It's no surprise by looking at photos of my recipes that I love Trader Joe's. I do most of my grocery shopping there and love it. I love how small the store is, how they offer products without artificial preservatives and dyes, how delicious their food is and, of course, the great prices. I compiled a list of some of my favorite Trader Joe's finds so far, I'm sure I'll be creating a part 2 or 3 or 100.
Fig Butter Oh boy, this stuff is so delicious. Dan and I originally went searching for it when we made bruschetta and I am so glad we found it. I have been trying to think of new ways to incorporate this into dishes because it's just so good! I've used this in Bruschetta & Fig, Mozzarella, Prosciutto & Basil Pizza.
Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette I have always been a balsamic vinaigrette kind of person, until my eyes fell onto this salad dressing. It's great on any salad, but especially an Asian chicken salad.
Cocoa Almond Spread Nutella is one of the most amazing creations of mankind, and so is this. Nutella is a chocolate hazelnut spread and this is a chocolate almond spread. Very similar, but with that richness of almond butter. I use this a lot on toast, usually with one thin layer of peanut butter and another of this spread. I've also used this in my Tiramisu Cookies.
Spicy Chai Tead Latte Mix Any chai tea is delicious, but the reason I sprung on this one is because it doesn't have NUTMEG! I'm allergic to nutmeg. I have always loved chai tea, but can rarely find one that I can actually drink. This mix is great hot or cold. I also love adding just a spoonful to my coffee to give it an added flavor boost.
Organic Vegetarian Chili I'm not a vegetarian, but I do love so many vegetarian options out there. My friend Marla got me hooked on this chili. When she first tried this she was a vegetarian and she told me that she had to grab the can twice to read the ingredients to make sure there really wasn't any meat in it. The tofu crumbles really have the taste and texture of ground beef. I love mixing this with some quinoa to make it last longer, plus it cuts out some of the heat. This is a spicy chili and I'm a bit of a pansy when it comes to heat. I used this in my Quinoa Chili.
Sweet Potato Bisque I get really burnt out on a just a plain tomato soup, but when I'm craving a creamy soup to go with my sandwich, this soup is what I get. Perfect by itself or with a small dollop of plain greek yogurt. I used this with my Caprese Sandwich.
Freeze Dried Raspberries Weird, I know, but such a perfect topping to have on hand. You can add these to any baked goods or to your morning bowl of oatmeal. I got the freeze dried blueberries too, stay away from those. They only get chewy once they're cooked.
Coconut Shrimp Being from Oregon, I love, love, LOVE my seafood. You don't really find fresh seafood living in the desert, so the next best thing is the freezer isle. These are lightly battered and covered in coconut. I love having these with the Mango Ginger Chutney below. Perfect as an appetizer or with some rice and veggies for dinner.
Mango Ginger Chutney I use this as a dipping sauce for my Coconut Shrimp or smother it on top of any fish. It has nice, big chunks of mango, red peppers and golden raisins. I'm sure I'll be incorporating this into a post in the near future.
Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint Joe Joe's Right before Christmas I was talking to my sister on Skype and she was eating these. She went on and on about how good they were but that they only carry them during the holidays. My next shopping trip I made sure to throw a box into my basket, and I was not dissapointed. Imagine an oreo, with chopped up bits of candy cane mixed with the cream, dipped in dark chocolate, then covered again in candy cane...yeah, I told you they were good. I kept mine in the fridge and wish now that I bought multiple boxes. Until next year! That's another thing I love about Trader Joe's, how they rotate their products and are always bringing new items.
Balsamic Glaze You can easily make a balsamic glaze by standing over the stove and reducing balsamic vinegar and sugar until you get this delicious glaze. Or you can buy it for just a few bucks and be done. You would have to use a lot of balsamic vinegar (which isn't cheap) to make this glaze. I've used this on my Balsamic Glazed Asparagus and Balsamic Pork Tenderloin.
Block Red Wine Last, but certainly not least, a boxed wine. Crazy? I think not. Trader Joe's has always been known for having delicious and cheap wine, "Three Buck Chuck". One day they were providing wine samples and had out their red and white boxed wines. I didn't care too much for the white, but this shiraz was quite tastey. Don't get me wrong, it's not some amazing, top shelf wine, but it's a very smooth, everyday drinkable red wine. Did I mention the best part? It's $9.99 for the box. That's 4 bottles of wine for $9.99!
What's your favorite find at Trader Joe's?