I first heard about Trader Joe's through Rachael Ray.
Since Trader Joe's is fairly new to our area and I still encounter people everyday that have not been, today, I'm sharing with you my Top Ten Things at Trader Joe's (in no particular order):
1. Flat Iron Steak: This is making my mouth water just thinking about it. It's just a steak (actually two steaks) that have already been marinaded and are ready to throw on the grill. This is our favorite flavor, but we also like the Korean one. There's also a Carne Asada that looks good, and several chicken options that are similar.
2. The Dark Chocolate Lover's Bar: I have already shared my love for this bar in a previous post, but I couldn't do this post without giving it another shout out. Every time I go to TJ's, I buy one (or two). Before my Trim Healthy Mama journey, I was NOT a dark chocolate fan, but this chocolate is rich without being bitter. Because it is scored in rectangles, like a Hershey bar, it's easy to break off a few rectangles and get your sweet tooth fix. In fact, I'm going to go grab me a piece right now... be right back...
3. Natural Peanut Butter: You know what goes with chocolate? Peanut butter! Trader Joe's has an awesome all natural peanut butter with just two simple ingredients...peanuts and salt. How's that for simple? FYI...Because many of TJ's products (like this peanut butter and many of their breads) do not contain preservatives, it needs to be stored in the fridge.
4. Turkey Chili: I like chili, but I'm not like a huge chili connoisseur (is that a thing?), and the thought of canned chili doesn't excite me too much, BUT this chili is amazing. Yum! Honestly, I never would have given it a second glance, but those smarty pants at TJ's were giving away little samples of it last week when I was in, and it smelled heavenly. I actually didn't taste it in the store, because I had my two year old with me, and she was ready for lunch, and there was absolutely no way she would understand me giving her .00843 of an ounce of chili, and then meandering through the store. So, I trusted my nose and the genius marketing guru's that filled TJ's with the amazing aroma around lunchtime and bought a can. After devouring it, I wish I would have bought a few more. If you're following Trim Healthy Mama, this is a tiny bit higher on carbs, than recommended, but I'm going to sprinkle a little cheese on it, and call it a crossover.
5. Pizza Sauce: If you ready my post on quick, healthy lunch ideas, you know I eat pizza atleast once a week for lunch. Oddly enough, I have found the store brand pizza sauce (WalMart, Market Street and Trader Joe's) to have the lowest grams of sugar. This particular one from TJ's is tasty and authentic, without being a garlic overkill.
Is it lunch time, yet?
6. Quinoa: I'm a huge quinoa fan, and TJ's has an organic quinoa that is the least expensive I have seen. If you're new to quinoa, I use it in place of rice or pasta frequently. My Tex Mex Quinoa is always a hit around our house, or just serve it under this salmon or tilapia. Plus, the health benefits of quinoa are huge!
7. Apples: Speaking of health benefits, an apple a day keeps the doctor away! These green apples from TJ's are so sweet and tart, they almost taste like a jolly rancher candy. We buy the majority of our produce at TJ's and have always been impressed with the quality and price. Plus, they have some really fun products that you don't find other places, like cauliflower rice!
9. Multi-Purpose Cleaner: My four year old son was diagnosed with eczema this past winter, so I have been trying to replace our household cleaners with products that contain fewer chemicals. We have been using this cleaner to wipe down our kitchen nightly for the past few months and have been impressed with this. It smells clean, and does a great job cutting through grease. Last week, I purchased their laundry detergent, I am hoping it works out with Jess' sensitive skin, too. The verdict is still out, but I'll let you know.
10. Mango Black Tea: I love hot tea, but I'm not a huge ice tea fan...except this tea. I usually take a mason jar full of water and microwave it for about three minutes. Once the water it hot, I throw a few tea bags and let it steep a while. Then, I pour it over ice, add a spoon full of Swerve and enjoy. This is the perfect spring time, back porch sitting drink!
I don't have a picture, but I also love their fresh flowers. They are inexpensive and hearty. It's a nice little treat to have those on the table all week long. They also have a huge wine selection. I love the simplicity of Trader Joe's. They don't carry a ton of products, so I don't feel overwhelmed and exhausted when I leave. Also, their employees are helpful and actually seem like they enjoy their job.
It would only be fair, for me to tell you a few of the things I don't like at TJ's. This is just my opinion, you may love these products. I feel bad doing this. We love you Joe, so I'm not going to delay. I'm just going to rip it off like a band aid, get it out there and then not discuss it further, with the hopes of not devastating poor Joe. Here goes...The ONLY things, we have purchased at TJ's and not loved are: KCups, spaghetti sauce, and chicken sausage.
I hope you enjoyed this little list of mine. If you have never been to TJ's I hope you'll visit soon and check out some of my recommendations. Tell Joe, I sent you! If you're hooked like me, what are some of your favorite products?
Have a great day!