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My Favorite Trader Joe's Items [old]

opinionatedchef Feb 25, 2008 12:16 PM

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!

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

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
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

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

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)
Jasmine Green Tea bags
Calcium w Magnesium

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.

  1. 4
    4lafz Mar 11, 2010 10:43 AM

    I am also surprised that so many buy LOTS of frozen food. The things that I have to have and are not mentioned here - are:
    Frozen Garlic in little cube trays - makes cooking so simple (also basil)
    TJ's version of Popchips - completely cured me of my chip addiction
    In the FRESH section - Chicken Lasagne - a SUPER quick meal when in a hurry
    Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes - schmear peanut/sunflower butter and go
    Dark Chocolate Mint Creams - one or two after dinner and you can skip dessert!
    and lots and lots of the items that you all choose also!

    1. o
      OCGirl Jun 3, 2008 07:05 AM

      Some of my favorites:

      green tea low fat yogurt
      flat iron marinated steak (in the fresh meat section)
      organic kosher dill pickles
      chicken/beef taquitos
      spicy black bean dip
      frozen stir fry veggies
      masala simmer sauce
      frozen naan
      shelf stable daal (dal?)
      fresh pressed apple juice (my 3 yo says: Mommy this juice tastes like I'm eating an apple!)
      handmade corn and flour tortillas
      mediterranean hummus (with the pine nuts on top- HEAVENLY!)
      maple chicken breakfast sausage links
      four cheese frozen mac& cheese
      frozen jasmine rice

      1. y
        yankeefan Jun 2, 2008 06:46 AM

        Wow, great list. Thanks for sharing.

        Lately, theyve been discontinuing all of my favorites here in NJ:

        balsamic vinegar spray bottles
        naan bread
        papadum chips
        sundried red peppers

        1 Reply
        1. re: yankeefan
          jnk Jun 3, 2008 05:08 AM

          I just saw the naan on Sunday in Westfield, as a matter of fact, they had 2 different types.

        2. m
          Meann Jun 1, 2008 09:11 AM

          I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of TJ's frozen vegetables. They have interesting combinations (there's an edemame and corn succotash that even my husband will eat) and everything is trimmed neatly and consistently, with none of the odd woody/twiggy/iffy bits you find in so much frozen food. And the variety of dried fruit snacky things is really good.

          1. d
            Docsknotinn May 31, 2008 02:56 AM

            The tomatoless corn salsa.

            1. s
              stolenchange May 30, 2008 11:37 PM

              Everytime i go the list seems to grow...

              Natural Peanut Butter
              Roasted red pepper and tomato soup (box)
              Rosemary marcona almonds
              Stilton cheese
              Go Lean bars
              Light string cheese
              Shredded wheat (frosted)
              Raw almonds
              White cheddar popcorn
              Frozen turkey-sausage stromboli
              Vegan bbq riblet things (so good!)
              Hot and sweet mustard
              Lite coconut milk
              Olive oil
              Sundried tomatoes
              Dried pastas
              Chocolate-orange sticks (throw them in the fridge - omg)
              All natural vanilla Joe-Joes (i pretend the "all natural" makes them healthy)
              whole wheat dough+pizza sauce+italian blend cheese for delicious homemade pizza

              And always, a random bottle or 2 of wine. They had some TJ's Syrah a few months ago that was a steal at $5/bottle, but that has quickly disappeared.

              1. greygarious May 29, 2008 01:17 PM

                Many already-mentioned items are on my TJ's list, although they seem to have someone monitoring my cart and discontinuing the things I like the most! RIP to the canned yellowfin tuna,multi-shape dog biscuits, dried pears (re-introduced ones not as good), cranberry-apple tea bags, phyllo-wrapped brie, sticky toffee cake, Ganong fruit jells.... Not already mentioned current staples: English Cheddar with Caramelized Onion, frozen Halibut, Tamari-Roasted Almonds, Bulgogi, Meyer Lemon Cake mix (I use butter, not oil, and add a cup of coconut - while not a lemon fan, I adore the milder Meyer), Cream of Tomato Soup, Roasted Red Pepper&Tomato Soup (both in shelf-stable cartons), Pinachio cookies, Caramel/Cashew Cookies, white chocolate chips,
                4-cheese frozen mac&cheese, brown basmati rice, spaghetti lunghi,couscous with ceci. Rarely have I been disappointed in anything from TJ's.

                1. h
                  heypielady Mar 19, 2008 08:41 AM

                  Black pepper cashews, sea salt and chocolate covered caramels (available around Christmas for a mere $4.99 compared to the $16 ones at William-Sonoma which were not even good) whatever brand of packaged cheddar cheese slices are in the deli section make the best grilled cheese, dried wild blueberries, and of course beer (I like to get Oranjeboom tall boys- like cheap Heinekin)!

