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Best quick meal you make with trader joes products

olyolyy Oct 18, 2012 12:43 AM

I love to make quick kebabs with their pork tenderloin. I throw a quick marinade of lemon and olive oil on the tenderloin and skewer it. Doctor up their refrigerated tzatiki sauce with some extra fresh garlic. Throw the frozen naan bread on the grill right when the pork is done cooking. Serve with some sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion. So convenient and fresh tasting. Ive made it in the broiler if too lazy to grill.

  1. todao Oct 18, 2012 02:47 PM

    Your comments leave me trying to understand how Trader Joe's pork loin is better than pork loin from another source and whether its worth buying their Tzatziki sauce if you have to add more garlic. I'm also curious as to why you'd use Trader Joe's products for what you describe rather than products offered by other commercial outlets. Perhaps I've missed the point.

    4 Replies
    1. re: todao
      1POINT21GW Oct 18, 2012 08:30 PM

      I think it's because Trader Joe's has somewhat of a cult following and understandably so: they sell good food for good prices - much less than Whole Paycheck. With that said, fans of Trader Joe's like to talk about their favorite products from there, their favorite dishes they make using Trader Joe's products, deals they found at Trader Joe's, etc.. It's not so much they think they're products are necessarily better than other places, it's more of just an opportunity for like-minded Trader Joe's fans to talk about what they like and how they use it in a dish so others can learn from them, get ideas, or simply relate to what they're saying since they probably have the same products at their local Trader Joe's.

      1. re: todao
        olyolyy Oct 19, 2012 05:24 PM

        Well the raw garlic in the sauce is a personal preference. If you add it and don't eat it that quickly though, the garlic will completely overwhelm the sauce (and you will taste it for days).

        1. re: todao
          Chowrin Oct 19, 2012 06:02 PM

          It's a discount grocery store. need I say more?

          1. re: todao
            tardigrade Oct 20, 2012 12:12 PM

            It saves having to make another stop? Trader Joe's meats are decent: I don't usually buy them as I will purchase meat as part of my regular grocery shopping at a store that has much better produce, but if I happen to be at Trader Joe's for the monthly wine shopping and I see something that might be good for dinner I'll buy it. I don't use their products as much as I used to, but there are a few I keep on hand, like their enchilada sauce.

          2. Emme Oct 18, 2012 09:13 PM

            years ago, i had a dish i made for a boyfriend that loved this... i took some diced onion (TJ's), sauteed with some minced garlic (TJ's cubes), then adding in some of their fresh pre-cooked salmon, add in a good amount of the jarred eggplant tapenade; heated through and served on some cooked tortellini. garnished with a little freshly shaved parmesan.

            1. tiffeecanoe Oct 18, 2012 09:28 PM

              as a busy mom to an incredibly spirited 9.5-month-old - I certainly appreciate what TJ's has to offer. I'm not sure that I've ever made a meal entirely made of of TJ items, well, aside from lunch perhaps. I'm a big fan of their veggie masala burgers, naan... though, I make my own tzatziki. As I was saying when I started - I appreciate their sides. I like their chimichurri rice, I like their steamed beets and lentils, their frozen gnocchi's are good. I don't have time to make stuff from scratch every night of the week so we head to TJ's once a month, every other month and stock up on a few things that help keep my sanity in order. Their convenience foods are much cheaper than our small town grocery store prices. I also like their seasonal goodies - loving the pumpkin stuff out right now.

              I'm sure this thread really belongs over on the chains board. You'll probably get a lot more responses.

              4 Replies
              1. re: tiffeecanoe
                Allieroseww Oct 19, 2012 05:34 AM

                I had to feed a big group of teenagers on short notice. I made a super-simple pasta sauce with canned tomatoes and added TJ's turkey meatballs and served it over spaghetti.

                I only go to TJ's once a month or so, but always stock up on turkey meatballs. I tried out the pumpkin bread mix last week and am slightly ashamed to say that I loved it.

                1. re: Allieroseww
                  tiffeecanoe Oct 19, 2012 05:40 AM

                  I've heard great things... we're big fans of their pumpkin pancake/waffle mix! The pumpkin cream cheese is pretty darn delightful too, I was gobbling it up all last week on cinnamon raisin bagels!

