I have this sort of sick obsession with grocery shopping. I say “sick” because there are literally about 100 less expensive/less wasteful hobbies that wouldn’t result in me having five different varieties of gourmet popcorn in my cupboard. But oh, my. When eleven p.m. rolls around and your husband has a fresh episode of Veep pulled up on his laptop and you have FIVE VARIETIES OF GOURMET POPCORN IN YOUR CUPBOARD? It’s kind of the greatest.
I like reading about food, cooking food, watching Food Network shows, shopping for food…but most of all I love TRADER JOE’s. It’s small, unique and has super high quality products for good prices. I love it so much I considered naming my son Joe. (Joe. Trader Joe.)
If you happen to be one of the fortunate ones with access to a Trader Joe’s, let me unveil the 14 things I absolutely will not leave the store without:
TJ’s SUGAR SNAP PEAS. This is just a representative of the many, many pre washed, ready to snack on or pop in the oven/microwave vegetables that will pretty much quadruple your veggie intake. Try these with hummus!
CLASSIC SLICED DRY RUBBED BACON. This is my family most loved bacon. Every time I see someone looking at it at the store I yell BUYITBUYITNOW!
TJ’s WHOLE WHEAT PITA BREAD. Soft, healthy, perfect for an impromptu chicken salad sandwich or to stick in the diaper bag when you know your toddler isn’t going to touch a single item at the family gathering you’re going to.
TJ’s MARINARA SAUCE. You guys. This is the ultimate dinner saver. It’s the only canned marina sauce I’ve ever opened and eaten straight with a spoon. Cook up some ground beef, dump this in, then serve over pasta or vegetables. You have made dinner in 7 minutes.
TEA TREE OIL FACE WASH. I have been battling acne for over 20 years. Wish I were exaggerating on that one. I’ve used every product known to man, and when I use this stuff regularly MY SKIN CLEARS UP. Rumor has it this product is sold under another label by dermatologists for a huge amount of money. Just be careful with it. Tingly on your face? Awesome. Tingly in your retina? Less awesome.
100 CALORIE MILK CHOCOLATE BARS. I generally steer clear of anything with the phrase “100 calorie” attached to it. To me that label generally means: “You’re going to eat this and then twenty minutes later still make yourself that hot fudge sundae you wanted in the first place.” However, these chocolate bars are GOOD. Rich, creamy, satisfying, worthy of your time.
EGG PAPPARDELLE PASTA. I haven’t purchased a single other kind of pasta since trying this about a year ago. And if you know what a pasta eater I am, you know what a big deal this is. Eat with marinara sauce. Or browned butter. Or chopped up 100 Calorie Milk Chocolate Bars. Just kidding. Don’t do that.
SPICY ITALIAN CHICKEN SAUSAGE. Sometimes you need a good dose of protein and you simply don’t have the time to hunt a bison. Sauté this up with some of TJ’s Power Greens (crap–should have added those to the list!) or put it on skewers with bell peppers and mushrooms. LOVE.
TJ’s CREAMY ALMOND BUTTER. For years I didn’t really get what the big deal was with almond butter. And then I tried this. Creamy, drippy, gritty, rich, WHAT? Chop up some apples and dip it in this. Snack time solved.
HARVEST SALAD with GRILLED CHICKEN. I used to buy like 10 of these at a time. I can’t remember why I stopped. (Something about eating our retirement?) SO delicious. High in protein, crazy convenient and really healthy. Dump it out on a plate, drizzle with dressing, stick your whole face in it.
PORCINI MUSHROOM & TRUFFLE TRIANGOLI. You had me at truffle. These are soooo good. Like I don’t know what else to say about them. We drizzle them with olive oil and coarse pink TJ’s sea salt (crap! another thing I should have added to the list!) and cry about how much we love them.
CHEESE & GREEN CHILE TAMALES. I first met tamales about 8 years ago and it has been a strong, happy relationship ever since. I buy them everywhere, but these–THESE–are my go to. Put one in the microwave, slice up an avocado, then dump a bunch of TJ’s salsa on it (should also be on the list). Easy, crazy satisfying, several different varieties.
COOKIE BUTTER SANDWICH COOKIES. Notice that I took a picture of the display vs. an individual box? That’s because I have officially banned them from my house. Some people get religious about these, others lose their minds completely. (I was in the second camp.)
RAINBOW CARROTS. OMG. (OMG is not an official part of their name.) These are GORGEOUS. Purple, red, yellow, orange carrots. Slice them up and roast them at high heat with olive oil and salt–they’re delicious and so so pretty. I don’t know why pretty matters, but it does.
Now it’s your turn: What is my list missing??