                  1. d
                    Docsknotinn Mar 19, 2008 08:31 AM

                    Chocolate covered espresso beans. I bought a 1# bar of the TJ 72% dark chocolate yesterday. Possibly the worst dark chocolate I've ever tried.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Docsknotinn
                      The Librarian May 30, 2008 07:11 AM

                      I agree! I bought the same dark chocolate bar, took a bite, and had to go brush my teeth! Yuck - weird texture and taste. Don't know how that made it to the shelves...

                      1. re: Docsknotinn
                        Steve Green May 31, 2008 01:13 AM

                        Surprised to hear that -- those 72% "Pound Plus" bars are our favorite. We actually prefer them to Lindt, Valhrona, etc.

                        1. re: Steve Green
                          jsaimd May 31, 2008 08:14 AM

                          I also like them, but probably not to Valhrona. They are reported to be Callabaut.

                          1. re: jsaimd
                            Docsknotinn Jun 1, 2008 09:14 AM

                            No way are those 72% TJ bars Callebaut. The taste and rtexture is not even close. The TJ bars contain Soy.

                            1. re: Docsknotinn
                              Steve Green Jun 2, 2008 06:06 PM

                              As does Callebaut. From their site:
                              "Soya lecithin is a key ingredient in Barry Callebaut products from the GMO point of view. Soya lecithin suppliers must ensure traceability and identity preservation from the soya bean to the lecithin delivered to Barry Callebaut sites worldwide."

                      2. d
                        Docsknotinn Mar 15, 2008 12:28 PM

                        I'm suprised so many here consume so much frozen pre-prepared food. My favorites are TJ's Kuai coffee and chocolate covered frozen bannas. Our store is small and I'm still finding my way around.

                        1. Patrincia Mar 15, 2008 12:17 PM

                          Almond butter
                          Nuts of all kinds
                          Dried apples w/cinnamon
                          Dried Bananas
                          Greek Yogurt
                          Cheese, Cheese, Cheese
                          Melange a tois - frozen pepper mix
                          Frozen onion tart - WOW!!!
                          Jarred crushed garlic
                          Fresh basil
                          Fresh flowers
                          Frozen basil
                          Frozen cilantro
                          TJ chocolates

                          .... just to name a few

                          1. mjg0725 Mar 15, 2008 11:15 AM

                            Try TJ's chocolate covered peanuts. These are no ordinary, lame chocolate covered peanuts. They use blister peanuts that are very crunchy and they also add a hint of salt.

                            Put these side by side with a Reeces peanut butter cup, and I'd choose these anyday.

                            1. crosby_p Mar 14, 2008 07:44 AM

                              Frozen mac&cheese, olives stuffed with jalapenos, gyoza dipping sauce and chicken gyoza, tabouli, red pepper hummus, at Christmas, peppermint bark!

                              1. FoodieKat Mar 13, 2008 01:48 PM

                                Chicago style pizza (love that cornmeal crust), any Trader Giotto's frozen pizzas, eggplant parmigiana, tzatziki, frozen raviolis, marinara sauce, meatless meatballs, cookies (especially Cat's cookies), and veggie masala burgers (yum!). I do a lot of home cooking, so don't rely on TJ's pre-prepared foods that much. But I do like the quality of their foods.

                                1. invinotheresverde Mar 6, 2008 07:58 AM

                                  Their tofu is not only dirt cheap, it's the best packaged tofu I've ever had, by a mile.

                                  1. s
                                    Sacto_Damkier Mar 1, 2008 02:24 PM

                                    Trader Joe's has the best peanut butter IMO. Their Organic Creamy Salted Peanut Butter with Valencia Peanuts beats any brand I have ever tasted. The peanut flavor is fresh and intense with a good mouth feel, and I can stir in the oil without breaking the knife like other oil separated PB.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Sacto_Damkier
                                      stolenchange May 30, 2008 10:31 PM

                                      Totally agree on the PB.

                                    2. LindaWhit Mar 1, 2008 02:05 PM

                                      That is one heck of a list! LOL

                                      The triple gingersnaps are always first on my "Best of TJs" list.
                                      Frozen Turkey Sausage Stromboli
                                      Frozen fire-roasted corn
                                      Organic sweet frozen corn
                                      President butter
                                      Fage Total Greek Yogurt
                                      Savory Sweet/Tart Trail Mix
                                      Oriental Rice Crackers
                                      Colossal cashews
                                      Slightly salted whole almonds
                                      TJs Ginger Gelato (seasonal, I think)
                                      Pumpkin ice cream (I think by Rainbow, and also seasonal - I have one left in my freezer - if you ever see it, BUY IT!)
                                      A Fig Walks Into a Bar fruit bars
                                      An Apple Walks Into a Bar fruit bars
                                      TJs Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal (at $1.99 for a box of 10, it's a 20 cent mid-morning snack!)
                                      Grade B maple syrup
                                      Balsamic vinegar
                                      Extra-virgin olive oil
                                      TJs pasta, but mostly their pennette - I prefer the small size of them vs. larger penne

                                      I used to include their tri-tips, but unfortunately, they switched providers, and the ones they get now seem to be tougher, fattier, and just generally not as good.

