Oct. 31 2018
Trader Joe’s isn’t just a place, it’s an experience. Everyone who’s visited is well acquainted with the store’s snake-like line that weaves through almost every aisle, drawing a ravenous crowd not unlike that of a designer sample sale. You might have even used the method of going with a friend, and having them wait in line while you do your shopping. Or, you might have even entered the line with an empty cart, only to load up while you inch your way through the different rows of branded foods you can’t find anywhere else. Whichever method of Trader Joe’s shopping you use, one trip to the mega-market is more than enough to make a week’s worth of food. Below, I’ve shared what I always stock up on, and the meals they make–saving me plenty of time during a busy week.
My typical shopping cart contains the following: 2-3 packs of the balsamic pre-grilled chicken, at least one of each of the cauliflower gnocchi and the sweet potato gnocchi, frozen quinoa, frozen cauliflower fried rice, frozen veggie blends, quinoa cowboy veggie burgers, the Mediterranean salad kit, avocados, whole wheat bread, eggs, and everything bagel seasoning.
What you need: Avocados, eggs, and everything bagel seasoning.
What you’re making: Scrambled eggs with avocado mash. Keep things simple by making a large batch of scrambled eggs for your breakfast every day. Use the avocados and everything bagel seasoning to make an avocado mash for a side to eat with the eggs. The everything bagel seasoning is the perfect way to not get bored with this breakfast, and you can maybe, just maybe trick your brain into thinking you’re eating a bagel.
What you’re making: Quinoa Power Bowl.
What you need: Frozen quinoa, frozen veggies of your choice, balsamic chicken and/or frozen veggie burgers. The frozen quinoa only takes a few minutes to heat up in the microwave, making it easy when you’re prepping lots of food at once. It’s also super filling and much healthier than having a rice base. If you make two packs of this quinoa, you’ll have enough for 3-4 bowls. Next, add in some of the veggies after you’ve defrosted them. Then add in either the balsamic chicken or the veggie burgers. These burgers are so good, I accidentally (on purpose) eat them at least once a day,
What you’re making: Mediterranean Salad.
What you need: Mediterranean salad kit and balsamic chicken (or any protein of your choice).This kit is a lifesaver because you don’t have to think about what to put in your salad. The dressing on this is also good enough to drink, so that’s definitely a plus. I would recommend adding in that balsamic chicken again for a more filling lunch option. And if you’re not a fan of the dressing that comes in this kit, you can always use the extra balsamic from the chicken to dress your salad.
What you’re making: Veggie Gnocchi Blend.
What you need: Cauliflower gnocchi, sweet potato gnocchi, olive oil. Two of my all-time favorites from TJs have to be the cauliflower gnocchi and the sweet potato gnocchi. You can prepare both of them in the microwave, although I prefer to make the cauli gnocchi in a pan with some olive oil so that they get a bit browned on the outside. Mix both of these together with the decadent butter sauce that comes in the sweet potato pack. Since these are both veggie-based, this is technically a salad, right? This will last you at least 2 nights.
What you’re making: Cauli Fried Rice Bowl.
What you need: Cauliflower rice, grilled chicken, eggs. If I told you this was cauliflower and not rice, you probably wouldn’t believe me. Mix this with some grilled chicken or some of the scrambled eggs, and you’ll think this is a classic fried rice from your fav Chinese takeout place. This is the perfect dinner to fill you up, but not make you feel sick afterward. The more protein you add, the longer this meal will last you, but you’ll get at least 2 nights out of this dinner as well. You can also mix in some of your frozen veggies on the third night to make it a full meal.
Meal prepping makes your life easier and TJs makes meal prepping delicious. Try it out for yourself and you’ll be hooked–I promise.