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Your Top 5 Trader Joe's Products? - 2014

TXMandy Feb 9, 2014 01:34 PM

Products come and go and our taste buds change. What are the top 5 TJ products you can't live without? Here's mine...

1. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
2. Tomato Basil Marinara
3. Jarred Crushed Garlic
4. California Estate Olive Oil
5. Salsa Verde

Honorable Mentions of Non-Food Items:
1. Vitamin E Oil
2. Coconut Body Butter
3. "Greenie" Dog Treats

What are your favorites?

  1. TXMandy Feb 9, 2014 04:25 PM

    2013 thread here... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/891169

    2 Replies
    1. re: TXMandy
      l
      littleflower Feb 20, 2014 02:00 AM

      Thank you for starting an updated version of this thread - I have already tried a couple of the recommendations out and can't wait to try more! Could you provide a link on the 2013 version to this new one? I think some people from the old version may not be aware that a new one has begun. TIA!!

      1. re: littleflower
        TXMandy Feb 20, 2014 08:39 AM

        Thanks littleflower! Done.

    2. linguafood Feb 9, 2014 04:31 PM

      1. Cretan Olive Oil
      2. Mushroom Turnovers
      3. Canned Corn
      4. Crème fraîche
      5. Buffalo Mozzarella

      1 Reply
      1. re: linguafood
        TXMandy Feb 9, 2014 05:33 PM

        I have got to try the mushroom turnovers with all the great feedback! Also have to agree about the canned corn, it is the only one we buy now.

      2. o
        okaycheckitout Feb 9, 2014 04:35 PM

        1: Salsa Autentica. My favorite storebought salsa (around here in New England, anyway), and a steal for the price.
        2: Almond Croissants. I can't believe I never even considered these until reading about them on CH.
        3: Kouign Amann
        4: Cheddar cheese - the specifics vary, but at any given time there's at least one fantastic cheddar at a better price than I can get elsewhere
        5: Frozen haricots verts - I don't know what it is about Trader Joe's, but some of their frozen vegetables are so much better than I can get elsewhere, which is a godsend in a climate with such a short growing season.

        2 Replies
        1. re: okaycheckitout
          g
          givemecarbs Feb 9, 2014 05:06 PM

          the Kouign Amann is ridiculous. It is my friend's favorite too. I have two pumpkin croissants stashed in my freezer and am going to grab more almond and chocolate croissants soon. So all the rise and bake stuff. Haven't tried the plain croissants but I will get around to it.
          Puff pastry, pie crust, wide egg noodles and the decaf peppermint tea that is seasonal.

          1. re: okaycheckitout
            TXMandy Feb 9, 2014 05:34 PM

            I should have added the salsa autentica to the verde! I always pick up both and love it.

          2. mcel215 Feb 9, 2014 04:36 PM

            1. Kimchee fried rice (frozen)
            2. Spanish olive oil
            3. Coconut cream (lotions)
            4. Pounder plus, dark chocolate
            5. Dark Chocolate peanut butter cups

            www.saffron215.blogspot.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: mcel215
              TXMandy Feb 9, 2014 05:35 PM

              I enjoyed the kimchee fried rice, but my husband found it to spicy. More for me I guess ;-)

            2. f
              foodslut Feb 10, 2014 07:32 AM

              The Delices de Bourgogne cheese--TO DIE FOR!!!
              frozen Haricots verts
              Chocolate thumbprint cookies
              European style yogurt
              frozen Alaskan salmon (with skin :))

              3 Replies
              1. re: foodslut
                h
                Hickory Feb 10, 2014 10:41 AM

                Just wondering if you have any tips for cooking the frozen Alaskan Salmon.

                1. re: Hickory
                  Monica Feb 27, 2014 08:21 AM

                  Trade Joe's has a tub of mango salsa...perhaps pa fry the salmon until the skin is nice and crisp and eat it with mangao salsa?

                2. re: foodslut
                  Monica Feb 27, 2014 08:20 AM

                  I too love the delices de bourgogne cheese...super delicious with a bit of sweet quince jam on nice crusty baguette. In fact, i had that last night.

                3. fldhkybnva Feb 10, 2014 08:46 AM

                  A year ago I thought I needed nothing from Trader Joe's and now I can't go a week without a trip and am having a hard time deciding on 5 favorites. For now, I'll go with the products I always have to have in the house.

                  1. Marinated mushrooms
                  2. California Estate Olive Oil
                  3. Turkey breasts - available year round, perfect size
                  4. Low sodium organic chicken broth
                  5. Guilt free guacamole

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                    MplsM ary Feb 10, 2014 11:51 AM

                    Just to clarify - you mean reduced guilt guacamole, yes?

                    1. re: MplsM ary
                      fldhkybnva Feb 10, 2014 12:37 PM

                      Yea, sorry I guess I made up the guilt free part. I only tried it recently but love it.

                    2. re: fldhkybnva
                      TXMandy Feb 10, 2014 02:39 PM

                      The marinated mushrooms are addictive!

                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                        fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2014 08:03 AM

                        I wish I could add to this list, everyday I think of other things are definitely must have items. I think I might replace the guacamole with the spinach and kale dip!

                      2. Berheenia Feb 10, 2014 10:03 AM

                        Some current faves are

                        whole wheat British Muffins
                        Sicilian Olive Oil
                        frozen petit peas
                        frozen pearl onions
                        Rolled Oats and Chocolate Chip fiberful (9g!) Granola Bars

                        1. b
                          BeachCookie107 Feb 10, 2014 02:24 PM

                          Unexpected Cheddar
                          Cocoban red wine
                          Chocolate croissants
                          1000 day Gouda
                          Chocolate covered liqueur cherries (Christmas item)

                          1. h
                            HeyImBack Feb 10, 2014 02:37 PM

                            Pub cheese - horseradish flavor
                            Bite size everything crackers (eaten w/ above cheese)
                            Kona coffee truffles
                            Mediterranean hummus
                            Just the Clusters cereal - maple pecan flavor

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: HeyImBack
                              TXMandy Feb 10, 2014 02:38 PM

                              Totally agree with the pub cheese and Mediterranean hummus! They're both delicious!

