Three things I am loving from Trader Joe’s

One of the things I have learned about visiting Trader Joe’s is that the people who work there give great honest advice on their products  – good or bad.  You have to assume that most of the employees have a bit of foodie in them – right?  So  I really feel like I can trust what they are telling me.  I’m sure one day that hypothesis will have a hole shot right through it by a bad recommendation, but for now I have not been steered in the wrong direction.

Trader Joe's Kalamata Olive Oil

A few weeks back one of the girls suggested that I try this Kalamata Olive Oil and it was funny because my first thought was that Jim wouldn’t like it because he doesn’t like olives….and then I realized that all olive oils come from olives – not just the ones with the word Kalamata in front.  It’s funny how the name just kind of threw me for a curve.  Well, turns out he likes it!  We both love it actually.

This is great dipping olive oil and I’m pretty sure I would be super happy with only a bottle of this oil and a whole wheat baguette for the rest of my life.   This oil comes straight from southern Greece to Trader Joe’s.  This is REALLY good EVOO and the best thing is you get a whole liter for only $8.99.  I’m sure it would be double if you bought it elsewhere.

Trader Joe's Balsamic Glaze

This Balsamic Glaze is a nice thick reduction of their balsamic vinegar. I think this is such a great deal.  If you were to reduce your own balsamic vinegar I am sure you would have to use quite a bit to end up with this amount of glaze and its only $2.99.

I use this the most often drizzled over a caprese salad.  You don’t need a lot because it has a lot of flavor.  It is slightly sweet and slightly tangy – love it.  Would be great on salmon, chicken, strawberries…..the possibilities are endless.

Trader Joe's Coconut Oil

Last but certainly not least on this list is Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil.  I bought this when it came out last year but for the longest time I didn’t use it.  I finally tried it when I was making pancakes a few weeks ago and I couldn’t believe I hadn’t used it before!!  It does have a coconut flavor which I loved, but it is definitely apparent in this oil.  Apparently there are some coconut oils that don’t have a coconut flavor but this one does.  I would use this in any baked good calling for oil, but I will always use this when I make pancakes from now on.  Holy cow they were good.

Coconut oil has a ton of health benefits (although you still need to remember its a fat so use sparingly.)  Besides just the health benefits it is so tasty and Trader Joe’s sells it for only $5.99.  I’m sure if you check around this is a lot cheaper than other sources out there.  Plus its organic to boot.

Next time you are at Trader Joe’s try these items out – I promise they all rock!  I will share some more of my favorites soon.  Stay tuned!

 

Trader Joe’s Tuesday – Our Favorite TJ’s Freezer Meal

Mandarin Orange Chicken - Trader Joe's

If you read this blog very often (or if you know me,) my love for all things Trader Joe’s is no secret.   My mom and friends in Upstate NY are just getting some Trader Joe’s nearby so I thought a fun thing to do would be to share some of our favorites.  The list is long so this topic will definintely generate lots of content.

Jim and I try to make most of the meals that we serve from scratch, however life gets busy.  The girls are  into different activities so there are nights when we just need a quick meal.

This is one of the many reasons why I love TJ’s.  I love the fact that I can serve my family a delicious meal (this is one of their favorites) and not feel like I am feeding them processed junk.  You can read Trader Joe’s labels and for the most part recognize every single thing on there.  Everything tastes a little fresher and you have lots of options, too.  Way better for your pocketbook than ordering take-out and healthier, too.  I’m not saying this is health food, but its definintely as close to homemade as freezer food comes.  I love that.

Trader joe's Chicken Gyoza Potstickers

This is a meal my kids would eat on a weekly basis if I kept my freezer stocked with it.  Ella actually requested this for her birthday last year.  Both items taste like they come from a really good Chinese restaurant (except we all agreed it is different from your typical Chinese food.)  I think that the Mandarin Chicken is one of the best things you can buy from the freezer at TJ’s…and the pot stickers are probably a close second.  The chicken has the perfect crunchy coating and the sauce is bright and  so flavorful.  The pasta on the pot stickers is nice and light and the meat is seasoned just like you would hope a pot sticker would be.  Lots of ginger and green onion flavors – yum!

We usually have some TJ’s Gyoza Sauce (not pictured) to dip the pot stickers in, but some soy sauce or sweet chili sauce would be good, too!

For our veggie, we usually serve frozen broccoli or if we are super busy I just let the kids pick a piece of fruit.  Easy peasy!

So, if you are like my family and need to add a few good, non-junk freezer options to your meal rotation I definitely recommend Trader Joe’s Mandarin Chicken and Chicken Gyoza Potstickers.  Your family will be hooked, too!

Enjoy!

PS..I have no affiliation with Trader Joe’s.  Just a loyal shopper trying to spread the love:-)