Well I'm making up for it! I've hit up that store no less than 4 times in the last month. I could go more often but I refrain. Junkie talk. I'm such a good girl! There are two Harris Teeters and a Whole Foods within a mile of TJ's. Crazy, right? My preferred HT is the farther location. I've switched allegiances to Rashan's preferred HT because it's across the parking lot from TJ's.
Some old favorites still exist and have continued to bring me joy including principally: CHIPOTLE SALSA!!! I've not surprisingly loved every cheese I've brought home. There's a lovely selection at great prices and I can't wait to try many many more!
The most surprising find? Pre-cooked lentils. Thank you healthy bloggers! Easy and tasty with just a little salt and pepper. For the picture at right, I just sauteed spinach in garlic & olive oil, added the lentils for a couple of minutes, added one diced tomato for one minute just to warm it up, plated and topped it with gorgonzola. This was one of our meatless meals and we both really enjoyed it! 10 minutes. BAM! We had this with homemade garlic bread from a TJ's baguette.
I've even squeezed in some blind tastings i.e. I buy it before trying it or even hearing about it. The spinach tortellini was great! I used it in the picture to the left for another meatless meal of roasted kobocha squash stuffed with spinach and cheese tortellini. Tyler Florence recipe. So goooood! You could also use acorn squash.
I can't remember if white cheddar popcorn puffs were a suggestion or blind tasting but they were MAGNIFICENT! The multi-grain waffles were good. Rashan and I both approve. The mushrooms and herbs are cheaper than other stores which I definitely love. The herbs are a good 60 cents cheaper. I need an herb garden but until I can stop killing the plants I buy, I must buy my herbs. And as many as I buy? Yeah... that 60 cents starts adding up. The bagged salad greens are also cheaper depending on which ones you get.
Those blind tastings also included some duds: frozen samosas? TERRIBLE. Flavorless, not delicious. Same problem with the fresh pesto ravioli. Really disappointing. It makes me hesitate more on the lobster ravioli. The mushroom risotto was just okay. It needed a lot of attention to bump up the flavor. The vanilla creme protein shake in a can probably tried its best but twas not good. The pumpkin spice latte isn't very good. Weak tea with barely a hint of spice. The fruit leather is good enough to continue eating as a snack/carb source.
In-store samples have also brought out some surprising yumminess. The frozen mac and cheese? WHOA! The frozen mandarin chicken was also really good. The biggest shocker? COFFEE!! Y'all! I don't even like coffee that much but this coffee is MAGNIFICENT! I get a sample every time I'm in the store. I can hardly focus on my list without getting that coffee first!
Do you have any Trader Joe's faves?