05 September 2013

5 things I'm really digging at Trader Joe's

Hello to all on this the fifth day of MoFodom! Since this is day five I'll be rambling about five awesome things I've been finding at Trader Joe's lately. On the very slim chance that you don't know what Trader Joe's is, it's a chain of retail food markets selling mainly "own-brand" stuff. They are well known for their excellent selection of inexpensive vegan and vegetarian foods and snacks (and wine if you don't live in a state with stupid liquor laws), not to mention their body care and household products. If you're reading this and don't have a Trader Joe's near you then... well... sorry.

Onto the list!

1. Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage

This is a coconut milk for drinking, not that super-thick stuff for cooking that comes in cans. My go-to all purpose plant milk is usually unsweetened almond milk, but lately I've been mixing this into my coffee and smoothies and it's the shit. The coconut beverage does have a bit of natural sweetness due to being made from coconuts and all so I'm not sure it would be suitable for use in all savory recipes, but it's pretty darn nice on its own. Oh, and it doesn't hurt that it's a good source of calcium. Ingredients and nutritional info:

2. Organic 3-Grain Tempeh

OK, a block of tempeh might not be exciting on its own merit but this stuff is seriously cheap at TJ's. I am lucky enough to live near a local supermarket that sells tempeh, but an 8oz block costs $3.70 there. The same thing is about $2 at Trader Joe's. Which would you choose? Ingredients and nutritional info:

3. Meatless Meatballs

These are a soy-based meatball-esque food. They are ideal for pasta and meatball subs because they have sort of an underlying "Italian seasoning" type flavor going on, but one could certainly skewer them in coat them in other types of sauce for an easy snack or starter. Sometimes I mash them up in marinara sauce to make a quick vegan bolognese. I'm drooling just thinking about it. Ingredients and nutritional info:

4. Vegetable Masala Burgers

My favorite frozen veggie burgers at the moment. These potato and veggie based patties are sort of like Gardenburger's sultrier, sexier cousin. Like veggies in patty form? Like Indian spices? Then you'll love these! Ingredients and nutritional info:

5. Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Icing

And last but not least, dessert. These seem to fall in the "accidentally vegan" category, because while they don't say "vegan" on the package I can't discern any animal ingredients:

When they say "May contain traces of milk" I assume that means they were made on shared equipment, which I'm personally OK with. Anyway, these cinnamon rolls are ooey and gooey and pretty damn good for something that comes out of a can... they're probably not as good as homemade, but these are a hell of a lot easier. My only complaint is that they come five to a can, and since I live in a two-person household that means we end up fighting over the last one.

What are your favorite items at Trader Joe's?


  1. I wish we had TJ's here! I picked up those cinnamon rolls on a Seattle - Portland road trip back in May and they're awesome.

  2. I haven't seen those cinnamon rolls before I'm going to keep my eyes peeled next time I'm at Trader Joes.

    1. Yay, hope you find them! In our store they're near the soy yogurts and stuff.

  3. Oh, I love TJs! My family has to have their lentil curls around at all times. Unfortunately most of their frozen stuff is not gluten free. Sads.