Here is a list of items that are healthy and not so healthy that always make their way into my cart:
Yes, that is the first thing on my list. Don’t judge me, I have a toddler. Unlike everyone else, I’m not going to say the cheap $2 wine. I’ve yet to find one that I like with that particular brand. However, their diverse selection and the number of wines priced in the $5 to $10 range is beyond compare. Throw a bottle or two into the cart for special occasions like Thursday and your budget barely notices.
Trader Joe’s Joe-Joe’s Vanilla Sandwich Creme Cookies:
I refer to these gems as the healthier Oreo cookie. Same as all Trader Joe’s brand items, these have no artificial preservatives or hydrogenated oils. They also come in chocolate but I’m a vanilla lover. At only $2.99 box you can’t go wrong!
Mandarin Orange Chicken:
This is a cult favorite for anyone who has access to a TJ’s and for good reason. It is just simply DELICIOUS! My method is to cook it 2-3 minutes longer than the recipe calls for to ensure the chicken gets a crunchy outer layer. This ensures that when I add the sauce and toss it around it doesn’t just soak it up and get soggy.
I also don’t microwave the sauce packets. I try to not microwave anything in plastic if I can help it. I leave the frozen sauce packets on the top of my stovetop while the chicken cooks. My oven gets hot enough that it defrosts the sauce perfectly. If you add it to the chicken immediately after it is out of the oven it warms the sauce to the necessary temperature.
Speculoos Cookie Butter:
Put it on crackers, put it on bread, or eat it with a spoon. There are no rules here people. I’m a spoon girl. It has just the right amount of everything delicious to it and I love the hint of gingerbread to it. You just can’t go wrong with this. I mean it has its own Facebook page for goodness sake.
Produce (bananas, avocado):
Simply put, you can’t go wrong with their prices and the quality. Both organic and non organic produce is always fresh and always in stock for the season.
Frozen Tandoori Naan:
These are perfect for personal mini pizzas. My husband and I can never share a pizza. We knew this going into this marriage. He’s a bacon and sausage kinda guy and I am all about the veggies. Plus its the perfect size for my toddler to have her own pizza as well. My daughter and I love a good hummus pizza. No tomato sauce, just a layer of hummus, a drizzle of olive oil and load on the veggies!
Quinoa & Steelcut Oatmeal:
This is a frozen item that comes in a pack with 28 oz packages that resemble hockey pucks. Just peel it out of the plastic seal and throw it into the microwave and its ready in minutes. You can top it with fruit, brown sugar or my fave…agave!! YUM! It’s filling and only 180 calories, can’t beat that!
Chili Lime Chicken Burgers:
These are perfect for lunch or dinner and they’re ready in minutes. They have the perfect amount of spice without being spicy. I don’t eat red meat so to me this is the perfect juicy burger. Plus one serving packs 19g of protein!
Trader Joe’s Canned Organic Pumpkin:
I am a huge fan of the 2 ingredient cake, muffin, cookie and brownie mixes. I’ve never had a cake so moist since mixing this up with a box yellow cake mix. I also like sneaking this into my homemade mac and cheese. My husband and my daughter have never been the wiser.
Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils:
They’re fully cooked and packed in a pouch that keeps them fresh and delicious. They couldn’t be quicker or easier to prepare. Just throw the pouch into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes and you’re done! To me they taste like black beans, which are a fave in our house. Even my little one eats these up!
Trader Joe’s Frozen Edamame:
These are a go to for so many dishes I make. I throw them in a soup, a salad, add them to my homemade hummus, stir-fries, etc. I even grab them by the handful to munch on as a snack. I toss some onto my daughters highchair with some cheerios since they’re 13g of protein per serving.