Anyone who knows me, knows that I lovvvve Trader Joe’s. It might even be appropriate to dub myself the Healthy TJ’s Queen! ((no cauli gnocchi or Mac & cheese balls here, sis))
Not only have I had a deep, obsessive, passionate love affair with Joe ((my one true love)) over the past several years, he is my happy place. I guess that’s what people mean when they say someone feels like “home.” I find solace in his aisles, and joy in his presence. You know?! It’s excessive 😉
When I lived in LA, I had a Trader Joe’s in my building, basically in my kitchen. This is where I learned how to eat super healthy on a super tight budget, allocating 90% of my nourishment from Joe’s. My groceries for the week usually cost $30-$40, and I make all of my meals at home! It seems impossible, until it is done! I’ve gotten super creative with it, basically breaking it down to a science for how I can use each ingredient in multiple meals & one of my favorite things to do is to come up with // try out new recipes ♡ Check out my list of favorite TJ’s items below, and my Level Up Guide for all of my best TJ’s recipes, meal planning ideas, and 100’s of health & fitness tips!
Organic Baby Spinach: No brainer! Add a handful of dark leafy greens everywhere that you can: smoothies, eggs, salads, sautéed as a side… I use a full bag in my famous bitchin’ egg muffins!
Shredded Green Cabbage: I’m a shredded//chopped kind of lady when it comes to my salad bases, but what I actually use this green goodness in is my “turkey taco bowl,” which is one of my favorite go-to weeknight dinners!
Riced Cauliflower: I have no friends now, only cauliflower. There are at least a trillion recipes on Pinterest on how to whip up a delicious batch of this stuff, from a copycat Chipotle cilantro lime “rice” to Asian inspired fried “rice” and everything in between! Pureéd cauli is also a super good sub for mashed potatoes!
Shaved Brussels Sprouts: Yum, just yum. Sauteé or roast these babies up with pancetta + a balsamic reduction as a fancy + healthy side, or mix it up with riced cauli & cruciferous crunch for a quick easy veggie dinner.
Cruciferous Crunch: A blend of chopped kale, brussels, broccoli + green and red cabbage. Amazing salad base and soooo nutritious! Best when hit with an extra chop, and then topped with salmon, shrimp, or grilled chicken — crunchy chickpeas & a tahini dressing! Are you hungry yet?
Shredded Kale: Perfect for a kale + sweet potato hash moment. Kale is definitely more bitter, tough leaf, so when it’s shredded I just feel like it’s so much more user friendly!
Butter Lettuce: This is my favorite salad lettuce, I know it sounds weird, but it really is so soft! Maybe not as nutritious as it’s dark leafy cousins, but this is my go-to for my fave chicken salads.
Cucumbers: Replace crackers + chips with these babies sliced up w. hummus or guac or diced and added to tuna or chicken salad for crunch
Spiralized Zucchini: Y’all I just might turn into a zucchini based on how often I eat “zoodles” for dinner! You can buy them frozen or fresh ((I usually go frozen, tbh))
Tiny Avocados: One of the BEST deals at Trader Joe’s! For $2.99 you get SIX of these single serving avocados! They are usually a little over half the size of a regular avocado. I have one a day to get those good healthy fats in.
Kale Cashew Pesto: Best stuff, ever. It’s Vegan ((all this means to me is that there’s no added dairy, which is a plus but not a requirement)) and it’s amazing on everything– especially on my go-to Zoodle + Spicy Chicken Sausage recipe!
Zhoug Sauce: Holy shit, this stuff is UNBELIEVABLE! It’s kind of like a spicy chimmichurri moment. It elevates boring chicken, you can use it as a marinade or just dip into it– my preferred method! You can also add it to a plain hummus, into pasta, the options are endless!
Green Goddess Cold Pressed Dressing: Your new FAVORITE salad dressing. 20 cals, 0 sugar, 1 carb, all amazing clean whole food ingredients!!! Avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, green onion, chives, parsley, basil, sea salt, black pepper. It’s FRESH, it’s zesty, it’s “lick the bowl” good, I swear. I think this is the most expensive item on this list, at a whopping $5. It does expire relatively quickly, so get your salad supplies ready, girl!
