Hi guys! It’s been a few days since my last post. Sorry about that, it’s been a crazy past few days around here. Whether I actually act on it or not, Sundays are when I try to plan out my meals or at least a semi realistic grocery list for the week. We talked about making a trip to Trader Joe’s this evening, but as I sit here on my couch under a cozy blanket watching The Parent Trap and smelling my Apple Yankee Candle, I know that’s not about to happen.
Ah…Trader Joe’s. I love/hate you. Your store locations are not overly convenient for me, and when I do make it there, they can be an absolute zoo. Nevertheless, I’m always happy when I come home with those paper bags stuffed with goodies! My plan is to make a trip on my way home from work tomorrow…love it when I at least pretend to be motivated on a Monday.
I have my TJ’s go-to items, and I find it hard to branch out because it’s usually so crowded in there that I don’t have a lot of personal space to just peruse the aisles. Plus, carrying too many bags up 4 flights of stairs to my apartment is never a good time. However, I try to make it a point to try one new thing every time I’m there.
Here are some of my favorite items that I’ve discovered over the years:
Greek Strawberry Vanilla Yogurt
Oh man, is this stuff good. I love Greek yogurt, but found I can be kind of picky about brands and flavors. Whenever I have this in my fridge, I look forward to breakfast so much. This is so deliciously creamy and wonderful. I don’t think it needs anything else, but I’m sure it would be quite tasty with some granola or nuts thrown in too!
Of Trader Joe’s 3 quiche flavors that I’ve seen (Mexican, Broccoli & Cheese, and Spinach & Mushroom), the Mexican and Broccoli & Cheese are my favorites. They’re frozen and are perfect for a quick lunch, or even dinner with a side salad or veggies. I’ve even served them at brunch parties as part of a buffet! Pop these puppies in the microwave for a couple minutes and you’ve got yourself an easy peasy dish.
Japanese Style Fried Rice
Also in the frozen section, this was a serendipitous discovery. AJ and I were shopping one evening (one of the few times I’ve made him brave the crowds with me), and while in line they were serving up samples of this rice. We tasted it and he immediately went to go find it in the aisle so we could bring home a couple bags.
It’s now become a staple in our house. If you have time, it’s delicious to try it up in a skillet with a little olive oil and serve as a side dish – goes great with their orange chicken! I’ve also been known to bring a bag to work with me and keep it in the pantry freezer. I’ll pour out a bowl-full and microwave for a few minutes and have a delicious rice, veggie, and edamame bowl!
I’ve only been disappointed in their salads once or twice, every other time they have been super fresh (and affordable!). If I’m grocery shopping after work and the gym and it’s getting late, I’ll usually pick up a salad to have for a quick dinner when I get home. Other times I’ll try to stock up and bring them in for lunches a couple times a week. My favorites are the Kale & Edamame Salad with a lemon herb dressing. So tasty and filling, sometimes I can’t even finish it (but that rare)! I recently discovered the Roasted Butternut Squash, Red Quinoa and Wheatberry Salad with a honey sesame vinaigrette. Yum!
Sparkling Flavored Spring Waters
I looooooove me some sparkling water. I would drink it all day every day if it was free and came out of the faucet. I could have to carry 12 full bags up and down subways stairs, on a crowded train, and up 4 flights to get home and I’ll still find a way to sneak a bottle or two of the good stuff in. My favorite flavor is the Raspberry Lime, followed by Lime, Lemon, Mandarin Orange, even the non-flavored is good too, if that’s more your speed.
Not always possible to pick up a bouquet if I have my hands full – oh the joys of urban grocery shopping – but I would if I could! Cut flowers are always a gamble because you never know how long they’ve been sitting around, and if it’s a hot day or the room isn’t getting much light, they can start to die the day after you bring them home. I’ve always found their flowers to be so pretty and they last! Most bouquets come with a packet or two of flower food, too. I had these on our entry way table and were such a nice greeting every time I walked through the door! (I’ve also discovered that throwing a penny in the bottom of your flower vase helps preserve your cut blossoms.)
Question for you:
This is just a sampling of some of my favorites. Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? Share some of your go-to’s!