My obsession with Trader Joe’s isn’t exactly a secret around here, so it might surprise you to hear that I used to refuse to shop there. Refuse. Absolutely would not go, even though I have 2 TJ’s within a 15 minute drive of my apartment. I’m almost ashamed to admit it given how often I shop there now. It’ll be even more embarrassing in a second when I tell you my reasons.
UNFOUNDED REASONS THAT I USED TO HATE TRADER JOE’S:
- Only hipsters shop at TJ’s.
- It’s an overpriced specialty food store like Whole Foods.
- The parking lot is always packed and the lines are always long.
- They only sell organic products.
- Only hipsters shop at TJ’s (that really was my biggest reason).
THE TRUTH ABOUT TRADER JOES:
- The staff is so incredibly friendly and helpful.
- The prices are incredible, often times cheaper than the sale prices at the large markets around the city. TJ’s carries many of their own brands which helps them keep the price tags down.
- Even when busy and packed, they always keep the lines moving quickly.
- They sell organic products, but they also sell tons of every day foods as well. There really is something for everyone at TJ’s.
- Hipsters do love Trader Joe’s. But so do loads of other people as well. Hipsters, yuppies, main line house wives, college students, grandmas, and everyone in between.
- TJ’s carries tons of cool and unique products from their own brand. One of my favorites? Their cowboy caviar. A super flavorful corn and black bean salsa perfect for dipping or topping. I love it so much, I decided to make a copy cat recipe at home!
JBG came over to my apartment after work the other day and needed a snack before we went out. I had just finished making my batch of Cowboy Caviar a few hours earlier, so I asked her to taste test my version against the Trader Joe’s version, and she could barely tell the difference. If anything, she just noted that the TJ’s Cowboy Caviar was a tad bit spicier than mine, so if that’s your thing, feel free to add an extra 1/2 Tbs of adobo do the recipe below.
Cowboy Caviar is the perfect salsa for dipping chips, but is also a great addition to eggs, salads, or quesadillas. Even better, use it as a topping on The Spatularette’s most popular recipe to date: Huevos Rancheros Taquitos!
When I first posted the taquito recipe, a commenter asked if there was a recipe for the corn salsa as well. At the time there wasn’t since I used the TJ’s Cowboy Caviar in the photo above, but now I’ve got my own!
- 10.5 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed*
- 8.75 oz can whole corn kernels, drained*
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with peppers and onions, drained
- 1 1/2 Tbs adobo sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo**
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- juice of half a lime
- 1 tsp brown sugar
*Note: The black bean and corn can sizes may look a little weird, but these sizes should be available with the Goya products in a well stocked grocery store. If you can’t find them, I’d recommend using 3/4 of an average sized can for both.
**Note: The chipotles in adobo that I use are also Goya brand and found in the international aisle of my local Shoprite. After opening the can, transfer any of the unused contents to an air tight container (like a small mason jar) and store in the refrigerator until ready to use again. Hint: I have another awesome chipotle recipe coming soon!
In a medium sized bowl, combine the drained and rinsed black beans with the corn and the diced tomatoes. In a small bowl, whisk together the adobo sauce, cumin, lime juice, and brown sugar until smooth. Pour the sauce over the corn mixtures and toss gently with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed. Refrigerate Cowboy Caviar for a couple of hours before serving to allow the flavors to settle. Store any unused Cowboy Caviar in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar
…or just eat it by the spoonful.