                            2. Ttrockwood Feb 10, 2014 07:13 PM

                              -meatless balls (not on shelves now, are "being reformulated" and hope to return in march)
                              - frozen soycuttash
                              - honey wheat pretzel sticks
                              - frozen organic fruits (esp blueberries!)
                              - dk chocolate covered ginger

                              Non-food but one of my favorite wines (and i usually hate red wine that isn't crazy expensive!) found this description:
                              "2012 Josef Händler Sweet Red Wine, Rheinhessen, Germany $4.99 - Sweetness is very well balanced by the acidity and liveliness of the fruit that is plentiful and persistent. "

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: Ttrockwood
                                b
                                Beach Chick Feb 21, 2014 06:04 AM

                                Love love love the meatless meatballs and like you, been waiting for months for the company to reformulate..would of stocked up!

                                Lemon pappardelle
                                EVO
                                Natural TJ Chicken sticks for my dog
                                B12 sublinguals
                                Veggie Spring rolls (frozen)
                                Masala burgers
                                Organic Virgin Coconut Oil...da best evah for the skin!

                                1. re: Beach Chick
                                  coll Feb 27, 2014 08:29 AM

                                  Just discovered the Lemon Pepper pasta which used to languish in my pantry is EXCELLENT in tuna casserole (got the idea on another thread). Going next week and it is on the top of my list.

                                  1. re: coll
                                    b
                                    Beach Chick Feb 27, 2014 08:34 AM

                                    Awesome.
                                    I juice a whole lemon for sauce with garlic and heirloom tomts, spinach when making the lemon pappardelle and I throw in the 2 lemon juiced halves in the boiling water to give it a little more lemoney punch..

                                    I do this with rice too and it is delicious.

                                    1. re: Beach Chick
                                      coll Feb 27, 2014 09:08 AM

                                      And I bet you get the lemons from your back yard too!

                                      Sounds wonderful, I've only tried my usual various Italian treatments and, despite it being made in Italy, nothing ever grabbed me. Can't wait for August, when my garden should be in full bloom; I can do a lot of lemony herbs to up the flavors at least.

                                    2. re: coll
                                      l
                                      littleflower Feb 28, 2014 03:26 PM

                                      Can you all who have tried the lemon pepper papperedelle let me know if it is very peppery? I put pepper on my foods but can only handle a little sprinkle.

                                      1. re: littleflower
                                        coll Mar 1, 2014 04:32 AM

                                        Not to my taste; I can barely taste it, it's just in the background. The little black specks look nice though!

                                    3. re: Beach Chick
                                      a
                                      andieb Feb 27, 2014 08:37 AM

                                      I wonder if they changed the recipe for that Pappardelle. I bought it when it first came out and thought it tasted like lemon pledge. I couldn't get away from that thought... And I love lemons!

                                      1. re: andieb
                                        b
                                        Beach Chick Feb 27, 2014 08:51 AM

                                        LOL..lemon pledge.

                                        I'm more a Mr. Clean kind of gal.

                                        1. re: Beach Chick
                                          a
                                          andieb Feb 28, 2014 07:36 AM

                                          It was a toss up between the two.. lol

                                        2. re: andieb
                                          opinionatedchef Feb 27, 2014 09:09 PM

                                          That's a perfect description of lemon oil to me. I know JUST what you mean, though i haven't tried the TJ product in question.

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                            a
                                            andieb Feb 28, 2014 07:36 AM

                                            I really wanted to like it..Maybe I'll give it another whirl. It has been several years since I tried it..

                                            1. re: andieb
                                              b
                                              Beach Chick Feb 28, 2014 08:29 AM

                                              Maybe I gussy mine up so much with extra lemon that I don't taste that pledge flavor..
                                              Report back!

                                          2. re: andieb
                                            d
                                            damara Feb 28, 2014 10:25 AM

                                            Curious to see if it's still like that. I felt that way about their confetti rice. I really wanted to like it but I just couldn't because the lemon pledge taste was so overwhelming for us. I was thinking about the pappardelle last time I was at the store but maybe it's not such a good idea for me!

                                      2. a
                                        autumm Feb 10, 2014 07:29 PM

                                        Wasabi Mayo
                                        Uncrystalized ginger
                                        organic avocados, they always seem to be "good"
                                        The little veggie and chicken broth packets, I miss the beef
                                        Salsa verde

                                        Honorable mention we can't get due to allergies: the mini milk chocolate covered peanut butter cups. Or the dark chocolate covered candied ginger

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: autumm
                                          TXMandy Feb 10, 2014 07:32 PM

                                          I pick up the avocados every time too. They always taste great, and I've yet to get a bad one.

                                        2. q
                                          Querencia Feb 10, 2014 07:36 PM

                                          1. Frozen raspberries. I eat them on cereal every day.
                                          2. Truffle Brownie Mix.
                                          3. Garlic Hummus.
                                          4. French Vanilla Ice Cream. It's a full half-gallon and as good as the name-brand premiums but cheaper.
                                          5. Almond Meal. Has many applications in baking.

