Two things I’m digging lately, ghee and Trader Joe’s brown rice and quinoa fusilli pasta.
I’m pretty new to using ghee and have been thrilled to find out that there are a bunch of health and cooking benefits. Basically, ghee is clarified butter, and is made by simmering butter and then separating the liquid part from the chunky party (yes, very technical description) — the liquid part will solidify once cooled, and that’s the ghee! (I smell a future DIY project….). Ghee is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, but can also be used as a replacement for butter or oil.
First impression…tastes a lot like butter, but with a consistency very similar to coconut oil. I used it on top of my pasta tonight with a pinch of salt and some parmesan cheese.
Here are just a few of the great things about ghee:
- It has a high smoke point (482* F), which means you can cook and fry with it at high temperatures and it will not break down or burn.
- It does not spoil easily, so it doesn’t really require much refrigeration, if any.
- Apparently, when ghee is made, the milk solids are separated (that’s the chunky part I mentioned above) and removed, so people who are lactose intolerant can usually have ghee with no issue.
- Ghee is super nutritious: high in Vitamins A, D, and E, a rich source of K2 and CLA.
- It’s rich in fatty acids, which are a good source of energy. It also has butyric acid, which aids in digestion and decreasing inflammation in the body.
If you know me, you’ll know I LOVE butter (a friend has even endorsed me for “Butter” on LinkedIn…it’s that serious. But more on that later…), and ghee is kind of butter 2.0. I will never give up the real thing, but ghee is a great (healthful!) addition to my cooking. Order yourself some Ghee: Trader Joe’s Clarified Butter (Ghee), 8oz.
2. Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa Fusilli Pasta. (Order here!)
I’m Italian. I was also an athlete my whole life, which means I used to eat pasta ALL THE TIME…dinner, microwaved for breakfast the next morning, you name it. And being a young, spry lil thing that ran my butt off in soccer practice and other sports nearly every night, it didn’t matter one bit how much pasta I consumed when I was younger. Nowadays, not so much. Today, pasta is more of a treat. I try to eat clean 80-90% of the time, and pasta does not factor into that clean eating plan. The grains I usually eat are brown rice and quinoa. So, you can imagine how THRILLED I was to discover quinoa and brown rice PASTA at TJ’s. And I kid you not, the only ingredients are brown rice and quinoa, and guess what, those count as clean eating! I honestly feel like I’m cheating each time I eat it — it really tastes like the real thing.
First impression…It completely satisfies any pasta cravings I ever have. It’s so good! Now, if you know your pasta, you’ll notice that it’s not EXACTLY the same as the real thing…with normal pasta, it’s smooth and your teeth cut through it easily. The brown rice and quinoa pasta is “stickier” and the tiniest bit chewy, but man, for an imposter, it does the job.
Ultimately, if you’re trying to eat healthy but absolutely needing to get your pasta fix, try this stuff out. Plus, it’s organic!
Tonight, I added a touch of ghee to my boiling water instead of olive oil, and then put a little bit on the finished pasta. YUM.