My Favorite Trader Joe’s Staples + What I Make With Them

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Andy Raynor NH


Hi, guys!

How was your Columbus Day weekend? We had a nice time in Newport with Papi and his girlfriend. It’s annual trip that we do again and again, year after year, and it’s definitely one that we look forward to. I’ll have a full recap coming later this week!

If you’ve read CNC for any amount of time, you know that I have a special place in my heart for Trader Joe’s. We shop there almost every week because they always have something new to try (right now, it’s pumpkin everything) and the price is right. Even though I typically have my eyes peeled for fun products to try, I often rely on tried-and-true staples because they make our meals come together in a matter of minutes. If you take a peek in our kitchen, you’ll pretty much always find these items. That said, here are a bunch of my favorites and what I make with them!

Microwaveable Frozen Brown Rice 

Making rice doesn’t get easier than this! Mal loves rice (I do, too!) and would eat it everyday, so we sometimes go through an entire box in a week. We often eat it along side a protein and veggies, mixed with a can of beans (and barbecue sauce – so good), with a stir-fry, or as part of a rice bowl, like Shrimp Rice BowlCowboy Caviar Rice Bowl, or a breakfast bowl made with eggs, avocado, and salsa.

Sunflower Seed Spread

I love this sunflower seed spread because it only has two ingredients in it: roasted sunflower seeds and salt. Unlike a lot of sunflower butters, it’s made without any additional sweeteners and only has 1 gram of sugar per serving (and it’s sugar that occurs naturally in the sunflower seeds). And, of course, I like this sunflower spread because it’s thick, satisfying, and really tasty. I love it on rice cakes, mashed with banana and cinnamon, mixed with berries and heated in the microwave for 30 seconds, on a spoon with a few chocolate chips on top, spread on sweet potato toast, made into Protein Balls, or mixed into Overnight Protein Oats.

Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

I put this seasoning on everything. No joke, it took me maybe a week to go through my very first jar! The novelty has worn off since, but I still add it to lots of different foods – roasted and steamed veggies, chicken, fish, avocado toast, hummus, roasted and mashed potatoes, eggs, rice, and more!

Cowboy Caviar 

I love Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar in a weird way. Haha! I really do love it and use it as I would jarred salsa + lots of other ways. Current favorites: Mixed with shredded chicken, roasted potatoes, stirred into tomato soup, mixed with ground meat and taco seasoning (in soft shells, on a salad, stuffed into sweet potatoes), in a cauliflower rice bowl, and eaten solo with rice crackers, carrot or cucumber slices.

Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon 

When I’m low on protein in my diet for the day, this is one of my go-to picks because it’s so easy and versatile. I like mixing it with grainy mustard, relish, and whatever veggies I have in the kitchen. I also like it as part of chopped avocado salmon salad, which I’ll eat solo, with rice crackers, or spread on top of a rice cake or piece of toast. It also makes a great snack – I’ll whip up a batch and divide it into 2 containers for a quick grab-and-go option!

Organic Sweet Pickle Relish

I love this relish because it doesn’t have a ton of added sugars like some brands do. It’s just also really delicious, and I love adding it to canned salmon and tuna, mixing it with hummus, ground meat, or spreading it on top of chicken or fish.

Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds 

I love that this nut butter has an extra boost of healthy fats in it. Since starting a seed cycling protocol a few months ago, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate more flax and chia seeds into my diet, so this nut butter is perfect. I love mixing it into oatmeal, spreading it on rice cakes, mashing with banana and cinnamon, using it to make protein balls, and eating it straight from the jar.

Organic Tomato Sauce 

We pretty much always have a can of this tomato sauce in our kitchen cabinets. It’s tasty and doesn’t have any added sugar, like some tomato sauces on the market. We love it with pasta, zoodles, on homemade pizza, as a dipping sauce for grilled cheese, Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore, mixed with shredded chicken or ground meat and baby spinach.

Carrot Spirals 

These Carrots Spirals are the best, and I used to eat them a couple of times per week. They recently went MIA from my local Trader Joe’s, but I heard a rumor they’re coming back soon enough. I like to cook them with Everything But The Bagel Seasoning or onion salt and then add my favorite protein – shredded chicken breast, ground meat, shrimp, etc. They’re so easy to make and the texture and flavor are perfect!

Other favorite products:

  • Frozen Fire-Roasted Peppers and Onions – Awesome in Easy Chicken Fajitas, Tortilla Breakfast Quiche, and Crockpot Masala Chicken
  • Chicken Drummellas – Quick dinner for Mal and Quinn
  • Nondairy Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • Organic Mini Cheese Sandwich Crackers – One of Quinn’s favorite snacks
  • Baked Cheese Crunchies – They’re basically cheetos, and we all love them! 🙂
  • Fruit Sauce Crushers – Another go-to snack for Qman
  • Gluten-Free Toaster Waffles – I love these with nut butter spread on top!
  • Savory Thin Crackers – Our go-to crackers! They’re gluten-free and crispy!
  • Organic Pizza Crusts – We love these for homemade pizza!

Question of the Day

What are your favorite Trader Joe staples? 


The post My Favorite Trader Joe’s Staples + What I Make With Them appeared first on Carrots ‘N’ Cake.

Andy Raynor NH


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