Trader Joe’s hoe

So, I have been at my internship for far over half a year now, and I still have not gotten to partake in what I was looking forward to most. The main endocrinologist, (we’ll call him Dr. X) prescribes his patients a diet to aid them in their quest to become pregnant or just to balance their hormones. As a nutrition aficionado, I was really excited to sit in on him advising his patients about their diet, and we even talked about me possibly developing some recipes to go along with the diet. Week after week, though, I have either not been available at the proper times, or the patient hasn’t been willing to let me sit in the room with them. Last week, I finally thought I was going to be able to shadow a new patient visit and I was all set to disappear into the corner to listen. The nurse approached the new patient in the waiting room to make sure that it was okay if ‘our new intern sat in and listened’ to the appointment. I couldn’t hear the patient’s response, but when the nurse turned and came to find me, I could tell from her face that the patient had said no. She told me that the patient had gotten really flustered and said no before she had even gotten the full question out. Apparently, she was a bit shaken up from being pulled over on the way to the appointment. Although disappointed, I understood. But it got me thinking about vulnerability and control.

Getting pulled over is scary and sometimes completely unexpected. It makes one feel vulnerable and like they don’t have control over what happens to them. Many things in life be that way; deaths, arguments with loved ones, illnesses, accidents, and loss. It is often in this state of emotion that I find myself denying others or just being a bit bitchy. I think the logic is something like,  I cant control this, this or this, but I can deny this person this thing, or I can say this in this particular manner. Maybe this is all ridiculous, but my guess is that the patient felt the desire to get a sense of control back, and the quickest and easiest way to do that was to deny the first request made to her. Not only was she exerting control over something that related to her, but, better yet, she was able to exert control over another person. For many people, control = comfort. This is goes along with the thought that most eating disorders are not actually related to food, but a desperate attempt to have control over something, anything in one’s life. I don’t know exactly how I feel about that, but I definitely am going to start watching myself for patterns of vulnerability/frigidbitch.

Anywho, enough philosophical blabber and on to a recipe or two! This first recipe is from the magazine Whole Living. I was so excited because the star ingredient was ricotta and I had a whole new tub of it in my fridge. I got so amped to make it that I ended up forgetting…. the ricotta. However, it was so delicious without it that I didn’t realize I had left it out until I started to blog it!

Crispy Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas, and (maybe) Fresh Ricotta

Recipe: Serves 2-4, depending on snack or meal

1 bunch broccoli rabe, rinsed and trimmed

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained

2 cloves garlic, sliced

3 tbsp EEVO, plus extra for drizzling


1 cup ricotta (apparently, this is optional because its damn good without)

crushed red pepper flakes (don’t leave this out!)

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions – Heat broiler. Toss broccoli, chickpeas, and garlic with oil; season with aslt. Broil 2 minutes then flip and briol until leaves are crisp, about 2 more minutes. serve topped with ricotta and red pepper flakes. Add lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

This was so satisfying and tasty. When served with, chicken or scrambled eggs, it made a delightfully complete meal. 

This next food item can hardly be considered a recipe. It’s pretty much an easy, no brainer meal that can be made in under 10 minutes. Furthermore, I purchased all of the ingredients at Trader Joes. I might just start a Trader Joes Recipe series, because that seems to be what I live off these days. Itssodarncheap.

Whole grain pasta tossed with wilted spinach, goat cheese, caramelized onions and smoked andouille sausage

Ugly photo but it tasted supair good.

Recipe: Serves 1

1 cup cooked whole grain pasta

1 TJ’s smoked andouille sausage (or the chicken apple sausage)

handful baby tomatoes

1 cup spinach

handful mushrooms

3 tbsp onion, chopped

2-3 oz goat cheese


Directions – Prepare the pasta and sausage according to directions. Saute the spinach, mushrooms, and onions with a dash of olive oil over the stove. In a bowl, combine the pasta, veggies, sausage and goat cheese. Toss, top with shake of salt, and enjoy!


Chickpeas * 1 cup contains 164% of your daily needed molybenum, 85% of your manganese, 70% of your folate, 20 grams of fiber, and grams of protein!Molybenum is important because the body uses it to detoxify sulfites. These sulfites come from preservatives, including prepared foods like a restaurant salad bar! Because of their high fiber content, chickpeas can lower cholesterol, keep you fuller for longer, and prevent a blood sugar spike.

Whole wheat pasta * unlike refined white flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Onion * Contains quercitin, an antioxidant that halts the growth of tumors! Also, studies have linked regular onion consumption with lower cholesterol and reduced risk of colon cancer. A prime source of chromium.

Mushrooms * a great source of niacin, potassium, and selenium!

24 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s hoe

  1. I enjoyed all your thoughts about vulnerability and control – I feel like I think about those kinds of things a lot, and I definitely struggle with them too! glad you added those thoughts in along with your always-fantastic recipes!

  2. i think we all need to be aware of these unhealthy patterns of control. I am definitely learning that being fearful or anxious is leading to these issues and stops me from truly embracing life, ya know?!

    on another note, I let an intern sit in on my gyno appointment one time. haha, hows that for brave!!!

  3. Both of these recipes look amazing! And I know what you mean about the control thing. I hate when I can’t control things around me, and I’m working it on just letting it go so I can enjoy life with ease.

  4. You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned that eating disorders have nothing to do with food. This is very true it has more to do with trying to gain control over a person’s life.
    I went through this and I used food as a means to gain control of my life which had steadily spun out of control. My mind frame was that if I could do this right (ie; lose weight/eat less/have self control) everything would be fine and my life would be perfect.

    Lovely recipe as always Lauren 🙂

  5. I work the front desk at my school’s clinic and part of my job is to recruit people for various studies occurring on campus. It’s hard and I completely understand where these people are coming from when they say no. I think being in any type of medical setting, mental or physical, is a vulnerable experience. By being there in the first place, we are saying we need help because we don’t know the answer. I don’t know if it’s necessarily trying to regain control by saying no, but just keeping yourself from feeling more vulnerable than you already are.

    I hope you get to sit in on an appointment soon!

    1. SO true! Thats a very good point. What I said most definitely must not be accurate in all cases. Perhaps even no cases, I dont know! Im glad you reminded me of that 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Ah…the need for control. It is something that I have to watch in myself too. I know quite a few people who let that desire overtake their lives. The food you shared with us today looks so delicious. I’m hungry now. Thanks for sharing your stories with me. You know they make me smile.

  7. That is really interesting about your work. I mean, it’s too bad that you couldn’t listen in, but really great plans that you had to work with what you’d have learned. I always make it a point to say yes, even if it makes me uncomfortable. I mean, it benefits students, so why shouldn’t I say yes? They’re often nice as well, and just as nervous as I am.
    both those recipes look amazing. I hope you enjoyed them. Love the plateware as well.

    1. That is seriously so generous of you. I am sure that it can be awkward or uncomfortable to have an extra stranger sitting in a room while you try to divulge personal information – but you are right, it seriously makes students/intern’s days. Thank you :)

  8. Try bbqing the giant sized bunches of brocoli on a grill. I usually put butter on them so the flames get big and burn the brocoli. I take it off black. Wen I eat em I put a 50/50 mix of butter and blue cheese when done. Mmm

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