Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Let's go shopping at Trader Joe's

When I mentioned that I took my friend to Trader Joe's, a few of you asked for a typical shopping list for us.     Your wish being my command, let's go shopping at TJ's!

I love this organic brown basmati rice because it doesn't taste like brown rice.  I can't stand brown rice but this makes some awesome homemade Chinese food.

Better'n Peanut Butter.  You either love it or not so much.  The best way I can describe it is it tastes like liquid Bit O' Honey candy.  We use it for the occasional "Better" peanut butter sandwich but more often I use it in my oatmeal.  Yum!

Our bag o' Brussels sprouts.  They do have some that are pre-chopped and seasoned but you need to use them asap and you don't get as much.  I love to dress these babies up and my cousin who adamantly denied he would ever like them was convinced when I made them with bacon and asiago cheese sprinkled on top!

Oh broccoli slaw, how I love thee.  I love to use this in stir fry or fish tacos.  You can use it to top your salad and oh yeah, slaw!

A twofer!  I get this peanut butter with sea salt on occasion and cookie butter which is the equivalent of Biscoff spread.  I use the cookie butter in my oatmeal, push pops and desserts.

We LOVE this bag o' frozen chicken tenderloins.  They cook up super quick so when I want to do bbq chicken pizza or shredded chicken sandwiches I can just boil 'em up real quick and they're good to go.  If I'm not super lazy, I can actually thaw them and grill them up in a snap to top some yummy pasta or brown rice.

Chipotle Pepper Hummus is a staple.  I mean if we ever forgot it, I would turn around and drive all the way back for it.  It's that good.  I would steep in a tub of this.  I might be orange when I'm done but so are most people who spray tan so it wouldn't look too weird.  This stuff is used on our BBQ naan pizza, a side for tortilla chips, fish tacos, chicken tacos (as a substitute for cheese...seriously, you'll never miss it!).  Love this stuff long time.

Speaking of chipotle, we tried these cheddar chipotle potato bites and they were a-may-zing!  They aren't insane on sodium either which is a major plus for us.  I totally got my cousin hooked on these things.  They are like the best potato skins you've ever had that you can fit into your calories.

The Fiberful Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars and the Peanut Butter Oat Bars are sooo good.  The fiberfuls are 9g of fiber and it almost tastes like dessert.  The peanut butter oat is like the most chewy, decadent peanut butter cookie you've ever had.

This Lite Kettle Corn 6 pack is a life saver for movie night...or movie theaters.  Lightly salted and sweet and the bag feels like it never ends.  Only 110 calories!  Pop on!

Is there anything we don't use this lacey cheese for?  Nope.  From egg white omelets to sandwiches to pizzas and everything in between this stuff is awesome.  Most of the time I use half a slice which is about 18mg of sodium and 50 cals but even for a full slice I don't have to sacrifice the rich, stringy goodness that is cheese.

This is one of the Mr's staples.  He absolutely loves this low cal lemonade.

We love the Mahi Mahi in the frozen food section.  It's a great price and makes for some delicious fish tacos or a good protein kick over a bed of lemon pepper pasta.

Whole wheat naan is a great base for pizzas.  Whether it's a regular pizza or my BBQ chicken naan pizza, it's so tasty.

Quinoa Duo is one of those frozen sides that is super quick to make (6 minutes in the microwave) and tastes wonderful.  I love the squash and zucchini in there for a little extra kick of veggies.

When doing up a full salmon fillet isn't in the cards, I pop two of these salmon burgers in the oven and I can still get in my omega 3's without a ton of prep work.

Sprouted grain bread has significantly less carbs than regular bread and I don't taste a big difference so we tend to buy this more now.  You can also make egg white french toast with this ahead of time and freeze it and reheat when you're pressed for time.

Yet another thing I got my cousin hooked on.  This crab meat stuffed pacific flounder tastes just like that popular seafood restaurant back in the 80's when it was still good.  I don't think I need to say which one.  I usually put a hit of Mrs Dash Chipotle or Fiesta Lime on top for an extra kick o' flavor.

I use this low sodium veggie broth to boil up some rice, orzo, barley or any grain that needs an infusion of flavor without going crazy on sodium.

This marinara sauce is a little weak on it's own but the Mr grew up on this hideously high sodium meat sauce so I take one serving of the hard stuff (920mg!) and 1 serving of this stuff (35mg) and make a sauce mixture that we can fit in without bloating up like a Macy's balloon.

We love this lemon pepper pasta with a bit of alfredo sauce.  I usually put a little bit of fish on top.  If I'm not feeling alfredo-y then a little olive oil does the trick because the pasta is so flavorful on its own.

These taco shells are awesome because there's no sodium in them, they taste corny and they make the perfect chicken taco.

This isn't every single thing we buy there but it gives you a good idea.  We don't get our produce there because honestly, it rarely lasts.  Lots of TJ tip blogs out there tell you to avoid produce there so it's not just us.  But everything else, go nuts baby!  If there's not one near you, see where the nearest one is and load up the trunk with coolers and plan a road trip!

