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A cookbook meant to bring into the grocery store

November 23, 2009 |  7:25 am


After working all day, do you find yourself wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s, trying to figure out what products to put together to make dinner? Wander no longer. The authors of “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s” feel your pain, and they are doing their part to ease your confusion.

“The Trader Joe’s Companion,” by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati, is just a bit bigger than a Zagat’s guide. And if that’s too big for pocket or purse, it can live in the reusable shopping bags that sit in your car. (Of course, you have to do the work of remembering to bring them into the store.)

And while the book is geared toward what’s sold in one particular grocery store chain, you could use it elsewhere, though in some cases you’d have to adjust the products a little.

The authors are not associated with the company; they call themselves “very devoted” fans with busy lives who use many of Trader Joe’s prepared sauces, precut vegetables and other products. For instance, their black bean soup uses canned beans, frozen crushed garlic, jarred salsa and bagged diced onions, among other ingredients.

The book also has a handy bunch of blank pages in the back for notes.

-- Mary MacVean

(Photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)