfect combination of white flour and whole wheat flour.

But don’t stop at waffles! I also use this for cookies, pancakes, pie crust, pizza dough…Possibilities really are quite endless! I actually find that now I rarely use traditional, white flour. The only thing I used regular flour for in the past 6 months has been for making cupcakes.

Here is a quick nutritional breakdown between the white flour and the white whole wheat flour:

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