Trader Joe’s Buys Vol. III

Best Trader Joe's Buys

What better way to start off a new week than with a roundup of yummy food from everyone’s a favorite grocery store? I’ve written about my favorite TJs buys in the past, but have tried a few more great items over the past few months. As always, I’d love to know what your favs are! There are so many intriguing items to try and not enough meals (or time!) in the week :)

Top Trader Joe’s Buys Vol. II

Best Things at Trader Joe's

It’s been a few months since my last post on Trader Joe’s favorites and that list has only grown! If you hate the pumpkin frenzy at TJs, most of this post might not appeal to you…but there are some non-fall goodies worth checking out, promise!

Maple Agave Syrup Blend: While it’s not a complete substitute for pure maple syrup, it is tremendously good! First off, the price tag is unbeatable (under $4, I believe; almost half of the maple syrup) and second, it’s kind of a unique blend of maple + agave. Highly recommend for waffles and pancakes.

Pumpkin Waffles: Say hello to my current breakfast of choice! These are so yummy and just subtly sweet/pumpkin-ey. I like them with just butter or the maple agave syrup.

Chickenless Mandarin Orange Morsels: If you’re freaked out by fake meat this one may not be for you, but if you aren’t, give it a try. It does a decent job satisfying an orange chicken craving (I try to eat it with rice or cauliflower rice + some sauteed spinach).

Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins: The perfect little after dinner dessert…they’re really yummy and too easy to sneak more than one.

Pumpkin Cereal Bars: I think this was the first TJs pumpkin item I had, about three years ago now. They’re not super pumpkin-ey and are more just like a sweet-ish cereal bar–a good thing to leave in your desk drawer for a small breakfast or quick snack.

Frozen Organic Riced Cauliflower: Cauliflower rice is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Just throw it on the stove for a few minutes and you have a carb substitute for pasta or rice. I’ve been eating it nonstop with the orange “chicken” and the veggie burgers mentioned below.

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers: Be careful because these are easy to burn if you’re cooking them on the stove without a grill, but boy are they delicious! Add some guac to take these to the next level.

Balsamic Glaze:A game changer as we get into fall (#roastedbrusselssproutseason)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Butter & Sage: Frozen pasta can be hit or miss, but this one’s definitely a hit. It’s  creamy, flavorful, super easy to prepare, and filling…you can easily get three meals out of a bag.

Sesame Honey Cashews: Sesame Honey Cashews, otherwise known as my latest snacking addiction. Guyyyyys. They’re SO YUMMY! They also do a pretty good job satisfying a sweet craving (the sugar from the honey is definitely there) and make a great mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Thai Sweet Chili Veggie Burger: Oh my gosh guys, these are incredible. I don’t know how it took me this long to try them but they’re definitely the best veggie burger at TJs. They almost seem to have a little sweet chili sauce built in…I’m not sure how to describe it. Cook them on the stove vs. the microwave and eat them with rice or cauliflower rice, with some soy sauce and/or sriracha. I’ve been having these for dinner 2-3x week when life gets busy and don’t plan on stopping.

Farfalle with 4 Cheeses & Spinach: The good kind of backup lunch to leave in the office fridge…definitely one of the best frozen meals.

Phewwww! #pumpkinseason. Would love to know: what are your fav TJ’s buys, especially this time of year?

5 Wines I’ve Bought This Summer

5wines

This post from Meg reminded me that I’ve been meaning to do a wine roundup this summer, so here we are! Full disclosure here: I don’t know much about wine…at all. It’s kind of embarrassing; I’ll drink (and generally enjoy) most things, but am partial to light and crisper types on a hot summers day or night.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you may recall that I do nearly all of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. So naturally, that’s who stocks my wine rack! A few of these are definitely exclusive to TJs, so hopefully you have access to one. Also–while I’ve graduated from Three Buck Chuck, the sub-$12 varieties consistently get my business. Here are five goodies I picked up this summer…

Le Ferme Julien Rosé, $5.99: First off, cute label. Taste wise, it’s crisp and on the drier side. TJs says it pairs great with pastrami or a tomato salad…I’d agree, but can can say it tastes great with anything–even by itself.

Les Portes de Bordeaux Rosé, $6.99: This has probably been my favorite rosé/wine in general this summer…it’s a combination of dry and sweet thanks to the fruity tones…you can definitely taste some strawberry. Not to bring this up again, but the label…looove. It’s light and no-nonsense…highly recommend!

Espiral Vinho Verde, $4.99: I don’t really know how to describe this except for that it’s really light, refreshing, and is almost a little bubbly. It’s wonderful! TJ’s description does say it has a “light sparkle,”….so that makes sense… composition wise, it’s made from grapes that are harvested before they’re fully ripe. This wine also has a lower alcohol content than many others!

Barbadillo Castillo de San Diego, $5.99: Slightly sweet, light, and crisp (like everything else I’ve drank this summer). I’d say this falls into the “nothing special, but very solid” category. A good one to have in the fridge for impromptu gatherings–just like my friend and I did for an hour during Bachelor in Paradise last night!

Kung Fu Girl Riesling, $11.49: A friend first introduced this to me four or five years ago and it’s probably my favorite riesling. The description says it has peachy and lychee notes, and I can definitely tell (that’s a lot coming from me…someone please recommend a good wine course). Grab a bottle for next time you get takeout Indian food!*

*Riesling pairs well with Asian food–I do know that much :)

I’d love to know: are there any great wines you’ve tried this summer? Send ’em this way!