Organic Spicy Avo Hummus: I’ve never been totally crazy about Trader Joe’s hummus… until I met this one! I think that the consistency & flavor is to die for, it has a nice kick! Obviously use however you usually take your hummus, but my favorite way is to dip my lil turkey meatball snacks in it. Sounds like an odd combo until you try it!
Organic Feta: I try to go as dairy-free as possible, but can’t seem to quit a hit of cheese here & there, for sanity purposes, obviously! I LOVE a good, crumbly feta to sprinkle over a salad, eggs, or anything savory, really!
Marinated Mozzarella + Jumbo Kalamata Olives + Salami: If you’ll notice, I don’t mention any of the popular TJ’s “snacky” things on here. Was I once a Pirate’s Booty addict? A white chocolate peppermint pretzel thin fiend? A plantain chip & guac junkie? Of course. But snacks ((esp carb laden ones such as the aforementioned)) sabotage my diet, because like most with their drug of choice, I have no control! I will devour the entire bag within 2.5 seconds flat. Thus, I just don’t buy them. Instead, this is a combo I’ve been reaching for if I want a decadent, salty delight. I love a high fat // low carb content in my food, so this de-liv-ers in a major way! Mini charcuterie board “for one” moment.
Fancy Shredded Mexican: Sometimes you just need a bag of shredded cheese to keep in your fridge and eat straight up while standing in front of the open door like the savage you are, am I right? This is another good one to Salt Bae sprinkle over whateva, I love it. I JUST CAN’T QUIT YOU, CHEESE!!!
** If you’re a charcuterie board chick, TJ’s is known for having the most unreal unique cheeses. I myself cannot recommend any of them to you, because I know that if I relapse that far into the brie world, there’s no coming back for me **
Eggs: Best place to buy cheap, organic, cage-free eggs! Eggs are a big staple for me, I whip them up in so many ways– my favorite, being my famous Bitchin’ Spicy Egg Muffins. I also always hardboil a few each week to keep on hand.
Ground Turkey: YUM, I love a ground turkey moment. Meat & fish get expensive af, so my way around having a colossal grocery bill is to hack the system by getting a variety of less expensive options that I list here. Each one being about $3.50 – $4! I make a mean turkey taco bowl that’s one of my favorite go-to easy weeknight dinners.
Chicken Sausage: There is such a variety of fun chicken sausages here! My personal favorite is the spicy jalapeño. Amazing flavor, and also, there’s no casing which is a huge plus for me. I love to crumble it into eggs with sautéed spinach + veggies, or add to my zoodle recipe!
Chili Lime Chicken Burgers: I have talked about these a TRILLION TIMES. Effing unbelievable! There’s a specific way you have to make them + with my favorite secret seasoning on top, or else they don’t turn out right ((all of my Trader Joe’s recipes available in The Level Up Guide)) but these are especially amazing in my Perfect Chicken Salad!
Turkey Burgers: It’s a turkey burger. Nothing wild to write home about, but a nice hit of protein when you need it! I love them lettuce wrapped with the Pale Ale Mustard & a side of avocado for lunch!
Turkey Meatballs: Another great high protein snack that keeps well all week in the fridge. If I were to make a chicken or turkey meatball to pair with something else ((like a zoodle)) for dinner, I would make them from scratch– these ones are just easy & poppable!
Hi Protein Veggie Burger: Not all veggie burgers are created equally! Most are so small, and you wouldn’t think it, but contain a massive amount of carbs! This one is huge, 8 g net carbs, and SATISFYING! I love these things. I can’t really describe its unique flavor– not for everyone, but one of my favorite lunches before the gym when I need a hit of carbs.
Cowboy Quinoa Veggie Burger: These are my weekday “cheaty” treats when I’m just absolutely craving something DELICIOUS. Good ingredients, nutritious, just still on the naughtier side when it comes to my preferred macros. 10/10 in my book!
