Is it possible to really, truly appreciate something when it is readily available? I knew that I would miss Trader Joe's, my favorite grocery store (besides WINCO) when we moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. But I had no idea how deep my attachment had become until it was really and truly three-hundred-seventeen miles away. And yes, some tears were shed in the Trader Joe's parking lot of Chicago last summer when I thought I was leaving T.J.'s for the last time. However, it didn't take long to realize that pretty much any desirable shopping is three-hundred-seventeen miles away from Houghton Michigan, and long distance shopping trips simply have to be made for anything that can't be purchased at Walmart or online.
Despite the distance, somehow my sweet husband has managed to sneak in a quarterly trip to stock up on groceries at Trader Joe's. Miracle of Miracles. I really needed that fresh basil to get me through this lengthy winter. Also the care packages containing candy cane jo joe's, and the grocery delivery from Columbus Ohio helped immensely. Thank you, you kind souls. You know who you are.
Here is a simple little recipe that I threw together when we got back from our latest raid of the Minneapolis Trader Joe's. I was especially grateful for these groceries because our refrigerator was completely empty. Below you will find a beautiful, easy, quick, and delicious complete vegetarian meal in salad form. Voila.
Edamame Caprese Pasta Salad
(Good luck finding all these ingredients in once place unless you are looking at Trader Joe's)
-1 package raw fresh Edamame (which is a complete protein by the way)
-1 package heirloom cherry-sized tomatoes, quarter the larger ones
-1/2 of a log of fresh mozzarella large diced
-2 bunches of fresh basil, chopped
-1 package of fresh tortellini (mine was cheese and spinach I think, but any kind would rock in this salad) cooked according to directions on package and drained. Look in the refrigerator section.
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 cup olive oil
Place vegetables in a medium sized bowl. Add pasta. Sprinkle with olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper.
Trader Joe, if you are reading this, know that I love you and miss you, very much.