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My Favorite Trader Joe's Items [old]

This is my updated list. After many years of trial and error (and yes, I do take part in the TJ policy that one can return whatever one is unhappy with, no questions asked), these products have made my list. I'm offering this in the hopes of adding to your use of Tr J's.
Some itmes may not be available in your TJ, but you can urge them to get them! Plse do rspond with your favs as well!

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TRADER JOE'S SHOPPING LIST:
Crackers and chips:
Stoned wheat thins
Parmesan pita toasts
Blue bag potato chips
Trader Giotto crostini (best crackers for cheese I have found)
Mini multi seed rice crackers
Snap Pea Crisps ( i am completely and helplessly addicted)
Southwest Flat Bread -addictive

Frozen:
Stir fry snow pea mix
French green beans(HARICOTS VERTS- stir fry these; do not blanch))
Grilled corn; Sweet Organic Yellow Corn
Exotic mushrooms/shiitakes
Edamame
Artichoke hearts(nuke 2 min.; much better than in jar)
Mandarin orange chicken (in a pinch) ; Stir fry Citrus Chicken
Chicken spring rolls- both Coconut and Lemongrass types
Tamales- Grn chili and cheese, and Chicken, and Beef- all are excellent
Mini Beef Tacos
Steak Beef Burrito
Chicken Enchiladas Salsa Verde
Mushroom Ravioli
Tr Joe’s Spinach Pie (not Filo Factory version)
TJ's eggplant parm in filo (good flavor but yes it is mushy)
Tarte d'Alsace w/ gruyere and ham(what a tremendous product)
Turkey Stromboli
Seafood Blend- Squid Rings, Scallops, Shrimp or
Calamari rings ( good for quick protein/seafood addition to a soup or entree)
Cilantro cubes
Mocha Fudge Bars
Tropical Bars

Deli:
Niman ham,corned beef
Shaved Steak- great for Beef Udon Soup
Flour tortillas: Spinach, Red Chili,
Corn tortillas (much better/more flexible than Whole Foods')
Mexican layered dip
Hoomus 3 Layer
North Atlantic (navy label)smoked salmon
Grated parm (watch out- this can go moldy)
Parm Reggiano chunks (this is exp., so make sure you pick out pieces
with as little rind as possible.)
Italian Truffle Cheese
Aged Old Amsterdam Gouda w/ black rind
Smoked Jack Cheese
Pepper Jack cheese
Goat cheese crumbles
Aged gruyere in white paper wrap
Cilantro Yoghurt Sauce- great on toasted onion naan w/ shishkabob and fresh tomatoes
Greek yoghurt w/ honey on the side
Greek tzatziki yoghurt sauce
Salmon caviar
Pate in mini loaf- shaped crock

Produce:
Clementines Box
Bags of Baby Spinach

Baked Goods:
All scones
Almond croissants
Triple ginger gingersnaps in tub

Dry Goods:
Brown Rice Medley -wonderful components for color and texture
Multi grain Pilaf in foil pouch
Indian(vaccuum packed in foil pouches in box):
Eggplant ; Dal
Indian(vaccuum packed in foil pouches in box):
Eggplant ; Dal
Trotolle Pasta – great shape for catching sauce between its coils
All nuts/ roasted sunflower seeds
Thai chili lime cashews
Raspberry chocolate trail mix
Peanut Toffee- in black bags
Dark chocolate bars- the single source ,and the larger tr joes bittersweet
and extra dark ones( i use all these for baking)
Coffee
Jasmine Green Tea bags
Calcium w Magnesium

Jars:
Artichoke Crowns Marinated (jar)
Canned hearts of palm( neat addition to salads; though some of theirs are too fibrous)
Thai Coconut, Mojito and Moroccan simmer sauces
Vodka marinara sauce
Salsa with corn and black beans
Salsa verde
Black truffle oil (better than the other cheap[less than $25] ones i've tried)
Black tea unsweetened, in jug (the bottled one is better but more exp.)
Refried Beans (can)
Cuban Black Beans

My fav. no-brainer Tr J dinner:
In a little hot oil or bacon fat, sear a salt and peppered 3 lb. boneless pork loin roast in a dutch oven or heavy lidded pot. Pour over this 2 jars of TrJ Mojito Sauce. Bring to boil, remove from heat and place in 300 degree oven for 2-3 hours , basting /turning a few times, til pork reaches 145 degrees and is tender. Serve with Multigrain (in foil pouch) and can of heated Cuban Black Beans. wowee gee Mr. Bill!

