According to the dictionary, a hack is "a clever tip or technique for doing or improving something."
I'm a huge fan of Cup of Jo's Trader Joe's meal hacks not just because they're useful breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas that improve my day-to-day, but also because they represent the very real way in which many of us (especially us TJ's fans) navigate meal prep. Not everything we eat has to be from scratch; sometimes, we get a little help along the way...
A bag of frozen shredded hash browns, for instance, jumpstarts an incredible breakfast bowl, topped with cheesy eggs, pancetta, pico de gallo, and sliced avocado.
"I went upstate with a group of friends," Joanna Goddard says. "For breakfast, our pal Erin Jang busted out the most delicious egg scramble with only a handful of Trader Joe’s ingredients."
"We do a version of this for camping wrapped in the TJ’s ‘Tortillas del Comal’ and tinfoil," one reviewer writes. "We grill them on the camp stove or over the fire in the morning. Instead of pancetta, I use ground turkey sausage with Italian seasoning, caramelized onions instead of scallions, and habanero hot sauce instead of salsa, no avocado. I defrost the hash browns but otherwise don’t cook them and I spray the tinfoil with a little canola oil spray."
Do you have any Trader Joe's hacks? Share them in the comments below!
Photos and quotes used by kind permission of Cup of Jo, where this recipe originally appeared. For more unsponsored grocery-store love letters like this one, click here.
Eric Kim is the Table for One columnist at Food52. Formerly the managing editor at Food Network and a PhD candidate in literature at Columbia University, he is currently working on his first cookbook, to be published by Clarkson Potter in Spring 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at Saveur, Bon Appétit, and The New York Times and follow him on Twitter @ericjoonho. Born and raised in Georgia, Eric lives in a tiny shoebox in Manhattan with his dog, Quentin "Q" Compson.