                                          Also super:
                                          Tiny frozen onions
                                          Frozen broccoli flowerets
                                          Frozen pineapple
                                          The marinara sauce that has only 25 mg sodium per 1/2 cup---name brands have 300-700 mg
                                          Frozen flounder filet stuffed with crabmeat
                                          Sweet Chili Sauce

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Querencia
                                            TXMandy Feb 10, 2014 07:40 PM

                                            That's the only French vanilla ice cream we buy now. Sooo good!

                                          2. acerulz Feb 11, 2014 10:56 AM

                                            1. Tarte d'Champignon (http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=1273
                                            )2. Vegetable Masala burgers
                                            3. Murcia Al vino cheese AND Creamy toscano cheese soaked in Syrah (http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=1402 and http://www.traderjoes.com/FEARLESS-FL...
                                            )4. Hummus "Dip"
                                            5. Belgian dark chocolate pudding

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: acerulz
                                              Ttrockwood Feb 11, 2014 01:50 PM

                                              Love those masala burgers too!!

                                              1. re: acerulz
                                                ChristinaMason Mar 7, 2014 08:12 AM

                                                <Creamy toscano cheese soaked in Syrah><---this is delicious! Spanish friends of ours (who are cheese snobs) turned us on to it.

                                                1. re: ChristinaMason
                                                  fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2014 10:34 AM

                                                  I love that cheese.

                                              2. t
                                                toopie28 Feb 11, 2014 11:54 AM

                                                Most of these I do not buy anymore due to not having any self control - but I do love them:

                                                Almond Croissants
                                                Orange/Cranberry Mini Scones
                                                Chicken Pot Pie Bites
                                                Petite Cocoa Batons
                                                Most of the frozen bakery goodies...

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: toopie28
                                                  l
                                                  littleflower Feb 21, 2014 05:07 AM

                                                  +1 for the Petite Cocoa Batons!

                                                2. n
                                                  nosey Feb 13, 2014 05:45 PM

                                                  Staples from each TJ trip are:
                                                  1) Charlee Bears
                                                  2) Soycatash
                                                  3) frozen french cut green beans
                                                  4) Honey roasted peanuts
                                                  5) sweet potato fries

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: nosey
                                                    l
                                                    littleflower Feb 14, 2014 02:39 AM

                                                    +1 for Honey Roasted Peanuts...very addictive!

                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                      Rilke Feb 19, 2014 10:39 AM

                                                      Yesss. Their honey roasted peanuts are superb. I could eat 'em all day, and at 3.99/lb, it wouldn't break the bank . . . only the scale

                                                  2. l
                                                    littleflower Feb 13, 2014 11:03 PM

                                                    1. Meyer Lemon Cookie Thins
                                                    2. Seasoned Rack of Lamb
                                                    3. Mashed Potatoes (Frozen)
                                                    4. Authentic Belgian Waffles
                                                    5. Villa Italia Italian Grapefruit Soda

                                                    Honorable Mentions: Almond Croissants and Mini Croissants.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: littleflower
                                                      l
                                                      littleflower Feb 14, 2014 05:50 AM

                                                      I can't believe I forgot to mention one of my all time favorites...Smoked Trout in the can.

                                                      1. re: littleflower
                                                        c
                                                        cornedhash Feb 16, 2014 10:47 PM

                                                        God, that smoked trout is like crack. Delicious, fishy, smoky crack.

                                                    2. Njchicaa Feb 14, 2014 03:28 AM

                                                      1. California Estate Olive Oil
                                                      2. Unripened Brie
                                                      3. Frozen Vegetable Melange
                                                      4. Frozen Hash Browns
                                                      5. Unsweetened Coconut Milk

                                                      1. j
                                                        justicenow Feb 14, 2014 03:40 AM

                                                        The first TJ's in Idaho is opening Feb 28 in Boise. These lists are fun to browse while the anticipation builds.

                                                        1. majordanby Feb 17, 2014 01:59 PM

                                                          i dont know if i cant live without these, but these are the products i buy at TJs and not in other stores

                                                          1. Multigrain O's
                                                          2. Greek Yogurt
                                                          3. Multigrain blend with vegetables
                                                          4. Blueberry Bran muffins
                                                          5. Popcorn with olive oil

                                                          1. d
                                                            d_doubleyew Feb 17, 2014 07:45 PM

                                                            Current must-buys if I'm out:

                                                            1. Kerrygold salted butter
                                                            2. California Estate Olive Oil
                                                            3. Tandoori Naan
                                                            4. Palak Paneer
                                                            5. Pork gyoza potstickers

                                                            1. d
                                                              Dee S Feb 19, 2014 01:42 PM

                                                              Frozen Haricort Vert
                                                              Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Filled Pretzels
                                                              Frozen Paneer Tika Masala
                                                              Mushroom Turnovers
                                                              Filled Pastas (three cheese tortellini)

                                                              Honorable mention to those marinated mushrooms.

                                                              1. j
                                                                josephnl Feb 20, 2014 12:38 PM

                                                                1) Frozen croissants (almond and chocolate are a tie for me).
                                                                2) Greek feta cheese packed in brine. Because of it's ridiculously long shelf life (refrigerated) it's a staple in our home.
                                                                3) Greek kalamata olives, jarred (in Olive oil).
                                                                4) Frozen garlic cubes (Dorot) brand - much better than the jarred IMHO.
                                                                5) Frozen Hodgepog vegetables ( with French haricots verbs a close second).

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                  Tripeler Feb 20, 2014 07:59 PM

                                                                  3) Greek kalamata olives -- I love these, too!

                                                                  I remember the canned version they had, about $1.98 each. It was quite good, and easier to pack in a suitcase than the current bottled version. However, the bottled version contains pitted olives, which are much easier to use.

