Spectacular Products from Trader Joe’s

I was puttering around the kitchen one day recently when I realized that I have a lot of food items from Trader Joe’s that are so delicious, I wanted to make a blog post about them. If you’ve tried any of these items, let me know if you agree with me that they are amazing…and if you haven’t tried any of these items, I strongly suggest running to your nearest Trader Joe’s and picking them up!

1. Organic Shells and White Cheddar (Macaroni & Cheese):

These noodles kept me alive during my college years. I almost always had a box of them in my room because they are quick and easy like your standard box of mac ‘n cheese, but they are so much more delicious and healthier too (I’m pretty sure)! The cheese packet isn’t neon-orange, so that’s saying something right there. It’s real white cheddar and instead of  elbow shaped noodles, they are little shells. The flavor is so good, and it’s even better (in my opinion) if you don’t mix the cheese packet until it’s completely creamy, but rather leave little chunks of the white cheddar. The little chunks will hide in the middle of the shells, and when you get one of those bites, you get a flavor-blasted bite! YUM! 🙂

 

2. Island Soyaki Sauce:

I first saw this sauce in one of TJ’s flyers and it sounded so good the way that they described it, I just had to buy it. The sauce did NOT disappoint! It is delicious. It’s so simple too. I poured half of the bottle in an oven-safe pan, put some chicken breasts in it, and baked it for about an hour. (I also turned the chicken over once, to baste it in the sauce). While it was baking, I made rice and then when the chicken was done I just put a chicken breast and extra sauce over a plate of rice. It was a hit! Simple and delicious. I will have a bottle of this sauce in the pantry at all times. It’s a quick and easy dinner for my family, or a sure-hit if you have company come over.

3. Hold the Cone! Mini Ice-Cream Cones:

These were another feature in TJ’s flyer, and I thought they sounded great. These are now one of my very favorite treats to give Jack because they are just his size! My son is a treat-monster, he would eat sweets all day if you let him. So he thinks he’s pretty special when he gets a whole ice-cream cone to himself. These little cones are about 3 inches tall and only 70 calories each, and they come in a couple different flavors. Of course in our household, we get chocolate! There are 8 cones in a box, and each box is only a couple dollars.

 

 

4. Four Cheese Mac ‘n Cheese:

This is another delicious Macaroni and Cheese dish. When me and Brady lived in Seattle, we ate this pretty frequently, as we had a TJ’s right by our house. This dish is in the freezer section and it tastes best if you bake it in the oven. It takes 25 minutes, but it’s worth the wait. This is Brady’s favorite macaroni. It is very rich, and one tray will keep you full for many hours. There are 4 cheeses in it: Cheddar, Swiss, Gouda, and Havarti.

 

 

5. Cilantro Salad Dressing:

I love salad dressings. I love all sorts of bottles of dressings that you can buy at a store, and I love making my own. So when I saw this new cilantro dressing, I definitely had to try it. I love cilantro anyway, so I was excited. (I’ve heard that cilantro is a touchy thing – people either love it or hate it. So needless to say, if you aren’t a cilantro fan, you probably won’t like this dressing.) I was a bit afraid that this dressing would be too strong, since cilantro has a strong taste, but I tossed a salad with it, and it was very light and refreshing. Brady loved it too. It has the perfect amount of flavor to add to a salad, but not take away all of the other flavors in your salad. In my salad, I typically put a lettuce/spinach blend, chopped avocado, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, shredded parmesan cheese, and croutons…then tossed with a dressing of choice. I usually always use a dressing that has balsamic vinegar, but even though this dressing was cilantro-based, not balsamic-based, I enjoyed it just as much!  (Don’t mind this picture – the bottle is half empty! I didn’t have a full bottle to take a picture of).

 

6. Gone Bananas! Chocolate Covered Banana Slices:

This is another great treat for Jack. These are little slices of banana that are dipped in chocolate and frozen. I don’t feel that bad about giving these to Jack, because they are bananas after all! (This reasoning comes from a mom who loves treats just as much as her son! haha)

 

7. Carne Asada Autentica:

This is just what it says it is: carne asada. It’s pre-seasoned and thinly sliced. Perfect for grilling and making Mexican food with! In fact, we just had this for dinner tonight. We made delicious quesadillas. Brady put the carne asada on the grill and I fried up some red, orange, and yellow peppers with sliced garlic. Then we put sour cream, cheese, avocado, and the sliced beef and peppers between 2 tortillas and pan-fried them to make the tortilla crispy. The end result was fantastic! There’s a lot of meat left over, so we refrigerate the rest of the carne asada and chop it up the next day to put it into a salad or in some pasta.

Grill it up with some peppers and garlic:

 

There are many many MANY more products that I absolutely love from Trader Joe’s, but I will sum up this post for now. Mostly because I don’t have any more yummy things from TJ’s right now to take pictures of! 🙂

I would love to know if any of you have tried any of these items and if you love them as much as I do, or if you have any other TJ’s items that you think are wonderful and think I should try, let me know!

Nikki

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September 20, 2011. Food.

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