Hack This Gwyneth Paltrow Meal in Minutes With Trader Joe's Staples

POPSUGAR Photography | Angela Elias
POPSUGAR Photography | Angela Elias

If hearing about the bourgeois undertones of Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good cookbook discouraged you from buying it, I get it. The thought of spending a fortune on obscure ingredients that can only be found at Whole Foods makes me crazy too. But after slowly and selectively cooking my way through this book, I've unearthed some budget-friendly gems that can be hacked with Trader Joe's ingredients. One of my favorites is this ridiculously easy and satisfying Spanish chopped salad, a recipe that's become a weeknight lifesaver.

Bonus Tip: If that particular weeknight also calls for wine, wash it down with a glass or two of Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2012 ($8), also sold at Trader Joe's.

The Swaps:

  • Instead of dusting the chickpeas with sweet pimentón, I use Trader Joe's cayenne pepper and paprika for color and flavor.
  • Instead of a large head of butter/Bibb/Boston lettuce, I use a bag of whatever Trader Joe's salad greens I have on hand.
  • Instead of a jar of roasted piquillo peppers, I use a jar of Trader Joe's fire roasted bell peppers.
  • Instead of membrillo (quince) paste or good-quality raw honey, I use Trader Joe's honey.
  • Instead of sherry vinegar, which you can find at most supermarkets, you can use Trader Joe's red wine vinegar.
  • Instead of using olive oil from a jar of anchovies, I use the olive oil from the can of olive-oil-packed tuna I'm already using.

Spanish Chopped Salad


    • Salad dressing:
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil saved from tuna
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • Course sea salt, to taste
    • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Chickpeas:
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • Coarse sea salt, to taste
    • Salad:
    • 1 bag mixed greens
    • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely sliced
    • 4 jarred roasted bell peppers, thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup cheese and garlic croutons
    • 1 can olive-oil-packed tuna, oil drained off and saved for salad dressing
    • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley


    1. To make salad dressing: Combine honey, vinegar, tuna oil, and olive oil in a small mixing bowl and whisk until the honey blends with the other ingredients. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

    2. To make chickpeas: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Place drained chickpeas in the pan and sprinkle them with cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, or until well-coated and toasted.

    3. To assemble salad: Pour bag of salad into a large mixing bowl and drizzle with enough salad dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Add warm chickpeas, scallions, roasted peppers, and croutons. Using your hands, break the tuna into large flakes over the salad. Drizzle more salad dressing over toppings and sprinkle the entire salad with parsley before digging in.