                                                                  1. re: josephnl
                                                                    j
                                                                    josephnl Feb 28, 2014 04:33 PM

                                                                    Since I posted this I have discovered the Dorot frozen basil cubes and must consider them a close second to the garlic cubes. Also, of course I mean French haricots verts (not verbs as my autocorrector inserted...damn those things!)

                                                                  2. m
                                                                    marketpeach Feb 21, 2014 08:53 AM

                                                                    1.) Soft Multi-grain Rustico Bread
                                                                    2.) Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter
                                                                    3.) Multi-grain Crackers
                                                                    4.) Unexpected Cheddar Cheese
                                                                    5.) Almonds covered with dark chocolate, sea salt, and turbinado sugar

                                                                    1. v
                                                                      Val Feb 21, 2014 05:58 PM

                                                                      Yep, love the organic virgin coconut oil to WEAR (great moisturizer with no chemicals after shower), not to eat
                                                                      Organic Green Tea when I can find it...seems like it is less and less available now ... bummer
                                                                      Organic Hummus
                                                                      Frozen Organic Chopped Spinach.(used to be able to find the organic frozen chopped spinach but for past months only the pestide-free kind...I'll take it but long for the organic)
                                                                      Frozen Organic Strawberries...criminey! Whole Foods sells fresh organic straws for $6.99 a pound...get outta here! TJ's is a deal...WF does have frozen organic but pkg is 10 ounces, not 12 like TJ's...just saying!!!!

                                                                      1. p
                                                                        phillychower Feb 21, 2014 06:59 PM

                                                                        Caramelized English cheddar. My fav cheese.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: phillychower
                                                                          j
                                                                          josephnl Feb 21, 2014 10:23 PM

                                                                          Are you talking about the English cheddar with caramelized onions? We love that cheese.

                                                                          1. re: josephnl
                                                                            p
                                                                            phillychower Feb 22, 2014 05:29 AM

                                                                            yup that's it. It's like crack for me. My husband doesn't like it so I end up eating the whole block.. so I try not to buy it often.

                                                                        2. p
                                                                          P_penelope Feb 21, 2014 10:42 PM

                                                                          Original marinara
                                                                          Yellow curry simmer sauce
                                                                          South African smoke seasoning blend
                                                                          Frozen mango chunks
                                                                          Turkey meatballs

                                                                          I don't eat the following items myself, but I can't live without them because they pacify my children:

                                                                          Chicken Taquitos
                                                                          Linguine with Clams

                                                                          1. MplsM ary Feb 22, 2014 01:16 PM

                                                                            Frozen:
                                                                            Broccoli
                                                                            Baby peas
                                                                            Broccoli and cheddar quiche

                                                                            Other:
                                                                            Chocolate chips
                                                                            1/2 salt peanuts

                                                                            1. opinionatedchef Feb 23, 2014 02:08 AM

                                                                              Frozen:
                                                                              Japanese Rice
                                                                              Three Rice Medley
                                                                              Haricots Verts
                                                                              Kai Soi Thai soup (I add 1/2 c. strong chicken stock, 1/4- 1/2 c. shredded cooked poultry, juice of 1-2 limes)
                                                                              Mushroom Fettucini Nests (I add dry sherry, and sometimes- cooked ground beef or poultry, sour cream and parm)
                                                                              Tarte d'Alsace- ( i add gruyere, slivered ham, spread of sour cream)
                                                                              Quinoa with Buttercup Squash and Zucchini
                                                                              Steak Burritos (I add leftover steak)

                                                                              Refrig:
                                                                              Toscano Cheese
                                                                              Three Layer Hoomus
                                                                              7 Layer Guac Taco dip

                                                                              Grocery:
                                                                              Multiseed Sesame Rice Crackers
                                                                              Unsalted Tortilla Chips
                                                                              Raspberry Chocolate Trail Mix
                                                                              Cal. Estate EVOO
                                                                              Salsa Verde (for chilaquiles, soups, stews)
                                                                              Flax seed tortilla chips
                                                                              72% Dark Chocolate Bars
                                                                              Dried cranberries, nuts

                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                opinionatedchef Feb 23, 2014 08:35 PM

                                                                                How COULD I forget my other top 5?:
                                                                                Whole Grain Rye Bread - square, thin slices
                                                                                Baked Jalapeno Cheese Crunchies

                                                                                Sliced Fontina
                                                                                Italian Truffle Cheese
                                                                                Chevre Crumbles
                                                                                Thai Tom Yum Soup w/ Spin. Mushrm Wontons (frozen)
                                                                                Chicken Tikka Masala (frzn) this sauce is really terrific
                                                                                Fresh flowers

                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                  fldhkybnva Feb 27, 2014 08:44 AM

                                                                                  I've been wondering about the fontina, is it the stuff with actual flavor?

                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                    opinionatedchef Feb 27, 2014 09:11 PM

                                                                                    to me, yes. almost as good as the fontina val d'aosta (has brown wax rind). sliced is what makes it invaluable to me.
                                                                                    ymmv.

                                                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                      fldhkybnva Mar 6, 2014 03:03 PM

                                                                                      Blargh, I'm not the biggest fan of the Fontina but I do admit it's very convenient that it's sliced.

                                                                                2. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                  d
                                                                                  drmoze Feb 28, 2014 10:52 AM

                                                                                  Wow, it seems that the concept of "five" escapes you. ;)

                                                                                  Is that EVOO much better than the others (say, as salad dressing)?

                                                                                  1. re: drmoze
                                                                                    opinionatedchef Feb 28, 2014 04:56 PM

                                                                                    yes, i decided , once i started answering the question, that more sharing trumped following the 'rules' on this one. No offense to TXMandy/OP.
                                                                                    I don't know; it's the only evoo i have used in 5 yrs; can't remember the others. but there are TrJ evoo threads on this board if you do a search.

