Wednesday, July 20

Cookbook Review: I Love Trader Joe's College Cookbook: 150 Cheap-and-Easy Gourmet Recipes


When I was in college I had a vegetarian friend who ate the same thing every single day for lunch, “a meatless burger.”  It wasn’t a chewy veggie burger or a hearty black bean burger. Oh, no, her meatless burger consisted of lettuce, tomato, mayo, and a single slice of American cheese piled neatly on a hamburger bun. Every day for four years. It was tragic.

It’s too bad Andrea Lynn’s new book, I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook: 150 Cheap-and-Easy Gourmet Recipes wasn’t out then. I would have bought it for her. She would have loved it, especially the chapters on “Sandwiches & Salads” and “Vegetarian Main Meals” that include tasty options such as Almond Butter and Banana Sandwiches and Teriyaki Tofu with Baby Broccoli.

All of Lynn’s recipes feature Trader Joe’s signature products, so you won’t have to trek from market to market searching for items. It’s really a one-stop-shopping cookbook ideal for both cash- and time-strapped college students. And kitchen novices. And working moms and dads. And anyone looking for easy recipes and trying to save money.

Lynn provides colorful recipe icons that help you select the recipe that’s right for you. They include microwave meals, no-cook meals, one-pot meals, and more. “Tips & Techniques,” include a few kitchen basics such as “how to boil an egg" and “how to cook al dente pasta."

Chapters are divided by meal category, and recipes, which average 5 to 7 ingredients, are clearly written and easy to follow. Delicious pasta dishes including Chickpea Penne and Portobello Mushroom Ravioli clock in at under 15 minutes. Even more impressive "Special Occasion" recipes such as Israeli Couscous with Lemon Shrimp and Wasabi Coated Chicken take about 30 minutes.

Parents who are paying for their kids’ tuition will want to hi-light the chapter called “Quick and Hearty Brain Food for Finals” featuring fortifying breakfasts such as Microwave Scrambled Eggs and Smoked Salmon, nutritious snacks such as Very Berry Smoothies, and belly-filling dinners such as Lentils with Chicken Sausage. Just don't tell them about the boozy Kahlua Spiked Chocolate Milkshakes.

fried chickpeas

While it's too late for me to help my friend, it's not too late for you. So, please, if you're a  college student, harried mom, single dude, or anybody looking for inexpensive, easy, and great-tasting recipes, do me a favor -- skip the sad "meatless burgers," and get a copy of  Andrea Lynn's I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook.

GIVE -AWAY TIME!
Tell me why you'd like to win this book, and I'll announce a winner (chosen randomly) on Sunday, July 24th. Good luck! 


Fried Chickpeas
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Printable recipe.

1⁄4 cup cornstarch
1⁄4 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
canola oil, as needed

1. Line a plate with a paper towel. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, flour, and salt. Working in batches, add the chickpeas to the cornstarch mixture, coating thoroughly.

2. Toss the coated chickpeas into a strainer, shaking to remove excess coating.

3. In a large heavy deep pan, heat 1 inch of oil over high heat until shimmering.

4. When the oil is hot, add half the chickpeas and cook until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon onto the prepared plate. Repeat with the remaining chickpeas. Sprinkle salt over the fried chickpeas.

52 comments:

Jennifer B said...

I would like to win this book because cheap and easy is for me! Working 2 jobs and having 3 weddings coming up that I'm a part of..well, that leaves me with little time and little money, without a decrease in the desire to make fabulous meals!

Janelle said...

My brother is headed to college in just a few weeks. He's attending USC on a full scholarship, and though he'll be in the dorms for his first year (at least), kids with full rides don't have a lot of spare time on their hands. He doesn't love being in the kitchen, but he's certainly not afraid of it, either. This would be good for him.

Tiffany Lowe said...

I'm fairly new to cooking, so this recipe books seems like it would be right up my alley!

Anna said...

This would actually be for my sister. She lived off of Trader Joes food when she was in college. She got a job this past spring and they just opened up a brand new Trader joes right next to her apartment. I think she'd love to have this book and continue her college lifestyle, albeit with more sophisticated recipes. I might even have to steal some recipes from her ;)

mix + matchy said...

Thanks for a chance to win the book! I'm a newlywed wife so any help I can get in the kitchen AND any excuse to head over to TJ's is gold!

etwasinspired said...

I just checked out a copy of the original I heart Trader Joe's cookbook from the library and this one looks fantastic as well!

lilmisslexicon said...

I'd love to win this book so I can give it my roommate, who has one year left in school and still makes a PB&J when the cafeteria food doesn't sound good.

Catie said...

Trader Joe's is FINALLY coming to my city this fall. This cookbook would be a fantastic excuse to visit!

Emma N said...

I'd love to win this book! I'm always looking for good meals to make - fast - and cheap!

emniesl (at) gmail (dot) (com)

Tasty Sensations said...

I LOVE Trader Joes, and would love a copy of this so I can experiment with new things!!

Mikki said...

I'd like to win this book because those chickpeas are such a cool original idea! I'd love to see what else is in this!
coeur.de.verre(at)hotmail(dot)com

BecomingDomestic said...

I would love to win this book, because I love Trader Joe's! While I am not a college student, sometimes I cook like one! :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful cookbook. I am going to buy one for me and one for my teenage daughter.

thischihuahuawearspearls said...

I'm in college and I love TJ's! Plus I have a small cookbook obsession. Sounds like the perfect book for me :D

Mac said...

Sounds like something that will get me a bit more interested in cooking...anything to get me started is a good thing!

Diana H said...

I'd like this book for my college daughter living in a house with her friends this year while she attends her senior year. She could use some cheap easy ideas.

