Deep question of the day: where do you guys grocery shop?
I tend to shop based on proximity, but the store has to have the natural and organic selection of foods I’m looking for or it just won’t work. In my current neighborhood (West Hollywood!) there are quite a few options within walking distance. I tend to visit most of them (Whole Foods, Gelson’s and Bristol Farms) on a pretty regular basis to see what new foods are out there, but Trader Joe’s is, without a doubt, a weekly stop for me. I can find most of the things I need – and for a pretty reasonable price – but I’ve got to admit that I love the frozen and convenience foods that Trader Joe’s offers. (If you’re ever wondering how something is, just ask. I’ve probably tried it!)
Recently, my friend Lynn and her husband came up with this super-clever buzzfeed video featuring Trader Joe’s mashups:
I loved the video and the premise – it’s absolutely what inspired this post!
I started brainstorming some of my favorite trader joe’s combinations that fit the following criteria:
- under five ingredients (all but one are made with three ingredients)
- fairly healthy (all of them come in under or around 500 calories)
- include a vegetable (because every meal should!)
- delicious (again, because every meal should be!)
Here are the 5 Trader Joe’s meals that I came up with:
Classic Southern Dinner:
Let’s start with an easy, classic meal: bbq chicken breast, mac & cheese and collard greens. Prepare the mac & cheese and bbq chicken as directed and lightly steam or saute the collard greens. *I really like their “reduced-guilt” mac & cheese, but have yet to try the gluten-free variety!
Palak Paneer Eggs:
Why have I not combined Indian food with eggs before? Ah-mazing. Top cooked palak paneer with a fried or poached egg and serve with hot naan. This will definitely become a regular in our meal rotation – perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Tortilla pizzas are one of my favorite meals and considering that I’ve eaten them on regular basis for years, it was a no-brainer. When topped with sauce, arugula, cheese and turkey meatballs, this is a particularly filling pizza. Simply bake the tortilla until crisp, top with sauce, cheese, arugula and warmed meatballs and bake until cheese has melted. (Brown rice and sprouted tortillas are my favorite to use.)
Chimichurri Rice & Sausage:
Chimichurri rice is a somewhat new item and I’m so glad I finally put it in my cart – it’s delicious (so is the kimchee rice!). When it’s combined with chicken sausage and a vegetable, you’ve got a balanced dinner that comes together in minutes. Slice and saute the sausage and rice as directed while you roast the broccoli in the oven.
Pasta with Mushrooms & Parmesan:
This vegetarian meal is delicious and simple. And absolutely OUTSTANDING if you add a drizzle of truffle oil or sprinkling of truffle salt. Simply prepare the pasta and mushrooms as directed and top with a sprinkling of cheese. Use your favorite pasta variety.
Got any favorite quick meals to share?
P.S. I’m really sorry if you don’t have access to Trader Joe’s! Come visit and I’ll take you on a tour.