                                      1. j
                                        jlafler Mar 1, 2008 12:37 PM

                                        I don't go to TJ's very often any more, but when I do, I always stock up on Lara bars. These are in the "energy bar" section, but unlike most bars, they're real food. The entire ingredient list on the "cherry pie" flavor reads as follows: dates, almonds, unsweetened cherries. I used to carry a couple in my daughter's diaper bag as emergency snacks, but unfortunately she's developed a peanut allergy, and her allergist doesn't want us to give her tree nuts, either. But I still carry them as emergency snacks for myself (necessary precaution for an insulin-dependent diabetic).

                                        I did try to duplicate these at home with dried fruit and nuts, but it didn't cost much less and was a lot of work. Also, I could never get the bars really structurally sound.

                                        1. ntuitive1 Mar 1, 2008 07:24 AM

                                          Wow, what a great list! I love the following items:

                                          The frozen fruit, like the blueberries
                                          The chipotle ranch fries (awesome!)
                                          The olive tapenade
                                          The patés
                                          The Sicilian caponata (eggplant salad) - imported and great, tastes like mama made it
                                          The bananas (cheap and good)
                                          The cheese - all of it - very cheap and good
                                          The creamy soups - Butternut Squash, Butternut Apple, Tomato with Roasted Red Pepper. (low fat, reasonable sodium and taste great).
                                          The frozen uncooked shrimp. Recipe ready, inexpensive and excellent
                                          The aged balsamic vinegar - Again inexpensive and good.
                                          The baguette - in my area, excellent.
                                          The shrimp fried rice (low fat and good if you're on a diet but love fried rice)
                                          The canned clams
                                          The coconut sorbet
                                          The frozen, shelled, ready to eat edamame

                                          I could probably think of more but those are the ones that leap to mind right now.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: ntuitive1
                                            jessicheese Mar 1, 2008 08:37 AM

                                            Trader Joe's used to be my closest market... since becoming a home owner it's now 20 minutes away in an off beat direction, so I now stock up once a month. The things that make it to my cart EVERY time:

                                            Creamy Cilantro Dressing (refrigerator section)
                                            HoneyCrisp apples (when in season)
                                            Parmesan Asagio French Bread
                                            Mango Black Tea
                                            Bay Blend Coffee
                                            Sea Salt Pita Chips
                                            White Cheddar Popcorn (pink bag- incredible!)
                                            Frozen Turkey meatballs
                                            Rainbow Ice Cream
                                            Frozen Chopped Spinach
                                            Frozen Broccoli
                                            Frozen Haricots Verts
                                            Frozen Pizzas- BBQ Chicken and Palermo
                                            Macaroni & Cheese
                                            Black Bean & Vegetable Burrito (cook twice as long on med-high- yum!)
                                            Frozen Spinach & Artichoke Dip
                                            Cans of Tuscan Marinara Sauce (I use these when making Sunday sauce & meatballs....shhhhh!!!)
                                            Jars of Organic Marinara
                                            TJs Pasta
                                            Honey Roasted Peanuts
                                            Litely Salted Nuts
                                            Mexican Red Sauce
                                            Dolmas (refrigerator section)
                                            Sausages (cheese & pork, chicken with red wine)
                                            All Cheeses

                                            My go-to TJ dinner:
                                            Sausage & Pepper Sandwiches
                                            Sautee sausages (any kind) with sliced red & yellow peppers. Serve provolone cheese and Parmesan Asagio French Bread. Top with Mustard. Mmmmm.....

                                          2. chelleyd01 Feb 29, 2008 05:36 PM

                                            I am an hour out from TJs so we stock up pretty heavy when we go...must haves are:

                                            pecan maple granola
                                            steel cut oats
                                            mesquite honey
                                            grade b maple syrup
                                            dried fruit
                                            wasabi almonds
                                            truffle brownie mix
                                            chocolate hazelnut spread
                                            olive oil
                                            kung pao sauce
                                            jarred garlic
                                            white balsamic
                                            rice wine vinegar
                                            chili and sesame oils
                                            tangerine juice
                                            greek yogurt
                                            many niman ranch meats
                                            blueberry beer
                                            tiramisu gelato
                                            frozen fruit
                                            frozen gnocci gorgonzola
                                            frozen oatmeal
                                            frozen brown rice
                                            baby green beans
                                            fire roasted corn
                                            sweet potato fries
                                            mac and cheese
                                            onion soup
                                            frozen fish
                                            triple ginger snaps
                                            baby peanut butter cups
                                            as much english toffee as I can fit in my cart!

