If you know me, you know that I am not whole without a fridge stocked with all my Trader Joe’s essentials. As a girl who often needs to cook a quick, easy, nutritious meal in a pinch, I would not survive without my beloved T.J.’s.
It’s hard to come by a grocery store that can offer healthy, tasty, and (emphasis on this one) economical vegan options… but if anyone has accomplished this feat, it absolutely is Trader Joe’s! Here is a list of some of my very favorite T.J.’s foods that I always have on hand:
1. T.J.s Frozen Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli Florets, Pearl Onions, and Mushroom Medley
Say what you want about frozen vegetables, but in a pinch a skillet of frozen veggies beats fast food any day of the week. I recently discovered the Mushroom Medley (seasoned with olive oil, garlic, and parsley) which gives my boring vegetable bowls an awesome pop of flavor and also adds some extra fiber and healthy carbs into the mix.
2. Olive Oil and Coconut Oil Aerosol Sprays
I’m not proud of my unhealthy dependence on these two oil sprays, but I do use them both on a daily basis. I use them to oil a baking sheet, to season air popped popcorn, to add flavor to my roasted veggies, you name it.
3. Hummus: Sriracha Hummus & Hummus Quartet (which includes Roasted Garlic Hummus, Tomato Basil Hummus, Spicy Hummus, and Original Hummus)
Hummus is always a staple in my life. T.J.’s Sriracha Hummus is constantly a must-have in my fridge, but the Hummus Quartet provides the perfect variety platter that provides awesome flavors for everybody tastes which makes it perfect to serve up to guests!
Pictured: Hummus Quartet & Reduced Giult Pita Chips with Sea Salt
4. T.J.’s Steamed & Peeled Baby Beats (Ready to Eat Hot or Cold) and Mixed Medley Cherry Tomatoes
Yes – on a regular basis I am way too lazy to steam and peel my own beets. These perfectly portioned and ready to eat beets along with my favorite cherry tomato medley are perfect for whipping up a quick batch of flavored hummus or adding to any sandwich or salad.
5. T.J.’s Whole Wheat Pita Bread (Comes with 6 Pita Pockets)
What I love love love about these pitas is there ingredients – or lack there of. With just 5 ingredients in these, I feel great eating them! They’re ideal for dipping in hummus or using for a sandwich or pita wrap. I also LOVE T.J.’s Reduced Guilt Pita Chips with Sea Salt which come in at a record low of only 2.5 grams of fat per serving!
6. Fresh Zucchini Four Pack
Lets face it – I’m addicted to zoodles. I buy all my zucchini’s at T.J.’s because the four pack is only like $2!
7. Seasonings: Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, and T.J.’s All-Purpose Savory Seasoning Salt
I put these two on EVERYTHING!! I have a nostalgic attachment to the Savory Seasoning Salt because it reminds me of the flavors of Chicken Top Ramen Seasoning.
8. Bagged Greens: Power to the Greens (Organic Baby Kale, Organic Baby Chard, and Organic Baby Spinach)
I always need lots of baby greens at my disposal because basically every bowl I make has a bed of greens, every sandwich is stuffed with them, every smoothie packed with them… you get the point. I go through greens like it’s my job and this is my favorite mix because it’s fresh, easy to store, affordable, and TASTY. If you prefer different greens, there are tons of other options so you can have your pick!
9. Sauce Sauce Sauce!
T.J.’s has a beautiful selection of any sort of sauce your heart could ever desire for an affordable price. Right now my favorites are T.J.’s Yellow Curry Sauce, Sweet Chili Sauce, and Trader Giotto’s Organic Marinara Sauce with No Salt Added (it only has 35 mg of sodium!! Compared to other marinara sauces which usually have between 200-500 mg)
10. T.J.’s Organic Raw Almonds
Nuts are my favorite on-the-go snack and of course Trader Joe’s has them perfectly pre-packaged into snack sized bags for my on-the-go convenience. The nut section at T.J.’s is incredible so whatever your favorites may be, you’re sure to find them there!
11. Trader Giotto’s Misto Alla Griglia (Marinated Grilled Eggplant, Zucchini, & Red Peppers – Frozen)
This is probably my favorite thing in the freezer section. This veg mix is so tasty and nutritious, it’s perfect for a quick meal if you have no time – I like to put it over a bed of greens with some hummus and chili flakes for a quick but hearty salad!
12. Dark Chocolate Bars
I love the dark chocolate selection at Trader Joe’s because of how easy it is to find vegan options (and because of the LOW PRICES)! I almost always have one or two of The Dark Choclate Lover’s Chocolate Bar on hand.
Here is an example of one meal I make using only the ingredients from this list – a beet, cherry tomato, mixed greens & hummus sandwich on a pita!
All in all, Trader Joe’s is a vegans definition of heaven. The items on this list are merely the staple items that I couldn’t get through the week without – but T.J.’s has an infinite number of vegan goodies.
The freezer section is packed with amazing vegan options, from dairy free ice cream and baking mixes, to ready to heat & eat falafel, zucchini fries, vegan pizzas and crusts, veggie patties, chicken-less morsels… you name it and they make it. Don’t even get me started on the ready-made food and the snack section! While these are all absolutely wonderful, make sure you look out for high fat, sugar, sodium, and calorie counts – remember that just because something is vegan or organic or all natural, that does not necessarily make it HEALTHY!