What's your favorite Trader Joe's product?

just curious

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79 Comments

LE B. February 28, 2019
i made this list for friends so i'm glad to share it here. thx for the opp.!

• SUGGESTIONS FOR TR J AND WHOLE FOODS [WF]
CURRENTLY STOCKED TASTY AND INEXPENSIVE FOODS ITEMS 12/2018

Many of us use convenience foods/ prepared frozen or chilled entrees from our markets, but we are often deterred by noting that “There’s too much Salt”; “There’s not enough Protein”;
“There’s no Green vegetables”; “It’s tasty but it needs some spunk.” Here are some easy quick techniques that I use to make those items welcome and FAST dinner entrees. (Remember that these items may just be available weekly/monthly or seasonally in your store.)
WF: Tomato Parmesan Soup (can add cooked unsalted brown rice or other grains, meats or unsalted vegetables etc.)
WF: Turkey White Bean Chili (can add: chopped canned Pastene plum tomatoes, leftover pan juices, more cooked turkey or chicken [slices from WF, chopped or shredded], cooked frozen chopped okra, shredded kale, frozen white corn, canned Goya pinto beans, fresh lime juice to taste. Heat the soup, add the additions and cook over medium heat 10-30 minutes. Serve with broken unsalted tortilla chips.)
WF: Turkey Meat Loaf (much less sodium than luncheon meats; freezes well ) We make hot open face sandwiches with lots of Neillio’s turkey gravy. Both meat loaf and gravy can be pre-portioned and frozen.
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TR J: Beef Shepherd’s Pie ( optional: can add nutrition and bulk by cooking pie halfway, removing plastic; and poking all over with cooked unsalted green vegetables like edamame, chopped okra, haricots vert, chopped kale or spinach [TJ frozen veggies, except okra]; cover loosely with a re-usable lid and finish baking. )
Beef Baltie Pies (bake ¾ ; remove top pastry round in one piece; with a knife tip, poke an inside circle of holes, fill @ hole with sliced ½” x 2” piece of WF cooked steak [from 2 ou. sliced steak]; replace pastry top and finish baking
Curry Chicken Baltie Pies ( follow same as Beef Baltie, using 2 ounces cooked chicken or turkey-- matchsticks)
Steak Burritos (unwrap, cover loosely; nuke 1.5 min. @ side; where possible, reduce the tortilla wrapper carbs by gently pulling away pieces of 1 or 2 tortilla layers [to reduce carbs]; on the one burrito side that has any filling revealed, slit lengthwise down the middle from end to end, 3/4 of the way through but not cutting the bottom tortilla layers; in the filling, stuff under @ side of the slit a line of ½ “ x 1” pieces of 2 ou.WF cooked steak; sprinkle burritos lightly with water; cover loosely and nuke 1.5 to 2 min.) Protein- Supplemented this way, a filling dinner entrée can be just one burrito [therefore less salt] rather than two, especially if you serve it with a steamed TJ tamale from the deli-case. Plain yoghurt makes a good condiment for both.
Family size Meat Lasagna ( bake ½ way; remove plastic; cut lasagna in half cross-wise; with 2 pancake spatulas, temporarily remove the top 1/3 or 1/2 of one side of the lasagna; spread layer of ricotta cheese/egg. Replace the top half; repeat with 2nd side; [using a total of ~ 16 ou. plain ricotta mixed with 2 well beaten eggs; no salt so dish’es high sodium can be countered]; cover loosely and finish baking til very hot all the way through.) Protein-supplementing like this enables one to eat a smaller portion, thereby reducing carbs and salt.
Inner Peas snack is the lowest sodium I have seen in a salted snack item. Delish too!
OTHER TR J FROZEN FAVS TO EAT AS-IS OR TO DOCTOR:
**- warning: if you really like some product, stock up asap because many things become favs for us but are pulled for an unknown reason or because they’re ‘seasonal’.
Cooked brown rice pouches in white box
Japanese rice in orange bag, w/ wonderful as- is flavor and additions
Quinoa w/ cubed winter squash etc.
Mushroom Risotto fr. France I add sautéed shiitakes and few drops of japanese soy.
Gnocchi- decent
Bolognese sauce as is
Curried Indian [and thai] rice w vegetables
Chicken Tikka Masala ,perfect sauce
Seafood Paella; we add scallops, pimenton, swordfish, clam juice
Mediterranean vegetables
Artichoke hearts
Haricots Verts
TJ brand Spanakopita in rectang box
Mexican street corn w/ queso fresco, lime etc. in bag; spicy
Tarte d’Alsace- I doctor it to be more decadent!: unwrap, spread w/ sour cream,sprinkle w/ Jones Canadian Bacon matchsticks and grated TrJ cave- aged Gruyere
Chiles rellenos/ we use the surplus of gooey cheese filling alongside their 5 star tamales [w/Vegetable or Pollo w salsa verde—not frozen; found in refrig ]
Rib Eye and Sirloin Steaks
Coffee Mochi and Green Tea Mochi w/ ice cream filling, perfect strong flavor and muted sweetness
French Canneles, tremendous [suggestion: with flat metal skewer, poke a circle of holes in the cannele tops, wiggling the skewer to make holes wider. in toaster oven, bake canneles at 400 degrees , lightly covered with foil, total of 40-60 minutes. Cool; Fill bottlecap w/ orange liqueur and pour over all cannele tops, letting liqueur absorb before pouring a second time. In airtight container, let sit on counter 2+ days

