When I first visited Charlottesville I learned there was no Trader Joes.
And I seriously reconsidered my plans for moving here.
That’s a bit dramatic, but for real….no TJs?!
We are in one of biggest foodie cities on the east coast…or at least I think so.
So when Trader Joe’s opened last fall, my grocery store dreams finally came true.
We have a Kroger, Trader Joes and Whole Foods that sit in a triangle within a quarter mile of eachother.
And right down the street there’s a Fresh Market.
And if that’s not enough there’s a Harris Teeter about a 1/2 mile down the road and another Kroger if the other one just isn’t doing it for you.
Indeed, I am very grateful for grocery stores.
So, at the grand opening of Trader Joe’s last fall I was so excited I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time I strolled the aisles. Those Hawaiian shirts certainly help with happiness too. And ever since it opened it’s become a huge part of my weekly shop. I’ll usually get some of my produce and bulk bin items [quinoa, buckwheat, nutritional yeast, flax, etc] at Whole Foods and then pop on over to TJs for the rest. And if I need almond milk [I’m partial to Silk unsweetened vanilla] or a staple item or if there’s an awesome sale I’ll swing by Kroger on my way home.
Don’t you know grocery shopping is a sport?
I love Trader Joe’s because none of their products contain GMOs, they have awesomely cheap frozen things, convenient sauces that make cooking a breeze, dynamite coffee, and they don’t weigh produce! Spaghetti squash the size of my head for $2.69? Don’t mind if I do.
So in no specific order, here are my favorite TJ’s items!
These bags of kettle corn are perfect for snacking. Non GMO corn, minimal sugar and oil added, and it’s a whole grain. Throw one in your lunch box and you’re good to go!
Now nothing beats a homemade dressing made with olive oil, but this is pretty close if you need a good dressing in a pinch. Tangy and delicious!
Sauces and condiments are awesome for making things taste good in a jiffy. Hot and Spicy Mustard is delicious in salad dressings. Just add 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a teaspoon of mustard for a quick dressing!
Again, sauce. They are so convenient. I usually have at least one on hand for quick dinners. Just stir fry up some veggies, throw in some tempeh or beans, add your sauce and serve it over quinoa or brown rice. My favorite is the Thai Green Curry!