                                                                                    i use cal estates evoo for every oo need: saute, salad dressings.but then, my evoo taste is for mild/buttery and not grassy/peppery.

                                                                                3. b
                                                                                  Beach Chick Feb 27, 2014 08:14 AM

                                                                                  TJ's cocktail sauce is one of the best and for under $2 is a great deal...very horsey.

                                                                                  1. c
                                                                                    chinchi Feb 27, 2014 09:29 AM

                                                                                    I appreciate Top 5 lists! I know it's hard to pick favorites, but it provides a great snapshot of people's recommendations beyond the lengthy Yay/Nay lists.

                                                                                    Top 5:

                                                                                    parmesan and arugula ravioli (fridge)
                                                                                    butternut squash gnocchi with butter & sage sauce (frozen)
                                                                                    polenta provencale (frozen)
                                                                                    petite pan pascal/pauline (fresh bakery)
                                                                                    coconut cranberry granola

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: chinchi
                                                                                      Rilke Feb 27, 2014 10:04 AM

                                                                                      So I'm guessing you aren't low carb-ing? ;-)

                                                                                      I love that butternut gnocchi too, but the pain pascal isn't available around here D:

                                                                                      1. re: Rilke
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        chinchi Feb 27, 2014 11:14 AM

                                                                                        I am a sucker for bread and pasta! The current weather may have influenced my "comfort food" picks.

                                                                                        Too bad about the pain pascal. It is/was my favorite. The Northern CA rendition - pain pauline - is good, but not as heavenly as the pascal (So Cal).

                                                                                    2. j
                                                                                      jsaimd Feb 27, 2014 10:12 PM

                                                                                      Our most purchased have mostly to do with the good price for the quality on the things we eat a lot of...not too exciting of a list.

                                                                                      1. Wild blueberries (frozen) - great price and great tasting
                                                                                      2. Gluten free oatmeal
                                                                                      3. pound plus 72% bar
                                                                                      4. Low fat cheeses (irish cheddar and mozzerella get used the most, food for low fat cheeses)
                                                                                      5. Pizza dough (for the non-Celiacs in the house)

                                                                                      Things we love that are more exciting

                                                                                      1. Dr. Praegers California veggie burgers
                                                                                      2. Serrano salsa (refrigerated)
                                                                                      3. Sea salt and caramel bar (made by Vosges)
                                                                                      4. Fire roasted corn

                                                                                      1. LindaWhit Mar 1, 2014 05:46 AM

                                                                                        1. Triple Gingersnaps
                                                                                        2. California Estate olive oil OR Spanish olive oil
                                                                                        3. Frozen "fire roasted" corn
                                                                                        4. Seaside Cheddar cheese (with the little crystals in them)
                                                                                        5. Grade B maple syrup

                                                                                        Also love their #2 unbleached cone coffee filters. Best price anywhere.

                                                                                        1. e
                                                                                          Emmyos Mar 2, 2014 07:53 AM

                                                                                          I adore their flash frozen cod filet!! It is so meaty, no fishy taste/smell, and it is beyond fresh!! We are not fish lovers and this is the ONLY fish we actually love!!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Emmyos
                                                                                            fldhkybnva Mar 20, 2014 04:22 PM

                                                                                            I agree, I recently bought the cod and it's great!

                                                                                          2. chezron Mar 2, 2014 01:51 PM

                                                                                            1) Organic Corn Chip Dippers (no canola-yeah!)
                                                                                            2) Unpasteurized Orange Juice
                                                                                            3) Raw Milk Parmesan Cheese
                                                                                            4) Raw Milk Emmentaler Cheese
                                                                                            5) Grass fed Organic Ground Beef

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: chezron
                                                                                              r
                                                                                              Raffles Mar 6, 2014 07:51 AM

                                                                                              I was in TJ yesterday for the first time, I saw the frozen grass fed beef rib roasts from Australia at $8.99 a pound, do you have any experience with them?

                                                                                              1. re: Raffles
                                                                                                opinionatedchef Mar 6, 2014 10:30 PM

                                                                                                haven't had it because i haven't cared for the flavor of Australian beef (i think it's just a matter of what you're raised with sometimes). you may like it but it does taste diff from US beef. But if you don't like it, you can always get credit for it.

                                                                                            2. westsidegal Mar 2, 2014 11:06 PM

                                                                                              the prewashed, precut, organic kale in the salad section.
                                                                                              perfect for making soups and stews.

                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                fldhkybnva Mar 3, 2014 07:31 AM

                                                                                                I love that stuff and the Swiss chard as well.

                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                  westsidegal Mar 8, 2014 10:36 PM

                                                                                                  add to my list the following which i can use to make israeli salad:
                                                                                                  organic persian cucumber
                                                                                                  organic onion (sweet or green)
                                                                                                  organic tomatoes
                                                                                                  organic lemons or limes (to be squeezed)

                                                                                                  combine the diced cucumber, minced onion, diced tomatos, and the lemon or lime juice and sprinkle well with salt and pepper.

                                                                                                  let marinate for 15 minutes or so and you have israeli salad.