                  1. re: tiffeecanoe
                    ceekskat Oct 19, 2012 07:22 AM

                    I just had a sample of the pumpkin pancake/waffle mix; they made it dollar size & served it with whipped cream, syrup & toasted almonds. Indeed it was good! Kids would have made me buy a box on the spot; however, I happened to have bought pumpkin puree the other day & was planning on making bread, but am going to try (semi:) homemade pumpkin pancakes this weekend. Of course it may not taste as sinful, lol. Next time, the box.

                2. re: tiffeecanoe
                  olyolyy Oct 21, 2012 08:49 PM

                  You know I posted it in Chains but think it was moved somehow....Good to hear about the steamed beets. I wish they had raw beets but the ones at my sunday market are better anyway. I find beets cook so well in the microwave that I never buy them pre-made but I was always curious if they were any good for an in-a-pinch or on-the-go meal.

                3. Will Owen Oct 19, 2012 02:37 PM

                  1.TJ's Traditional Marinara sauce (18-oz jar), High Fiber spaghetti, Meatless (or meat) Balls. Add salad.
                  2. Same sauce or Pesto (refrigerated tub, not the jar!) plus any of the raviolis or tortellini. Salad.
                  3. The frozen Salmonburgers, British Muffins (or the plain English muffins), Wasabi Mayo, Tartar Sauce, tomato. Toast muffins lightly, smear condiment(s) of your choice on each half, cooked Salmonburger and slice of tomato between. Potato salad (refrigerator case) is a good side.
                  4. Thai Green Curry Simmer Sauce, Light Coconut Milk, Roma tomatoes, zucchini, onion, extra-firm tofu, Multicolor Quinoa or Brown Basmati rice. Combine sauce and coconut milk. Squeeze excess moisture from tofu, cut into bite-size cubes, toss in a bowl with Vietnamese fish sauce and Sriracha (not available at TJ's, darn it!). Cut tomatoes in half and de-seed/pulp, then slice. Cut up zucchini, slice onion thin. Cook onion in pot with some olive oil, then add tomato and zooks, salt lightly and cook, covered, until soft. Transfer tofu to pot with a slotted spoon, stir, then pour in half of the curry/coconut mixture (refrigerate remainder for up to two weeks). Bring to gentle boil, cover and let simmer while you start cooking the rice or quinoa, then transfer pot to a hot tray or warm oven until grain is done. Serve curry mixture over rice or quinoa. This would also be good made with chicken, fish or shrimp.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Will Owen
                    IndyGirl Oct 20, 2012 12:25 PM

                    I love how that curry recipe sounds. Thanks for posting.

                    1. re: IndyGirl
                      Will Owen Oct 20, 2012 12:54 PM

                      You're very welcome. It was my first invention using tofu, and I'm still pleased at how satisfying it is to a carnivore (me!). The vegetables can also be varied; onion and the Romas are a constant for me, but I've had chunks of boiling potato in there with green beans, all from TJ's (I like the mixed green and yellow ones).

                    2. re: Will Owen
                      olyolyy Oct 21, 2012 08:50 PM

                      I am all over the salmon burger.

                    3. p
                      pasuga Oct 19, 2012 11:26 PM

                      You asked for an easy recipe. I have a TJ's within about a five minute walk and during this very hot summer lived mostly off Caesar salad with grilled lemon chicken made with TJ's ingredients. Ingredients: olive oil, really good wine vinegar, salt, pepper, canned anchovies OR a good dollop of Worcestershire sauce, raw egg, grated parmesan and lots of romaine lettuce. Prelim: mince

                      1. a
                        AuntieJen Oct 20, 2012 04:09 PM

                        Ground turkey + package of Bok Choy mix in fresh produce section (if your store still carries it; if not, use kale or the bag of greens in same section).
                        Season turkey according to taste and form into burgers. In electric skillet or fry pan, cook burger on first side. Turn, cover with entire bag of bok choy mix, add lid and cook until turkey patty is brown and cooked inside and veggies are steamed down. Serve with bread on the side if you wish. This is one of our favorite fast go-to meals, done in less than 30 minutes.Edit

                        1. q
                          Querencia Oct 20, 2012 08:17 PM

                          A bag of TJ's frozen blueberries or strawberries bought to a boil for a minute with just a little water and some sugar then thickened with cornstarch, served hot on French toast or waffles. Have not tried this with their other frozen fruits but I see definite potential.