I use leftovers of this pork to make Cuban Sandwiches with TJ Niman Ranch Petit Ham Half
and grated gruyere, chipotle sour cream, dijon and sliced kosher dill pickles.

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  1. Frozen brown rice
    Frozen Vegetarian Pizza (the large thin-crust one, imported from Italy)
    Raw Almond Butter (best price in town!)
    Lightly salted pita chips

    I worked for TJ's for 5+ years (no longer do). Here are two of my favorite quick and easy "recipes" with TJ's products:

    Mandarin Orange chicken-prepare according to package directions, serve with frozen brown rice (prepared according to package directions), mixed with frozen peas (heated quickly in the microwave). This meal is relatively healthy and on the table in 15 minutes!

    TJ's Salsa Verde makes an excellent guacamole when mixed with diced ripe avocado. I used to be the demo person, and this was one of my favorite things to demo... people couldn't believe how easy it was and that it was only two ingredients! Serve with Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips.

    3 Replies
    1. re: chemchef

      I just have to ask . . . how are you getting the mandarin chicken, prepared according to the package instructions, to the table in 15 minutes? You have to first preheat the oven to 400, then keep it at 400 (empty) for 10 minutes, then bake the chicken for 15-21 minutes. This is a minimum of 30 minutes (assuming a minimum of 5 minutes to preheat your oven to 400).

      1. re: mdepsmom

        gee, you know, when i do it, i do it in a toaster oven which heats up FAST. i place the chicken on a tray in the lower rack slot of the toaster oven, cover w/ an inverted 8" square aluminum pan; cook til hot,( 10 min.?);remove alum. pan 3? min. til crisped. tadaaa!!

        1. re: mdepsmom

          I also usually use my small toaster/convection oven. No sense heating up the large oven for that small amount of food.

          If there's a will, there's a way....
          :-)

      2. I SO agree on the spring rolls, although I rate the coconut ones a tad higher than the lemongrass.
        AND...

        I DARE anyone to not be addicted to their TRIPLE GINGER SNAPS cookies. Clear plastic tub that I usually find situated above their frozen cases. These cookies are LETHAL! Like eating crunchy pieces of butter studded with crystalized ginger pieces. I think they are made with dried ground, crystalized, and fresh ginger.

        1 Reply
        1. re: gordeaux

          I actually prefer the Organic Ginger Snaps to the Triple Ginger. They actually taste more homemade. I really want to prefer the Triple because I love crystallized ginger but each time I have it I wish I'd bought the Organic one's instead.

        2. I miss TJ's so much I live in florida and we have not TJ.
          my favs were:
          all nuts and dried fruits
          almond and peanut butters
          frozen green beans
          cherries in jar
          keylime pie
          frozen fish

          TJ's please come to Florida

          1. I'm drooling reading everyone's list. Let me add my recent discovery at Trader Joe's...Frozen boxes of Bon Bons! Vanilla, Chocolate, with cookie bottoms. They looked harmless but after one bite...oh,my,god! Addictive.

            2 Replies
            1. re: synergy

              Oh no, I've only knew about the coffee flavor. Now I have to try all the flavors.

              1. re: choctastic

                I haven't tried the coffee flavor...I could easily eat the entire box and more. :-)

            2. What section is the cilantro yogurt sauce in? Next to the refrigerated salsas & hummus? I was just watching Sunday night's Ultimate Recipe Showdown on Foodtv (burger cookoff) & thought I need a sauce for my spiced turkey burgers & this sounds perfect.

              Also, I just discovered the Reduced Guilt Pita Chips today...light & crisp, yum! A little high on the sodium though:-(