Tr J Refrigerated:
Tr J Lowfat Kefir- blueberry, rasp., mango, strawberry, etc in refrig.; less sweet than other brands
HoneyCrisp apple cider
Unexpected cheddar (cross between Cheddar and Parm)
Tuscan wine-soaked cheese
Truffle cheese
Parm Regg.
Swiss Cave-aged Gruyere in white paper
Lemon ricotta wedges- seasonal ~xmas;
exc on toasted croissants or toasted sweet bread
Neat multi-element salads in clear plastic cube:
one w/ spinach, squash; ABC &K slaw; Harvest Grain :
we add baby spinach to up the greens. Dressings good.
Corn tortillas


TR J SHELF ITEMS:
Boxed Soups: Black Bean; butternut squash[ but WF fresh is better]

Vit D and chewy multivitamins
Small snack paks of dried seaweed sheets
Parm Pita chips
Toasted Sesame Caramels coated w/ dark choc. in lilac foil pak
Flavored refried pinto beans/ in pink can, perfect as is
Canned Cubano black beans, great as is
Nuts and dried fruits low price and exc. quality;
incl raw and roasted of most nuts; pistachio, pine nuts
Wild rice
Turbinado sugar
Virginia peanuts in can ; extra lg and crisp

 
Smaug February 1, 2019
I usually just buy ordinary groceries there (mostly staples- I rarely buy prepared foods); what I like about TJ's is that they set a fair price and stick to it- trying to shop at supermarkets without being robbed blind is a lot of work.
 
Denise D. February 1, 2019
The frozen brown and Jasmine rice. I'm a great cook but terrible with rice... the Trader Joe's rice cooks in 3 minutes in the microwave and is perfectly separate and tender every time! My daughter loves the frozen Indian meals - butter chicken, channa masala, saag paneer, etc. All yummy. We also adore the Peppermint JoJos and the dark chocolate mini peanut butter cups!
 
Margaret G. January 31, 2019
Organic brined whole chicken, which I just learned has been discontinued!! Why, oh why???
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 28, 2015
I'm a big fan of Trader Joe's except for the meat & chicken.
 
Susan W. November 28, 2015
Why don't you like their meats? I buy their Empire chicken, grass fed ground beef and grass fed frozen steaks all the time. Love their meats.
 
henry W. November 28, 2015
Almost all, Trader Joe has the best products names in the market today. The company also a competitive and reliable in terms of food products.

Regards.
Henry
"works for Alexandra Watkins of http://awesomebook.eatmywords.com/"
 
Diana B. February 15, 2014
Delice de Bourgogne cheese and Dark Chocolate-Covered Raisins...
 