                                                                                              2. mjcancook Mar 5, 2014 08:52 AM

                                                                                                1. Frozen Vegetable Lasagna
                                                                                                2. Orange Chicken (taste better than the restaurant's)
                                                                                                3. Dark Chocolate w/ Almond (3 bars for $1.79)
                                                                                                4. Sweet Potato Chips (hidden on the bottom shelf)
                                                                                                5. Mango Chunks (cheaper than Walmart)

                                                                                                Wow coming up with just 5 is harder than it looks! I love love love Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                1. coll Mar 6, 2014 03:05 AM

                                                                                                  Just went yesterday, and the top 5 reasons I went were:

                                                                                                  1) an assortment of cheeses (different every time)
                                                                                                  2) Organic Beef Broth
                                                                                                  3) Fire Roasted Green Hatch chile peppers
                                                                                                  4) Truffle Brownie mix
                                                                                                  5) Pepitas/Pumpkin seeds

                                                                                                  For the future: I bought this for the first time and immediately couldn't live without it: Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

                                                                                                  Things I bought because of this thread; thanks everyone:
                                                                                                  Almond Croissant
                                                                                                  Miso Ginger Broth
                                                                                                  Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
                                                                                                  (I will report back on those. )

                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: coll
                                                                                                    opinionatedchef Mar 6, 2014 10:23 PM

                                                                                                    the Hatch peppers- are those the canned chopped ones?
                                                                                                    If not, i'll be running over for some right away. But if they are the chopped ones, imo they are mushy. The more expensive El Paso canned brand, WHOLE, are firm and excellent, not mushy.

                                                                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                      coll Mar 7, 2014 03:32 AM

                                                                                                      But I don't think the El Paso is fire roasted either? That makes all the difference to me.

                                                                                                      The TJs work for me because I want them to melt into the dish and just add some background flavor. That, Rotel and El Pato are my "secret" ingredients" in many a dish, sometimes all three at once!

                                                                                                      1. re: coll
                                                                                                        opinionatedchef Mar 7, 2014 11:09 AM

                                                                                                        and WHEN did you say dinner was tonight?!

                                                                                                    2. re: coll
                                                                                                      mcel215 Mar 7, 2014 03:12 AM

                                                                                                      Those Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are amazing. I am just glad I can buy them in the small plastic bag instead of the large tub......

                                                                                                      www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                      1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                        coll Mar 7, 2014 03:34 AM

                                                                                                        I can't believe it but so far I am holding myself to one mid morning and one after dinner. They are "only" 70 calories each so I can cut somewhere else. And at least I can tell myself they're somewhat healthy.

                                                                                                        Ask me again in a week or so how I'm doing though!

                                                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                                                          mcel215 Mar 9, 2014 11:30 AM

                                                                                                          coll,

                                                                                                          I started that way, but now I just eat them all up during the weekend and then fast all week long, lol! Oy vey....

                                                                                                          www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                          1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                            coll Mar 9, 2014 11:34 AM

                                                                                                            I'm sure that's how it will end up. I guarantee it!

                                                                                                            1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                              opinionatedchef Mar 9, 2014 06:15 PM

                                                                                                              ha! you funny!

                                                                                                      2. Rilke Mar 6, 2014 04:51 AM

                                                                                                        - Organic tricolor bell peppers (by far the best price I've seen)
                                                                                                        - Mediterranean hummus
                                                                                                        - Organic Turkish apricots
                                                                                                        - Heirloom navel oranges (in season)
                                                                                                        - Various trail mixes (especially Salty, Sweet & Nutty) / nuts (esp. half salt cashews)

                                                                                                        I know that last "one" is cheating. Oh well.

                                                                                                        Honorable mention sweets:
                                                                                                        - Milk and dark chocolate peanut butter cups
                                                                                                        - Dark chocolate covered almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar
                                                                                                        - Dark chocolate covered ginger

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: Rilke
                                                                                                          Monica Mar 6, 2014 07:23 AM

                                                                                                          I love their organic tricolor bell peppers too!

                                                                                                        2. ChrisOfStumptown Mar 6, 2014 04:00 PM

                                                                                                          1) Sparkling mineral water
                                                                                                          2) California Estate Olive Oil
                                                                                                          3) French berry lemonade
                                                                                                          4) Kumato tomatoes
                                                                                                          5) 50% less salt cashews

                                                                                                          honorable mention:
                                                                                                          chocolate truffles
                                                                                                          pita chips

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: ChrisOfStumptown
                                                                                                            j
                                                                                                            josephnl Mar 6, 2014 07:22 PM

                                                                                                            Have you tried the Kona coffee chocolate truffles? They're truly evil!

                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                              ChrisOfStumptown Mar 6, 2014 08:31 PM

                                                                                                              Yes, those are good.

                                                                                                          2. j
                                                                                                            josephnl Mar 6, 2014 07:25 PM

                                                                                                            I can't understand how anyone's top 5 list doesn't include at least one variety of TJ's croissants. We love them all. Does anyone not like them?

                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                              opinionatedchef Mar 6, 2014 10:27 PM

                                                                                                              they are indeed terrific. and i was v happy to see they are now doing the frozen ones with almond filling (they used to have those as fresh.) and i did try the kouign aman too- very excellent. reminded me of the puff pastry elephant ears/palmiers we used to get in France.

                                                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                Monica Mar 7, 2014 06:32 AM

                                                                                                                I tried the kouign amman for the first time over the weekend. They did not rise so much in the moring so I was a bit worried but they did bake beautifully. I liked it better later when they were cold...love the texture of crunchy caramel with soft pastry. perfect with cup of coffee.
                                                                                                                I also like their frozen macarons..the neutral ones..not the fruit flavored ones.

                                                                                                              2. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                coll Mar 7, 2014 03:39 AM

                                                                                                                I had tried the chocolate ones a year or two back and wasn't thrilled, which surprised me because chocolate croissants are one of my favorite bakery goods. I thought these would blow me away but not really. I did just buy the almond version and will let you know when I get around to baking them how it goes.

