Trader Joe's Healthy Shopping Guide

Enjoy our Trader Joe's healthy shopping guide. Trainers and clients from all over New England share their Trader Joe’s favorite tasty finds and go-to healthy staple items.

Dawn Boulay, Home Bodies Master Trainer

“Since moving to the Cape, I find that I am shopping at Trader Joe's more than ever, as resources are more limited here than in the city, and TJ's is a great source for organic or quality ingredients. I love that I am able to pick up say, ground turkey for about half the price of the supermarket.

Quick recipes: for healthy meatloaf--combine ground turkey, chopped onion, garlic and herbs. Spray a muffin tin with Trader Joe's Olive Oil Spray, fill each muffin cup with meat, and top with cooked, mashed sweet potato that you have mixed with your choice of flavorings like herbs and parmesan cheese and bake for 15 or 20 min @ 400, until the turkey is cooked through. Serve with salad for a quick easy supper.

Meatballs: prepare same as meatloaf and then add breadcrumb and egg and dried herbs if desired then roll into little balls and brown in a little olive oil. Finish cooking in a pot of Trader Joe's Pasta Sauce. Pour over one of their pastas (TJ’s has a good selection of whole grain, gluten-free and imported pastas) and toss with their canned artichokes, olives, TJ's frozen peas. Serve with salad for another fast, nutritious meal).

People tell me they like to keep some of TJ's great tasting frozen dinners in the freezer, but as a chef, I tend to make most things from scratch. However, in a hurry I keep things on hand so I can throw together a quick nutritious Asian-themed meal using 100% ingredients from Trader Joe's: using Trader Joe's Pot stickers from the frozen aisle, along with a can of TJ light coconut milk, TJ organic chicken broth, TJ rice noodles, julienned vegetables such as carrots, fennel, green beans, bok choy, scallions, basil & mint or whatever you like from TJ's produce aisle, and throw in some TJ's frozen edamame beans--you've got a great meal.

Another Trader Joe's meal I make using TJ's Cornbread mix (which has sugar, but doesn't taste too sweet): Mix cooked chicken breast that you've shredded, (buy it or cook it yourself from TJ's) with TJ's frozen organic corn, chopped scallions, a can of TJ's organic black beans and TJ's Barbeque Sauce in a glass baking dish. Make the TJ's cornbread per instructions on the box and dollop on top of the barbeque chicken, bake according to boxed instructions until the cornbread is done. Serve with salad and voila!

I could go on and on writing ideas for making up fast, nutritious, delicious, economical meals with one stop shopping at Trader Joe's. As with any product just keep an eye on the fat content and portion size.

Bottom line: I have a whole list of Trader Joe's staples in keep in the house, and then as they add new products, I add them to my repertoire!"

Slavka Johnson, Home Bodies Trainer

“I shop there every week...Our family favorites...Pizza (very thin crust) margherita from Italy...It is great cooked on the oven rack and we decorate it with some vegetables.

Fish stew from the freezer is great with brown rice and organic chicken broth with vegetables is always good for a quick dinner. Their organic greek yogurt is low in calories, high in protein and very tasty; my favorite is the vanilla. For an extra treat we enjoy the apple dumpling (they come two in a box) and we also enjoy their blueberry coffee cake as well as the cranberry tart. My favorite appetizer is the broccoli slaw with their asian peanut dressing with sesame seeds on top. You can find it in the refrigerated section with salads.”

Rebecca Yazel, Home Bodies client

My favorites:

*TJ's reduced sugar organic jams in any flavor
*TJ'S Teriyaki Chicken, low fat, tasty and fast
*TJ's microwavable brown rice
*TJ's chicken burgers (frozen are better than the refrigerated version, because they are lower in sodium)
*TJ's frozen vegetables (I use the non-sauced varieties and have been happy with all of them)
*TJs whole wheat low car tortillas (only 1 ww point for a decent sized one, great for soft tacos)
* Pirate Booty is a great deal at TJ’s
*Maple Sugar Oatmeal in the freezer section


Gina Paulhus, Owner of Home Bodies

My Favorites:

*TJ’s low sodium marinara sauce
*Microwave Popcorn 94% Fat Free
*Organic Popcorn with Olive Oil
*Pacific Salmon from refrigerator case
*Rosemary Chicken from refrigerator case
*Columbus deli meats incl. low sodium varieties
*Quinoa and mango chicken salad
*Wild salmon and swordfish steaks (frozen)
*Baby bok choy and broccolini
*Frozen fancy berry medley—better value than fresh
*Frozen organic strawberries
*Frozen petite green beans
*Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper Soup
*Low sodium butternut squash soup
*Canned salmon
*Spicy Smoked Peach Salsa
*Spicy Kung Pao Chicken Rice Bowl
*TJ’s tart frozen yogurt
*TJ’s Tapenade
*Coco Via coconut water in the one liter size

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