Trader Joe’s Haul + Recipes

Let's start with the good stuff friends. I LOVE anything sweet. And these two things above definitely do not disappoint. Truth be told, you can't buy the baby at Trader Joe's. Sorry to bust your bubble. But you can see him almost anytime in my IG stories, so there's that. These Churro Bites though..... THEY are delicious and CAN be purchased at Trader Joe's.  They are the perfect crunchy, sweet snack that I like to put in a little bag and bring to Ryder as a special treat when I pick him up from school. I hear these are a favorite among almost everyone, so grab these next time you are there.

MARINARA SAUCE - Hands down, this is the best marinara sauce that I have ever had. It is super flavorful and I have used it multiple ways. I put it on top of the veggie ravioli plus I made Chicken Marinara that was amazing. Lightly season & brown some thinly sliced chicken breasts,  put them in a casserole dish and pour this marinara on top and bake at 350 until the chicken is done. Top with shredded mozzarella and put back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Serve with spaghetti noodles and salad. YUMM!!! You can find this sauce in the refrigerated section. 

TZATZIKI CREAMY GARLIC CUCUMBER DIP - This stuff is amazing!!! We love to stuff TJ's Pita bread with their gyro meat and top it off with this sauce. So. good.

SPINACH & KALE GREEK YOGURT DIP - I would have turned my nose up to this dip before I met Trey and he opened my eyes ( and stomach) to trying new things and giving new food a chance. It may not look appetizing but I'm telling you, it's addicting and quite possibly the best spinach dip I have ever tried. I use TJ's Pita Bite Crackers as a vehicle to get this in my mouth as fast as I can.

SIMPLER WINES 4 PACK - Unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture of the 4 pack for you because I may or may not have drank the other 3 by the time I needed to take pictures. Yeah- they are that good. These little drinks also come in other flavors but this is the white sparkling wine.

TJ'S THOMPSON SEEDLESS RAISINS - I put these in Ryder's lunch everyday and sometimes I will make a yummy trail mix with them.

TJ'S DRIED CRANBERRIES - You can throw these on a salad, pack them in your lunch or have them as a healthy snack. They are super yummy.

ZONIN PROSECCO - I am usually a Pinot Noir girl when it comes to wine but I sometimes like to switch it up and have a glass of Prosecco. This one does not disappoint and it was super affordable at $7.99.

SECCO PEACH BELLINI - I cannot wait to try this ya'll!! I have heard nothing but great things.  My favorite thing to add to my Prosecco is peach nectar so this is going to be perfect.

BOLLA PROSECCO - The first time I purchased this was mainly because it was on sale. Now I buy it every time I go to TJ's. It is light and not too sweet.

TJ'S GYRO SLICES - This is the gyro meat I was telling you about. We stuff it in our pita bread, top with the tzatziki sauce and wa-la! Dinner is served!

CHICKEN TIKKA SAMOSAS - We love Indian cuisine and especially Chicken Tikka Masala. These babies taste just like that with the most amazing flaky crust holding in all that goodness. If you love Indian spices, you will love these.

BROWNIE + COOKIE = BROOKIE - Ya'll, I couldn't even wait until I was home before I opened these bad boys up. I grabbed one as soon as I was in the car and I would bet my life that I devoured one of these in less than 10 seconds. It is the perfect mixture of brownie and chocolate chip cookie. It's not dry, in fact, they are super moist and chewy and basically just melt in your mouth goodness. Drooling yet??

3 CHEESE VEGETABLE RAVIOLI - I was a little hesitant when it came to these but decided to try them anyways. I'm so glad I did because they are a new staple for me. Since I'm keeping track of my calories, these are a much better option than meat filled ravioli and they taste wonderful topped with TJ's Marinara sauce. You'll want seconds. Promise.


FRESH VEGGIES: 

BAGS OF BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER - We eat A LOT of fresh broccoli and cauliflower around here. I steam it and have it as a side to almost every meal we eat.

GREEN ONIONS - I love adding fresh green onion to basically everything. I get so much more for my money when I buy these at TJ's instead on my chain grocery store.

BUTTER LETTUCE - This is my favorite type of lettuce and I add in fresh spinach for a little more green.

TANDOORI NAAN - I bought the traditional, non seasoned naan but it is also available in garlic as well. I'm not a fan of heavy garlic so I prefer to buy the plain and then add a little garlic myself at home. Pair it with TJ's Chicken Tikka Masala for a complete meal.

KUNG PAO TEMPURA CAULIFLOWER - Truth be told, I haven't tried this yet but I'm pretty pumped about it. I was looking for low calorie/low fat meals and this sounded interesting. The Kung Pao flavoring is one of my favorites so I'm hoping this will be delicious. I'll pair it with cooked white rice and edamame.

