This week, I am featuring a salad that *gasp* was made with a store-bought vinaigrette. To be fair, this is the best one you’ll find at a grocery store and unsurprisingly, it came from Trader Joe’s. Bright with a tangy zing, their carrot-miso vinaigrette is next level. In the salad pictured above, I paired their vinaigrette with butter lettuce, tomatoes, rainbow carrots, pickled red onion, avocado, pepitas, cranberries, and cilantro.
Trader Joe’s is unmatched when it comes to buying quality food on a budget. As much as I love to cook, I always keep a couple salad kits and frozen meals on hand for those busy weeks when I don’t have time to turn on the oven. Fortunately, Trader Joe’s has broken the stigma surrounding microwavable meals and prepackaged salads by offering nutrient-rich, flavor-packed meals at an affordable price.
I am also a snacker at heart though, and Trader Joe’s reigns supreme when it comes to small bites and sweet treats. I’ve conditioned myself to exercise a little more self-control when my eyes meander to the chocolate section. Needless to say, I love Trader Joe’s like no other, so I thought I would share some of my favorite picks with y’all!
Here are my other Trader Joe’s staples:
- Balsamic Chicken: If you are needing a protein for salads or to serve with a side for a weeknight meal, nothing compares to the Trader Joe’s Balsamic Chicken. It is perfectly grilled and so flavorful! One of these days, I am going to perfect a copy-cat recipe for this delectable dish.
- Candied Pecans: Trader Joe’s has their salad toppings down to a science and their candied pecans have all the caramelized goodness. I could eat them straight from the bag (sometimes I do) and they are just as good as the ones from Whole Foods while at a fraction of the cost. Add them to a summer stone fruit or winter apple and blue cheese salad for a delightfully sweet and salty crunch.
- Triple Ginger Cookie Thins: I am a sucker for anything ginger flavored and am especially partial to these cookie thins. These melt-on-your-tongue cookies taste like a more grown-up version of a ginger snap and I could eat them by the sleeve.
- Trek Mex: This stuff is seriously dangerous for all my sweet and salty fanatics. This mix is simple: salted cashews, salted roasted almonds, and heavenly dark chocolate chunks. The key is the ratio – it’s basically 1:1 chocolate to nuts which is what trail mix should be in my humble opinion.
- Lemon Chicken Arugula Salad: Peppery arugula and a tangy pimento dressing are balanced perfectly by the Israeli couscous and currants in this salad. Not only is this salad delicious, but it is also only 300 calories and perfectly satisfying for lunch or dinner.
- Stuffed Bell Peppers: Some nights, I don’t want to go through the trouble of turning on the oven or even making a salad because I’m simply beat from the day. Trader Joe’s stuffed bell peppers with feta, spinach, and ground turkey are a crave-worthy and low-cal option that bring the comforts of a home-cooked meal to you in under 3 minutes!
- Rainbow Petite Carrots: I can’t go a week without the petite rainbow carrots from Trader Joe’s. Forego mushy baby carrots in favor of these crunchy and colorful alternatives. They are the perfect complement to Hope Foods hummus (which I always keep two containers of in my fridge) or the Trader Joe’s Chunky Olive Hummus.
- Savory Rice Crackers: Oh boy, these crackers are GOOD! Delightfully crunchy and perfectly salty, I have to be careful not to eat an entire bag in one sitting.
- Plumcots: This seasonal fruit is perhaps my favorite summer dessert. A mix between a plum and apricot, these little guys are refreshingly juicy and sweet. Trader Joe’s sells plumcots every summer and I pick up a six-pack as long as they are in-stores.
- Egg White Frittatas: Breakfast is arguably the hardest meal to incorporate into any college student’s day and even those who make time for breakfast tend to get caught in a never-ending cycle of oatmeal and protein bars. These microwavable frittatas from the frozen section are ready in 1 minute and taste amazing! If you like the Starbucks egg white bites, gives these a try and you won’t be disappointed!\
Are you a Trader Joe’s junkie too? If so, I would love to know what your go-to items are! As always, thank you for reading!