                          1. s
                            Sharuf Oct 21, 2012 05:03 PM

                            Take 1 pkg drumsticks (5 or 6) and sprinkle or smear well with seasoning (I use cajun or curry). Put in a baking pan and pour some juice or yesterday's ginger ale or other going-flat soda pop - @ 1/3" worth. Lay some green beans or zucchini cut in lengthwise quarters in the pan as well. Put in toaster oven at 350 along with a sweet potato. Cook for @ 45 minutes.

                            That's my no-brainer TJ menu.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Sharuf
                              olyolyy Oct 21, 2012 08:35 PM

                              That sounds try-worthy.

                              1. re: olyolyy
                                Sharuf Oct 24, 2012 02:41 PM

                                At my local TJ you can get really cheap drumsticks, which is another incentive.

                            2. aching Oct 21, 2012 05:30 PM

                              In the last month I made two really good quick meals with Trader Joe's products. The first was REALLY quick - I made some basmati rice and served three frozen Indian entrees with it - saag paneer, curried eggplant, and Chana masala - delicious. The second was a bit more work, but not that much - I made polenta and served pulled pork (from the refrigerated section) over it with a poached egg on top. I love TJ's!

                              1. IndyGirl Oct 21, 2012 05:55 PM

                                Would love some ideas for great vegetarian meals using TJ products. Thanks!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: IndyGirl
                                  critter101 Oct 21, 2012 05:59 PM

                                  Not exactly a main, but a great vegetarian side is Lentil Salad. Use one package of TJ lentils (in refrigerator case), mix together with one container TJ Bruschetta Sauce (sauce, not mix), half a small block of feta cheese, crumbled, and julienned fresh basil to taste. It's great!

                                  1. re: IndyGirl
                                    olyolyy Oct 21, 2012 08:45 PM

                                    I make something I call BBOTY (breakfast burrito of the year)....It is basically the whole wheat organic wraps, warmed, with a slice of the ***unprocessed*** American cheese, a slice of the nitrate-free ham, grilled, eggs scrambled with the mini sweet bell peppers(diced), lots of thinly sliced green onions and the tiniest dollop of sour cream(sometimes). Roll burrito style, cut diagonally and devour. Not sure if you eat eggs though.

                                    1. re: IndyGirl
                                      cheesecake17 Oct 22, 2012 10:13 AM

                                      Polenta fries- cut a tube of polenta into sticks, place on greased cookie sheet, season, bake till crispy.

                                      1. re: IndyGirl
                                        Allieroseww Oct 22, 2012 11:19 AM

                                        This isn't a recipe, but the TJ's frozen black bean burritos are vegetarian and so, so good.

                                      2. greygarious Oct 22, 2012 08:53 AM

                                        TJ's often runs contests for recipes/meals using a specified number of their products. I have never paid attention but I assume these can be found through their website. There IS, or was, a cookbook using TJ products but it was not connected to TJ's. This non-affiliated site:
                                        http://www.traderjoesfan.com/ contains hundreds of such "recipes". There are probably other similar sites and blogs.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: greygarious
                                          olyolyy Oct 22, 2012 08:59 AM

                                          The problem with the cookbook (especially) and such blogs is that many products are discontinued.

                                          1. re: olyolyy
                                            tiffeecanoe Oct 22, 2012 09:09 AM

                                            Yes! I hate that about TJs... discontinued products! OR sometimes you just can't find them at the one closest to you. I love the Tarte d'Champignon and the last time we were able to get to TJs it was nowhere to be found :( I also couldn't find my pistachio white chocolate chip cookies, hmphhh!

                                            1. re: tiffeecanoe
                                              Will Owen Oct 23, 2012 11:07 AM

                                              I got a Tarte aux Champignons last night - I noticed they had a double stack of them and NO Tarte d'Alsace. If they're discontinuing those I'm going to go buy them out! Especially after Mrs. O thanked me profusely and repeatedly for having fed her that.