SMSF February 14, 2014
Garden Patch vegetable juice (the Low Sodium version) - hands down!
Also:
jarred pizza sauce
thai red curry sauce
frozen fire-roasted corn
 
Kels M. February 14, 2014
I just love this thread so much, I want to revive it.

I love their chopped & washed Tuscan Kale, as it makes morning smoothies super easy. Same for baby spinach & frozen fruit, as it's much less expensive at TJ's than most markets in NYC. The Light Mexican Cheese Blend is always in our fridge, which makes a great reduced-guilt quesadilla with their Multigrain Tortillas (with oats & flax seeds—not fewer calorie, but so much fiber!) & Salsa Verde.

A quick weeknight favorite at our house is something we've named "Lasagna Pizza," because the flavor is a cross between those two favorites. We love it, perhaps because we're only a few years beyond our college-student-food phase. I heat my oven to 400°F, then put a couple of TJ's Pitas on a cookie sheet, spread a layer of the Tomato Basil marinara on the pitas, add some generous blops of Burrata, and top it all off with some shavings of Parmigiano and fresh basil, if I have it, and pop them in the oven until the cheese gets bubbly and brown. Et voila. Super classy super simple supper.
 
Turbeville G. February 14, 2014
I also love the Tuscan kale.
 
Bevi November 15, 2013
I actually have always had a crush on the canned corn - and the packaging artwork.
 
Elizabeth R. November 15, 2013
Lately in our household we've gone crazy over the cheddar-horseradish potato chips, the speculoos cookie butter, and lattemiele cookies.
 
java&foam November 13, 2013
i would say it is a tie between the the orange-scented dried cranberries (they smell like holiday baking) or the triple ginger gingersnap cookies (they make great crusts for key lime pies in place of graham crackers).
 
Turbeville G. November 13, 2013
I've been thinking about the gingersnap cookies for the holidays, are they particularly sweet?
 
hardlikearmour November 13, 2013
Their jarred Morello cherries are awesome, and very affordable.
 
Bevi November 12, 2013
The mandarin oranges currently in store are really juicy and sweet.
I love the TJ's Tuscano Marinara Sauce
Chili Lime Cashews!
 
M.McAwesome November 12, 2013
The chocolate! Just tried coconut caramel dark chocolate bar. Delicious
 
Turbeville G. November 12, 2013
Greek Feta in brine
Organic basil marinara sauce
Garlic marinated mushrooms
California Estate olive oil
Marcona almonds with rosemary
 
pierino November 12, 2013
Bevi is absolutely correct on this point. E-coli run off from local grass fed beef is still e-coli and it can still kill you. In many ways consumer behavior is a form of Social Darwinism.
I live at the bottom of the Salinas Valley which is sometimes referred to as "America's salad bowl". There have been outbreaks of food borne illness linked to this area linked to improper handling. It's a fact of life. Today's busy consumer is seduced by fast and easy or "grab and go". Bagged, washed lettuce is a great example. I'm in regular contact with the produce managers at a couple of store fronts of the supermarket chains---usually at around 6:00 a.m. If it were up to these guys they wouldn't even be selling this stuff, but it is a corporate risk/reward decision. You contract with suppliers to buy large quantities of food in bulk and pass the savings on. And that's where the Darwinism comes in. Food should be handled safely in the field, in the plant and in your home.
The top money crop where I live is strawberries. Think massive amounts of pesticide and make an informed decision.
 
Bevi November 12, 2013
calendargirl, thank you for pointing out that the vendor is responsible for selling tainted product. Since it was a Class 1 recall, it is questionable
that those products will be on shelf in the future at Trader Joe's. Perishable items and other grocery category items that are found to be unsafe can be bought anywhere, from your neighborhood farm stand to a huge grocery chain with 500+ locations. Consumers can check the FDA
site daily to keep up on recalls: http://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls/
 
ATG117 November 11, 2013
Whoops, somehow my post lost the spacing I thought it had.
 
