So I have to be honest…I shop EVERYWHERE! I don’t chase the deals or cut coupons (honestly, I wish I was better about that). I definitely don’t drive all around town to get 5 items from 5 different stores either. I’m that person that would rather pay a few extra bucks to get everything at one store than travel throughout town. I just don’t have the time or the patience to be “budget friendly” with grocery shopping. Don’t let that deter you though! These items are easy on the wallet! I’m just saying, getting a baby in and out of a car after strategically planning his nap and meal times is an artform! Needless to say, my trip to Trader Joes are not as often as I would like, so I don’t mess around with my visit. I SAVOR IT! I roam the aisles slowly. I look at everything. I read the labels and smile as I watch all the other patrons do the same thing. It makes me happy!
When I go, I stock up on my favorites that keep my recipes interesting, delicious and healthy. I have listed my current favorites that you typically cannot find at other stores. You aren’t going to find fruits and veggies on this list. These items are unique to Trader Joes and their brand. So if you are checking out the list and saying to yourself, “Kelsey, you crazy! That’s at every store.” My comment back? ”But have you tried THEIR brand?”
Every item on the list is packed with great nutrition, tastes good (believe me, I’m picky) and is extremely convenient. So, without further ado, here is my TOP 10 in no particular order…
- CARROT SPIRALS- Could life get any easier with these?! OMG! Simply add a tbsp of oil to your sauté pan, toss them in and let them cook. Add your favorite seasonings and you are killing your food prep! It’s my go-to partner for my seafood curry. So yummy!
- ORGANIC RICED CAULIFLOWER- Let’s be clear with one thing. I hate cauliflower! There are very few ways I will eat this vegetable and riced is one of them. However, I’m not going to sit down at my dinner table and eat this happily as a side dish. No thanks! I definitely have some recipes that make me very happy and feel like a champ. More on these later!
BONUS: Try the Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry! Add some protein and you’re golden!
- CHILI LIME CHICKEN BURGERS- These are so yummy and are incredibly easy to make. Open them up, throw them on the grill or in a pan and cook! That’s it. I love them with sautéed onions and bell peppers.
- CHUNKY SPICY GUACAMOLE-I have to say, I’m not a huge fan of guac. It’s not my jam (see what I did there?). However, I like getting those healthy fats in my diet and this one is yummy. So, I pull this out when I no longer want to choke on celery alone. A couple of tbsp and I’m good. Notice the portion control plug? Yeah…. I’m still a nutrition coach guys, so be smart about it.
- SALAD DRESSING-They have a few flavors that I love! The ingredients are all things we know and can pronounce. They don’t add additional crap to them to make them taste good. They just taste GOOD. I currently have the Carrot Ginger Miso and love it for an Asian flair to my salad.
- 10 MINUTE FARRO- My family started this love affair I am currently having with farro. I am not a huge fan of rice or quinoa. I don’t really know why but it bores me. I don’t normally branch out and try new foods either, so I was stuck in the boring rice and potatoes vortex. With that being said, if you know me at all, you would know I have a pretty intense obsession with oatmeal. I could literally eat it all day, every day for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy. If you have tried Farro, you know where I am going with this. Farro is a heartier grain much like rolled oats. It is my new favorite carb choice for lunch and dinner.
- NOTHING BUT NUTS, FRUIT AND NUT SNACK-You’ll find these in the same aisle as the nuts. They are a great snack for keeping in your bag, office drawer or even your car. They are packed with healthy fats and a hint of cocoa that can fool your brain into thinking you’re having a “treat”.
- ROASTED PLANTAIN CHIPS- Duh, I don’t eat chips. I have my own vices and chips are definitely not one of them. Although, when I want something a little salty and crunchy for some of my homemade salsa, I go for these! They don’t taste like bananas, btw. Beware: If you put banana chips in front of me, portion control will be a phrase I have never heard before. I will eat them ALL!
- COCONUT MILK- So obviously, I don’t eat this by itself! I have a bunch of delicious recipes that are always on my food prep menu that contain coconut milk. It’s always in my pantry! Want those recipes? Subscribe now! You’ll never miss one when you are following our blog.
- BALSAMIC VINEGAR and GLAZE- By far the best I have tried. I freakin’ HATE vinegar too! Like one of those hatreds that might be a little weird and unhealthy. Haha! I don’t like that bitter tang or potent aroma. YUCK! But the Trader Joes brand is bomb.com. On top of salmon fillets with garlic, salt and pepper? Seriously…. Do it.
BONUS ITEMS- ALL THE NUTS!
I don’t know what it is about their brand of nuts, but OMG! They are perfectly roasted and have the exact amount of salt I love to have. I typically choose cashews for yummy snacking, walnuts for oatmeal topping and polyunsaturated fats, brazil nuts for hormone regulation and almonds for heart health. They are so yummy! Trust me!
I hope this list has inspired you to go shopping and get creative with some recipes! If you need ideas on recipes, join The Bella Life! You will never miss our creativity in the kitchen. Not to mention the nutrient density, macro balance and so on…Yes! We love to build meals that are delicious and good for you. Check us out and get even more inspired!