The newest rage to reach the Houston skyline is a little crunchy store named Trader Joe’s. I went earlier this summer when one opened nearby in The Woodlands and I have been in love ever since. It is not a typical grocery store. There are only 4 aisles, hardly any name brands and some very unique items all wrapped up in great prices. Walking into Trader Joe’s for the first time can be a challenge since the items are so different. What do you buy? Today I’m going to share a few of my family’s favorite must have items to give you a little hand on your first visit.
First let’s start with an easily identifiable object, tubes of yogurt for kids. Why are these so great? The price! They are organic great tasting yogurt tubes that my kids adore and they are half the price of organic yogurt tubes you’ll find in the store. It’s a must have for families with kids.
This is one of my absolute favorite items that I crave, Valencia Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds. This is not a overly sweet peanut butter like some of the more popular name brand ones. There’s a great crunch from the peanuts and then a surprisingly small but great crunch from flax seeds. You have to keep it refrigerated so it is great to grab a spoonful of straight from the fridge on a hot day. I love having one tablespoon as a mid-day protein packed pick me up.
I love these croissants that you find in the freezer section. There’s three different types; dark chocolate, almond and mini croissants. You set them on a baking pan and place in a cool oven at night to proof. Then in the morning you just turn on the oven and in no time you have perfectly flaky croissants. If you’re hosting a baby shower anytime soon, grab these!
This tomato paste was 99 cents. The ingredients only list tomatos and it’s in a tube! Use one tablespoon and then screw the cap back on. No more throwing away part of a can of tomato paste.
The Omega-3 Carrot Orange juice has a great flavor. Plus there’s a little cinnamon in it. It’s a great fall juice with just a hint of spice. My kids love this juice as do I.
Yes. It was love at first site. The package said gouda and I said, “get in my cart!”. This Mac’n Cheese is amazing. The package says that it has 2 servings but we have made it work as a side dish for all 5 of our family and someone might have ate the entire tray by themselves one time too but I’ll never tell. This is also found in the freezer section.
Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo. This is only $3.99 and lasts forever. It is very thick and you only need a little tiny bit. It smells great and has a nice little tingle. Both Mr. Byrd and I like this shampoo a lot.
These Skinny Fries are so good that we couldn’t wait to rip open the package. The calories are so low you might fall over reading the package. Plus they are a lot healthier and kinda put that Mc place to shame.
We love the Just Grilled Chicken Strips. The chicken is very juicy and already cooked! The past few times I’ve gone to Trader Joe’s, I’ve grabbed several of these bags that are gone days later. I use these to really stretch a meal. Chop up the chicken and add it to pasta, on top of potatoes, or in the quesadilla recipe down below. You can get one meal from the bag or you can get three.
Kefir. I’m trying to get a little healthier and I have a friend that is obsessed with probiotics so I decided to give Kefir a try. Trader Joe’s has a great kefir that is cheaper than the grocery stores.
The last time I went to Trader Joe’s with a friend we grabbed these Kettle Corn Cookies purely out of curiosity. They have real pieces of kettle corn and are very crunchy! They barely lasted a day. Can you imagine these with a little cookie butter on top? Give them a try, you’ll love them.
So what’s Cookie Butter? Oh my. It’s heaven in a jar. Actually it tastes a little like creamy ginger bread. It’s so yummy and just so fall. If you go, do not skip this. If you don’t like it, then send it my way. Plus I love the glass jar it comes in and I’m already thinking of uses for it.
There’s so many more items that I love from Trader Joe’s and a ton that I have not tried. My friend Lisa from Milehimama.com did a great post on Trader Joe’s that you need to read!
Also I thought you might like a simple recipe using Trader Joe’s items.
My kids loved these quesadillas and asked me to make them again. If you’re not sure what a Quesadilla is, give it a try. Then come to Texas so I can show you the promise land of food.
Pineapple Salsa Chicken Quesadillas
Trader Joe’s Flour Tortillas
Trader Joe’s Mixed Cheese Blend
Trader Joe’s Pineapple Salsa (another favorite)
Trader Joe’s Just Grilled Chicken strips
1. Heat a large pan on the stove top. Place a tortilla in the pan and sprinkle a handful of cheese on top. Let this sit and heat up for a few minutes, watching to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn. While the tortilla and cheese are heating up, microwave three strips of chicken and then cut it up into tiny pieces.
2. Spread two tablespoons of Pineapple Salsa on top of the cheese. Pineapple Salsa isn’t that spicy but you can use more or less as you desire. Sprinkle the cut up chicken on top.
3. Place another tortilla on top of first tortilla and let heat until under side is a slight golden color. Flip and let heat again until light golden brown.
Slide the finished Quesadilla out on a flat surface and cut into six pieces. Enjoy!
What is your Favorite Trader Joe’s item or what are you looking forward to trying?