AntoniaJames November 11, 2013
Incidentally, their recipe for "Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies," on the bag of their Rolled Oats, is my family's favorite cookie these days. It's almost identical to the original Toll House Cookie recipe, but uses rolled oats instead of flour and substitutes peanut butter for about 3/4 of the butter (and uses only 6 ounces of chocolate chips, which are plenty). I make the dough, freeze it in blobs, and then bake 4 - 6 at a time when the need arises. They're excellent! ;o) P.S. I cannot post the recipe, as that would violate TJ's copyright, but I'm happy to send it privately to anyone who sends me a message via my profile. (I transcribed it, as I usually buy oatmeal in bulk elsewhere.)
 
ATG117 November 11, 2013
AJ: Thought recipes on their own couldn't be copyrighted especially if transcribed by you?. Just curious. If you ever happen to have a free second

Two items that I like to keep around are their salted edamame and the precooked steel cut oatmeal from their freezer section. Both great to have around on hectic mornings: breakfast and a midday tied-me-over--done and done. I recently stocked up on puff pastry, whih they consider a seasonal item (oddly), but have yet to try it. Whole wheat pizza dough is also a real convenience food especially in the summer for parties where grilled pizzas are on the menu. Does anyone know where they source their cheeses?
 
calendargirl November 11, 2013
Be careful, all you westerners! After reading pierino's post, found an online piece which notes that the recall also includes some Whole Foods products as well --- all from a California company, Glass Onion Catering. Do use caution. (Love your typewriter, pierino.)
 
pierino November 11, 2013
Traitor Joe's e-coli contaminated packaged "grab and go" salad. 90 tons of which have just been recalled from practically all of the western states. Salmonella might ruin your week but e-coli could take your life. If that happens you won't have a TJ's lifestyle anymore.
 
AntoniaJames November 11, 2013
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up, pierino. Their salads don't appeal to me, generally, but I have been tempted in the past, when meetings run late, no time for a decent sit-down lunch while out of the office, etc. Fortunately for me, I guess, I always grab a Lara Bar or their toasted almonds instead to tide me over until I can get what we call here "real food." ;o)
 
mark November 11, 2013
I love their frozen French Onion Soup....It comes vacuum-packed already layered with the soup, crouton and cheese. Bake for a little bit or it can be microwaved as well. At the end, I broil a couple of slices of swiss cheese over the top until brown and bubbling. Deeee-licious!
 
Regine November 11, 2013
I also like the frozen fire roasted kernel corn. Good to serve mixed with mayo, queso fresco, some lime juice and zest, and cilantro. I also add it to the delicious bloody sunrise grit casserole posted on Food52.com.
 
Sadassa_Ulna November 10, 2013
Our staples from TJ's tend to be: chana masala, samosas, asiago and other cheeses, all nuts, turkey corn dogs (not me, my kids), coconut shrimp, sparkling water, guacamole, fresh salsa, hummus (my daughter's favorite brand), mini sesame crackers, peppermint tea, oatmeal soap, and probably more I can't think of...
Fun question and fun answers!
 
dymnyno November 10, 2013
Charlie Bear Dog Treat...my two Portuguese Water Dogs love them!
 
nutcakes November 10, 2013
I always like to have the single portions of Spinach Lasagne tucked away in the freezer for a fast meal.
 
Ashley November 10, 2013
Anything from the French section, and their selection of coffee creamers is divine!
 
I C. November 10, 2013
Ginger cat cookies (120 cal for 15 cookies and they are the best tasting of the cat cookie line); trail mix almonds with dark chocolate; pot stickers (any); salted dark chocolate covered almonds; miso soup mix (dried); creamed honey; corn salsa ( had a jar for 6 months in my closet until I found out how awesome it tasted); green salsa; blue cheese pear dressing. I always ask the clerks this question when I'm there and have received great advice every time.
 
jamcook November 10, 2013
I saw their long shelf life Tetra Pak unrefrigerated Whipping cream..could this be any good? To keep around for whipped cream emergencies? Has anybody tried it?
 
Sadassa_Ulna November 10, 2013
A friend had this for such "emergencies" and it worked and tasted very good as whipped cream, so now I have some in my pantry :)
 
Kels M. November 9, 2013
Peppermint Joe-Joe's ftw!
 
creamtea November 9, 2013
They've discontinued the Trader Joe's "Fresh" jams in the faceted glass jars, I'm told.
 
