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Cooking with Trader Joe's

Health food in the East Bay is losing its snob appeal. Two new restaurants combine healthy, often organic ingredients to create quick meals—that don’t cost that much more than a Big Mac.


Joni Sare

Wondering what to do with all that interesting food you plucked off the shelves during your last visit to Trader Joe’s? A new cookbook shows you how to use those jars of peach salsa and mojito sauce sitting in your pantry.

Quick and Healthy Meals From Trader Joe’s is the brainchild of weight-management and lifestyle coach Jamie Davidson, a Walnut Creek resident with a master’s of science in exercise physiology. The modest spiral-bound cookbook springs from healthy cooking classes Davidson taught for more than 10 years through public programs in Contra Costa and the Tri-Valley. The book focuses on ethnic flavors and features more than 90 chicken, seafood, and vegetarian recipes that can be made in 15 minutes or less.

“Most people would eat healthier if it were easier,” says Davidson. “The recipes in this cookbook are about as easy as it gets.”

Thai chicken pizza, for example, calls for Trader Joe’s refrigerated Almost Whole Wheat Pizza Dough, TJ’s satay peanut sauce, TJ’s Just Chicken, and TJ’s part skim mozzarella, along with onions, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, and roasted peanuts. Each recipe estimates the dish’s calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.

Available for $14.95 at Orinda Books, Rakestraw Books in Danville, Towne Center Books in Pleasanton, They Grow So Fast in Lafayette, and John Muir Women’s Health Center in Walnut Creek, or online at www.healthytraderjoes.com.

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