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Monday, November 12, 2007

Trader Jose's

Here's a quick photo tour of how to put together a Mexican meal using only ingredients purchased from Trader Joe's (or Trader Jose's, if you will):

Trader Joe's - Guacamole Kit

You can purchase pre-made guacamole there and it's usually pretty fresh or you can buy one of their guacamole kits and make it yourself. The kit comes with avocado, onion, tomato, chile pepper, a lime and a garlic clove.

Trader Joe's - Peach Salsa

They have numerous varieties of salsa. Some are canned and some are fresh but don't turn your nose up at the canned ones. They are all good and the kind I got for this meal was their peach salsa.

Trader Joe's - Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

They also have a lot to choose from in the corn chips department. Mix things up a little and get some Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. Yes, the blue coloring is natural.

Trader Joe's - Chicken and Cheese Tamales

Trader Joe's has several varieties of frozen, microwavable tamales. My favorite is the Cheese and Green Chile Tamales. These actually turn out okay in the microwave but I find I only have to heat them for about half the time it says to on the package.

Trader Joe's - Beef Tamales

Trader Joe's - Cheese and Green Chile Tamales

Here's another entree item: the Rolled Chicken Tacos. I don't know why these aren't called taquitos but they are still good.

Trader Joe's - Rolled Chicken Tacos

I put my own spin on the polenta (corn meal) by cutting it into a few discs and frying them in a little butter.

Trader Joe's - Polenta

As with many of their items they have numerous choices for refried beans. I went with the kind that had a little bit of jalapeño in it:

Trader Joe's - Refried Black Beans

And the requisite Spanish rice. Not a lot of veriety here. Pretty much the straight up, traditional stuff that you boil and add seasoning to:

Trader Joe's - Spanish Rice

And the final product:

Trader Joe's - Mexican Dinner

The papaya nectar juice makes is a perfectly complementary beverage to this Mexican meal (squeeze a little lime in it):

Trader Joe's - Papaya Nectar

I couldn't find much in the way of Mexican desserts at Trader Joe's. My bext approximation was to get some frozen, chocolate-dipped bananas:

Trader Joe's - Chocolate-dipped Bananas

Apart from the dessert scene, Trader Jose's has many Mexican items you can use to put together your own meal. There might even be another entry here later focusing on entirely different items.


Melissa said...

trader jose's? hahaha.

your meal looks really nice. I just started shopping there recently and really love it.

ChristianZ said...

Actually, the labels on all their Mexican items say "Trader Jose's" on them.

Johnny Automatic said...

Long time Trader Joe's fan here. You know the funny thing is, for all the great Mexican food items they carry, they don't have any real Mexican style cheeses like Cotija or Queso Fresco. I always find that odd.

ChristianZ said...

Hmm, thought I'd seen cheeses like that in the refrigerated section before. Now I'll have to double check.

Anonymous said...


I am curious. How many meals did
you get out of it, and what was
the total cost?

And what is your Speedy rating for


ChristianZ said...

Chaz, haven't heard from you in a while. I didn't really add up the cost because I got this stuff over a couple visits and I sort of only made one meal out of it so I could have something to photograph for this entry but all the fixin's I got would make a meal for three or four. And a Speedy rating? Not really sure what to compare it to but my gut reaction is four out of five.

There might be some more entries where I show how to make Mexican meals using ingredients from certain other places.

Tripura Korlipara said...

I came across some cool reviews on Trader Joe's at SustainLane;'s/W7W424XPQFPAMDYSNTZQFY1PR2SB

ChristianZ said...

Thanks for the link, Tripura.

Afishionado said...

That peach salsa sounds very interesting! I will definitely have to pick up a jar the next time I'm at Trader Joe's. Thanks for the tip!