Trader Junkie

Our Trader Joe's opened a little over a month ago and I am officially a junkie. Remember how long it's been since I lived in a city with a Trader Joe's? FOUR YEARS!! I used to hit them up weekly then I was shut off cold turkey. Junkie talk. Okay maybe not completely cold turkey since I did hit up ones in Charlotte and Atlanta a few times while living in Gainesville but in the last two years that I've been here? ZERO TJ TRIPS!! ZERO!!  The junkiest of junkie talk.

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. Junkie talk. One of my old favorites apparently doesn't exist anymore - soy orange creamsicles. I loved these popsicles! R.I.P.

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! Junkie talk. The fruit floes (popsicles) are still delicious.

I've tried out some things I probably never would've tried without bloggers."This pumpkin walks into a bar..." pumpkin bars? Sooo good! They're kind of like a grain version of fig newtons but with pumpkin. I can't say the taste is super pumpkin-y but they're delicious and they have multiple other versions including fig and strawberry. If pumpkin's seasonal as it likely is, I'll have no problem switching to another. Oh junkie.

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! Junkie junkie JUNKIE!! Shocking and shameful! LOL

Do you have any Trader Joe's faves?


K. Rock said...

I have only been to Trader Joe's once a few years ago and it was because I had heard so much about it. It was cool. They have lots of pre-prepared or frozen foods that I was interested in but my issue was the serving sizes. Everything was packaged for like 2 people. I couldnt find a family size anything! I have alot of mouths to feed so buying 3 of one item just stops being economical at some point. But I may go back again to check out some healthy snacks and stuff.

Patti said...

Oh man J, you're making me feel guilty for spacing my visits out so far apart. I wanted to get there before thanksgiving to pick up flowers but never did. Maybe I'll go tomorrow!

Nancy said...

I have yet to make it to TJ, but that spinach and lentils dish, yum!

Babsinblogland said...

Orange Chicken, Chicken Mini Tacos, Pear Sauce (like applesauce) and Goat Cheese with Cranberries. Yum!

1969 said...

Trader Joe's veggie masala burgers on a bun topped with their mango chutney!!!!!

1969 said...

and the potsticker dumplings...my kids go through bags of them. Also, their olive oil is great and waaaaay cheap.

1969 said...


Jameil said...

k.rock... I never thought about that until you mentioned it but that's very true! With the two of us, we basically get enough for that day's meal. No leftovers.

patti... lol it's easier to skip when you're used to it just being there. I'm definitely in the honeymoon phase. the tj's is also 5 minutes from my house via the highway and near a few of my run locations so it's very convenient to go regularly.

nancy... we were both pleasantly surprised!

babs... yes! thank you! Those chicken mini tacos sound right up our alley! I would give the pear sauce a shot, too.

1969... you hipped me to the dumplings when I was in Pittsburgh. I need to hit those up again! They'd be great in one of my stir fries! IDK about the veggie burgers... I'm not really a non-homemade veggie burger girl. The pre-made ones scare me. I'll consider it.

Sparkling Red said...

Oy! There's no Trader Joe's in Toronto! What a calamity! However, a Whole Foods is opening in my neighbourhood within the next couple of years. It's going to be on the first floor of a huge high rise that's only 1/4 built. I'll be waiting hungrily!
Pre-cooked lentils - so smart! I would totally buy those.

Anonymous said...

If you think you are a junkie to TJ itself, try their Gingeroo cookies. I entered a 9, no 12, no 15 step program to detox from these moist ginger snaps! They are great straight from the bag, with ice cream or with a relaxing cup o' tea. I used to buy 3 or 4 bags at a time AND have friends bring them from their area TJ when they ran out at my local store.

Try them and let me know what you think.

Disclaimer: Eat at your own junkie talk risk.

Jameil said...

red... a true calamity! The lentils are the right price and the right product! definitely worth it! I LOVE Whole Foods even though it's more expensive than TJ's. TJ's could never totally replace them!

mamasez... Oh goodness! I LOVE ginger! In so many forms! Sweet! Savory! Gimme! Scared! LOL

gradydoctor said...

The frozen steel cut oatmeal. In a word: YAY.

Jacquie said...

Italian truffle cheese...*swoon*