                                                                                                                1. re: coll
                                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                                  josephnl Mar 7, 2014 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                  I'm surprised. We have the chocolate croissants every few weeks and love them. Did yours not rise sufficiently, did you not like the chocolate...?

                                                                                                                  1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                    coll Mar 7, 2014 12:45 PM

                                                                                                                    I think they may not have risen enough, it was awhile back. I plan to let these almond ones go to town before they hit the oven. If not for this thread, I never would have given them another chance. But I have had some work class chocolate croissants in the past, so I may be aiming too high.

                                                                                                                    1. re: coll
                                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                                      josephnl Mar 7, 2014 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                      They really should be in a warm place overnight. If your home isn't warm, see if your oven has a proofing setting (we proof ours at 85 degrees). Others have recommended the oven with the light on (which keeps the oven relatively warm). When proofed properly, the croissants are quite excellent.

                                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                        coll Mar 7, 2014 03:36 PM

                                                                                                                        Ok I'll figure something out, or else wait until summer!

                                                                                                                        I have a Viking but it's bare bones. I do my bread with a bowl of hot water, maybe something like that?

                                                                                                                        1. re: coll
                                                                                                                          opinionatedchef Mar 7, 2014 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                          I'm near boston and it's pretty cold in my house. the kouign aman wouldn't rise the other day in my garland oven( pilot not lit), so i put the pan near the (6 burner) pilots and inverted a roasting pan over, and baked them when they were fairly risen and smelling of dough, but , even though i compared them to the pkg.photo, i'm not sure if i should have let them rise further. anyway, they did bake up cooked-through and delicious, but maybe half the height of the croissants i've done before.

                                                                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                                                            opinionatedchef Mar 8, 2014 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                            the kA that i proofed by the pilot lights this time (this morning) rose so high that they opened up into flat squares. That's 'too proofed', yes? I lifted and folded in the corners (the butter kind of oozed out a bit) and they stayed that way through baking but i think they deflated/compacted a bit because of that. If you have successfully proofed your KA, have they puffed up but kept their corners folded in?

                                                                                                                            I'm thinking of making some sweet farmer's cheese Cheese Danish-like filling and putting a blob in the KA center after they have (over?) proofed and before folding in the corners. Think that could work? There's an egg in the filling and i'm thinking that even though the filling is baked through at 15 minutes (when i make cheese strudel using filo), maybe because it's protected by the KA puff pastry, it might not over-bake.... What do you think?

                                                                                                                      2. re: coll
                                                                                                                        coll Mar 9, 2014 01:30 AM

                                                                                                                        Haha just saw what I wrote. WORLD class, not working class.....

                                                                                                                      3. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                        westsidegal Mar 8, 2014 10:40 PM

                                                                                                                        to me, if i'm going to consume that many calories, i want a better eating experience:
                                                                                                                        better chocolate
                                                                                                                        better pastry

                                                                                                                        in other words, i will drive to a good bakery for a perfect croissant to be consumed immediately.

                                                                                                                        on the other hand: the organic vegetables they sell are just as good or better that the organic vegetables available anywhere else.

                                                                                                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                          trvlcrzy Mar 9, 2014 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                          when baking the chocolate croissants, we cut the still slightly frozen dough in half so you get 8 pcs. and perfect baking. Half the croissant size is perfect for a serving.

                                                                                                                          1. re: trvlcrzy
                                                                                                                            mcel215 Mar 18, 2014 05:30 PM

                                                                                                                            trvlcrzy,

                                                                                                                            What a great idea, those croissants are really big! Thanks. :)

                                                                                                                            www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                            1. re: mcel215
                                                                                                                              j
                                                                                                                              josephnl Mar 18, 2014 07:48 PM

                                                                                                                              Interesting! We are not big people, nor overweight! We have the chocolate croissants every week or so, and the two of us easily finish 3 or even sometimes 4 for breakfast. That's our entire breakfast however (of course with coffee), and a half croissant would be a tease!

                                                                                                                              1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                                mcel215 Mar 24, 2014 06:24 PM

                                                                                                                                Joseph,

                                                                                                                                For me,I usually serve these when I make a nice brunch for family or friends. So the croissants are served along with bagels, cut in half, an egg/vegetable dish of some sort, a fruit salad and a baked ham. I love the idea of cutting them in half before baking for the presentation. :)

                                                                                                                                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                    2. re: josephnl
                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                      trvlcrzy Mar 9, 2014 06:27 PM

                                                                                                                      1. Love the croissants! yes…plain and chocolate
                                                                                                                      2. Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
                                                                                                                      3. European Style plain yogurt
                                                                                                                      4. TJ Unexpected Cheddar
                                                                                                                      5. all their nuts

                                                                                                                    3. b
                                                                                                                      BacoMan Mar 8, 2014 10:41 PM

                                                                                                                      1. Salted and Roasted Sunflower Seeds.
                                                                                                                      2. Peanut Butter Pretzel Nuggets, Salted.
                                                                                                                      3. White Cheddar Popcorn.
                                                                                                                      4. Farm Fresh Eggs.
                                                                                                                      5. Toasted Oat Bran.

                                                                                                                      1. d
                                                                                                                        daver9000 Mar 9, 2014 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                        1. Organic Coconut Sugar (new item) - from the flowers of coconuts - very good natural sugar for cooking/baking
                                                                                                                        2. Organic Italian Olive Oil (square bottle) - has a smooth finish
                                                                                                                        3. Tuscan Pane Bread (strangely addictive toasted)
                                                                                                                        4. Peaches large case only - when come as Opportunity Buy item - insanely juicey - avail Summer only and amazing price of $5.99
                                                                                                                        5. Organic Coconut Oil - was the best selling new item at Trader Joes ever when introduced fwiw
                                                                                                                        6. Organic Grapefruit Juice - pick the reddest one if you can - almost a 'fragrant' grapefruit flavor
                                                                                                                        7. Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo & Conditioner

                                                                                                                        ( added some items since one is avail only in Summer )

                                                                                                                        This is also the only grocery store I know of that could double the stores in my area (Twin Cities) and it would still not be enough stores.