If you have a TJ's close to you, what's you're favorite thing they sell?  If you don't, which product above appeals to you?

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  1. While I don't have a TJ's near me (the closest one is about 90 minutes away) I have to grocery shop this afternoon and you've given me some good ideas!!

  2. Our TJ's is far away too, but when I am in the area I like to stop in and look around. I always feel over whelmed. I will have to study your shopping list again just before our next trip close to TJ's and I will be ready to pick up a few things.

  3. I always get their low sodium peanuts and the Thai Green Curry simmer sauce - YUM!
    I get overwhelmed when I go in the store also, but it may be because I'm shopping with 2 kids. Thanks for sharing your recommendations with pictures of the packaged items! I get to the frozen foods section and want to try some things I've seen on your blog but blank out on what they are - this helps!

  4. Thanks! Since my nearest TJs is 2.5 hours away but I get to go there on my way home from bringing my son back to college, this gives me some good ideas! I always bring a cooler when I am headed in that direction, but now I might need to bring 2!

  5. Well, well, well...I *just* so happen to have a bag of that lemon pepper pasta in our pantry. Can't wait to try it!

  6. Thanks for the detailed shopping list from TJ and all the pictures. I was one of the people who requested it so I really appreciate you taking the time to let us know what you buy and how you use it. We have a Trader Joe's close by, so I'm going to print out your blog and take it with me the next time I go shopping!

  7. Yep, we have to do the cooler/road trip thing (nearest one is 3 hours away) but we do have staples that we get there. I haven't seen the lemon pepper pasta--that will definitely be on my list for next time!

  8. The nearest one to me is several hours away, it's just not feasible for a road trip. There's supposed to be a couple going in up by my folks' house, but I'm not sure when.

    All of the "butters" look interesting to me. I've see the biscoff stuff at Safeway, but I haven't been able to find the better n peanut butter anywhere.

  9. They carry a plastic bowl full of chopped veggies for salad - I never go home without it. I think it has 8 different veggies in it. In fact, one Sunday we stopped in and they were out of it! I had to wait unitl Monday afternoon to get some. I almost had withdrawal symptoms.

  10. Thank you SO much! I keep a running TJ list on my phone. Have to get non-refrigerated items in Williamsburg/Richmond. We are getting one in Charlottesville soon! Thank you baby J.

  11. I honestly don't know where our nearest one is, but now I'm going to look it up. I think I heard there was one coming in Littleton soon, and that's close enough for a regular trip. I was particularly interested in the Quinoa Duo, which I can duplicate on my own from your description, and the lemon pepper pasta. I'm curious about the cookie butter...what the heck is in that? Great ideas for using my equivalent products, too, especially dressing up oatmeal. I love it plain with just brown sugar, but love it even more with lots of healthful goodies in it.

  12. I'm back...nearest one is in Salt Lake City. :( Yet another reason to go visit my kids. :) Or better yet, move home. :D

  13. I don't think there is a single TJ's in all of Montana but I'll be on the look out! Those are some great catches. Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. Wow this place looks great! It has so many cool things and stuff. Unfortunately although it has a German owner/founder they don't seem to have any in Germany. The Quinoa looks great! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I still have the list of stuff you recommended, and one of these days when I can find someone to watch the kids so I can actually go and enjoy myself I am driving the 40 minutes there and getting these things. :)

  16. Unlike some people, I like some of the veggies from TJ's. They have these packages of Persian Cucumbers (like an English cuke but only 5-6" long and usually about the width of a quarter). I use it in a couple of salads or just eat them quartered. They also have some frozen pre-cooked edamame that we love to heat at work, better than popcorn sometimes. I haven't seen the lemon pepper pasta, I'll have to look for that.

  17. I love this post! Just added some things to my shopping list for the next time I'm there. :)

  18. Hey Mrs..thanks for turning me onto your blog..200 lbs is AMAZING! I have great difficulty losing the 50 I need to lose. I will have to read more of your blog. You have a fun writing style as well.

    As for TJs...we went to the grand opening of the first in our area today. It's about 25 min away from my house, but I would go there again a few times a month. Of course, it was jam packed! I had printed off some recipes from their website to get some ideas of things to do with their food. This is some of the things I got yesterday, hubby grabbed some so I haven't yet read all the nutrition labels yet.
    2 kinds of frozen eggrolls (hubbys)
    2 kinds of frozen naan (that just looked sooo good)
    chicken chili canned
    The tomatoless corn salsa (hubby already tried it and loved it)
    cornbread mix (for a recipe)
    sesame oil
    stir fry veggies
    pineapple tidbits
    grapeseed oil
    chocolate french toast (ok I know that's not healthy but we just had to taste it..one box for 4 of us to sample lol)
    baby zucchini..never seen these before, too cute not to try!
    baby spinach
    ummm I think that's it. We are excited to try some new recipes. I love small stores like TJ, I regularly shop at Aldi. Those giant stores give me anxiety. I can shop at Aldi for staples, and TJ for cool stuff :)


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