Trader Joe’s tuna is too, too good

911503_10201149962614089_1987907912_nMy sister (Sara, from the slice – not to be confused with Jenny from the block) introduced me to Trader Joe’s a few years ago when she lived close to Des Moines. I loved the “little grocery store”  in the neighborhood feel. I was overwhelmed which seems odd since the store is relatively small. So much of the stuff there is uniquely different and some things just like what you could buy at the big box – only with a twist and an upgrade.  I love that you don’t recognize any of the labels because the stuff is all “Trader Joe’s” brand and most of the stuff is organic. Of course you would expect “organic” from a company that was born in Cali. (notice how I say “organic” like I don’t really believe it is “organic” and/or aren’t all fruits and veg  grown from a seed in soil,  “organic”?)

Trader Joe’s actually started in the 50’s (our favorite decade) as a small chain of convenience stores called Pronto Market. So all you, “I’m shopping in a cool place and I’m better than you” people I just want you to know that this is a glorified quicky mart owned by the parent company of Aldi’s… Anyway, back  to some history – In the 70’s they were the first store to sell those canvas recycle grocery bags. And finally in the 90’s stores started popping up all over the east coast and midwest.

Since I only get to go there like 4 times a year, I never remember what I love from the store – so I call Sara before I make my grocery list. The website will make you a grocery list with all their new stuff or customer faves, but we’ll get to that at the end.

The last time I was there I picked up some tuna steaks caught from the fresh crystal waters of Fiji (that’s what the wrapper said). They looked thick and delicious –  uncooked (imagine what they’ll taste like when I get through with them) and were affordably priced.

The directions on ways to prepare the tuna recommended that it not be microwaved (ya think) and the marinade was a “creative” mix of olive oil, salt and pepper. This to me is not a “marinade”, it’s what you do to the fish before you marinate it. I sound mean in this post, don’t I?

I placed the steaks into a gallon sized ziplock freezer bag overnight covered with my marinade. The mix goes something like this;

1tsp red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)

1tbls toasted sesame seeds (more if you want to pick them out of your teeth all night)

2 tbls EVOO (I hate it when Racheal Ray says this)

1tbls brown sugar (ain’t nothing wrong with a lil suga)

1/4c soy sauce (I think of it as asian salt)

1 tbls minced garlic (I love everything about garlic )

2tbls red wine vinegar (adds tang and plain ole vinegar is a great “organic” household cleaner)

When you are ready to cook your tuna, make sure you use a stick pan (not sure what to call it) as opposed to a non stick pan. You want it to get screaming hot (that’ll give you a nice sear and crust) when your sure its hot, hot, hot pour in some  oil (use whatever oil you like) and carefully set the steak in the pan and don’t touch it for at least 3 to 5 minutes.

You’ll see the meat turn opaque about half way up and that’s when you’ll want to turn it over and turn the heat down a little. Some folks like it rarer than others. We like our tuna a little soft in the middle, not to dry but not to mushy either.

I served it up with some Asian slaw and Japanese noodles. Sounds fancy don’t it? The slaw is actually a mix found in the produce section at Walmart (by the bagged lettuce). It comes with everything, including the dressing and its DELICIOUS. As for the  “Japanese” noodles (my kids call them that and eat em all gone) they are spaghetti with teriyaki sauce and a little soy, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

You can sign up for the “fearless flyer” it’ll come delivered in the mail once a month (if you insist on hating the earth) or in your “in” box, via email (for those of your responsible people). I prefer the paper version, I like things I can write on and hold. Plus if I opted for the email version I’d just have to print it off on paper and then I’d be a tree murderer.  This list is just the “new” or “featured” stuff, as an example. You can make the list whatever you like. The great thing about the featured list is that it correlates to the online recipes and they have food stories that go along with the products. Finally, NO! –  this post was not “sponsored” I ain’t even getting a gift card or nothin’. I just like me some TJ.



Handy Flyer Shopping List


  • British Style Crumpets
  • Shortcake Biscuits


  • Blueberry Pomegranate Green Tea
  • Coconut Milk
  • Irish Breakfast Tea
  • Joe’s Decaf Coffee
  • Low Calorie Lemonades
  • Mango Smoothie
  • Fruit and Vegetable Juice
  • Organic Strawberry Lemonade
  • Peaberry Coffee


  • Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • Dubliner Irish Cheese
  • Danish Feta Cubes
  • Manchego Anejo
  • Shaved Cheese Blend
  • Sliced Sharp Cheddar


  • Arugula Pizza
  • Asian Vegetable Stir Fry
  • Chicken Cilantro Won Tons
  • Coffee Bean Ice Cream
  • Grass Fed Angus Burgers
  • Linguine with Pesto and Tomato
  • Palak Paneer
  • Petite Peas
  • Pork Gyoza Potstickers
  • Spicy Beef and Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn Tamales
  • Turkey Meatloaf Muffins
  • Very Cherry Berry Blend


  • 10 Minute Bulgur
  • Bran Flakes
  • Chia Seeds
  • Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
  • Coconut Oil Cooking Spray
  • Cornichons
  • Creamy Tomato Basil Sauce
  • Garlic Powder
  • Fruit and Nut Granola
  • Organic Brown Rice Fusilli
  • Organic Polenta
  • Organic White Quinoa
  • Organic Yellow Mustard
  • Selezione Sicilian EVOO
  • Soyaki Sauce
  • Steak Sauce
  • World’s Largest Olives

Produce & Flowers

  • Asian Style Stir Fry
  • Blackberries
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Kumato
  • Cut and Peeled Carrots
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Seven Roses
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Sunflowers
  • Watermelon Spears
  • Refrigerated Products
  • Baby Back Pork Ribs
  • Bool Kogi
  • Buffalo Chicken Wrap
  • Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus
  • Fat Free Cottage Cheese
  • Field Fresh Chopped Salad
  • Spinach Sour Cream Dip
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Grilled Chicken Strips
  • Harvest Salad
  • Italian Sausage-less Sausage
  • Organic Chicken Drumsticks
  • Cilantro Salad Dressing
  • Reduced Guilt Guacamole
  • Uncured Hot Dogs

Snacks ‘n Sweets

  • Breakfast Trek Mix
  • Chocolate Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels
  • Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies
  • Dried Blueberries
  • Organic Corn Chips
  • PB&J Milk Chocolate Bar
  • Pretzel Slims
  • Raw Almonds
  • Raw Pecan Halves

Supplements & Such

  • Cleanser and Moisturizer
  • Super Amazing Kitchen Cloths

7 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s tuna is too, too good

  1. I like Trader Joe’s but since we moved, it’s not as close to my house. You’ve reminded me that I need to get my own list together and get back there for a visit! They really do have some great stuff!

  2. I’ve never been but have been gifted the “Tart Cherrie Preserves” and there is nothing like them! Yum, Yum!

  3. Pingback: T. M(ay).I. | thesisterslice

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  5. Pingback: Friday Faves – Amy’s top 22 of 2013 | thesisterslice

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