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Food Find: Trader Joe’s dinner tricks

If given all the time in the world I would spend my endless days trying countless recipes from my favorite cookbooks such as Gourmet and Martha Stewart’s new Clean Slate.  But since time for cooking is a luxury and dinner always a scramble (and I’m pretty confident that is the scenario for most), I have come to rely on some Trader Joe’s staples to help me in a pinch.

Here are my current faves:


High in protein and low in sugar this is always in my freezer and it is served frequently (probably too often if you ask my husband).  Thaw and bake for 12 minutes.  Easy and delicious.


My kids go crazy for rice so these microwaveable packets are ready in 3 minutes with no mess or cleanup.  Pair it with chicken tenders and a green (see below) and there is a full meal.

IMG_8643It’s always good to have a green vegetable on hand when you reach into the drawer and realize that whatever you had in mind is old and unsalvageable.  These frozen green beans just need a quick blanch in boiling water.


Every single night I soak 1/2 cup of these oats in just enough unsweetened almond milk to cover and refrigerate.  The next morning my breakfast is waiting for me.

IMG_8977This is crack to me. BEST ALMOND BUTTER EVER.  Once I open the jar it’s all over.  Seriously I cannot even buy it anymore.  For anyone who can control their portions you will love this because it has no added oils or sugars.


There must be others out there with willpower and portion control issues because Trader Joe’s has provided its customers with bagged almonds in appropriate portion sizes (200 calorie bags).

IMG_8978An outstanding source of protein and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, this is one of my newest adds to my shopping list.  I hide it in my daughter’s smoothies (shhh, don’t tell her!).

IMG_8982And for those days where you have nothing left in your tank and can manage only one thing this Cod Provencale with Ratatouille & Rice is a near perfect meal.   400 calories, 25g protein and only 3g of sugar for the whole container.  A great dinner option when you are in a pinch (and can be microwaved or baked in oven).

I love hearing what others have found at Trader Joe’s.  Please comment because I am game to find more good tricks.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Galia Gichon Clemens #

    Thanks Karen! Going to save this newsletter! Btw- I worked with Tara Roseme yesterday as a first step to clean out my closet. So sweet and helpful. Xo G

    March 12, 2015

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