JaneMiami November 8, 2013
Lemon Pepper Pappardelle Pasta!
 
erin November 8, 2013
TJ's sounds great! Wish we had one in Canada...
 
Jon W. November 8, 2013
I love the masala burgers. I heat one up for breakfast up in a non-stick skillet and then pour a couple of scrambled eggs over it. Then I break it up with a spatula in the pan while the eggs cook around it, and the flavor infuses into them. Really delicious and filling, especially with a few dashes of hot sauce on top!
 
M.McAwesome November 8, 2013
TJs is my favorite for easy snacks like mixed nuts and trail mix and cookies! They have the best selection of nuts. I stock my desk at work with them.
 
drbabs November 8, 2013
I love this question--thank you all for the great suggestions. Some of my favorite products are their fruit butters. Fig, apple cranberry, pumpkin. I also love their cheddar with horseradish (which my store doesn't always have in stock). I'm with AJ on the rice medley; their red quinoa is also really good. I think their wheat crackers are better than triscuits, and their nuts and dried fruits are always reliably good. Also love the horseradish hummus (do we detect a theme here?), which is also occasionally hard for me to get. Sigh.
 
Soozll November 8, 2013
Oh, I like so many of their products. I like their sour cherries. It's probably the only place I can find sour cherries for baking. I like their raisins, too; They are more moist than other brands. Their entire dried fruit counter has top quality product and in the right size pkgs for me, too. I like the variety of wines they carry as well. They have wines not carried in most grocery stores.
 
Regine November 8, 2013
I also love their spicy/chili dried mangoes. Also they used to have this really good frozen Thai or something of the sort green beans that came with a delicious sweet and sour sauce but I have not seen it in ages. Their Tea tree mint something conditioner is also excellent.
 
Regine November 8, 2013
Antonia James, I do the same thing. But do try my recipe, however vague it is. You will like it. D) Thanks!
 
Kukla November 8, 2013
Trader Joe's is my favorite market: I buy their cheeses such as Gruyere, Brie, Fontina, and a delicious ship’s milk Israeli feta and many more and to my taste their Greek yogurt brand I like more than Fage. I also like TJ’s oils, Kalamata olives, all kind of grains, pasta, AP and gluten free flours, grade B Organic Maple syrup, sugars, many frozen vegetables, fruit and berries and many more good quality produce.
 
Bevi November 7, 2013
For those of you who haven't heard this, enjoy!
http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/02/in-videos-the-unofficial-trader-joes-commercial.html
 
lapadia November 8, 2013
Cute! I've never heard this before :)
 
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 7, 2013
I love leeks and buy there pre-washed & trimmed leeks.
 
calendargirl November 7, 2013
Frozen mango chunks, canned pumpkin puree, sun dried tomatoes and cubed pancetta. But I really miss a product they have withdrawn: Red, White and Blues Potato Chips which were thick and unsalted and really tasted like potatoes.
 
creamtea November 7, 2013
Oh, I forgot the Wasabi Almonds and the Gorgonzola crackers. I take their Harvest Grains on vacay, cook and add sundried tomatoes, olive oil, sliced scallions, and maybe extra chickpeas and/or feta for a quick side or main summer salad.
 
spicysiciliangourmet November 7, 2013
Cookie butter, without a doubt!! Excellent by itself, or subbed for pb in some baking recipes. Seriously addictive, and super hard to find sometimes b/c it's so popular in my area! If you see it on the shelf, buy it...you won't be disappointed!
 
jamcook November 7, 2013
Tropical fruit Popsicles...called "CARIBBEAN FRUIT FLOES" full of mango and pineapple chunks..delicious and guilt free
 
Panfusine November 7, 2013
I second Antonia James, great thread!
I love the TJ's Kefir, the mixed trail mix nuts, the chili powder spiced dried mango, the chocolate covered cocoa nibs, and for the emergency supplies of food when I don't feel like cooking, the frozen Kati rolls, palak paneer & chana masala.
 