Rosemary said...

I'd love to give this to my daughter! Imagine a nearly 30 year old woman with a designer kitchen and a mom who loves to cook -- and she still calls me when she's hard-cookig eggs! (and I love Trader Joe's.)

Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

I could add this to my TJ's cookbook collection! (Well, it would only be the second one, but whatever) I love Trader Joe's and anything associated with it :)

UNCgal said...

My son will be a freshman in college next month so this would be a great thing to send him off with.

Sarah H.P. said...

I would love to win this cookbook because I'm a newlywed and definitely need some assistance in the cooking department! This sounds like just the thing that I need!

Cindy S said...

I am a working mom with 3 little ones, a full time job,and a trader joes conveniently located halfway between work and their school. Would love new ideas of what to feed everyone!

My Oversized Cranium said...

My daughter is out of college, but is poor, hungry and one block away from Trader Joe's. She really needs this book.

Sarah said...

I often shop at TJ's and would love a cookbook full of their products.

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book becasue I love cookbooks and I love Trader Joe's but never get to go there.

Annelise Kelly said...

I wanna win it cuz I wish I'd written it--it definitely reflects a frequent cooking strategy of mine: "combine stuff from TJ's."

Meredith said...

I'd like to win this book because I love TJ's and until recently did not have one available to me. I wanna try EVERYTHING!

Carol V said...

I'd love to win this book for my grandson who leaves for his Freshman year at Penn State next month. He loved "home economics" in high school and had it first period each day in his senior year so he could make his own breakfast. That is the only meal he knows how to make. This would be so valuable to him and his roomies. He will be in a unit with 4 bedrooms and a gally kitchen.

Carol V

Anonymous said...

I'd like to win because there is a new Trader Joe's opening in my area in September! I can't wait.
Rachel
(rachel_pantos@yahoo.com)

Amy said...

I would love this cookbook because I'm always buying the same stuff at Trader Joe's. I would love a cookbook that can help guide me in trying some new things. And I'll be honest, cooking gourmet for cheap always interests me. Thanks for the opportunity to win!!

Staci said...

I'd love to win because with baby #2 on the way and school and soccer both starting again soon, I'll have to come up with very quick meals most nights! Thanks for the chance to enter!

Julie York said...

I LOVEEEEE Trader Joes! And I love to cook! I'm a recent college grad but still living on the college student budget! This cookbook would be a great addition to my kitchen!
Thank you!

Laura R. said...

I'm always there and would love more cooking ideas ideas, especially cheap ones!

cheri said...

My 19 yr old son has been existing on fast food and eggs for a year. He needs this!

Jeff @ Cheese-Burger.net said...

I've always dreamed of having a gourmet recipe book. Having this book will really make my year.

Caroline said...

i would love to read to win this book, because not only do i LOVE trader joes, but im also a college student! its pretty hard to come up with budget and time friendly recipes that work in a college environment, so this recipe book would be awesome!!

Malia said...

Love Trader Joe's! This cookbook would be great, although I'm not in college any more I could still benefit from cheap and easy meals any time. Thanks for the chance!

KL said...

I love Trader Joe's!! And I would love this cookbook! I love to cook, but I am fairly new at it. I love to try fun, fresh recipes and I love to experiment with interesting ingredients. I also really love quick recipes because I have to chase a 10 month old around all day!!!

Andrea said...

I have many cookbooks and love reading them, but I have nothing close to this one and would love having it in my library. Bring it on ;)

RFR said...

OMG your intro made me laugh. Before the veggie burger era, that's all there was. At the time, I ate meat, but I had friends who didn't, and I would see them at the Burger King drive thru near campus asking for a whopper without meat. It always took 2 takes to tell the person your order because the cashier thinks they didn't hear you correctly the first time. Texas is finally getting a trader joes...and we CANNOT wait.

Heather said...

I would LOVE this cookbook. Since I moved a year ago, the closest TJ's to me is about 3 hours away. I miss them dearly and I was thinking maybe this will help ease that separation anxiety I have.

The Teacher Cooks said...

I really would like to win this cookbook to share with my seniors this year who will need to feed themselves with healthy food!

Anonymous said...

Love TJ's and have 3 nephews in college.

hungrychick said...

I would like to win this book because I, like everyone else, love Trader Joe's, and would love to have another excuse to go there and buy more delicious edibles. javascript:void(0)

Lynn said...

I love Trader Joes. Alas, we don't have one here in Colorado. But my son is in San Diego and would love this cookbook.

Anonymous said...

if this book is as good as everything INSIDE of a trader joe's, i want it!

blueblanket@hotmail.com

Morgan said...

Well, I don't actually live near a Trader Joe's anymore... So I need this book to assuage my sadness over that. Hopefully I can recreate most of the stuff from non-TJ ingredients!

stackedfivehigh said...

I love TJ's. And I'm not innovative, need recipes.

Donna said...

I would like this book because I shop at TJs all the time and always need new ideas. Plus it's my birthday on Tuesday and I'll bet you've been meaning to get me a little gift. Thanks!

magdiego said...

I'm not a college student (far from it - my kids are closer to the college years!) but we're going to be remodeling our kitchen, and I need simple, quick and easy dinners. And I love TJs!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to win this book because I'm still attending college and NEED these types of recipes! I hope I'm not too late to enter.
matthews.jennifer@gmail.com

~Bee said...

Oh goodness! I lived a ten minute walk from a TJs in college--I would have LOVED this book! Though sadly the closest one is now 40 minutes away, I often make the trek for the amazing deals and delicious frozen meals!

Melody said...

Trader Joe's is fantastic and I would love having a cookbook that would help me branch out with cooking more of their products.

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