Trader Joe's Must-Haves for The Busy & The Lazy
As an active member of the busy/lazy committee myself, I'll start by saying this—I love to eat, but I don't necessarily love spending a lot of time on preparing my meals during a jam-packed work day. Of course, being the type to want to have it all, I would still prefer my food to be fresh, fast, somewhat healthy, and delicious—which is why I am obsessed with the options available at Trader Joes. I enjoy long, romantic walks down the frozen food aisle in Trader Joe's a little too much and love trying new things to add to my list of faves. When it comes to breakfast, lunch, and snack time, I have quite a few tried and true faves from Trader Joe's that make my work days a happy, healthy, breeze.
Breakfast is notorious for being between the "most important" to "ain't nobody got time for that" meal of the day. On the days that I decide that I want to nourish my body in the morning before a long day of computer staring, I like to keep it as quick, painless, and tasty as possible. These hashbrowns are perfect for when I'm in the mood for something savory. Sometimes I pair them with eggs, sometimes I sneak them in a breakfast sandwich, and sometimes I say "screw it" and just enjoy their potatoey goodness a la carte. You are likely to find these bad boys in the breakfast section of your frozen aisle at your local Trader Joes and fall in love with them too.
hatch chile mac & cheese
I know what you're thinking—"ew, microwave macaroni & cheese, no thanks." Trust me, I had the same reservations at first but I'm glad I took a leap of faith with this microwavable gift from the Trader Joe heavens. The roasted chiles add the perfect tangy flavor and this meal is more than hearty. For an extra punch, I like to cover mine in hot sauce and take a long, macaroni-induced nap after consuming.
yellow jackfruit curry with jasmine rice
This delightful bowl of goodness is a fairly new addition to the beloved freezer aisle and my number one lunch obsession as of lately. Jackfruit is an amazing alternative to meat for those who are vegan, vegetarian, or just like to go meatless a couple times per week. It's super filling, has a very similar texture to actual meat (kinda like chicken), and the flavor of the yellow curry is out of this freaking world. The bell peppers add the perfect cooling crunch to this dish and make it almost unbelievable that this is an actual freezer meal. Be warned: this curry is fairly spicy but oh so worth the burn.
for a snack
avocado's number guacamole to go
How many times have you wanted to eat avocado toast but realized that you just don't have the time, patience, or maybe even actual avocadoes? Scary, avocadoless thoughts aside—these to-go packs of guacamole have saved the day in my household on numerous occasions. I use them in burrito bowls, tacos, millennial-inspired avo toast, and especially as a quick snack with my favorite chips.
roasted plantain chips
Since my family hails from the islands—Jamaica to be exact—I can be hard to impress when it comes to plantain-based snacks (islanders have this down to a science!) I was delightfully surprised to find these roasted plantain chips both tasty and very close to the quality of plantain chip I'm used to having, just a bit thicker. Not to brag or anything, but I can inhale a bag of these on their own or with a yummy dip (cue the guacamole packs) in about 8.5 minutes or less.
for crunchy salad lovers
five spice chicken and asian style noodle salad
This salad is so so yummy, I could eat it every day! Perfect for the on-the-go person who simply does not have time to think about or make a healthy/tasty lunch. It has a tasty combination of rice noodles, bell peppers, crunchy cabbage, cucumbers, peanuts, mint, cilantro, and a chili lime dressing all prepped and ready for a party in your mouth. It also contains chicken which I do not eat—although it's usually pretty easy to pick out and feed to Bruce (my cat) or the trash, I wish there was a meat-free version!
organic shredded green & red cabbage
Another thing that I feel like I hardly have time for? Chopping veggies. This organic green & red cabbage with orange carrots comes perfectly pre-shredded and ready to toss on top of your favorite dish! I like to throw this on top of tacos & burrito bowls (obviously I make a lot of these lol) and sometimes drizzle with olive oil & lime/lemon juice for a tangy touch.
any time of day!
organic jasmine rice
Pre-Trader Joes, microwavable rice was another thing I wasn't too sure about introducing to my kitchen. Now that I'm an officially convert, I'd rather throw these bad boys in the microwave for a few minutes than wait on a tedious rice-cooker sesh any day! The quality of these rice pouches are really amazing, it isn't mushy or bland at all like you might expect microwavable rice to be. Honestly, we can hardly tell the difference! I use my beloved rice pouches during just about every meal of the day. Under an egg & avocado for a breakfast bowl, or paired with a protein of choice for a quick lunch or dinner prep. Sometimes when I'm really in a rush...I just microwave a bag, throw it in a bowl, pour soy sauce on top and eat it just like that. Don't judge me, k?
riced cauliflower stir fry
It's very apparent that cauliflower is currently on a mission to take over the world and this delicious stir-fry isn't making it any easier for us to stop it. At $2.99 per bag and a super speedy cook time—it really doesn't get much more convenient than this! Being a lover of all things crunchy, the blend of peas, peppers, corn, tamari, spring onion, and cauliflower makes me one happy, busy/lazy girl. Since I'm also a hot sauce freak, I like to add sriracha while I'm heating this up on the stove for extra spice & flavor!
That's about it for my top tried & trues via Trader Joe's! I'd love to know—what are your favorites? Be sure to share them in the comments below!