Monday, April 8, 2013

Barely Homemade

Sandra Lee's semi-homemade approach is a little more cutesy than I care for (well, with the exception of her cocktail time which I can totally get behind.) In my secret fantasy life that I don't really want and doesn't at all seem like me, but intrigues me all the same, I am a stay-at-home socialite with a proclivity toward faux feather boas in pastel pink and martinis. What does this have to do with the stir fry photo below?

Sorry, I must have sipped one too many martinis imagining my fantasy life and got off track. My point was Sandra Lee's efforts can seem like mostly-homemade compared to what you can do with the magic of Trader Joe's. Case in point: my lunch this weekend. This meal consisted of 5 ingredients and 8 minutes:

1) Trader Joe's Japanese Fried Rice
I really love this stuff which can be a vegan meal in itself. The rice is slightly sweet with tons of umami (from "tell umami this stuff is so freaking good" aka savory/satisfying). Takes 5 minutes to steam in the microwave.
Source: Trader Joe's

2) Gardein Chick'n Scallopini
In my top 3 favorite faux meats, the Gardein scallopini are solid starters for any dish you want to make. Takes about 7-8 minutes from frozen to fantastic in a medium hot skillet. Trader Joe's doesn't carry these, but they do have several other faux meat alternatives that could serve in a pinch.
Source: Gardein
3) Cub Foods' Japanese Vegetable Stir Fry or Trader Joe's frozen veggie blend of your choice
Why is it so hard to find a bag of mixed vegetables you'd want in a stir fry (broccoli, onion, red peppers, carrots, water chestnuts and mushrooms)? It seems like a no brainer this would be a way more popular blend than that boring and unappealing corn, green beans and carrots combo from childhood. 

A pinch goes a long way of this pineapple sweetened teriyaki sauce with ginger, garlic and sesame seeds, but it really brings a bag of frozen veggies (or fresh) and some gardein chick'n to the next level.

/Source: Trader Joe's
5) Optional, Secret Ingredient: Huy Fong Foods' Chili Garlic Sauce
Not as spicy as siracha, but adds heat and extra garlic to your dish by the spoonful. This stuff rocks, but is not sold at Trader Joe's... yet. 
Source: Huy Fong Foods

I made this meal at my home, so it needs to count as at least "barely homemade." What? Sometimes you just want a tasty meal and time left to enjoy your weekend.


  1. Also a big fan of that Trader Joes fried rice mix and the scallopini. We use both often.