So, by now you are all aware of my absolute love, honor, admiration, and obsession with my new happy place, Trader Joe’s.
One of the biggest, in my opinion, excuses for not eating healthy is that it is too expensive. And you know what? It can be!!!! There have been many times that I have fallen victim to the Whole Foods Wallet Grab all in the name of healthy eating. I have driven 30 minutes to shop at Walmart because it was cheaper. But what else does Walmart have beside fresh vegetables and eccentric clientele? Junk food and lots of it. So covering my broccoli, corn, organic spaghetti sauce, and whole wheat pasta in a protective layer of bad food goodness, was always two bags of Utz’s Honey BBQ potato chips. (See previous post about will power). Don’t get me wrong, my shopping habits have improved tremendously. Avoid the end caps, shop the perimeter, etc etc. But the potato chips kept calling my name, so of course I had to bring them home with me.
Fast forward a couple of months, when I decided to go vegetarian (see post about Frankie the Fibroid). I was trolling Pinterest (OMG, so much good stuff!!) for vegetarian recipe ideas and shopping tips and there it was…. the top 20 vegan items to buy at Trader Joe’s. After perusing the list, I knew that I had to see what other goodies where contained within this Trader Joe’s place, and lucky for me, there is one two blocks away from my job. Score! After making my way through the store, I was waiting for the sticker shock to occur when I reached the register…..
And you know what?? I didn’t happen. Say What??? I spent $34.00 to feel myself for an entire week. This was less than I head ever spent in Walmart on one of my “good” shopping trips.
For those who are not familiar with the holy land that is Trader Joe’s, it is a small supermarket that stocks only organic, vegan, gluten-free, clean foods. They even have their on line of products. And the best part…. this stuff is CHEAP!!! All clean and organic!! HOLY COW. Instead of reaching for the potato chips, I get two bags of vegan pita chips and two bags of air-popped popcorn as my snack!! A pack of Tempeh… $1.99!!! 16 oz of spinach…. $1.99. A bag of individual serving sizes of almonds. $7 bucks!!! My life and eating habits are changed for the better. Not only is the food good for you, but it tastes so good!
On a whim, after eating some Chicken Marsala (before the change) and Naan for lunch one Friday. I scoped out the Trader Joe’s freeze aisle and stumbled upon frozen Naan. Not only was it healthy, it was flippin delicious. For two days I had sauteed kale and 2 pieces (I know, one piece too many) of Naan for dinner. And was stuffed!!!
Here are the items that are always on my Trader Joe’s Shopping List:
- Frozen Corn
- Kaledscope Chard
- Durot – Frozen crushed garlic (they do have ginger which I am on the look out for)
- Air-popped popcorn ($1.50 for a huge bag) – the Devil
- Sea Salt Pita Chips – the Devil’s Helper
- Dried Seaweed – $.99 – unbelievable
- Sliced mushrooms
I will add to this list depending on my taste buds. But basically, I eat the same thing for weeks on end until I get sick of it and move onto the next recipe. My current meal of choice is sauteed chard, kale, corn, lentils, and sliced mushrooms. If I feel like a little splurge, I will get a bag of Southern Blend greens (collard, turnip, and mustard greens. So tasty).
I knew I wanted to treat myself to something sweet for my birthday, so I decided to try their chocolate ice cream made with coconut milk. Baby Jesus must have made this delectable dessert himself because it was so good. Creamy, chocolaty, and it did not taste like coconut. Hands down it was one of the ice creams I have had in a while, and that is saying a lot. I will be trying the strawberry flavor very, very soon.
Overall, Trader Joe’s is an amazing place with great organic, non-GMO, and vegan choices for a very, very reasonable price and some stores even sell wine and beer. If you live near on, go check it out!!!
*** This is not a paid endorsement. I just love their product!!! ***