Supermarkets Today : Quality, Variety, Convenience (cont.)

This is a dream supermarket for college students or young adults, because it has lots of "hip" convenience items like Middle-Eastern-flavored veggie burgers and frozen Thai appetizers -- but with an eye on cost. Although the company is based in California, you can find Trader Joe's stores all over the United States.

Recipes Inspired by Supermarket Dishes

Here are some recipes inspired by some of the interesting prepared dishes I found in supermarkets near me:

Grilled Corn With Cilantro Butter

6 large ears of corn, husks removed
2 tablespoons whipped butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • Preheat barbecue to medium-high heat. Coat ears lightly with canola cooking spray.
  • Grill corn until tender and charred in spots (about 10 minutes).
  • Add the cilantro and whipped butter to a small cup and stir with fork to blend well.
  • When corn is ready, remove the ears from grill and spread a teaspoon of cilantro butter all over the outside of each ear.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: 156 calories, 4 g protein, 30 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 1.2 g monounsaturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 47 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 21%.

Olive Salad

This dish was inspired by an olive salad I sampled at a nearby supermarket's olive bar. It's wonderful on crackers or as a spread on sandwiches. It can also be used in most recipes calling for tapenade.

1/2 cup black olives, pitted
1/2 cup green olives, pitted
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon capers, drained and rinsed well
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (add more to taste if desired)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Add olives, garlic, capers, red pepper, and lemon zest to the bowl of a small food processor and press "chop" briefly. If you don't have a mini food processor, put the ingredients on a cutting board and chop well with a knife or chopper tool. Add the chopped mixture to a small bowl.
  • Add pepper, mustard, and olive oil to the olive mixture and stir well to blend.

Yield: 1 cup olive salad (8 servings of 2 tablespoons each)

Per serving: 47 calories, 0.2 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 4.7 g fat, .6 g saturated fat, 3.7 g monounsaturated fat, 0.4 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.3 g fiber, 276 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 90%.

Tuxedo Cookies

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
3 tablespoons less-fat margarine (with 8 grams fat per tablespoon) or butter
2 tablespoons cooled espresso or double-strength coffee
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two thick baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine flours, baking powder, and salt in a 2-cup measure and stir to blend.
  • Place chocolate chips, baking chocolate, margarine, coffee, and chocolate syrup in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Cook in microwave on HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir to finish melting the chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Add sugar, egg substitute, and vanilla to mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce to low speed and beat in the chocolate mixture just until combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  • With a cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared pans. Bake for 8 minutes or until the surface of the cookie is dry (do not overcook). Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet, and then peel them off of the parchment.
  • While cookies are cooling, place the white chips in a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave on LOW until chips are melting, once stirred with spoon (about 1 minute).
  • Dip the edge of each cookie (about a fourth of the cookie) into the melted chocolate and let the chocolate harden by placing the cookies on waxed paper.

Yield: 24 cookies

Per cookie: 131 calories, 6 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 1.8 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 120 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 36%.

Published May 3, 2007.


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