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February 24, 2014

The “Trader Joe” Bowl

by Anne Paddock

My family calls this meal in a bowl the “Trader Joe” Bowl because the main ingredients are purchased from Trader Joe’s. Years ago, my sister-in-law told me to go to Trader Joe’s because their stores sell the best avocados and they truly do. I’ve bought avocados from grocery stores and gourmet markets and the quality has never come close to the ones sold at Trader Joe’s. Rich, creamy and delicious, the avocados are consistently excellent and so I make a twice-weekly trip to Trader Joe’s to buy 4-5 avocados at a time (we eat a lot of avocados).  Although the avocados are often hard and green when I buy them, they ripen in 3-4 days. get-attachment-2.aspx

The foundation of the bowl is Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend, a savory blend of Israeli Style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa that cooks up in 10 minutes. Spooned into the bottom of the bowl, the cooked grains serve as a hearty base from which the toppings can then be arranged on top. Of course, the bowl ingredients can be gently placed in a larger bowl, tossed and returned to the serving bowl, if desired. Beautiful (and the grains aren’t even showing, which are also appetizing) and colorful, the Trader Joe’s Bowl is a nutritious and satisfying meal. Best of all, the bowls take less than 20 minutes from start to finish.


  • 1 16-ounce bag of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend
  • 2 Trader Joe’s Avocados – ripe and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Mangos (ripe) or 1 plastic container of Trader Joe’s mango slices (in refrigeration section by the fruit) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 15.5 ounce container of Trader Joe’s Organic Sprouted Tofu Extra Firm, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 handful of Trader Joe’s Pea Shoots
  • 1 small container of raspberries, optional
  • 1/4 cup of Teriyaki Sauce


  • Place 3-1/2 cups of water into a 2-quart pot and bring to a boil. Add the 16-ounce bag of Harvest Grains Blend and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Life the cover and blend the grains (the couscous will rise to the top) and set aside.
  • Pour the Teriyaki Sauce in a large saute pan. Turn the heat on high and heat for 2 minutes. Add the tofu cubes and reduce the heat to medium, cooking each side for 3-4 minutes until browned. Remove from the heat.
  • Place 4-5 large soup/salad bowls on the counter. Scoop the cooked grains into the bottom of the bowl.
  • Place the tofu, diced avocado, chopped mango, and pea sprouts on top of the grains. Place 7-8 raspberries in the center and serve promptly. Makes 4-5 large portions.

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