Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Shout out to Trader Joe's, with a nod to Ventura's Fresh and Easy

As most of you probably know by now, Ventura has just been blessed with the opening of its first Fresh and Easy Market on the corner of Telegraph and Day Road. I can't say too much about it because I haven't had many chances to shop there yet. But, I was pleased with their selection, thought some of their prices were very reasonable (Nathan's hotdogs for $3.99!), and liked the look of the store. The self checkout - not my favorite - especially when you've got little kids who like to press buttons and don't understand the weight sensitive area thing. But, I do absolutely adore the fact that people shopping with young kids (yes, that would be me all frizzy-haired and frazzled trying to squeeze my weekly shopping in between work and a playdate at the park) get to park right in front of the store.

Anyway, I have found myself wondering about the impact on Trader Joe's and their business. But, knowing Joe and his loyal following, he's probably doing just fine thank you very much and probably wouldn't want us doting on him and worrying about his well-being. But still, I wanted to share one of my favorite, super easy recipes which I made this week in his honor. It's for Eggplant Parmesan Pasta, and it hails from Cooking with all things Trader Joe's, a cookbook dedicated to recipes using only ingredients from Joe's.

1 - 24 ounce package Roasted Eggplant Parmesan (found in the refrigerated, prepared foods section of TJ's)
3 cups farfalle or any pasta
1 TBL fresh basil or parsley

Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. While pasta is cooking heat eggplant parmesan according to package directions. Cut eggplant into bite-size pieces (I cut it while still still in the container with the cheese and sauce) . Do not discard any sauce or cheese. Stir together the pasta and the eggplant parmesan cheese and sauce mixture. Garnish with basil or a sprinkle of parmesan. Mangia!

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