A few weeks ago one of my friends asked me what my must have items were from Trader Joe’s and the idea for this post was born.
Since the beginning of college I have been a huge advocate of Trader Joe’s. It is my grocery store of choice and I go whenever I can.
And now, since moving to DC, my love for TJ’s has grown even more. The grocery store by my apartment seriously lacks in good, fresh produce and I have become more and more dependent on Trader Joe’s for these items.
Not only is the quality great and the produce fresh, but it is cost effective and I have found that the prices are often cheaper than other stores.
Today I’m sharing with you my top 10 must have items from Trader Joe’s and why I love them so much!
I didn’t know my love for really thin pasta until I tried this capellini. For just under a $1, this stuff is always stocked in my pantry and makes for a simple, quick dinner. Capellini is just slightly thicker than an angel hair pasta and I love to serve it with a garlic red sauce, sautéed veggies and grilled chicken.
2. Sweet Potatoes
I eat sweet potatoes a lot. I didn’t actually acquire a taste for them until a few months ago. I have memories as a kid of my cousins making me cry because they wanted me to try sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving and it kind of turned me off of them for several years. Now, I am obsessed. I love to dice them up into cubes and roast them in the oven and eat them as a snack or with dinner. This two pound bag is just a couple of dollars and will last me for about two weeks.
3. Corn & Wheat Tortillas
These tortillas are great for making my own tortilla chips or when I’m craving a Mexican fiesta – which is…always. I cut them into triangles, drizzle with olive oil, add a dash of cumin and salt, and pop into the oven at 350 for about 7-8 minutes.
4. All-Natural Chicken Breasts
If there were one thing I couldn’t live without from Trader Joe’s it would be these chicken breasts. First of all they are super cheap for four breasts, costing less than $2 a piece. They are pre-cooked and all I have to do is pop them into the microwave to warm up. Also, they are seasoned with salt and pepper and are really flavorful. I add this chicken to quinoa bowls, pasta, or serve it as is for dinner all of the time.
5. Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
There is nothing better than a turkey sandwich for lunch. I buy a nine-grain bread (from Whole Foods), add some of this TJ’s turkey breast, kale, Safflower mayonnaise and a bit of mustard and have the perfect sandwich for work. This turkey is only a few dollars and is great quality. I am kind of a deli meat snob (thanks mom!), but this one lives up to my high standards.
6. Garbanzo Beans
I keep garbanzo beans on hand at all times. Whether I want to roast them for a kale salad, create a fresh hummus, or whip up my favorite summertime salad these guys are always stocked in my pantry. Garbanzo beans are super high in protein and an excellent source of fiber and are great for maintaining a healthy digestive system.
7. Fat – Free Refried Beans
My friend Riley over at Yes, Please Daily introduced me to the queso-less-dilla. I technically am dairy sensitive and try to avoid it as much as possible to avoid bloating and stomach inflammation. These refried beans paired with the corn and wheat tortillas make for a delicious and easy meal. I top with some chopped kale, red onion, avocado and salsa and am good to go!
8. Cowboy Caviar
I was introduced to Cowboy Caviar last summer at a dinner party and boy am I glad that I was. With only 35 calories per serving, this salsa is my go to snack. Made with corn, black beans and a variety of peppers it has just enough of a kick to keep my spicy taste buds happy. It is perfect for dipping or to top any southwestern meal.
9. Gone Bananas
I am not exaggerating when I say that every single time I go to Trader Joe’s I buy at least two boxes of Gone Bananas! These chocolate covered bananas are the best frozen treat out there and are relatively guilt free. I keep them frozen and will have a small handful after dinner to curb any sweet tooth cravings I may have.
10. Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon
The crown jewel at Trader Joe’s, in my opinion, is their Charles Shaw wine collection. For just under $3 a bottle it is the best price in town. I am a cabernet enthusiast and the Charles Shaw blend is one of my favorites. Don’t let the cheap price deceive you, this wine is actually really good.
These items are pretty much staples for me every time I walk into Trader Joe’sand are super versatile in terms of meal prepping.
What are some of your favorite things to buy from Trader Joe’s? I’m always on the lookout for something delicious.
P.S. If you’re looking for a simple Thanksgiving appetizer TJ’s Boursin cheese paired with crackers is delicious and the most cost effective of anywhere else!