Sunday, October 13, 2013

What I Bought at Trader Joes

Quite some time ago, fellow blogger Beth did a post on her Trader Joe's Essentials, and I thought, "I need to do that." I love Trader Joe's, and the quirky items you can find there that you can't find other places, not to mention the good prices for produce, and there are certain staple items I always pick up on a TJ's run, and then random treasures in between. (Side Note: Check out the transformation Beth has made, losing a ton of weight with Weight Watchers, and now having her excess skin removed. She looks amazing and is a maintaining super star).

I thought today's trip to Trader Joe's would be a great example of what I usually buy there, plus some other goodies, because I had just run a couple miles, not eaten enough after, and was hankering for a huge plate of everything, therefore, a lot of things ended up in my cart.

Produce: Vegetable Tray with carrots, jicama, pea pods and cherry tomatoes, Spinach Super Salad, Red Apple Slices, Cilantro and Mango
What These Can Make: I used the jicama, mango and cilantro for a funky little salad with some lime juice on top, the apple slices are mainly for my husband who doesn't like to eat apples off the core, or take the time to slice one, so they're great for his work lunches. The Spinach Super Salad was a first time find that I can't wait to take to work for lunch with quinoa, pinto beans, edamame, ginger dressing, etc. This salad was a great impulse buy.

Dairy: Pumpkin Greek Yogurt, Double Cream Brie Cheese, and Goat Cheese with Apples and Cinnamon
What These Can Make: I've been really digging brie, apple and turkey sandwiches made in my sandwich press for a quick meal (if you have never put apples slices on your sandwiches, I advise you do it, now!) They have light brie at Trader Joe's, but it's really just not very good and not worth the calories, I have to go full fat with this item. That goat cheese was a first find for me, I believe it's seasonal, and would not have ended up in my cart had I not had hungry eyes. Slices of it will end up in my lunch with a few crackers. I'm a big fan of goat cheese mixed with honey and eating it globbed onto apple slices, so this is the next best thing. The pumpkin Greek yogurt will be enjoyed solo, or with granola.

Frozen and Meat: Reduced Guilt Baked Ziti, Reduced Guilt Macaroni and Cheese, Penne Pepperonata, Creamy Polenta, Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage
What These Can Make: The Reduced Guilt meals are my husbands easy meals for work lunches if he doesn't have leftovers. He also picked up the Penne Pepperonata for a convenience meal when we don't follow through on a dinner plan. I like the creamy potlenta to pair with when we grill out meat for dinner. I used the Smoke Andouille for this Spicy Sausage Skillet Recipe. I also use the Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage for the Polenta, Goat Cheese and Red Sauce mix I blogged about before.

Grocery: Allergen Free Snickerdoodles, Individual portioned Trail Mix, Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Polenta, Pumpkin Butter, Honey and Pumpkin Body Butter
What These Can Make: Most of these items are snack items, the tubed polenta is what I use for the recipe with Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage linked above. Pumpkin Butter goes great on the Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes, or toast, bagel, in oatmeal, etc.--it's delicious! It's also packed with sugar, so it's important to watch the serving size. I've been going through a lot of honey, as lately I've been making batches of these Energy Bites (my husband says that's a mask of a name for cookies--he's partially right!). They're freaking amazing, and I have to control myself around them. And the Pumpkin Body Butter? Well, it just jumped up in my cart! ;)

With all my love for TJ's, I do have two beefs:
  1. Their produce goes bad quickly. Which is why I'm guessing it's affordable. Don't buy something on Sunday you won't use until Friday, eat it within three days, four days tops.
  2. Some great items I've found there have gone away without explanation. Not because they're seasonal, sometimes, they're just gone, and it drives me bonkers. 
I would love to hear your favorite items from Trader Joe's!

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