Do you long for the Trader Joe’s demo station to make a return? Do you miss the free food and coffee samples? Me too, but in the meantime, I present to you a recipe truly inspired by the minimalistic approach of the Trader Joe’s demo station. Four ingredients to make a simple and delicious meal in the blink of an eye? Yes please, sign me up.
While going through college and simultaneously living out of rented rooms, most of my food consisted of Trader Joe’s frozen section products. I always kept an eye out for plant-based products that didn’t have a lot of funky ingredients, as well as products that provided a decently balanced ratio of macronutrients(carbs, fats, proteins). I didn’t have a lot of time to cook, had limited refrigerator space, and definitely did not have a desire to spend hours in the kitchen, so my alternative was this: throw-together meals made from random Trader Joe’s frozen products. This is something I continue to eat on a regular basis and love that it always leaves me feeling full and satisfied.
Single Serving Option
One of the reasons I used to make this dish so often was because it comes with the option to make a single serving of it in a microwave. To do this, empty about one-third a bag of the Melodious Blend, one-third a bag of the Quinoa Duo, approximately 1 cup of frozen spinach, and a tablespoon or two of the sauce into a glass pyrex bowl or Tupperware container. Put it in the microwave and cook on high for about 4 minutes or until warm. Mix it up and you’re good to go! This was my last-minute lunch break meal for the longest time – ha!
Similarly, you could add the appropriate amount of ingredients for a single serving into a small saucepan and cook until warm to get the same results. This is also another no-brainer meal I make when I want something comforting and dense, but don’t necessarily have the time or energy to make something. If you do this, try adding the spinach and melodious blend first, similar to how it is in the written recipe, to prevent it from getting soggy and mushy.
This recipe is made exclusively from Trader Joe’s products. If you do not have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you could try making a similar meal from quinoa, sweet potato, zucchini, spinach, lentils, tomatoes, green garbanzo beans, and hot sauce but unfortunately, you will be missing the convenience aspect of this recipe.
- Melodious Blend: a mix of green lentils, red lentils, green garbanzo beans, olive oil and salt.
- Quinoa Duo: a mix of white/red quinoa, zucchini, sweet potato, olive oil, tomato sauce, onions, and other spices.
- Frozen Spinach
- Green Dragon: a hot sauce made from jalapenos and tomatillos.
How to make 4-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Demo-Style Veggie Mix
This meal is:
Heat the frozen spinach and Melodious Blend
The first step to making this meal is to heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the frozen spinach and the Melodious Blend mix. Allow these ingredients to cook for five minutes, while stirring frequently.
Feel free to add more or less spinach depending on your taste. The texture of the chopped spinach works really well alongside the other ingredients, however, if you want to switch it up, try going for frozen broccoli, or really any other dark, leafy green you enjoy!
Add the Quinoa Duo
Next in line is the Quinoa Duo. We’re adding the quinoa after the other ingredients to prevent it from getting too soggy and mushy. Once it’s added and mixed in with the other ingredients, continue cooking for 5 more minutes, or until the sweet potato and zucchini(from the Quinoa Duo package) are warm and tender.
Add the Green Dragon Sauce
Once the 10 minutes of cooking are up, turn off the heat and add the sauce. I like to use about 1/4 a cup here, but if you’re not a big fan of spicy foods, try adding 2-3 tablespoons. There’s a lot of flavors that come from the quinoa package, but the sauce really helps to amp it up, so use as much as you’re comfortable with.
This meal is best served warm and with an added splash of the Green Dragon hot sauce added! Or, try it cold for a quick and cooling snack!
Storing and reheating
Store the leftovers for this meal in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place it in a skillet over medium heat until warm, or pop it in the microwave until warm.
Each serving contains the following macro and micronutrients:
- Protein: 13 grams
- Carbohydrates: 13 grams
- Fat: 6 grams
- Iron: 5 mg
- Calcium: 178 mg
- Potassium: 631 mg
If you enjoyed this meal, I’d love to hear about it!
4-Ingredient Trader Joe’s Demo Style Mix
- 1 package Trader Joe's Melodious Blend
- 3 cups frozen chopped spinach (about half a bag from Trader Joe's)
- 1 package Trader Joe's Qunioa Duo
- ¼ cup Trader Joe's Green Dragon Sauce
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the frozen spinach and melodious blend and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the qunioa duo and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Turn off the heat, and fold in the sauce