Canned Chicken: Easiest way to get instant shredded chicken for a little chicken salad. One of my favorite cheat-ish “Game Day, but make it healthy…” Sunday treats is to make a buffalo chicken salad dip with this stuff. DIVINE.
Canned Tuna: High quality tuna, I LOVE tuna salad! Make sure you whip it up with TJ’s Wasabi Mayo & other fun mixers ((again, all recipes for ALL of my favorite TJ’s meals available in my Level Up Guide!))
ACV: A shot of Apple Cider Vinegar a day keeps… all the bad stuff away!!! I’ve been taking a daily shot of ACV for damn near two years. The benefits are endless. My favorite? It helps your body absorb more nutrients + aids in healthy digestion. I take mine right before I eat my first meal of the day! I actually like the taste now. Psycho? I know.
EVOO: You know by now that I’m obsessed with healthy fats. Without going too far into it, I just FEEL really good, mentally sharp, and have more radiant glowy skin when I’m consuming a lot of it. One of my favorite bloggers, Annie Lawless, who is serious BODY GOALS talked in a video a long time ago about how she put olive oil on everything… So I started to & never looked back! You know this stuff can get pricy, but it’s only $6 for Organic Cold Pressed EVOO at TJ’s! Such an insane deal.
Wasabi Mayo: One of my gals in Basic Repellent said that this stuff is life changing, and she was NOT lying! It packs a serious wasabi punch & it is amazinggggg. So far, I’ve only added it to my Skinny Tuna Salad ((Only need like a teaspoon, it’s seriously spicy)) and I cut the rest with avocado to make it creamy.
Pale Ale Mustard: OMG. I am extremely enthusiastic about this one… It tastes like a honey mustard, but the nutritional info is FIRE. That of a regular mustard! ((Which is usually 0’s across the board with no sugar or carbs & tiny amount of cals)) Absolutely delicious, one of the best new items of 2019. Hope it sticks around!
Jalapeño Hot Sauce: I’ve tried every hot sauce here & this is the best one that they have to offer. I’d give it a C.
Srirachi Ranch: Not healthy, but amazing.
Taco Seasoning: This is HOT, HOT, HOT! If you can handle the heat, use an entire packet when you’re whippin’ up taco meat. If you’re a wimp, just use half. Incredible flavor.
Chili Lime Seasoning: Amazing.
Everything But The Bagel: You know what it is. I could do an entire post on all of the uses for this godsend.
Cayenne: Being the lil spicy mama hot tamale that I am, I love to make everything en fuego! Cayenne does the trick, everytime.
Pink Himalayan Salt: Replace your traditional table salt with this, NOW!!! That is an order, sis.
Electric Voltage Coffee: Need an extra jolt in your java?! Get these extraaaa caffeinated KCups for only $5.
Ginger Tumeric Tea: I’ve replaced my evening wine with this detoxing + anti-inflammatory caffeine free tea before bed. Love the benefits & it tastes great! Feels good to cut out all of that sugar and to wake up slim and trim in the morning instead of mildly hungover 🙂
Organic Gryffone Wine: If I am reaching for the booze, I’m grabbing the $5 organic wine!!! I’m a white girl (( aha ha ha… )) and I like the one with the lime green packaging. It’s some Italian variety, but tastes Pinot G enough for me!
Hyaluronic Acid Moisture Serum: I… CANNOT LIVE… without these two skincare products!!! Yes, of course I still love my colorful tiny little million dollar items from Sephora… But wow. Just wow! On a simple day where I’m just waking up, washing my face, and chillin… This is my one-two punch. This serum is SO juicy and hydrating. I use two pumps, let it soak in for 1-2 minutes, and then apply the moisturizer. My word to describe it would be “Quenchy” $7
Gel Moisturizer: People were saying that this was a La Mer dupe, but that is wildly incorrect. This is a Tatcha Water Gel dupe, 100%. Super hydrating, sinks right in, no grease effect like a creamy lotion-y moisturizer can sometimes exude! Only $8ish.
Ready for all of the healthy TJ’s recipes, skinny hacks, fitness tips & so so so much more!? Join us over in The Level Up Club to unlock them, today ♡