Oh man, there is nothing like a little trip to Trader Joe’s to get your kitchen staples back in order. I took a ride today to the Lincoln Park store to stock up on all of my TJ must haves…as there are many. What I absolutely adore about this store, besides the Hawaiian shirts, is that it is so perfectly seasonal. I know exactly what I cannot wait to get my little paws on come fall, ummm gluten-free pumpkin pancakes anyone? They are insane. Now, seeing as though they aren’t jumping the gun, they still have their last of summer inventory out and there are a couple items you need before they go into hibernation. Along with those seasonal treats, I have my go-to regular items I can’t leave the store without. However, before I go on, my experience today. I was on the hunt for peanut butter stuffed pretzel nuggets and my grapefruit juice as I always have a little glass with my espresso in the morning. No sign of either in their usual spots, so I found an employee who was walking around with the most delicious smelling mug of coffee and he offered to help. He went to the back to search, asked what the daily drop off brought in, did everything he could to help, all while holding onto his mug. I loved that. He made the whole experience so relaxed and helpful. I wandered around while he searched high and low and alas, he appeared with both my grapefruit juice and mug in hand. Sadly, my pretzels are off the shelf until further notice. But you can just add the coolass people that work at Trader Joe’s onto the list of why I love shopping there. Ok TSPeeps, here’s what you can find in my TJ grocery bags, which is it just me or are they legit bag stuffing ninjas???
Preztel Slims – These are perfection. Salty, semi sweet, crunchy, velvety. Heads up though, these have the potential to be very dangerous. Open this pretty purple sucker up in the car and you may not any when you get home. #repeatoffender
Darrell Lea Strawberry Liquorice – If you have never had an addiction before and you love licorice, good news for you! An addiction awaits! These chewy and insanely delicious little spirals of joy will have you opening the container every fifteen minutes or so. I actually had to not buy them today as I bought them a week and a half ago and they were gone in two days.
Sugar Snap Peas – These are perfect one their own, in a salad, in the car, dipped in hummus, in a stir fry. The possibilities are a bit endless. I like to make a tomato, snap pea and cucumber salad mixed with fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Best summer salad ever created!
Steamed Lentils – I used to hate lentils, I’m not sure why, but I did. But the less meat I ate the more alternatives for protein my lifestyle called for. These round tasty fellas are superb! They can be the perfect side to a salad and fish or even made into a salad as a main dish or side to a family party. They take three minutes to warm up and will have you feeling happy and full after a long day’s work.
Black Mission Figs – These here mission figs are one of my favorite bites ever! When I’m in the mood for something sweet but want to say no to candy, they help satisfy that need/want. Delightful would be a word I would use to describe them. TSPeep tip! If you need to sweeten up your smoothie or would like to add a little gummy chew to it for texture, pop a couple of these in your blender and you will be craving them in your smoothie all day, everyday.
Jicama Sticks – Two words: Tajin and lime. That’s it. Before summer ends, do yourself a favor and whip these out on a warm September day to cool off your palette and mood.
Còtes De Provence Rosé – This beautifully shaped and colored rosé is hands down the best one they have on the shelves during the warmer months. I accidentally drank a wee bit too much of this nectar of the God’s while setting up for our house warming party last year, now that I would not recommend doing. However, I very much do suggest you buy a bottle of this for a ladies night on the front or back porch. It is so lady like and perfect.
Steelcut Oatmeal – In a hurry, but need a quick, healthy, filling breakfast before you head out? Here is your possible answer. Warm this up and garnish it how ever you dream, the options are endless. Personally, I like a little cinnamon, unsweetened coconut flakes and a bit of honey added to mine. Did I mention it’s like two dollars for a box of two?
Grapefruit Juice – As I mentioned above, this juice is a morning staple for me. Every morning I drink my detox concoction of apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, water and cayenne. From there I shoot an espresso and top off my morning beverages with a very small glass of this pretty pink drink. It’s refreshing and not overly bitter. It’s the perfect start to my day.
Soyaki – About once or twice a month I have a hankering for stir fry. And when I do, I Soyaki! This adds the perfect Asian spin to my tofu and veggie dishes in a matter of minutes. If you’re into stir fry and haven’t tried this bottled yumminess yet, please do and let me know your thoughts!
Gerolsteiner – When I need something to quench my thirst, I chug this. It is refreshing and bubbly and reminds me of being in Europe. Believe or not, different sparkling waters have different tastes. This one in particular is a bit more airy than condensed, if that makes sense. Plus, it’s the perfect touch to the most delicious Aperol Spritz. I love me some Gerolsteiner! TSPeep Tip: you can buy it by the case at most Trader Joe’s.
Dark Chocolate Almonds – These are the most delicious treats I’ve ever popped in my mouth. Like their friends above – the pretzel slims – these are also semi sweet, salty and crunchy. I see a theme happening here. TSPeep Tip: keep them in the fridge for a cool treat!
Hemp Seed – Hemp seeds are all the rage among us veg heads since they’re such a good source of protein. I love to sprinkle my salads and home made grain free granola with these seeds. They are very subtle in flavor, a bit on the nutty side. Give them a go if you haven’t tried them yet.
Ok, now I’m hungry and I’m pissed at myself for not getting the licorice. Great. I’ll have to eat a cornichon or something instead. TSPeeps! What are your favorite snacks and must haves from Trader Joe’s?!? Share!
Intrigued? Check out some of Michelle’s favorites.
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