What I Get at Trader Joe's

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

I have a confession, recently I have made grocery shopping a social activity and used it as an opportunity to hang oout with friends. Yes, I am wild. I've pretty much turned in tequila shots for tasty samples from the deli. It was during one of these hangouts with my friend Jane that she suggested I write a post sharing all of my faorite Trader Joe's finds.

For those of you who aren't familiar withTJ's, it is an affordable grocery store chain that sells packaged goods and specialty items. What do I mean by packaged goods? This isn't a place where you can go to a butcher or produce is purchased by weight. Everything has a set price. The shelves are often stocked with fun or unique items. Hence a post sharing my favorite Trader Joe's finds.

1. 10-Minute Farro: I love this grain due to the set portion, nutty flavor and quick cook time. I go rogue and don't follow the directions, instead toasting the farro in butter then adding broth. Try it in Farro + Tuna Salad.
2. Burrata: Until recent years burrata was an extremely hard to find specialty cheese item only found at high-end Italian restaurants and gourmet markets. Now, the cream filled mozzarella cheese can be picked up at the grocery store for salads, pizza or an epic cheese plate. Burrata over Kale, Shitake, Corn and Tomato.
3. Cruciferous Crunch Salad: A blend of sprouts, cabbage and kale is the perfect base for a salad, slaw or tossed with freshly roasted chicken. I love to add fresh berries, nuts and poppyseed dressing for a salad that holds up throughout the week.
4. Chocolate Chunks: Forget expensive, artisan chocolate chips. Thse chocolate chunks carry a lot of weight, flavor and substance for just $1.99. I always have at least two bags on hand and use them in my favorite Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Brownies.
5. Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels: This is pretty self-explanatory. I keep these in a glass jar in the kitchen and they are always a crowd favorite. Especially when it comes to #AthenaGram!
6. Dark Chocolate Almonds with Sea Salt and Turbinado Sugar: I actually call these crack almonds. Why? Because they are SO addictive. Approximately 55% Almond, 48% Dark Chocolate and 7% Sugar + Salt. Yes, the formula for salty-sweet crack! Perfect for heartache, entertaining or mixed in popcorn, always have this on-hand!
7. Vegetable Masala Burgers: These are a relatively new addition to the Trader Joe's family, but have quickly become one of my favorites! The potato base patty is mixed with corn, carrots peas and plenty of masala spice. I love to bake these and eat them with a dollap of Greek yogurt.
8. Tandoori Naan: Crispy naan bread filled with buttery cheese and garlic. This is perfect alongside the masala burger, with veggies or alone. Be sure to follow the instructions for best results.
9. Shishito Peppers: Slightly spicy. Crunchy. Filling. A perfect side, appetizer or meal, I love these tiny peppers for an easy dinner or as a snack when having people over for appetizers. I like them blistered with miso butter or cooked with bacon, tomato, peaches and mozzarella in a juicy broth.
10. Pastrami-Style Salmon: A smoke salmon crusted in peppercorns and pastrami seasonings makes for a hearty addition to any bagel sandwich, pasta dish or snack-platter. 


  1. I absolutely love Trader Joe's - Especially for wine - My list would be half wine ;) I was so excited when I discovered the shishitos at TJs - Big fan! I didn't know that they carried burrata - But I'll be grabbing some of that on my next visit too!

  2. Too funny, I DEFINITELY have my go-to TJ's items. The Salsa Especial. Crunchy Corn Dippers (TJ's fritos, essentially!). Their version of goddess dressing. their toasted coconut pancake mix (OBSESSED). Their pre-cooked lentils (always have a box in my fridge!). The truffle flatbread pizza (the husband fave, always have one of these in the freezer). And the microwaveable brown rice (it's really good brown rice and it's ready in 3 minutes!!!). I could go on, but you get the idea. :)

  3. Yay! Love this post. TJs is the best. These are some great picks! For the chocolate chunks, I'll add that I also like to get their giant pound+ chocolate bars for baking. Pretty good quality chocolate for a steal of a price.

  4. Gotta love Trader Joes. I'm pretty sure the Chocolate Covered Almonds with Sea Salt is actually covered in crack and not salt. They are so addicting. I'll have to try the masala burgers and naan.

  5. I love this! Those chocolate covered almonds are seriously crack. I could eat that entire thing in one setting. Thank you for bringing those masala burgers into my life - so good. I am also a big proponent of their pre-cooked packaged lentils. They are so tasty, easy and perfect for salads!

  6. Burratta is so classy and elegant...yum! Nice blog! It's my first time here I think :)

  7. I have to admit: I'm not a huge Trader Joe's fan. But 10-minute farro? Yes, please! Thanks for the tip!

  8. I did a post on Trader Joe's too a while ago and pooled friends on favorites. Yum! Chocolate and almonds is ALWAYS good. The masala burgers sound good! Recently I've found their falafel in the frozen section and paired with the tzatziki. So good. In case you're interested: http://carrotbowl.com/trader-joes-favorites/. :)