List: 11 More Favorites from Trader Joe's
No surprise here that there are a ton of Trader Joe's fans out there! I loved reading through your recommendations on Instagram when I posted "11 Favorites from Trader Joe's" at the beginning of the month. Products I've added to my must-try list include the Three Cheese Pomodoro Sauce and Jalapeño Limeade (thanks @thetastyescape), Kung Pao Cauliflower (thanks @nerdysloth) and Olive Tapenade (thanks @sun.moon.mom.ii). No doubt those items will make a future list! But for now, here are 11 more of my current favorites from Trader Joe's.
1) Sweet Chile Sauce
If you’re a fan of the sweet chile sauce at Pei Wei then you will definitely love the Trader Joe’s version. It has 5g of sugar per tablespoon, which honestly isn’t as bad as I expected it to be. It’s great as an addition to Vegetable Lo Mein , Extra Veggie Fried Rice or as a dipper for spring rolls! I've been known to dip pizza in it, too (don't knock it until you try it, people).
Serving size: 1 tablespoon. 25 calories, 0g fat, 6g carbs, 0g protein.
2) Spicy Lentil Wrap with Spicy Tahini Sauce
My love of lentils is no secret, and I love this option as an easy grab-and-go option for lunch. The stuffing is a mixture of red lentils, onion, bulgar wheat, green onion, red pepper and cabbage. It’s all wrapped in lavash bread, which is a soft, unleavened flatbread. The spicy tahini sauce is a great addition, too; I’m a big “dipper,” so I appreciate that TJ’s included a sauce with this. Only complaint is that the stuffing-to-bread ratio is a bit off (needs more stuffing), so I end up kind of tearing off the “unnecessary” bread.
Serving size: 1 whole wrap. 550 calories, 22g fat, 75g carbs, 14g protein.
3) Curry Cauliflower Quinoa Salad
This very well might be one of my favorite Trader Joe’s products of all time. It is so good! I’ll eat part of the container as a snack, or sometimes I’ll bring the whole thing for lunch. Even though the cauliflower can be kind of chunky, I've even eaten it as a dip with crackers. The salad contains white and red quinoa, fire roasted cauliflower, black lentils and curry spices, a.k.a. all of my favorite things.
Serving size: 1/2 cup. 170 calories, 7g fat, 22g carbs, 5g protein.
4) Southwest Salad
I love this little salad! It's not filling enough to be the star of lunch, but it's definitely a great snack for anytime in the day. The salad includes romaine lettuce, black beans, red onions, diced bell peppers, black beans, cotija cheese and Southwest ranch dressing. I always try to watch my calories in the dressing department, and if you're like me, then you maybe would turn away from this salad because of the "ranch" dressing. This ranch, though, is definitely a diet-y option; it's not very creamy like traditional ranch, but it has great flavor. You need to catch these salads on a good day because sometimes they can be a bit wilty. Worth a try!
Serving size: 1 whole container (including dressing). 200 calories, 9g fat, 23g carbs, 8g protein.
5) Frozen Palak Paneer
So I pointed out in my first Trader Joe's post that frozen Indian food definitely seems a bit weird, but that TJ's totally pulls it off. This Palak Paneer is no exception. Now, if you're not a fan of spinach, especially cooked spinach, then you're probably not going to like this dish. But Palak Paneer is certainly a staple of Indian cuisine and, in my opinion, fully worth a try; it consists of an Indian cheese called Paneer in a thick paste made from puréed spinach and seasoned with garlic, garam masala and other spices. Eat it with their frozen garlic naan!
1/2 cup. 220 calories, 17g fat, 8g carbs, 9g protein.
6) Organic Vegetarian Chili
During the fall I eat chili like it's going out of style. The Amy's Kitchen brand is typically a favorite (I used it in this recipe for Quinoa Chili Stuffed Peppers), but the Trader Joe's brand is certainly on the same level in my opinion. It has great flavor—not too spicy—and includes vegetables like corn, onions, peppers and jalapeños. Perfectly tasty on its own, or use it in Frito Pie, chili cheese sweet potato fries or jacket potatoes. I love a good versatile food!
Serving size: 1 cup. 34g carbs, 9g fat, 15g protein.
7) Red Lentil Sedanini and Black Bean Rotini
These are two products that you'll for sure want on hand in your pantry. The texture of the Red Lentil Sedanini is closer to that of regular pasta, and the Black Bean Rotini is more filling in my opinion. Both can be gussied up in a variety of ways. Bake the sedanini with cheese and homemade arrabbiata sauce (recipe here), and combine the rotini with pesto (see #8), broccoli, peas and mozzarella (photo here). Both of these pastas are seriously guilt-free and will cure your carb craving without turning you into a bloated shell of a human being.
Red Lentil Sedanini serving size: 3/4 cup. 190 calories, 0.5g fat, 32g carbs, 13g protein.
Black Bean Rotini serving size: 3/4 cup. 200 calories, 1.5g fat, 35g carbs, 14g protein.
8) Pesto and Quinoa
All hail this tasty jar of goodness! As described above, this Pesto and Quinoa is hella, hella tasty on pasta. I've also used it as a base on naan pizza before, and I think it would also be really good simply tossed with roasted vegetables. Because quinoa is the first ingredient listed, it's probably a bit thicker than the pesto you're used to; however, this gives it an advantage in the spreading department. I'd be wrong if I said I'd never straight-up dipped Trader Giotto's Oven-Baked Cheese Bites into this.
Serving size: 2 tablespoons. 120 calories, 11g fat, 1g protein.
9) Egg White Salad with Chives
I have nothing against egg yolk, but sometimes a nice egg white salad just sounds tasty! I will 100% eat this whole container in a sitting, especially considering it only has 100 calories (14 grams of protein, too). Try it on top of a toasted whole wheat English muffin, or serve it in a lettuce wrap as a low-carb option. Or, again, just eat the damn thing straight with up with a spoon. Only criticism is that it needs more pepper (and that's easily fixed).
Serving size: 1/2 a container. 50 calories, 2g fat, 2g carbs, 7g protein.
10) Pastry Bites with Feta Cheese & Caramelized Onions
These little angels are bite-sized morsels of flaky goodness sent straight from heaven and blessed by a priest, a rabbi and a duck. I kid you not when I saw that you could cook these and serve them at a dinner party and literally nobody would even venture to guess that they'd been frozen. In fact, stick to breaking these out when there are at least four other people around; the first time Ed and I bought them, I'm pretty sure I ate eight of the 12 in the box (that's 560 calories worth of pastry, in case anyone's doing the math), and I don't want to repeat that gorge fest.
Serving size: 1 pastry bite. 70 calories, 5g fat, 4g carbs, 1g protein.
11) Ranch Seasoned Crispy Chickpeas
Do you see that bag? Do you see that squirrel? These crispy chickpeas are clearly a delightful garbanzo bonanza! If you close your eyes and concentrate, you could even imagine them turning into Cool Ranch Doritos. This is great as a tasty snack to keep in your desk drawer to dig into when you're feeling peckish.
Serving size: 1/4 cup. 130 calories, 4.5 g. fat, 17g carbs, 6g protein.