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: daver9000
                                                                                                                          l
                                                                                                                          littleflower Mar 23, 2014 01:26 AM

                                                                                                                          Is the Organic grapefruit juice that you like the shelf stable kind or is it in the refrigerator section next to the orange juice?

                                                                                                                          1. re: littleflower
                                                                                                                            d
                                                                                                                            daver9000 Mar 23, 2014 11:34 PM

                                                                                                                            It is the shelf stable kind - I still have not tried the refrigerated one yet. I like the Organic shelf one so much I have not tried the other. I buy 3 at a time now. A side benefit is If I feel even the slightest cold or sore throat coming on - a few swigs of it has stopped it in its tracks.

                                                                                                                          2. re: daver9000
                                                                                                                            coney with everything Mar 25, 2014 04:48 AM

                                                                                                                            In the summer, the Tuscan Pane makes for an outstanding BLT (gotta have those good summer tomatoes, though) with applewood bacon.

                                                                                                                          3. Dommy Mar 9, 2014 09:41 PM

                                                                                                                            Ack!! Five is so hard... I have my top 5 Cheeses. top 5 crackers. top five frozen items. top five snacks...

                                                                                                                            But here we go:

                                                                                                                            Top Cracker: Whole Grain Pita Crackers (also love the raisin rosemary. the new super thin paper ones. the brown rice crackers...)

                                                                                                                            Top Cheese: Honey Goat Cheese (also love the Isreali Feta, the marinated mozz, the unexpected cheddar...)

                                                                                                                            Top Frozen: Frozen Naan. (also love the indian chickpeas, the reduced guilt Mac n Cheese, the frozen Haricot Vert...)

                                                                                                                            Top Snack: The Reduced Salt Nut Mix (Also love the Dark Chocolate Caramel Wedges, the sesame cashews, the baked sea salt pita chips, the rosemary marcona almonds...)

                                                                                                                            Top Pantry: Giant Beans in Tomatoes (Also love the Instant Whole Wheat CousCous. The Isreali Couscous. The marinated mushrooms. The Jarred Bruschetta)

                                                                                                                            --Dommy!

                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                              fldhkybnva Mar 10, 2014 06:42 AM

                                                                                                                              Oh yea I've seen those giant beans. What do you do with them?

                                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                linguafood Mar 10, 2014 09:28 AM

                                                                                                                                Gigantes in tomato sauce are a popular Greek mezze. You just eat them as is, at room temp.

                                                                                                                                1. re: linguafood
                                                                                                                                  fldhkybnva Mar 10, 2014 11:11 AM

                                                                                                                                  I can probably accomplish that :)

                                                                                                                                2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                  Dommy Mar 10, 2014 09:55 AM

                                                                                                                                  So many things! I keep a jar stashed in my work pantry for those days when things get harry....

                                                                                                                                  I use them with cheese plates, they go wonderful with hard strong cheese like Manchengo

                                                                                                                                  They are great as a quick lunch over something like that Instant Whole Wheat CousCous.

                                                                                                                                  They are great added to sliced grilled sausages, they make an upscale beanie-weenies (serve with a side of buttered garlic and parm angel hair pasta... OMG)

                                                                                                                                  Or as I often do, when cleaning up the day AFTER the party.... eat straight from the jar, with whatever left over crackers and whatever left over red wine... LOL!!

                                                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                                                                                                    Ttrockwood Mar 25, 2014 11:06 PM

                                                                                                                                    LOVE the gigante beans! Great on a salad- their sauce becomes the salad dressing. Most often its more of a fork plus jar situation.....

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ttrockwood
                                                                                                                                      Dommy Mar 26, 2014 09:24 AM

                                                                                                                                      When we take them for picnics... we just use tooth picks and then folks pour the sauce on top of sliced baguettes (Then add a slice of machengo cheese, maybe a bit of charcuterie on top... and it's heaven..

                                                                                                                                      --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Dommy
                                                                                                                                        o
                                                                                                                                        ohmyyum Mar 26, 2014 11:56 AM

                                                                                                                                        Wow Dommy you have me sold!

                                                                                                                                3. e
                                                                                                                                  Emmey03 Mar 20, 2014 07:50 AM

                                                                                                                                  Frozen rolled pie dough
                                                                                                                                  edamame crackers
                                                                                                                                  Any Flavor of Trader Joe Ice Cream
                                                                                                                                  Chocolate chip cookie Ice cream sandwiches rolled in chips
                                                                                                                                  Fried Rice in Freezer Section

                                                                                                                                  1. Steve Green Mar 23, 2014 04:19 AM

                                                                                                                                    1. Chicken Tikka Masala (frozen)
                                                                                                                                    2. Caramelized Onion Dip
                                                                                                                                    3. Organic Persian Cucumbers
                                                                                                                                    4. Spinach and Kale Dip
                                                                                                                                    5. Grapefruit Juice (fridge version)

                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                      jimbo1126 Mar 26, 2014 06:53 PM

                                                                                                                                      My top five in no particular order:

                                                                                                                                      - Hollandaise Sauce in the tub
                                                                                                                                      - Mushroom & Truffle Flatbread
                                                                                                                                      - Frozen Leeks
                                                                                                                                      - Grass fed burgers (NZ)
                                                                                                                                      - Pomegranate Blueberry Sherbet

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