I go to Trader Joe’s weekly, sometimes more. Shopping there is actually enjoyable – the “Crew” is helpful, friendly, and totally awesome with my kids. Plus, my local TJ’s offers free wine tasting after 3pm. Most importantly though, TJ’s food selection is healthier than most grocers, yet is still reasonably priced.
My appreciation for TJ’s became evident in light of recent visits to Ralph’s (due to crazy, free wine promotion). On each occasion, I struggled to weed through the many product options to find the healthiest one. It took longer, felt more stressful, and I spent a premium to buy the good stuff. Ralph’s doesn’t have it all wrong, I mean, they did give me 18 bottles of free wine after all, but Trader Joe’s still has my heart (and credit card).
Now, we’re going to try something here. I’ll tell you some of my favorite TJ’s items and then you share some of yours. Sounds reasonable, no? Here goes… while I have many items I love, I’ll stick to my top ten.
Top Ten Favorite Trader Joe’s Products
- Marcona Almonds with Rosemary – These are hands down the tastiest snack. Expensive? Yes. Delicious? OMG!
- Steamed Lentils – The lentils come already steamed and prepared. I like to have at least one box on hand at all times, which is fine because they keep in the fridge for months. Sauté them with veggies and serve over quinoa for a quick meal. They’re also delicious mixed with TJ’s Bruscetta mix for a flavorful appetizer.
- Organic Tuscan Kale – The kale is washed, cut and ready to go. I prefer the texture and taste of Lacinto (Tuscan) kale over other varieties. I usually chop mine into even smaller bits before tossing it into a salad or sauté pan. And at $2.29 per 10 oz bag, I don’t mind paying TJ’s to prep my kale for me!
- Ezekiel Bread – You can find this brand at most grocery stores, but TJ’s sells it on the cheap (about $1 less than other stores). I love to eat it this way.
- Homestyle Salsa Especial – This is the good stuff – so good that it has it’s own Facebook Page (what the what?). It has enough kick to make you notice, but is still pretty easy on the mouth. I dip carrots and cucumbers in it or use it in leu of salad dressing on taco salad.
- Organic Arugula – I really like using arugula in my salads and I always prefer organic. TJ’s sells a 7oz bag for $2.29. No brainer. Top with lemon juice, olive oil, and your favorite accessories, and tadaaaaa!
- Garlic Infused Olive Oil – It has changed my culinary life. A little dash of this and you can add the garlic flavor without the peeling, chopping, and stinky fingers. A little bit goes a long way, so be careful lest you overdo it.
- Organic Canned Beans – While the canned bean selection may not be as wide as other natural food markets, the price is sure right ($1.20 per can). But, TJ’s has the staples: black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, great northern beans, refried beans, popcorn shrimp, shrimp cocktail…
- Almond Meal – I use almond meal all.of.the.time. It isn’t cheap, whether you’re at TJ’s or Sprouts, you’re going to pay a premium to have someone grind your almonds for you. I buy at least one bag on each TJ’s run. They have cashew meal now too!
- Shaved Brussel Sprouts – People either love or hate brussel sprouts. I am a lover. I especially like them shaved because you can sauté them with other veggies, grains, or lean proteins. A sure fire way to knock it out of the park is to sauté them in a bit of garlic infused olive oil, and serve over quinoa with one broiled chicken sausage on the side. Yum!