Food

2017 Trader Joe’s Favorites

Grab a snack, a drink, preferably something listed below.  This is a long one.

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post all about my Trader Joe’s favorites at that time.  Well, a year has passed, and I have tried new (or new to me) things from TJ’s since then.  I mentioned in my original post that we do our weekly shops there, so again some of the items I won’t be sharing are those that are not really unique to Trader Joe’s like meats, produce, dairy, etc.  Some of the things I will be mentioning are treats, and not something we indulge in on a regular basis, but they definitely deserve the “favorite” title nonetheless.  If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, I encourage you to make a trip and find some of your own favorites.  It is fun, and sometimes scary (i.e. green jackfruit.)

Also I’m just going to post this sign below from my local TJ’s regarding their label and what ingredients they DO NOT include in their products. Not everyone knows this, but they don’t compromise standards.  This is one of the main reasons we do most of our grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s!


Green Jackfruit, it is up first.  I saw this item featured on the “TraderJoesList” Instagram account.  She had made tacos with the green jackfruit using the Trader Joe’s Taco seasoning, in addition to their Seasoned Buffalo Ghee.  I thought it was worth a try since I’m not the biggest carnivore to begin with and I am always up for plant-based alternatives.  This item is really inexpensive too, I want to say under $3.  I’m not going to lie, when I first tried this I was terrified when I opened the can.

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WHAT in the WHAT?
It’s definitely not as scary as it looks.  At first it is super hard, and that initially concerned me.  But as it cooks with the ghee and some taco seasoning it begins to soften and shred apart.

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Green Jackfruit prior to being fully cooked…..

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The green jackfruit after it had been cooked and started to shred into something similar to pulled pork or chicken.
I plated the jackfruit upon a Taco Salad, and I have to say it is very good.  I don’t care for the meatier parts much, mostly due to the hard, rubbery texture.  I do, however, very much enjoy the shredded pieces.  It honestly tastes very similar to artichokes, maybe because of the brine?  Anyway, this combination of ingredients is quite tasty and satisfying.  Without adding too many items to the list, I will quickly just mention that we enjoy the Buffalo Ghee and the Taco Seasoning in our house too (pictured below.)

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DSC03987Something else I put on that “taco” salad pictured above, were these Restaurant Style White Corn Tortilla Chips.  They are seasoned to perfection and are nice and thick.  Perfect for salsa or guac.DSC03995


DSC03938DSC03939If you like ro-tel, this is a good natural and organic alternative.  I am the only one that eats it in my house, but I like to add it to pasta dishes or enchiladas.


Speaking of enchiladas….this sauce is delicious!  It makes for a really quick and easy weeknight meal too.  We get the TJ’s flour tortillas, some shredded chicken, cheese, onions and I add the diced and fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis (above) to my enchiladas.  Soo good!


DSC04091DSC04093These Mahi Mahi burgers are everything.  They are so nice, light, and easy!  You can grill them or cook them on your stove top.  Then top them with whatever you like, for me I love topping mine with some of my favorite veggies; lettuce, tomatoes, onion and of course some TZATZIKI SAUCE too.


DSC04104OH MY GOODNESSSSSSS.  I could just eat this Tzatziki Creamy Garlic Cucumber Dip by itself.  Sometimes I do, sssssshhhhhhhh.  Anyway, this is ideal for dipping with pita, using as a salad dressing (so good), putting on a gyro, fish burger, fish in general, or anything really.  It is so refreshing and FULL of flavor.  This Tzatziki is very low in calories and fat, so that’s awesome and makes those sneaky spoonfuls a little more guilt free.


DSC04062DSC04063I am a bit of a snob when it comes to any type of tomato sauce.  But this is pretty good, and I like to keep some on hand in our freezer for those times when I am strapped for time and cannot make my own homemade sauce.  I don’t like to microwave many things, so I put my sauce in a pan on the stove top to heat through.  I feel like it’s less runny if you do it this way too.  ANNNND they use my preferred ground meat – turkey.  If I have to use a ground meat, it’s almost always poultry.  I really dislike ground beef and pork, so this is perfect for me.  Side note:  I happened upon these frozen spiralized carrots (pictured below) and I think I am going to try them with this sauce the next time I prepare it.  Have you tried either? DSC04071


DSC04057DSC04058If you ever need a really quick meal, or are just not in the mood for the whole production that goes along with mealtime….these are great!  The Trader Joe’s Pizza Veggie burgers can be microwaved, but again I put them in a pan with a little cooking spray.  That way they get crispy on the outside and the mozzarella gets all gooey on the inside.  They are magical.  They also make different flavors, but Pizza is hands down my favorite.


DSC04083DSC04084Trader Joe’s is all about making my life easier, and less disgusting.  I hate cleaning poop, yes poop, off of fresh mushrooms.  I do it, because I love mushrooms.  But a lot of the time anymore when I want to quickly add a few mushrooms to a pasta or chicken dish (hello chicken marsala!), I use this handy mushroom medley from the frozen section.  They do already have olive oil and herbs added, so no need to add any.  This is also great for me because once again, I am the ONLY one that eats mushrooms in my family.  So I can use an individual portion without any waste.


DSC04079Rice. That. I. Cannot. Screw. Up.  YESSSS.


DSC04051DSC04053Do you pick out the granola clusters and leave the flakes in traditional cereals?  Me too.  So this is the obvious answer to that dilemma.  And they taste really good too.  There are a few other flavors available, but this is what I have in the pantry at the moment.  The vanilla is probably my favorite (not pictured.)


DSC03976DSC03980If you are in need of a new sweet snack without the addition of refined sugars, the Super Sweet Dried Carabao Mangos definitely satisfy that craving for me.  Sometimes.  Haha.  But seriously these are very good, and have the perfect amount of sweetness without being sickening.  DSC03978


DSC03952DSC03966On the other hand, do yourself a favor and stay FAR away from these delectable cookies full of the bad sugars.  They are one of the BEST cookies I have ever had in my entire life. And they need to be eaten sparingly because….well just look at the nutritional information…..never mind, don’t do that.  Just try them for yourself and you will see what I mean.  Decadent.


DSC04021I am good at a lot of things, and I consider myself a good cook.  Baking however, just isn’t my thing.  Not only do I not enjoy baking….I stink at it.  I’m a terrible baker.  Awful even. So these Trader Joe’s, Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough individual portioned cookies, are the way to go if you are someone like me.  For instance, I just recently signed up to bring in cookies for my daughter’s school party.  I made these, they were a hit, and no one was the wiser.


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If you don’t know about the seasonal Watermelon Cucumber Cooler, get yourself acquainted with this thirst quencher.  It’s not good for you in the least. I mean the 10% Watermelon juice used is at least organic.  So there is that.  Whatever, it’s a nice summer treat, and it is freaking delicious.  I would imagine it would make really good freezer pops for the kiddos, and probably a really good mixer with vodka for the adults. 😉  YUM.


DSC04002One last indulgent item.  The fruit flavored prosecco!  This isn’t a Trader Joe’s labeled item, but it is sold at my local TJ’s and it is amazing!  They have a few other flavors that I know of, strawberry, raspberry, and peach.  They are all really, really good.  DSC04004DSC04010

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