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Oct 18, 2012 12:43 AM

Best quick meal you make with trader joes products

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.

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  1. 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.

    5 Replies
    1. re: todao

      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

        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

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

          1. re: todao

            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.

            1. re: todao

              While I generally like Trader Joe's, I've had nothing but bad experiences with their "fresh" meats. I had to return them about three times, due to a really strong sulfur smell when I opened the package. I've heard this is sometimes due to the meat packing facility injecting gasses into the packages to make the meat look bright red, but I wasn't taking any chances.

              Also, the quality of their frozen pizzas has gone way downhill. You can get a DiGiorno frozen pizza for the same price that has way more toppings, sauce and a much bigger crust. Trader Joe's pizzas are always too dry because there is so little sauce or cheese on them, and the crust is like flat cardboard.

            2. 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. 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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                    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. 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

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

                      1. re: IndyGirl

                        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).

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