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The Trader Joe's Companion: A Portable Cookbook Paperback – November 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Brown Bag Publishers; 1 edition (November 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979938422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979938429
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Gunn and Miniati's cookbook gives you a new reason to love the specialty grocery store" --The Olympian, May 5, 2010

"the Cooking with Trader Joe's geniuses just made my shopping trip even easier with their The Trader Joe's Companion portable cookbook... I'm probably going to need to find a hobby with all this extra time on my hands" --The Stir, Cafemom.com, April 6, 2010

"A godsend for time-pressed people...The Trader Joe's Companion is small enough to throw into your purse, yet full of good, quick, healthy dishes made solely from products sold at TJ's. One-stop shopping! " --Chow.com, February 1, 2010

About the Author

We're Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati. We love good food, we love to cook, and we love Trader Joe's. Time and time again, as we shopped the aisles at Trader Joe's, we overheard people saying, "What do you do with quinoa? How do you use tapenade? What goes well with ricotta-stuffed chicken?" Before we knew it, we were writing a cookbook. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

We're Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati. We love good food, we love to cook, and we love Trader Joe's. Time and time again, as we shopped the aisles at Trader Joe's, we overheard people saying, "What do you do with quinoa? How do you use tapenade? What goes well with ricotta-stuffed chicken?" Before we knew it, we were writing a cookbook. That was back in 2007 and we're now up to NINE cookbooks in the series!

MEET DEANA!
Lives in: Leucadia, CA a small surf and beach town in San Diego County with the motto "Keep Leucadia Funky." I live here with my two kids (who love to help me cook) and two dogs (who are fascinated by my every move in the kitchen).

1000-foot view: I'm the girl that gardens outside in her bare feet, sings loudly in the car and shower, cries at sad movies, buys pretty aprons but never remembers to put them on, goes from flip-flips to heels but has on occasion forgotten to change out of the flip flops before running off to a dressy event.

Met Wona: In engineering class at MIT. In a roomful of sleep-deprived students in sweats, she was the only one wearing a sundress and a straw hat, perfectly groomed. I rolled my eyes, never guessing we'd be great friends in no time.

My kids, ages 9 and 10: love that I'm a cookbook author and they pitch the book at every opportunity, including to cashiers at other grocery stores.

Secret talents: I can weld, scuba dive, solve differential equations, and almost got my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I haven't done any of these in years and might kill myself if I tried any of them now.

In my free time: I'm doing yoga or pottery. If you flip through our cookbook, the handmade pottery is Deana-made.

Want to learn: To Flamenco dance, speak Italian, and do a cartwheel.

Favorite trip: Two weeks of wilderness backpacking in Alaska, the time that I've felt most alive and connected to nature.

Everyone knows: I'm the worst joke-teller in the universe. I can never get the punchline right or I mess up and say it at the wrong time. Meanwhile, I'm laughing so hard I can't get the words out. Friends and family say the process of watching me tell the joke is the only funny part.

Most influential decade: I now realize that I'm a child of the 80's. My children know all the words to "Video killed the Radio Star." On Halloween, when my son asked me how zombies walk, I did the dance from Thriller.

When I was little: I was a very picky eater. I also wouldn't eat beans because I misunderstood the teacher and thought she said that people were "human beans."

Favorite food TV: Top Chef and Throwdown with Bobby Flay. I'm fascinated by people who seem to cook effortlessly in someone else's kitchen.

Worst kitchen nightmare: Last night when I tore open a giant bag of brown rice and spilled the entire contents all over the stove and kitchen floor. I'll be finding grains of rice for years...

Favorite kitchen gadgets: I discovered lime squeezers on a trip to Nicaragua. I have never struggled with a lemon or lime since.

Most requested food I make: Stuffed grape leaves. I haven't come up with a Trader Joe's version yet, but if jars of grape leaves ever show up on the shelves, I'll get to work.

Favorite movies: I'm always game for anything Monty Python or Jim Jarmusch. There are certain movies I could watch over and over again such as "Last of the Mohicans", "Princess Bride," and "Sense & Sensibility."

Favorite desserts: Anything involving dark chocolate, rosewater, or cardamom.

Favorite local eats: Swami's Cafe, Haggo's Tacos, or The Roxy. My kids always vote for sushi.

It surprises people to know that: Wona and I both cooked all our baby food from scratch.

When I need cooking inspiration: I call Wona or my Mom. They're both always exploring new recipes or have some great wow-factor tip on presentation.

