Seafood & Meats
Prepared Meals and Appetizers
Ahh, this has to be everyone’s favorite part of Trader Joe’s. They offer amazing pre-made meals that make even the worst cook look like a pro. Entrees like Mandarin Orange Chicken, Shrimp Scampi with Pasta, Chicken Serenada, or sides like Gnocchi a la Gorgonzola are all delicious, heat in under thirty minutes, and cost under $8 for about 2 modest sized servings. In a pinch, these are great to have around, though you can get more bang for your buck if you buy your ingredients separately (then you can make other meals out of whatever is leftover). Still, on a lazy night after a hard day’s work, these are fantastic meals that are made out of real ingredients with few, if any, preservatives. Part of my aversion to a lot of pre-packaged meals is the amount of crazy, difficult-to-pronounce chemicals that are thrown in “for freshness”. I’m fairly certain the human body wasn’t meant to consume that sort of thing on a regular basis, so I feel better when I read the ingredient list and most everything is derived from real food.
Now that I’ve had my say about the evils of processed foods, I’ll get back to the good stuff. The frozen appetizers at TJ’s are phenomenal and, once again, make you look like the greatest chef ever. Seriously, how often does one make Escargots en Brioche for about $6? Their Bruschetta appetizer is lovely, and they have this fabulous Black Truffle Flatbread that’s to die for. Mini-pizzas, sweet potato fries, chicken wings… you name it, they have it!
Last, but certainly not least, is the dessert section. From creamy New York Cheesecake to Chocolate Lava cakes, it’s easy to get some fabulous, high-quality desserts for relatively low prices. The Tiramisu Cake is incredible (it’s just a pain to wait for it to thaw!), but I highly recommend the Apple Blossoms. At just $1.99 for two, these little apple-filled pastries are deliciously baked or just warmed in the microwave. You can also get some great natural fruit popsicles, tofu-based desserts, and ready-to-bake pastries. The only thing I find slightly lacking is their ice cream selection, but with everything else you’re able to find there, it’s not all that necessary!
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this edition of Trader Joe’s 101. Sorry, it took me so long! I promise the next one will come a lot sooner. Next up: Snacks! 🙂