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA - My love for Indian fare runs deep. I discovered it when we lived in Japan and I eat it any time I can. This stuff is flavorful and I feel like I'm right back in my favorite little spot in Japan.


FRESH FRUIT:

BLOOD ORANGES - If you haven't tried these, you really need to. They have a really unique taste and what's even more fun???? Squeeze these for their juice and add it to a glass of Prosecco. You'll thank me later.

BANANAS - BANANAS. BANANAS. B-A -N- A- N- A- S. *** thanks Fergie.

MINI POTATOES - I have the best recipe for these. Drizzle some olive oil over the top to coat these little cuties. Sprinkle with Salt & Pepper, a little garlic powder and dried rosemary. Roast them in a 400 degree oven until soft. I serve them with a steak or chicken + a fresh salad.

SUN DRIED TOMATOES - My favorite and most unhealthy way to cook these is with a cream sauce and drizzle pour over hot pasta. I'll share the recipe at the bottom of this post. 

PORK GYOZA POTSTICKERS - This is another thing that I was introduced to while we lived in Japan. I won't lie, these don't taste near as good as the fresh ones we got there, but they hit the spot when I am craving them. Serve with soy sauce, edamame and white sticky rice. 


LITE HAVARTI - Havarti is one of my favorite cheeses. I like to add it to a fresh turkey sandwich with spicy mustard, lettuce and tomato. If you are watching what you eat, this Lite version still allows you to have what you love without the extra fat. 

ORGANIC HONEY CRUNCH N' OATS - Grab this cereal ya'll. It's the perfect addition to your morning breakfast. and good for you too. 

TARTE D'ALSACE  ( HAM, CARAMELIZED ONION & GRUYERE CHEESE ) - You know the saying that goes something like, " It tastes so good they must have put crack in this???" Well I'm here to tell you that statement has never been more true when it comes to the tarte. Pizza. Whatever you want to call it. I'm not even going to lie, I ate the whole thing by myself and I'm not even mad about it. 

CHICKEN CHOW MEIN - This is another easy winner!! If you are craving some good Chinese food without all the fat and bad stuff, you are going to want this in your cart. It makes enough for two, although I could easily eat by myself in a state of extreme hunger. 


TJ'S PITA BREAD - This is the pita bread that I use to make our gyro sandwiches. Its delicious, so grab it. 

TJ'S PIZZA MARGHERITA - This pizza is Trey's favorite!! It's just like a classic New York Style pizza that I can imagine you could get in the best pizzeria there. 

TARTE AU BRIE ET AUX TOMATES ( French Style Thin Crust with Brie Cheese & Tomatoes ) - Thankfully you don't have to be able to pronounce the name of this tarte to actually eat it. If you love brie cheese, then you need to pick this up. It is so rich and flavorful that my mouth is already watering. 

TJ'S GOURMET WHITE BREAD - I use this bread for our special, adult sandwiches. What I mean by that is Trey & I love to make hot pressed sandwiches on the presser we have and this bread is perfect for that. Traditional, small white bread will do the trick, but this one just gives you a bigger meal. Oh and it's yummy. 

SLICED WHITE BREAD - This bread makes all the PB&J's, Cinnamon Toast & everything Ryder eats. One day he will graduate to the gourmet kind. But not today. HA! 


SWISS & GRUEYER SHREDDED CHEESE BLEND - This stuff makes the BEST gourmet grilled cheese. Add some of this Apple wood Smoked Ham to make it extra special and dip it in their spicy mustard. So. Good. 

ROSEMARY HAM - Rosemary is my favorite herb. It pairs great with ham apparently. I never would have imagined you could put these two together but it works. And don't worry, if you are unsure about this combo, the rosemary isn't overpowering so it's not like you taste all rosemary and a little ham. 

LITE SHREDDED MOZZARELLA CHEESE - This is the Lite Mozzarella I used on top of the Chicken Marinara I was telling you about. It's really just a skinnier version of regular mozzarella  while still tasting great. 

BEEF STEAK BURRITOS - I haven't eaten these but I didn't actually get a chance to either. Both Trey & Ryder scarfed these up before I could claim them as my own. Trey said it has chunks of steak in there, not shredded, and he loved that about them. Also, they aren't spicy because Ryder ate one too and asked for more. Guess I have to go back now. Darn. 

APPLEWOOD SMOKED HAM - This is the ham we put in our adult grilled cheese sandwiches. Okay, kids can eat it too, but I'm kind of selfish when it comes to my food. I ate Oscar Meyer bologna when I was a kid. He will be just fine with regualr smoked ham. 


