Joe. Trader Joe, that is! OK, that was pretty cheap. But, hey you clicked on me! Would you have, if I’d titled this post “Pantry Basics”? Admit it, you’ve cheated with him too, (even the guys). You can’t go to a casual party or dinner in Pasadena where there’s not at least something from Trader Joe’s. I can write about TJ’s now, because I believe there is one in almost every state. I even saw a Joe’s in Union Square on a recent trip to New York city. Trader Joe’s started in South Pasadena more than 50 years ago. I could easily work there, and probably should, because I know all their products intimately. I buy all my pasta and grains most of my cheeses, nuts and cereal and lots of condiments.
Oh, yeah, and of course wine. I could go on and on, but back to my cheating ways. I do work full time as a teacher, so sometimes I come home from work, after picking up the kids and I’m tired! Fast food just has never been an option for us. It’s not like we live in a monastery, but I reserve fast food for long road trips. So here are some of the things I use to “cheat”. Canned beans, you can do a whole lot of things with canned beans…add them to soups, casseroles or just puree them for a quick dip. Green chilies? I put those in rice, enchiladas and soups. Tapenade is great as in a salad or on a sandwich. This Hummus is so easy to throw together, that I always have a few cans of garbanzo beans in the pantry for last minute company or when I need a quick dip. Serve it with pita bread or veggies for a healthy snack. While it’s best made with tahini paste, which you can find in most grocery stores, I’ve also substituted sesame oil in a pinch.
- 1 can of garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained, reserve juices
- Juice of one lemon, divided
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoon of tahini (sesame paste)
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Olive oil for drizzling
- In a food processor, puree the beans with 1 clove of garlic, juice of half of the lemon, and tahini.
- Add reserved bean juice 1-2 Tablespoons at a time and process until hummus is smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper if necessary.
Looking for more Mediterranean dishes?