I did a Trader Joe’s run yesterday and tried to look at everything there with fresh eyes. I am getting ready to lead a wonderful group through my Spring into Health 4-Week Nutrition and Lifestyle Adventure centered around creating better habits, specifically when it comes to planning, prepping and preparing quality, nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory meals.
The biggest problem people seem to have is when life gets busy or throws a curveball and the dinner plans get thrown out the window and go through the drive-through. As I walked through TJ’s, I saw a number of wonderful products that go a long way in either adding flavor or novelty, or cut down on prep time because they are prepped for you.
Below are some of the pictures I took on my shopping visit.
Quick and easy pre-cooked chicken, frozen and fresh.
Stock some in your freezer and you will always have a convenient protein when you need something quick.
Frozen beef and chicken patties.
I’ve tried all three of these and they are decently tasty. They work well in a pinch and are handy to have in the freezer when your evening plans don’t pan out. I like to cook these on the stove in a skillet and then put them on top of salad greens. I’ll dress it like I would a hamburger, but without the bun. Add avocado, tomatoes, jalapenos, pickles, quality avocado mayo, mustard or anything you like on your burger. These have a nice amount of protein in them and the ingredients are limited to only the good stuff.
TJ’s has a LOT of fish. Most are in single servings so it’s easy if you’re just cooking for one. Is this the best fish I’ve ever eaten? No, because I used to live not far from the coast and fresh seafood has no comparison. But…it’s tasty, convenient and simple to prepare. I thaw out, season with salt and pepper or blackening seasoning, and throw on a hot cast iron skillet with a combo of avocado oil and a little butter. Maybe add a little garlic and lemon towards the end. Grab some veggies and throw together a side salad and dinner is done. I also love their smoked salmon varieties.
Trader Joe’s has a LOT of cool produce to pick through. While I don’t like the “double packaging”, there are many good options of ready to go veggies. I love the cleaned and trimmed green beans (haricot verts), the small persian cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cut up butternut squash and all the delicious salad varieties, mixes and slaws ready to go. Here are a few other things that I couldn’t pass up!
Jicama! My favorite. The sticks are good with a little fresh lime and chili seasoning. The rounds are a great substitute for tortillas and are especially tasty with fish tacos.
Odds and Ends that make food taste so good!
These seasonings are the BOMB. I love “Everything But the Bagel” on just about everything… fresh tomatoes and olive oil, roasted veggies, salads, and even fish.
The Mushroom & Company adds a nice umami flavor to any dish. I love it in meatballs, hamburger patties, stews and anything that needs a bit of flavor depth.
The Chili Lime seasoning tastes very much like my old standby, Tajin. This is delicious on fruit and veggies. My personal faves…cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, peaches, and jicama served with a squeeze of lime juice and topped with sprinkles of the chili lime.
These last few items make cooking convenient. I love the italian paste in a squeeze tube for those times a recipe calls for a Tablespoon of tomato paste. Just put the rest back in the fridge. The toasted sesame oil is wonderful to use in stir fries and when making Asian slaws.