                                            1. tatertotsrock Feb 27, 2008 06:57 PM

                                              Spinach and Chive Fetuccini
                                              Truffle Fudge Brownie Mix
                                              The Grapefruits (they're only 49cents right now...yum!)
                                              Bag o' Baby Spinach
                                              Bag o' Shredded Carrots
                                              Bunch o' Crimini Mushrooms
                                              Bunch o' Raspberries
                                              The Eggs for $1.19
                                              All the Ritter Sport Chocolate BArs with Hazelnuts
                                              The Jars of Marinara
                                              The list above is my basic shopping "must have" list every 10 days.
                                              Yippe for TJ's!!!

                                              1. Ruth Lafler Feb 27, 2008 03:31 PM

                                                I love many of their products, but my new fave is the frozen gnocchi with pesto filling.

                                                One product I rarely see on these lists is the raspberry sorbet (Sharon's). The lemon is good, too, but it's not quite as smooth at the raspberry. At 80 calories a serving, it's my go-to dessert when I'm calorie counting.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Ruth Lafler
                                                  opinionatedchef Mar 4, 2008 01:59 PM

                                                  i am wicked picky about gnocchi being very light pillows; are TrJ the more chewy version?

                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                    Ruth Lafler Mar 4, 2008 02:35 PM

                                                    I wouldn't call these chewy, especially since they're stuffed. If you don't get the timing on them exactly right they can be a little gummy, though, so if you're really picky, you probably wouldn't like them.

                                                2. NiKoLe1625 Feb 27, 2008 04:46 AM

                                                  I LOVE the savory rice crackers (the small ones in the bag). They are unbelievably addictive! I also really like their roasted red pepper hummus and their taboule. The Chickpeas in a can are great... they are super fresh and very crunchy (the way they should be) and the low calorie wheat bread (only 45 calories) is really good as well!! I love that place!

                                                  1. j
                                                    jacinthe Feb 26, 2008 09:53 PM

                                                    When the escargots en brioche (in the frozen foods section) are around (seasonal, I believe) - I buy many many boxes and squirrel them away.

                                                    Am also a big fan of the peanut butter cups - Reese's will never taste the same after you try the ones from TJ's.

                                                    1. madgreek Feb 26, 2008 07:06 PM

                                                      I have been pretty surprised by the Trader Giotto tiramisu. It tastes great, and has a very competitive price. Also, the smoked trout (canned) is amazing.

                                                      1. k
                                                        kauz Feb 25, 2008 11:58 PM

                                                        I may have to try that mojito pork recipe - sounds easy and tasty.

                                                        Frozen naan (NOT the bakery area naan)
                                                        Shelf stable palak paneer (cannot remember the brand)
                                                        Any guesses as to what my long-day-at-work-and-no-mood-to-cook meal is?
                                                        Frozen edamame
                                                        Frozen fish filets (salmon is my favorite)
                                                        Dry pasta (the whole wheat rotini are pretty good)

                                                        TJ's used to carry a can of white clam sauce that went perfectly with a pound of spaghetti. They discontinued it, but their latest flyer lists a jarred white clam sauce. I'll have to give it a try.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: kauz
                                                          mstinawu Jun 1, 2008 07:02 PM

                                                          There's a review online of the glass one: http://www.associatedcontent.com/arti....

                                                          I actually bought the one in the glass jar today, hope it's at least edible!

                                                          1. re: mstinawu
                                                            mstinawu Jun 2, 2008 08:18 PM

                                                            Turned out to be quite bland with sparse amounts of tiny little clams. =( I wouldn't buy it again.

                                                        2. c
                                                          ceekskat Feb 25, 2008 10:21 PM

                                                          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:-(

                                                          1. s
                                                            synergy Feb 25, 2008 03:57 PM

                                                            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
                                                              choctastic Feb 25, 2008 05:21 PM

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

                                                              1. re: choctastic
                                                                synergy Feb 26, 2008 03:23 AM

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

                                                            2. h
                                                              hipchick47 Feb 25, 2008 02:26 PM

                                                              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. g
                                                                gordeaux Feb 25, 2008 12:47 PM

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

                                                                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
                                                                  heypielady Mar 19, 2008 08:43 AM

                                                                  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. c
                                                                  chemchef Feb 25, 2008 12:37 PM

                                                                  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
                                                                    mdepsmom Feb 25, 2008 02:05 PM

                                                                    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
                                                                      opinionatedchef Feb 25, 2008 02:10 PM

                                                                      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
                                                                        chemchef Feb 29, 2008 01:52 PM

                                                                        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....

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