5 trader joe’s meals (5 ingredients or less!)

5 Trader Joe's Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

Deep question of the day: where do you guys grocery shop?

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

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:

  1. under five ingredients (all but one are made with three ingredients)
  2. fairly healthy (all of them come in under or around 500 calories)
  3. include a vegetable (because every meal should!)
  4. delicious (again, because every meal should be!)

Here are the 5 Trader Joe’s meals that I came up with:

Classic Southern Dinner:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

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:

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

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 Pizza:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats
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:

 5 Trader Joe 's Meals (5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

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:

5 Trader Joe' s Meals(5 ingredients or less!) | A Nutritionist Eats

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. :)

parmesan crusted chicken


Can I share a total midwest recipe with you?

I know, I live in LA – land of green juice and salads – and I want to share a not-so-healthy recipe that is comprised of mayonnaise and cheese. But we can call it parmesan crusted chicken and pretend it’s fancier than it really is.

As much as I drink the “green juice and salad” kool-aid there are times when I enjoy some good old comfort food.

And an easy dinner. I know everyone loves an easy, no-fuss recipe for busy weeknights. It’s simple: mix together mayo + parmesan cheese, top chicken (or salmon – also amazing on salmon) and bake! Truthfully, it’s not made with the healthiest of ingredients, but its really not that terrible calorie-wise so I’m not concerned.

The original recipe from Hellman’s calls for bread crumbs, but I left them out both times and still loved the results! I think it is the juiciest chicken I’ve ever made. Just another reason to make it… 

 

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Keywords: bake entree gluten-free high protein low-carb chicken

 

Ingredients (2 servings)

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut in half (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (try smoked)
  • pepper

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix mayonnaise, parmesan and seasonings together.

Spread parmesan mixture over chicken and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

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perfect meatloaf meal

Meatloaf. It’s so meat & potatoes midwest right? Well, this is not yo mama’s meatloaf. (Anybody watch that show?) This perfect meatloaf meal was inspired by a My Fit Foods meal (more on them soon) and I recreated it at home for a bunch of meals this week. I’m really trying to focus on recipes that are easy, family-friendly and don’t require “weird health foods” – the main purpose of this blog is to share ideas to make life healthier in an easy, approachable way. If you have family-favorites that you’d like a nutrition makeover for, let me know!

Lean turkey is the center of this meal, rounded out with sweet potatoes (and a pat of grass-fed butter) and steamed green beans. This meal is filling, healthy and pretty easy to pull together. The meatloaf takes an hour to bake, and while its in the oven you can bake, boil, or microwave the sweet potatoes and steam the green beans. The recipe makes 8 servings so depending on your appetite, you can freeze half of it for later like I did!

Turkey Meatloaf

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Keywords: bake entree gluten-free high protein low-carb American fall winter

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or bread crumbs
  • 2-3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients until mixed well. (hands work well!)

Form into 2 loaf-shapes on pans sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 60 minutes, until cooked through.

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Nutrition facts for 1 serving meatloaf:

 

simple & healthy: huevos rancheros

I’ve decided that I need to start making breakfast for dinner more often.

There are a lot of things to love about breakfasts for dinner. In my world, that would mean eggs.

These huevos rancheros are great: flavorful, filling and so budget friendly.

There are many varieties of huevos rancheros, with some more difficult than others, but I decided to go the really easy and simple route. They literally took me 10-15 minutes to pull together. If you want to make your own huevos sauce, Weekly Bite has a great recipe!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Beans (black or pinto)
  • Eggs
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Toppings: salsa, pico de gallo, huevos sauce, sour cream, fresh cilantro

Steps:

  • Heat up the beans and season as desired
  • Fry the eggs (sunny side up is best, but you could also scramble)
  • Melt the cheddar on the tortilla under the broiler
  • Layer cheesy tortillas with fried egg and salsa and any additional toppings
  • Serve with black beans and vegetable