If you're a frequent reader of my random food thoughts, you know that I have been in a 4-year love affair with Trader Joe's. Obsessed would be an extreme word to use...but not totally inaccurate. I can't stay away!
While I don't do 100% of my weekly shopping there (and I would if I could), I've made Trader Joe's part of my Saturday morning routine, and I look forward to stocking up on the various goodies each week that I now, apparently, can't live without.
By the by, I'm just waiting for them to take out a restraining order on me for stalking the Candy Cane Joe Joe's with creepy obsession. Haven't bought a box yet because I don't trust myself to eat one like a normal human but I sure do love to stare and salivate.
And since I get asked from time to time about my Trader Joe's picks, I thought I'd share a little list of my current favorites. Because who doesn't want to read a detailed description of my grocery list? Hope it's not lunch time when you read this, or else good luck to ya (and your box of Candy Cane Joe Joe's).
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. No question. That's why I'm glad it's perfectly acceptable to eat breakfast foods at all hours of the day...because quite often I do. Here are my picks for breakfast.
Multi Grain Oatmeal: I like to whip this up in the microwave with maple syrup, fresh raspberries, and chopped walnuts. It's literally a 2-minute home-cooked breakfast.
Pumpkin Butter: Word to the wise...get on it. This is like spreading pumpkin pie on toast. Since it has more of a jam-like consistency ('cause it's not butter), I love to spread this on toast with banana slices. Actually, I like to spread toast with peanut butter, then pumpkin butter, then banana slices. You caught me.
Speaking of toast: My favorite bread is their Low Calorie Whole Wheat Bread. The slices are just my size and are so soft. Perfect for breakfast or lunch!
Snack possibilities at this place are quite diverse. You've got your dark chocolate-covered mango bites in the same aisle as your turkey and sweet potato pot stickers. Something for everyone. And it's no coincidence that I drop by for groceries on a Saturday morning when it's the busiest and they have the most free samples. Here are my current faves.
Honey Grahams: Remember that pumpkin butter I gushed about? Yeah, spread it on these and your eyes will roll back in your head. I die.
Reduced Guilt Tortilla Chips with Salsa Autentica: I don't want to tell you how to dip a chip, but you should really consider these chips and salsa. Reduced guilt means reduce hesitation to finish half the bag in one sitting.
Hummus: Dude, you don't even know hummus from hummus until you've tried a few from TJ's. My favorites are the edamame hummus and the cilantro-jalapeno hummus. That word has now lost all meaning.
Snap Peas: Picture crunchy sugar snap peas in chip form. These are so dang tasty. The nutrition facts make me very happy, although the serving size on the bag is listed at 3 or so. I'd argue that it should be one.
Roasted Unsalted Nuts: Cannot live without. Some weeks we buy and go through 2 bags. My husband would prefer the roasted and salted kind, and I'd prefer the raw and unsalted kind, so this is a fair compromise. Trader Joe's keeps our marriage happy.
TJ's makes dinner decisions a snap. From the all-natural, organic meat and chicken selection, to the wide assortment of affordable frozen fish, they really do make it easy for ya. Here are a couple of things I always have on hand to make recipes extra jazzy.
Crushed Garlic: Seriously, who has time to peel and chop garlic? I have zero patience for that. This is the freshest crushed garlic I have come across, and doesn't have that "bottled" taste.
Shelled Edamame: I love these little suckers! Perfect for adding to stir fries or salads. I like to make a little half-cup mixture of edamame and mixed nuts for a protein-packed snack.
But enough about me...what are your Trader Joe's staple items? I love hearing what others purchase from this quirky store. It's like a tiny window into your food souls. My food soul is chubby...just sayin'.