Fresh Island Flavors from Your Own Kitchen
Straight from the TimeChop Kitchen comes a new connected meal plan that will transport you to your favorite tropical beach. Fresh island flavors unite in easy one pot/pan meals with gluten-free ingredients found at your local Trader Joe’s.
1. Start with an Awesome Core Meal
Our connected meals always start with a Core Meal to delight your taste buds and impress your toughest critic; you. We promise that this one won’t disappoint. Chicken drumsticks are so easy to cook and Trader Joe’s has organic free-range drumsticks for under $2.00 a pound making them very budget friendly. We created a spice blend to rocket these to the next level and then baked them with sweet potato, asparagus and pumpkin seeds. Finally, we topped everything with two sauces made with fresh island flavors that will have you seeing palm trees, white sandy beaches, and turquoise water.
2. Use Tropical Fruit and Coconut Whenever Possible
If you’ve ever traveled to a tropical paradise then you know that fruit is king. Mangos, papaya, pineapple, kiwi and more are available fresh on every corner. Trader Joe’s has made adding some of this tropical sweetness a breeze with frozen pineapple tidbits and frozen mango chunks. Yes, fresh is usually more flavorful, but when you want to save time and enjoy island fresh flavors this is the next best thing. You’ll love them in the Caribbean salsa that tops tostadas, salads, fish and chili. In the same fashion, Trader Joe’s unsweetened coconut flakes sprinkled over just about anything will increase the island vibe and get you swinging your hips.
3. Mix Fresh Herbs and Lime Juice into Everything
The connected meals this week will use a combination of fresh cilantro, mint and parsley. They add bright flavors to everything from salsa to sauces and chili to salads. In addition, we have included just enough lime juice to give these meals that signature tang. The island green sauce, made with the Core Meal, uses lime juice and all three herbs. It will have you humming your favorite Bob Marley song before you finish eating your meal. Or maybe even Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy.
4. Create The Perfect Spice Blend
We took Trader Joe’s Chile Lime Seasoning and spiked it with smoked paprika, ground ginger and cumin. Then we added just a hint of sweetness with coconut sugar. We’d like to add that once you create that perfect spice blend make sure you use it generously. You might find yourself wanting to add this to everything, so don’t be afraid to make extra.
It’s Time To “Lime”
This week we kept dishes, carbs and time consumption to a minimum and flavor on overdrive. The fresh island flavors will transport you to a dreamy vacation without the jet lag and put you in a party mood. These plant strong meals give you important nutrients in every bite. You’ll have some meals with chicken, a couple with fish and then seven vegetarian options. All of that with just one trip to Trader Joe’s.
We carefully select our fresh and perishable ingredients for optimum use throughout the week in our connected meals. We don’t want you to buy a bag of broccoli or a bunch of cilantro and only use it one. One of our goals is to eliminate the frustration many solo/duo cooks have with tossing un-used produce that spoiled before they could eat it. That’s the beauty behind our connected meal system: minimal waste.
That being said, we don’t know how many meals or servings you will plan, and extra produce or meat could happen. Here are a few suggestion on how you can put them to good and tasty use at the end of the week.
- Use leftover eggs in an omelette or scramble with any combinations of extra veggies. You can use leftover beans and cheese for your own take on huevos rancheros. Don’t forget about using the Chile Lime Seasoning.
- Extra cod? How about some fish cakes? Chop up extra parsley, bell pepper and onion and combine them with an egg and some flax meal or almond flour/meal. Combine with the flaked fish until you can form a patty. You can pan fry in a little oil or bake it in the oven. If you want more fresh island flavors top the fish cakes with a combination of pineapple, mango, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
- If you have leftover chili, cabbage, and the green sauce then you have a power meal. Mix the green sauce with the cabbage to make a slaw. Heat the chili and eat it with the slaw. Sprinkle on pumpkin seeds and the Caribbean salsa if you have any. We had some greens and extra salsa to make our super delicious chili salad.
- Make a super “Fridge Clean-Out” salad. By now, you should know that anything can go into making an awesome and filling salad. Don’t forget the fresh herbs.
Suggestions and Comments Wanted
We want to offer meal plans that meet your needs, tastes, desires, dreams…. Seriously, we want to know what you want, so don’t be afraid leave a comment with a suggestion or two.
Note: TimeChop is not affiliated with Trader Joe’s. All other products, brand names, company names and logos are trademarks of their respective owners, used merely to identify their respective products, and are not meant to connote any sponsorship, endorsement or approval.