Bevi November 7, 2013
I do like their English Cheddar with Caramelized Onions this time of year.
 
Tony S. November 7, 2013
Salsa Verde. If I were going for chips and dip, I would make my own but using their jarred sauce for an easy weeknight meal is great. Brown 3 chicken breasts in a pan and remove. Add a sliced onion and a few minced garlic cloves and saute. Deglaze with the salsa verde. Thinkly slice the chicken breasts and add back to the pan and cook through. Great filling for tacos. All you need is avocado, cilantro, pickled jalapeno, and queso fresco or feta.
 
AntoniaJames November 7, 2013
Tony, this is just great. Thanks for the terrific idea! ;o)
 
M.McAwesome November 8, 2013
I am going to go to TJ's at lunch so I can make that for dinner tonight!
 
machristi November 7, 2013
I LOVE their butter and the dark chocolate covered almonds!!
 
EmilyC November 7, 2013
Dried pappardelle, diced pancetta, frozen fruit (I wish they'd bring the black raspberries back!), puff pastry, and rice and grain mixes.
 
smslaw November 7, 2013
Frozen mangos
 
curiouskate November 7, 2013
I love their seasonal items! I live a few hours away from one so when I go I always stock up! My last haul I came home with Pumpkin Roibos tea, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin butter, and basically every item with a pumpkin sticker. I also really enjoy their pressed juices!
 
creamtea November 7, 2013
I love the dried tart cherries, the sun-dried tomatoes, the grain mix. I love the holiday tins of English toffee. Kids love the holiday peppermint jo-joes. I have to steer clear of the frozen chocolate-covered ice-cream bon-bons.
 
JanetFL November 28, 2015
You just reminded me of the frozen chocolate-covered banana bites....I love those but can eat the entire package in one sitting!
 
Dave O. November 6, 2013
Cheap wine, haha. And not for reductions.
 
Dave O. November 6, 2013
And the cheese samples
 
healthierkitchen November 6, 2013
our new favorite is dark chocolate covered ginger! After reading Dinner, A Love Story we also recently tried the Masala Veggie Burgers, which my daughter loved. They also sell some decent everyday olive oils and a have a great selection of nuts and dried fruits. Also, good canned pumpkin puree.
 
ZombieCupcake November 6, 2013
Roasted unsalted stir peanut butter no contest I eat a jar a week and carton coconut milk would be second
 
ZombieCupcake November 10, 2013
Needed to report in. Went to TJ's today and got 2 more jars of peanut butter, also picked up some corn salsa which is amazing on salads.
 
Regine November 6, 2013
Their smoked herring fillets. Comes in a green tin. I like to fry garlic and onion then add a can of diced tomatoes and a bit of olive oil. Then i place about 3 cans worth of the fillets in the sauce and warm briefly. I may add some of the liquid in can. Top parsley or cilantro and serve with white rice or boiled plantain or a ptoatoto dish along with avocados.
 
AntoniaJames November 7, 2013
Regine, I like those herring fillets so much, I've been known to spear them with a fork and eat them directly from the tin. Just love this quick dish you describe. Thank so much for sharing it here. ;o)
 
aobenour November 6, 2013
$2 organic, low sodium chicken broth
 
Frank O. November 6, 2013
$3 buck chuck for reductions!
 
Rebecca V. November 6, 2013
Oh, also I use TJ's white balsamic vinegar in shrubs and the keffir is relatively cheap compared to other places.
 

Voted the Best Reply!

AntoniaJames November 6, 2013
Oh, that's so hard. They have a unique product called "Brown Rice Medley," with brown rice, daikon radish seed and black barley. The latter two ingredients sound somewhat strange, but that stuff is the best. Given that it's not available anywhere else, I'd have to say that is my favorite. (Also, I include it in care packages to friends and family who don't live near Trader Joe's; they all just love it.) ;o)
 
Donna November 6, 2013
The Thai curry sauce.
 
I C. November 10, 2013
I have a bottle. Can you suggest a recipe?
 
Rebecca V. November 6, 2013
I go for the organic granulated cane sugar
 
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