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Jun 11, 2010 12:34 PM

Quick Lunches from Trader Joe's - Please Share Your Favs!

Lately, I seem to be both lacking the time to make my lunches at home and the money to eat out every day - so I have been turning to my neighborhood Trader Joe's for quick lunches that I can stock up on and keep in the fridge/freezer at work. Here are the ones I have tried so far, with my ratings (out of 10):

Mac n' Cheese - 10 (one of the best macs out there, fresh or frozen)
Paneer Masala - 9
Broccoli and Cheese Quiche - 9
Asparagus Risotto -- 8
Pesto Tortellini Bowl - 7
Chicken Tikka Masala - 7
Vegetable Lasagne - 3
California Rolls - 0 (truly terrible)

Please share your recommendations!

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  1. Mildly Spiced Veg Burritos - 7.

    I'm lactose intolerant (though not a vegetarian) so I appreciate that they are vegan and therefore cheeseless. So many of TJ's frozen meals have cheese!

    Chicken Fried Rice + Frozen Organic Peas - 4.
    Chicken Chow Mein + Frozen Organic Peas - 4.

    1 Reply
    1. re: artemis

      The green curry shrimp bowl is delicious - 9.

      1. Panang veg curry - 9.9 (would be a ten except for the calorie count!)

        Butter chicken - 7, good flavor but chicken suspiciously close to mystery meat

        8 Replies
        1. re: coney with everything

          Frozen fettuccine with mushrooms: very big mushroom flavor.

          1. re: SmartCookie

            Green chile cheese tamales. I used to take them to work and everyone wanted to steal them!

            1. re: SmartCookie

              I'm eating this as I type, and I agree - nice mushroom flavor! I also appreciate the texture of the fettucine (as close to al dente as you could get with frozen pasta) and the mushrooms (not too tough). I did find that it cooked down a lot - I only used half the 3-serving package and it's not enough - I would say that the whole package would be more like one restaurant-sized portion.

            2. re: coney with everything

              today i finally had this butter chicken from frig section. deLISH! i am truly delighted. and, VERY unique for me, who always tweaks TrJ products to make them better, I was very happy w/ this product just as it was. wow. "Notary Public!" (we use that expression for when someone makes a startling announcement.) And the chicken was pretty generous and moist and chicken flavored.

              the only odd thing is that i only nuked it for 2 min (it said 3) and then let it sit awhile (maybe 5-8 min.longer than the minute they directed) and when i got it out of the microw., the pkg had warped/collapsed somewhat.
              i am really psyched about this product. don't know who produces it, obviously, or whether they have it in your TJ refrig section, but i highly rec. it.

              and thanks to CH schmoopy that i know of it.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                OpinionatedChef --

                I also enjoy the butter chicken but I was surprised to find that I like the version that is in the freezer section over the version in the refrigerated section. The refrigerated section chicken while the sauce was great the chicken had a bit of a mealy texture that was offputting -- I found the frozen version to be much better (to me) from a texture/taste standpoint. So much that we try to stock one or two of the butter chicken entrees in the freezer as quick meals when the urge strikes. :o)

                1. re: stomsf

                  I agree- the frozen butter chicken is delicious!

                2. re: opinionatedchef

                  I'm so glad you liked it too! It really is one of my favorites. I also had that happen once with the warped package after microwaving. Don't know what that's all about but it only happened once and I've had it at least ten times now. I'm going to try the one that stomsf recommended from the frozen section too.

                  1. re: schmoopy

                    me too! (the name i gave a babby kitty when i was young)

              2. I like most of their frozen burritos. My favorite was discontinued (sadly) but the green chili chicken enchiladas and the mildly spiced veggie burritos are both tasty.
                I also like to get bags of salad, whole wheat tortillas, and hummus and make salad wraps
                Dolmas are tasty
                LOVE that mac & cheese

                1. It's dinner, but we just shared the pulled chicken packet (with a little cheese, and some chips), and it was a very tasty dinner. Will have to stock up tomorrow before they discontinue!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: L2k

                    Pesto pasta bowl: spinach leaves, pasta, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes, and the perfect amount of peso. I've tried recreating this at home and it's damn near close. Rating: 7