                                              1. re: Will Owen
                                                tiffeecanoe Oct 23, 2012 03:04 PM

                                                What the heck! This is why I get frustrated with Trader Joe's! The nearest one is 3 hours from here so we stock up - ha! I have 4 Tarte d'Alsace in the freezer right now. They better have Champignons next time. They're both SO delicious! I will cry if they discontinue them.

                                        2. j
                                          Jimisi Oct 22, 2012 10:34 AM

                                          One pound chicken breast chopped, add to one jar TJ's Curry Simmer Sauce and one package TJ's frozen fire roasted peppers and onions. Simmer until cooked through and tender, serve with rice. Quick, easy, balanced, and yummy.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Jimisi
                                            olyolyy Oct 22, 2012 01:04 PM

                                            This sounds great I will check out the curry simmer sauce. I would love this drizzled with coconut milk.

                                          2. LindaWhit Oct 22, 2012 01:58 PM

                                            Their Mandarin Orange chicken. I usually sauté some sliced carrots and make some rice, and it's dinner.

                                            1. AmyH Oct 22, 2012 03:52 PM

                                              I have yet to try it myself, but my daughter really likes to cook up some of the bul-ko-gi marinated beef from the refrigerated section and serve it with some of the kimchi fried rice.

                                              I made a great breakfast last Sunday from the lowfat multigrain french toast (frozen), turkey bacon (refrigerated) and yellow potatoes (produce) that I cooked into hash browns. Having the french toast ready-made saved loads of time and dishes to wash.

                                              I have made really good fajitas from the refrigerated adobo (?) marinated beef roast. We cooked it up on the grill, also grilled some onions and peppers, thinly sliced the meat and served it with tortillas. I've been wanting to try the Mexican marinated chicken this way, too.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: AmyH
                                                olyolyy Oct 23, 2012 07:48 AM

                                                I find the marinated chicken is wayyyy over salted

                                                1. re: olyolyy
                                                  AmyH Oct 23, 2012 08:45 AM

                                                  Thanks, that's really good to know because I can't use a lot of salt, so even normally salted things can sometimes taste too salty to me.

                                              2. AreBe Oct 23, 2012 08:20 AM

                                                I've got TJ's frozen battered eggplant slices in my freezer now. With a jarred tomato sauce and some mozzarella you've got a quick vegetarian dish.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: AreBe
                                                  IndyGirl Oct 23, 2012 02:36 PM

                                                  Oh, I've never seen those! Must find them!

                                                2. d
                                                  DeeCee Oct 23, 2012 09:14 AM

                                                  Pizzas, using TJ's shredded mozarella, pizza sauce (in the refrigerated section), and either their fresh pizza dough or frozen garlic naan bread for the crust. Their pepperoni is very good, or sometimes I get the packaged asparagus/mushroom/onion mix in the produce section and sautee that for a vegetarian topping.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: DeeCee
                                                    IndyGirl Oct 23, 2012 02:56 PM

                                                    I love that garlic naan and love the idea of using it as a pizza crust! Brilliant! BTW, I started buying that naan at least 7-8 years ago, and am SO relieved that they still carry it.

                                                    1. re: IndyGirl
                                                      tiffeecanoe Oct 23, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                      agreed! one of our favorite lunches are garlic naan pizzas. I find their frozen one to be so much better than the one over in their baked goods area.

                                                  2. Savour Oct 23, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                    I make bastard fish tacos using frozen fish nuggets, corn tortillas, and a slaw from the shredded cabbage, real mayo, lime juice and cumin.

                                                    I also make a meatball soup with the frozen party meatballs, organic free range chicken broth, pico de gallo, tomatoless corn salsa and baby spinach.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Savour
                                                      olyolyy Oct 23, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                      I love the fish taco idea, those are always in my freezer

                                                      1. re: Savour
                                                        tiffeecanoe Oct 23, 2012 03:09 PM

                                                        LOVE that idea. We do, well, bastard, as you say shrimp tacos by picking up the cheapy popcorn shrimp from Aldi, actually! Guilty little pleasure around here once a month or so!

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