Since becoming a mom there are a handful of things I must do alone for the simple fact that doing it with children is my idea of utter hell. I remember a few years ago when I must have been temporarily insane, and I allowed my twin toddlers to push the mini carts at TJ’s while I tried to food shop. Mia ran toward the nearest kid napper while William unloaded a shelf into his mini cart. NEVER AGAIN! I go food shopping solo or else I ain’t goin. F that. Food shopping at Trader Joe’s makes me feel how Lauren does when she walks through David’s Tea. Euphoric. I like to take my time, touch, smell, and read all of what this gem of a store has to offer. I find something new every time I go. Some products are great and become a household staple while others are what my dad would call a “one timer”. I definitely have some faves and I wanted to share them with you.
Here are a list of some of my long time TJ favorites, newest obsessions, and straight up guilty pleasures.
1. Basil Pesto Quinoa: This little dittie is one that I discovered when I was strolling solo through TJ’s. I spotted it on the “new arrivals” shelf. I make it a point to grab one thing I have never had every time I am in there. There are a few items that would never make the list, but this item has become a staple and I will be pissed if it suddenly disappears from the shelves. I hate it when that happens. Any who, this stuff if amazing. Basil pesto happens to be a favorite flavor of mine. Marry it with quinoa and perfection. I have enjoyed this explosion of flavors on everything from pork, chicken, mixed in my salad, to well, me maybe spooning it right out of the jar.2. Truffle Pizza: Ah, the Truffle Pizza. More like a flat bread, less like a pizza but amazing either way. If you like truffles then you will love this. My sisters and I have this on hand always. It is perfect when paired with a little arugula salad and some vino. Don’t over cook it, though.
3.Creamy Salted Peanut Butter: Funny thing, I am a choosy mom but I don’t choose Jiff. My kids eat peanut butter by the bucket. I really try to keep the best alternative of healthy staples on hand. This particular peanut butter needs to be refrigerated after opening and the oil sits on top so it needs to be stirred, but it has great flavor and it is far better than some of the junk out there.
4. Frozen Organic Brown Rice: This rice is hands down, bar none, the best quick rice around. It comes in a pouch, you snip a hole for venting, pop it in the microwave and in three minutes and thirty seconds you have sticky, delicious rice. Run don’t walk. Try this rice in lieu of quinoa in Lauren’s buddha bowl.
5. Sea Salt Covered Dark Chocolate Almonds: There are 2 kinds of chocolate almonds; The almonds that are coated in hard plastic they call chocolate and these. Trader Joe’s delivers with this chocolate covered nut. These little guys are creamy, salty, delicious, and unfortunately if they don’t last very long in my house. #ChocolateAddict
6. Balsamic Dressing: Best.Dressing. Ever. If I am making a salad I usually dress my lettuce up with a little, good quality olive oil and whatever vinegar I have on hand. But if I am feeling lazy, this is my go to bottled dressing. It tastes amazing, a little goes a long way, and there is a no guilt factor.
7. Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies: This is one of a handful of Trader Joe’s food items that looks like it went to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, was shrunk down to a miniature version of itself, making my kids go bananas when they see them in the grocery bag. Next time you hit up your local Trader, grab a container of these. They are a single bite and packed with chocolate. Buttery and delicious.
8. Mini Chocolate Ice Cream Cones: Trader Joe’s nails it again with their miniature version of a chocolate dipped cone. They come in two ice cream flavors, chocolate and vanilla, and in this case I am here to say size does not matter. Go on now get!
9. Albero Wine: I have to admit, I am not a huge wine drinker. One glass in the past has given me a rager of a hangy. Not no mo, honey! Since the second sis shared her little secret about organic, sulfate free wine I have been enjoying far more glasses of red and by golly, Nicole speaks the truth! I have enjoyed this wine and then a good night sleeps sans headaches and hangovers. Albero is a Spanish red and the price point is, well, on point at $8.99 a bottle. And I will clue you in on a little secret… Trader Joe’s is getting liquor. YAHOO!
10.Sweet Hot Peppers: YUM YUMMY YUM. I have an affinity for anything spicy. I literally have something on hand in the way of heat for almost every meal. Nicole has the same heat addiction. I put these guys on antipasto platters, in salads, stuffed with a nice cheese. These peppers are your oyster. I have tried Mariano’s and Whole Food’s sweet hot peppers and they don’t even compare.
There you have it. Just a few of my favorite TJ staples, snacks, and guilty pleasures. I am always game for trying new things so do share! What are some of your most treasured TJ food items?
Love It. Live It. Share It.