Posted in The Market

My Love for Trader Joe’s

Today was the first day of 2013 in which my car thermometer reached 60 degrees. It eventually dropped to 53 after I started driving, but it’s the small things.

I left work this afternoon and decided that this blessing of sunshine called for a delicious dinner of “little bites”. This is a regular practice of mine in which I find a bunch of tasty morsels at Trader Joe’s and turn them into a meal. However, sometimes when I walk into the market, my stomach starts to take charge over my brain, and an argument begins. Thus, my shopping cart looked a little something like this:

  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Tenders
  • Green Beans
  • 2 lb. bag Jasmine Rice
  • TJ’s General Tsao’s Cooking Sauce
  • TJ’s Triple Ginger Snap Cookies
  • Ridge-Cut Sweet Potato Chips
  • TJ’s World’s Puffiest White Cheddar Bites
  • Frozen, Breaded Fish Sticks
  • Frozen, Chicken Taquitos
  • Frozen, TJ’s Potato Tots
  • TJ’s Organic Shells & White Cheddar
  • Organic Mac & Cheese
  • 3 Fruit & Nut Bars

My stomach and brain, clearly, could not reach a compromise. My love of green beans and my desire for a balanced meal overpowered my idea for a meal of “little bites”. In the end, though, I ended up with snacks and/or lunches that are quick, easy and long-lasting in the freezer and I was able to put together one of my favorite types of dinners: chicken with vegetables and a carb (usually potato or rice).

When I got home, I cleaned my chicken and divided it into two batches. I always freeze half of the chicken so that I can make it another time, and can also use it as a back-up meal. I marinated the chicken in a little bit of the General Tsao’s Cooking Sauce – not too much because upon smelling it I found that it was a little strong. (The bottle suggested stir-frying any type of protein and/or vegetables and then adding the sauce at the end.) I only let the tenders sit in the sauce for as long as it took for me to finish putting away my groceries and to wash the knife and cutting board I used. I pan-fried the chicken and then set it aside to cool for a few minutes while I finished throwing together the rest of the meal.

With the green beans, I blanched them and then tossed them with garlic, a little bit of canola oil, salt and pepper in a small saute pan. And, finally, I took a reasonable serving size of tater tots – I say reasonable because I could probably eat half of the one-pound bag in one sitting – and followed the heating instructions on the outside of the box. Typically with these types of foods, I prefer to heat them in the oven, or toaster oven, as opposed to deep-frying or pan-frying in oil as I do not like them to be greasy.

So, at the end of the day, all I can do is adore Trader Joe’s. And the best part? The total for that purchase was $39.86, and most of the items will last me at least a month.

It’s amazing what warm weather, a good trip to the market and a delicious meal can do.


2 thoughts on “My Love for Trader Joe’s

  1. No words can do justice to the glory that is Trader Joe’s. And that’s not even taking into account the wine selection.

    I’m a big fan of the random food compilation as well. I’ll have to try out the stir-fry angle. Most of my spur of the moment shops turn into complex omelets.

    I’ll be staying tuned to future posts.


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