COCOA ALMOND SPREAD - Where was this stuff when I was a kid??? I would much rather have this than Hershey's chocolate syrup. Put this on anything. Everything. All the things. Go!

MINI CRISPY CRUNCHY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES - These also go in Ryder's lunch but I also snack on them. Especially around 8pm at night to be exact. They are low in calories so that's why I bought them. 12 cookies are 150 calories which makes the perfect little snack when you want something sweet but don't want to sacrifice all your hard work. 

COOKIE BUTTER - This stuff tastes just like someone took a cinnamon gingerbread cookie and made it into a spread. I found a recipe the other day for Cookie Butter Cookies. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's not fat free, but hey sometimes you just have to #treatyoself. 

FROZEN BBQ CHICKEN TERIYAKI - I bought this with the boys in mind because they are 'meat & potatoes' kind of boys. I'll definitely serve it with rice instead of potatoes, but you know what I mean. Add some fresh steamed broccoli as a healthy side. 

FRESH ALL NATURAL CHICKEN- I used these thinly sliced chicken breasts to make my Chicken Marinara recipe. We all loved it and I'll be making it again soon. 

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS - Pinterest made me do it. Yes, that's why I bought these. I found a recipe where you take these biscuits and add the cocoa almond spread inside, bake it, top it with something amazing like melted butter, pecans and brown sugar. Sounds like heaven if you ask me. Don't worry, I'll share the recipe at the end. 

OVEN READY BREADED COD FILLETS - Cod is the best non fishy fish out there in my opinion. These little fillets are about the size of your traditional chicken strip and they hit the spot when you are craving something like fish and chips.

REDUCED GUILT MAC N' CHEESE - This mac n' cheese is creamy and tastes just as good as alllll the guilt. But without the guilt. Obviously. 

HATCH CHILE MAC N' CHEESE - If you are looking to up your man n' cheese game and try something new, this hatch Chile style is seriously good. It's not too spicy and gives your traditional mac a little something extra. 

PITA BITE CRACKERS - Remember the Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt dip I was telling you about??? These are the crackers that I use to dip all that goodness up. You could save these for yourself or serve them when your friends come over. You won't regret this purchase. 

ORGANIC MINI PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH CRACKERS - I use the Yumbox in Ryder's lunch everyday because his school requires something that he can open without help and a lot of fuss. The Yumbox has different compartments for all of their food and these little crackers fit inside just right. Plus, these mini crackers are a rite of passage for kids, right?? Except these are organic and better for you than the ones I used to eat. 


* RECIPES *
( all the items you will need to purchase from Trader Joe's are listed with the recipe)

  • CHICKEN MARINARA 

    1 - 1.5 lb. TJ's Fresh Thinly Sliced Chicken Breast 
    1  tub of TJ's Marinara Sauce
    1  package of TJ's Lite Mozzarella Shredded Cheese
    1 package of Butter Lettuce and Radicchio 

    ***** Season the chicken breasts lightly with Salt & Pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.  Brown both sides of the chicken breasts in a small amount of olive oil. Remove from pan, put them in an oven safe dish and cover with marinara sauce. Bake until chicken is done. Top with shredded Lite Mozzarella and put back in the oven until the cheese is melted. Serve with spaghetti noodles and a side salad. 

  • COOKIE BUTTER BAKED OATMEAL FOR ONE ( found on Pinterest )
    1/3 c. old fashioned oats
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    pinch of salt 
    2 TBSP. TJ's Cookie Butter 
    1/3 c. milk 
    1 egg white
    1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

    *****Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a small ovenproof bowl.  In a small mixing bowl, whisk together oats, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together cookie butter and egg white until smooth; whisk in milk and vanilla extract. Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir with a rubber spatula until combined ( be sure to fully mix the sticky cookie butter-milk mixture into the dry mixture). Spoon mixture into prepared bowl. Bake for 15-20 min or until oatmeal is puffed and set. 

  • COOKIE BUTTER COOKIES 
    1 1/2 c. all purpose flour 
    1/4 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 c. butter, room temperature
    1/4 c. sugar
    1/2 c. brown sugar
    1/2 c. cookie butter spread
    1 large egg
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    approx 1/2 c. of sugar (coarse or granulated), for rolling

    *****Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in cookie butter spread, egg and vanilla until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually incorporate the flour mixture until the cookie dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Place sugar for rolling into a small, shallow bowl. Shape cookie dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until cookies are very lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

 

  • HOT BREAKFAST BUTTERMILK BISCUITS TOPPED WITH COCOA ALMOND SPREAD

    Bake TJ's Buttermilk Biscuits according to the package. When they are fresh out of the oven spread TJ's Cocoa Almond Spread on top and watch it melt. Try not to eat the whole can by yourself. Enjoy. 

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