Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Overload

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The Trader Joe’s October Flyer arrived yesterday.

I get a weird thrill out of reading this each month, mentally filling a shopping basket with frozen Indian entrees, unique cheeses and salted caramel everything.

This month TJ’s went on pumpkin overdrive. 

Here’s a partial list of all of the pumpkin-y goodness:

  • Pumpkin bread and muffin mix (also comes gluten-free)
  • Honey roasted pumpkin ravioli
  • Pumpkin toaster pastries
  • Pumpkin spice granola bark
  • Pumpkin biscotti
  • Pumpkin panettone
  • Pumpkin spiced pumpkin seeds
  • Dark chocolate pumpkin spice salted caramels
  • Pumpkin pie spice cookie butter
  • Pumpkin Joe Joe’s sandwich cookies
  • Pumpkin ice cream
  • Mini pumpkin pies
  • Pumpkin macarons
  • Pumpkin bread pudding
  • Sticky pumpkin cake
  • Pumpkin cheesecake
  • Pumpkin pie mochi ice cream
  • Ginger pumpkin mini ice cream sandwiches
  • Pumpkin spice granola
  • Pumpkin waffles
  • Pecan pumpkin instant oatmeal
  • Pumpkin rolls with pumpkin spice icing
  • Pumpkin O’s cereal
  • Greek pumpkin yogurt
  • Cold pressed pumpkin harvest juice
  • Pumpkin spice almond beverage
  • Pumpkin spice caramel corn
  • Pumpkin tortilla chips
  • Pumpkin soup crackers
  • Pumpkin cranberry crisps
  • Pumpkin cream cheese
  • Pumpkin spice rooibos tea
  • Pumpkin butter
  • Pita crisps with cranberries and pumpkin seeds
  • Chocolate mousse pumpkins
  • Pumpkin pancake mix (also comes gluten-free)
  • Pumpkin scones with maple icing
  • Pumpkin chai spice loaf
  • Pumpkin vinaigrette
  • Petite pumpkin spice cookies
  • This pumpkin walks into a bar cereal bars
  • Pumpkin spice chai
  • Pumpkin spice coffee
  • Pumpkin body butter

AND – WAIT FOR IT:

  • Pumpkin flavored dog treats

Really, this is too much.

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This guy wants those pumpkin waffles

 

 

Lemony Quinoa Salad

I had to bring a dish to a Forced Family Function (F.F.F.) over the weekend, and I decided to counter the usual cheesy/bacony/buttery fare with a healthy quinoa salad.

Lemony Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (I used Trader Joe’s Tricolor Quinoa)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1-2 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 cup fresh peas (Also Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 lemon for zesting and for the juice
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 6 oz fat-free feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to package directions, except use the vegetable broth instead of water for a more flavorful end product.
  2. At the same time, prepare a large put of boiling water and blanche the asparagus pieces and peas. It’s fine to cook them together. 
  3. Zest the lemon, set aside.
  4. Drain the asparagus and peas, then toss them with the olive oil, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine the quinoa, lemony green vegetables, tomatoes, parsley, lemon zest and feta.
  6. Squeeze the rest of the lemon over the whole thing, stir, and taste. You’ll probably want to season a bit more with salt and pepper.
  7. Eat.

Taking care to season the quinoa and the vegetables before mixing everything together really adds to the flavor and cuts the need to use much fat at all. The feta is also a strong note that stands up well. I like this dish to be really lemony, but you can make it to suit your own palate. I thought it was delicious.

Here’s what it looked like before I added the feta:

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P.S. Regardless of my opinion, this was a decided failure at the F.F.F. A few people politely tasted it, one proudly declared she’d “never even heard of qui-no-ah,” and I ended up bringing most of it back home, which was fine by me.