If you see me at Trader Joe's: I will occasionally stare at an item on the shelf for minutes on end. I'm not crazy, just trying to come up with a good recipe.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
I never do a dinner party without the recipes!
NXR
The recipes are not intimidating (I'm easily intimidated), seem healthy, and the end results (at least everything I've made so far) taste really good.
Adam Kaplan
I love this second Trader Joe's book which we added to our collection, with the first one also being by Dean and Wona.
Farnoosh Brock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Reader Anastasia on October 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have used Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's for going on two years now - hands down it's my favorite cookbook and I use it several times a week. Most of my go-to dishes are from that cookbook. I was thrilled when I read an article about this new one coming out and snatched it up. I really liked the idea of a "portable" cookbook for taking to the store with you - just stick it in your purse and consult it as you go through the store picking up ingredients. I can't tell you how many times I would stop by TJ's on the way home from work and wished I had some recipes with me rather than randomly picking up products. The size is kind of like those wine guides - tall and narrow - so it definitely is compact and very cute. The recipes are more of the same quick and easy type as before, with all kinds of cuisines. I had discovered the Simply Quiche recipe on their TJ blog actually, and it's here in this book - it's one of those recipes that is fantastic and gets even better as you try your own variations. Lots of great salads too. The Coffee Chocolate Fudge is a-mazing and addictive. Keep 'em coming!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gerald R. Lorden on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in finding that many of the items suggested in this cookbook, which I just purchased,Trader Joe's no longer carry. At the store where I shop they told me that they often drop items all the time,like tomato chutney. I think people should be aware of this before they buy the book. This is the Trader Joe's companion cookbook.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By NXR on October 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
The "Portable" cookbook is brilliant! I rarely use the cookbooks I have because I either forget to write down the recipe or am missing an ingredient when I try to do it spontaneously at home. It's so great to just throw "The Trader Joe's Companion" in my bag when I do my grocery shopping, so I can easily reference a recipe. I have the original "Cooking with Trader Joe's" and love that my favorites from there (Apricot Baked Brie, Black Bean Soup, Veggie Tikka Masala, Peanutty Sesame Noodles, Creamy Lemony Linguine) as well as some exciting new ones (Sweet Corn and Arugula salad, Thai Yellow Curry, Gnutmeg Gnocchi with Spinach, Black Bean Cornbead, Rosemary Potato Pizza, Lemon Basil Cake, Vanilla Chai Bread Pudding) are in the book. I never do a dinner party without the recipes!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sasha on November 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I highly reccomend this neat and inexpensive publication to any discearning parent who strives to maintain the daily "family mealtime".

Most recepies require very little time and effort, yet yeild extremly appetizing, well rounded and healthy results, that the kids love as much as us.
After a couple of weeks enjoying a great selection of delicious meals from this very user friendly cook-book we find ourselves much less prone to saying "yeah I'm tired too, shall we get some take-out?", and now eat better for less time and $.
The real magic is in the "one stop shop" - the ability to get all the groceries in one trip.

Full marks for a truly useful product.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Wilson on June 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
No kidding. This book really changed my life.
My three wonderful grown children all are excellent cooks - something they learned from their mother, my former wife. She and I divorced last year and, after being married for 37 years, I needed to figure this cooking business out. She is a gifted cook. I am not. Not yet.
A few months ago, I described myself as one who "cooks to survive." I'd often turn a bag of lettuce into a bag of compost - still unopened. I loved the nearby Trader Joes and would grab stuff haphazardly and then go to Chipotle or Subway (cue the violins, please). One of my daughters gave me Mark Bittman's book, "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian." To me, all cookbooks were a long list of ingredients, complex, overwhelming, sending me screaming to veggie burgers . . . or cereal.
So there I was at Barnes & Noble . . . right next to Trader Joes here in Hermosa Beach, CA. I spotted the "Companion" book and bought it. And guess what? I got my cooking mojo. No kidding. And in this big year of transition - this is a huge gift. Huge. I'm loving cooking, eating well - and thinking . . . if I can do this - what else can I do?
I highly recommend this book that makes cooking fun and easy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Adam Kaplan on October 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Trader Joe's Companion is great. The recipes are not intimidating (I'm easily intimidated), seem healthy, and the end results (at least everything I've made so far) taste really good. Plus, I like that the book is easily carried, since I'd rather just toss the book in my jacket pocket than write down the ingredients (I guess I'm lazy as well as easily intimidated). All in all, I'm very pleased with this cookbook.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marcy Rosenthal on October 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous cookbook. I instantly fell in love with the size and idea of the portability of it. And, even better the recipes are easy and delicious. The very first recipe I made was divine-the Almond Crusted Pork Tenderloin. I kept the first Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's in my car so that I would remember to take it into Trader Joe's with me, and this companion takes most of the work out of planning our meals and cooking. This book makes my life easier and I am all for that.
I am telling all of my health counseling clients about the book so their lives are easier and more delicious too. Thank you Wona and Deana, once again.
[...]
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