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I Made the Best Forking Meal of My Life with Just 3 Trader Joe’s Ingredients
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Two (or three) glasses of wine deep, I came home from a “let’s get drinks!” date with a friend and found myself completely famished—thrilled by the wine menu, we never quite got to the food side of things. So, when I stumbled into my kitchen absolutely starving but not tipsy enough to click on my Domino’s app, I opened my fridge to see what I was working with. The contents were by no means abysmal but definitely involved a bigger lift to make edible than, say, ordering a pizza from Domino’s (which I oh-so wanted). 

Scanning the inventory, I had three Trader Joe’s purchases that could potentially make a pretty great meal:

BBQ Cut Fresh Atlantic Salmon

I buy my salmon from TJ’s usually in “BBQ cut”—aka extra-thick, skin-on—because I usually intend to throw it on the grill.

Organic Tricolor Quinoa

I feel naked if there’s not a container of quinoa in my fridge. As I wrote about in my meal-prep article, I’ll usually make a big batch of quinoa on a Sunday night and then store it in my fridge to use for lunches and dinners throughout the week.

Trader Giotto's Genova Pesto

I’d actually never bought this before this week’s grocery trip. I can now say, if you love garlic as much as I do, this sh*t is bonkers delicious.

While I can’t recommend the semi-intoxicated cooking of seafood, I can recommend the easiest, most delicious dinner I made completely by accident with just these three ingredients.

Here’s how to put this stupid-easy dish together. 

The salmon 

1. Pre-heat your broiler to high.

2. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel on both sides.

3. Spread some olive oil on a broiler-safe cast-iron skillet or pan.

4. Place the salmon skin down on your skillet/pan.

5. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of your salmon.

6. Season the salmon flesh with salt and pepper—I also go ham with every spice in my cupboard, making a smoky rub with a kick (i.e., chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper).

7. Spread a dollop (or two) of Trader Giotto's Genova Pesto on top.

8. Put in broiler for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness of your cut.


1. Heat up some olive oil in a saucepan.

2. Dump in a bunch of that pre-made quinoa you have in the fridge.

3. Stir to coat all your quinoa on medium-low heat.

4. Dump in a bunch of that Trader Giotto's Genova Pesto; stir to coat.

5. Add more if you want more (I could eat this stuff plain, by the spoonful).

6. Take off heat once it’s all warm.

And now, we plate! Scoop some pesto-y quinoa onto your dish, plop your beautifully cooked salmon on top and squeeze a little lemon (if you have it) over it all before you dive in.

Happy Trader Joe’s eating!

RELATED: What a Nutritionist Buys at Trader Joe’s

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