I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook: 150 Cheap and Easy Gourmet Recipes: I don’t know who was more excited about this cookbook: me or my eleven-year-old. He is home from school right now on summer break and as soon as he saw the book in my hand, he pleaded to see it. And I mean PLEADED.. since I was in no mood to share!

In the end, he won and took the book from me. Within five minutes, he had marked at least ten recipes that he could make on his own. We are already a Trader Joe’s loving family and he is already familiar with the ingredients but what we both loved was how delightful and simple the recipes in the book are. Author Andrea Lynn has taken already delicious ingredients and put them together in such fun ways. Let’s put it this way, after looking through her book, my son was ready to go and get ingredients to cook NOW!

While this book is written for college kids who do not have access to a lot of pots and pans and a full pantry, really it can be used by anyone who wants to put a good and fast meal on the table. I really liked Andrea’s combinations (wasabi flavored chicken, fish tacos with mango salsa, corn with taco seasoning and more) and her fuss-less approach to the recipes.

In particular, we loved: The Thai Red Curry deviled eggs, Chilean-Style hot dogs with avocados and the recipe presented here: Chickpea penne. I did add some minced cilantro for garnish and the kids loved it.

I added this to my “SPICECAPEDS” section because this recipe includes garlic. I use garlic a lot in my cooking as it has good effects as an antioxidant ( and it makes my recipes taste good!) So while eating garlic will not make you repel mosquitos, it is really good for you system!

Chickpea Penne
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Recipe adapted from “I Love Trader Joe’s College Cookbook” (Ulysses Press, 2011) By Andrea Lynn.

Easiest. Pasta. Ever. The Trader Joe’s Channa Masala is a mix of tomatoes, chickpeas, and spices, which adds a Middle Eastern flair.

1/2 (16-ounce) package Trader Joe’s “Just Pasta” Penne
1 (10-ounce) package Trader Joe’s Channa Masala
1/2 teaspoon Trader Joe’s Crushed Garlic

1. Microwave the pasta according to package directions.
2. Pierce a few holes in the plastic film on the channa masala with a few holes. Microwave on high power until warm, about 4 to 4 1/2 minutes.
3. Transfer pasta to a medium bowl. Add the channa masala to the pasta along with the garlic. Stir to combine.

(photo of the dish courtesy Andrea Lynn)

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  1. Looks like a fun cookbook! Thanks for sharing!

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